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Poverty and Development

Third Edition

Edited by Tim Allen and Alan Thomas

October 2021

ISBN: 9780199563241

664 pages

In Stock

Price: £39.99

With more support for learning and understanding than any other text, this is the most comprehensive introduction to international development available.



The most comprehensive, interdisciplinary and student-focused introduction to international development available.

  • Offers the most comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of the history, issues and future trends of development, with final updates covering the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Integrated learning features, including case studies that draw on lived experience, help students to develop a critical, nuanced understanding of key issues and theories
  • Expert line-up of contributors offers a diverse and rigorous range of perspectives on the field
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • New chapters 7 on Poverty and Education, 19 on Engineering for Development, and 22 on Digital Technologies and the Future of Poverty and Development.
  • New chapter 20 on New Directions and Challenges for Health and Development provides a comprehensive overview of the key issues in health and development, including coverage of the Ebola epidemic and mental health, an initial assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic, and featuring cases such as malnutrition in Mexico.
  • New chapter 21 on Migration, Security and Development encourages critical reflection on continuing legacies of colonialism in relation to the refugee crisis, and puts displaced voices at its centre through narratives of refugees' lived experience.
  • New chapter 25 on Climate Change and the End of Development examines the impact of the climate crisis in relation to sustainable development by exploring issues of lived experience of climate change, including indigenous perspectives and intersectional vulnerability.
  • New concluding chapter based on interviews with leading development practitioners, thinkers, and academics reflecting on Prospects of the Future.

About the Author(s)

Edited by Tim Allen, inaugural Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, London School of Economics and Political Science, and Alan Thomas, Former Chair of International Development, Swansea University

Tim Allen is the inaugural Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, and is a Professor in the Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Alan Thomas is now retired, previously co-founder of Development Policy and Practice at The Open University, then Chair of International Development at Swansea University.

Table of Contents

    Part One: Conceptions of Poverty and Development
    1:Why Poverty and Development?, Alan Thomas and Tim Allen
    2:Poverty and Inequality, Naila Kabeer and Alan Thomas
    3:Meanings and Views of Development, Alan Thomas
    4:Agencies of Development, Duncan Green and Tom Kirk
    Part Two: Aspects and Causes of Poverty
    5:Hunger and Famine, Tim Allen, Shun-Nan Chiang, and Ben Crow
    6:Diseases of Poverty, Melissa Parker and Cristin Fergus
    7:Poverty and Education, Peggy Froerer
    8:Unemployment and Making a Living, David Wield
    9:Population, Poverty and Development, Valeria Cetorelli and Alan Thomas
    10:Environmental Degradation and Sustainability, Kathryn Hochstetler
    11:War and Armed Conflict, Tim Allen and Tom Kirk
    Part Three: Transformation and Development
    12:Diversity in Pre-Capitalist Societies, Janet Bujra
    13:Colonialism, Capitalism, Development, Henry Bernstein
    14:The Power of Colonial States, David Potter and Alan Thomas
    15:The Era of Development - A short history, Tom Hewitt
    16:Socialist Models of Development and the Rise of China, Guoer Liu and Andrew Kilmister
    Part Four: Challenges for Development
    17:Democratization, Governance, and Development, David Potter, Alan Thomas, and María del Pilar López-Uribe
    18:Rethinking Gender Matters in Development, Charlotte Brown and Ruth Pearson
    19:Engineering for Development, Peter Robbins, David Wield, and Gordon Wilson
    20:New Directions and Challenges for Health and Development, Cristin Fergus, Tim Allen, and Melissa Parker
    21:Migration, Security, and Development, Helen Hintjens, Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits, and Ali Bilgic
    Part Five: Prospects for Development
    22:Digital Technologies, Tony Roberts, Kevin Hernandez, and Becky Faith
    23:City Life, Jo Beall
    24:Identity Politics and Clashing Cultures, Tom Kirk, Tim Allen, and John Eade
    25:Climate Change and the End of Development, Dina Abbott, Gordon Wilson, and Alan Thomas
    26:Returning to the 'Great Transformation', John Harriss
    27:Poverty and Development: Prospects for the future, Ikenna Acholonu, Charlotte Brown, and Ingrina Shieh


"If the problem of development is to empower people to gain control of their own destiny, then poverty - whatever its cause - means the challenge continues undiminished everywhere on our planet. This big book gets us to think about all this systematically, rigorously, and powerfully." - Danny Quah is Li Ka Shing Professor in Economics at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

"This outstanding book is essential reading for students of international development, policy-makers, and anyone thinking about the human condition in our interdependent, globalised world. It asks the big questions. Why in an era of extraordinary wealth and scientific progress, do poverty and extreme deprivation continue to blight so many lives? How should we express human solidarity through international cooperation and multilateralism? As the climate crisis intensifies, ecological stress worsens, and inequality reaches ever more extreme proportions, is it time to rethink what we mean by 'development' and 'progress'? The author's combined academic rigour with readability and, critically practical reflections on how change happens." - Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive, Save the Children UK

"This new edition of Poverty and Development marks a welcome return of one of the most interesting collection for teaching development. Lucid and comprehensive, the text covers the gamut of topics needed to teach international development, from the historical transformation of the Global South under the impact of European expansion, through the rival models of development propagated during the global Cold war, to the Great Transformation wrought by industrialisation of China and E. Asia. In addition, the book covers key issues in contemporary development, including new chapters on climate change, digital technologies, as well as on the changing nature of conflict. Comprehensive and up-to-date, the book illustrates clearly how policies in both North and South impact the welfare of the vast majority of humanity." - Jocelyn DeJong, Professor and Associate Dean, and Tariq Tell, Assistant Professor, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

"Poverty and Development remains a foundational volume in understanding the intricacies between poverty and development in developing regions. For those of us interested in Public Policy, Governance and Development in Africa, this book provides critical points of reference for understanding pertinent policy, and governance domains in the development paradigm. It thus offers unconventional insights for teaching, researching and studying governing components in Africa and similar contexts for years to come." - Gedion Onyango, Lecturer in Political Science, Nairobi University, Nairobi

"The dynamics of global change continually shift the frontiers of development practice, thought and theory. This thoroughly revised edition of Poverty and Development offers a measure of changes with collateral impact on development over the last twenty years. Some chapters and a thoughtful postscript consider the broad experience and implications of Covid-19. The online resources that accompany the book make it an extremely valuable reference, teaching and learning tool." - David Luke, Coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre, UN Economic Commission for Africa

"Poverty and Development is a succinct elucidation of how poverty and development interface in developing countries." - Lawrence Sao Babawo, Senior Lecturer, Njala University, Sierra Leone

"This brilliant book is an essential and thought-provoking contribution on how we look at the global challenge of poverty." - Koen Vlassenroot, Professor and Director of Conflict Research Group (CRG), Ghent University

"Allen and Thomas' book offers a dazzling, systematic and wide-ranging analysis of the most challenging topics in international development. It accomplishes this in an engaging and highly accessible way. This book is a must read for students, academics and those working in the field." - Professor Nicole Stremlau, Research Professor in the Humanities, University of Johannesburg

"COVID-19 has thrown millions into poverty and threatens to undo decades of development. This updated and enhanced classic with its abundance of perspectives and rich insights helps us reflect again on the many inequalities the pandemic has unveiled and how to achieve more sustainable development." - Erik Berglöf Chief Economist of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

"This is exactly the sort of book that people go to university to read and discuss. It provides a great deal of food for thought for hungry minds: mixing theory and evidence very well, giving a wide geographical range of examples and drawing good conclusions. " - Dr Kevin Manton, SOAS University of London

"Migration, Security & Development is an excellent new chapter. Well-balanced, it tackles the politics of migration in a nuanced manner." - Professor Mustapha Pasha, Aberystwyth University

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

Poverty and Development is supported by online resources, and is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats.

The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

The online resources to accompany the book encourage deeper engagement with content and include:

For students:
- Web links organised by chapter to deepen students' understanding of key topics and explore their research interests

For registered adopters of the book:
- Customisable PowerPoint slides support effective teaching preparation
- Figures and tables from the book to allow clear presentation of key data and to support students' data analysis

Related Title

Introduction to International Development