3 must-reads for International Development

March 7, 2017 - 3 minutes read

Last Thursday, book lovers across countries and cultures were celebrating their favourite books. Not only do books give us the chance to stimulate our mind with new stories and ideas, they also help to hone our writing skills which are greatly valued by world class universities, as well as employers.

Jamila will be sharing some of her favourite International Development books –  perfect for preparing for our Summer School! International Development is fascinating subject to study if you are interested in current affairs and getting to the heart of understanding poverty, inequality and social justice in a global context. Here are 3 must-reads to give you a flavour of the issues involved.

Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty – Banerjee and Duflo (2011)poor economics

If you want to understand economic development beyond standard supply and demand side theories, then this is the book for you. The 2011 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year, Poor Economics challenges current global economic policy by understanding the thought processes behind the way the world’s poorest make day-to-day economic decisions. Banerjee and Duflo show how development is a complex process and helps us to understand why money in developing countries is spent in different ways and why aid doesn’t always solve the problem of global poverty.

Development as Freedom – Sen (2000)development as freedom 

A renowned lecturer and Fellow at Oxford and Harvard, Sen’s ideas of economic and social development are recognised internationally. What sets Sen apart from other development economists is that he goes beyond the idea of understanding development purely in economic terms.  His holistic approach is refreshing, and so is his reframing of the challenge of development as one of freedom – political and social freedoms can play as great a role as economics in improving people’s lives.

Orientalism  – Edward Said (1978)orientalism 

This is a classic of historical, cultural, and even literary criticism! Said examines how skewed perceptions of the Orient (seen by him as the Middle East and Asia) emerged by analysing 18th century scholarship which saw Western culture as superior and stereotyped the ‘Orient’ as the home of passive people who needed to be ruled and ‘civilised’. This approach has proved valuable in academia and the social sciences, particularly when analysing societies seen as ‘Oriental’.

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