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Development Theory: An Introduction to the Analysis of Complex Change

ISBN: 978-0-631-19554-2
384 pages
November 1996, Wiley-Blackwell
Development Theory: An Introduction to the Analysis of Complex Change (0631195548) cover image
In this invaluable introduction to the major post-Second World War theories of Third World development, Peter Preston takes as his focus the strategies used to analyze change in the Third World and examines the ways in which different conceptions of the nature of change have led to different lines of policy advice. In doing so, the author demonstrates how the various contemporary approaches to development draw upon strategies of enquiry which are lodged deep within the intellectual traditions of the modern world. The author's approach is based on the premise that the reader can only fully grasp the live issues and debates surrounding development through an understanding of the linkages with the broader frameworks of social theory.

The volume is organized into four major sections:

  • An introduction to the nature of social scientific analysis;
  • A review of the work of the major social scientific figures of the nineteenth century and their impacts in the twentieth;
  • A comprehensive discussion of the post-Second World War theories of Third World development;
  • A prospective study of the current debates within the field of development theory about global structures and agent responses.

Development Theory is designed to appeal to students across a wide range of disciplines, who are taking courses dealing with aspects of development.
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Analytical Table of Contents.

Part I: The Nature of Social Theorising.

Part II: Classical Social Theory.

Part III: Contemporary Theories of Development.

Part IV: New Analyses of Complex Change.

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Peter Preston is presently Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and has taught at the National University of Singapore, and the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He has held numerous research fellowships, most recently a Canon Research Fellowship at the Institute of Comparative Culture, Sophia University, Japan.
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  • Comprehensively reviews the debates about development.

  • Shows how each position within these debates has been constructed.

  • Links present theorizing with long-established traditions.

  • Makes links with the broader frameworks of social theory that are necessary to really understand the issues and debates within development theory.
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"The author's approach is scholarly and informative, and his book deserves a place in the teaching resources of most departments ..." David Drakakis-Smith, University of Liverpool

"A readable, illuminating account ..." Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague

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