Development: A Very Short Introduction

What do we mean by development?

How can citizens, governments and the international community foster development?  The process by which nations escape poverty and achieve economic and social progress has been the subject of extensive examination for hundreds of years.The notion of development itself has evolved from an original preoccupation with incomes and economic growth to a much broader understanding of development.

In this Very Short Introduction Ian Goldin considers the contributions that education, health, gender, equity, and other dimensions of human well-being make to development, and discusses why it is also necessary to include the role of institutions and the rule of law as well as sustainability and environmental concerns.

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Development: A Very Short Introduction is also available in the following translation:

  • Chinese (Simplified)

Reviews and endorsements:

Lord Nicholas Stern, President of the British Academy and IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics
“Ian Goldin has been in the engine room of policy and action in South Africa, a leading figure in the World Bank and the head of one of the world’s most important research institutions in Oxford. This important book reflects the richness of his experience and scholarship. It shows how development can be fostered as well as the vulnerabilities, complexities and risks. It is succinct, wise, well-informed, broad ranging, and deep. It is also very accessible and admirable in its brevity. A splendid achievement.”

Jeffrey D. Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General
“Every citizen should be a champion of, and contributor to, sustainable development. Ian Goldin’s book is a great starting point for understanding our current sustainable development challenges and future possibilities, including the end of poverty in our time. The book offers a succinct, highly readable, and reasoned introduction to the debates and the data, from the vantage point of a world-leading development thinker and practitioner.”

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and former Permanent Secretary of the United Kingdom Department of International Development and of the Ministry of Justice

“I strongly recommend Ian Goldin’s excellent book- a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in development. He shows why some people and some countries stay poor while others get rich. This highly accessible book identifies what development means, why it matters ad what we can all do to improve our world.”

Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (2005-2015) and formerly Minister of Finance, Rwanda

“[This book] by Ian Goldin could not have come at a better time. The adoption of Sustainable Development Goals puts a high premium on our understanding of how development happens at a time when the global economic landscape is undergoing seismic changes. The rigour of analysis and the broad approach to the evolution of thinking beyond the narrow economic approach over time is one which will greatly benefit the younger generation students of development. I highly recommend this primer.”

Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director, Greenpeace and former Secretary General, Civicus

“Anyone interested in development should read [this book]. Development remains the greatest challenge for humanity. Drawing on his remarkable experience, Ian Goldin looks both back and forward to address the remaining old and many emerging challenges, including rising inequality and climate change. I strongly recommend this immensely readable, timely and vitally important book.”

Baroness Valerie Amos, Former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian and Emergency Relief, Director of SOAS, University of London

“Ian Goldin looks at the complexities of development in our interconnected world, and does what so few do. Joining up the dots, he looks beyond narrowly economic, and beyond Governments to people. He considers the important role played by social movements and by those in a broad range of organisations. He tells us that we all have our part to play if only we continue learning. A must read.”