Reading that should be more common...

Ibn Khaldun (2015 translation, 1377 original) Al Muqaddimah 

Cesaire, A. (1950) Discourse on Colonialism

Fanon, F. (1952) Black Skin, White Masks 

Fanon, F. (1959) A Dying Colonialism

Baldwin, J. (1962) The Fire Next Time

Fanon, F. (1963) The Wretched of the Earth 

Fanon, F. (1964) Toward the African Revolution

Memmi, A. (1965) The Colonizer and the Colonized

Ture, K. (1965) Stokely Speaks

Ture, K. and Hamilton, C. (1967) Black Power

Nkrumah, K. (1968) Revolutionary Warfare

Freire, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Nkrumah, K. (1970) Class Struggle in Africa

Rodney, W. (1972) How Europe Underdeveloped Africa 

Nkrumah, K. (1973) The Struggle Continues

Gaddafi, M. (1975) The Green Book

Amin, S. (1976) Unequal Development 

Biko, S. (1978) I Write What I Like 

Said, E. (1978) Orientalism

Thiong'o, N. (1981) Decolonizing the Mind 

Amin, S. (1988 French, 2009 revision) Eurocentrism

Mazrui and Mazrui (1998) The Power of Babel

Smith, L. T. (1999) Decolonizing Methodologies 

Mamdani, M. (2001) When Victims Become Killers

Chang, H-J. (2002) Kicking Away the Ladder

Asad, T. (2003) Formations of the Secular

Taiaiake, A. (2005) Wasase

Kiros, T. (2005) Zera Yacob

Mamdani, M. (2005) Good Muslim, Bad Muslim

Shivji, I. (2007) Silences in NGO Discourse

Eze, E. C. (2008) On Reason

Thiong'o, N. (2009) Something Torn and New

Thiong'o, N. (2012) Globalectics

Abu-Lughod, L. (2013) Do Muslim Women Need Saving?

Ware, R. (2014) The Walking Qur'an

Lumumba, P. (2016) May Our People Triumph

Cabral, A. (2016, translation) Resistance and Decolonization

Mbembe, A. (2017, English translation) Critique of Black Reason

Asad, T. (2018) Secular Translations

Mamdani, M. (2018) Citizen and Subject

Ibhawoh, B. (2018) Human Rights in Africa

Mbembe, A. (2019, English translation) Necropolitics 

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303 Hits

Who Are You and Why Are You Here?

I have previously noted my interested in the expanded journal version of people recounting their experiences (e.g. this recent book on the Ebola response). The style (and title) of Jacques Claessens "Who are you and why are you here?" (2018), which was originally published in French in 2013 and translated in this version by Nigel G. Spencer, looked appealing. While interesting, I did not as much enjoying the fictionalization of the book. At least for me, this reduced the interest that I typically have of first-hand personal narratives. The book does open some doors and windows into problematic behaviours and decisions in the sector and might be a starting point for discussions, particularly for those unfamiliar with the sector.  

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158 Hits

Interesting Books (100+ Reviews)

In addition to the "essential" development studies books, some other interesting books include (organized chronologically):


Growing up in New Guinea (1930) Mead


Black Skin, While Masks (1952) Fanon


The Fire Next Time (1962) Baldwin

State and Land in Ethiopian History (1966) Pankhurst

The Liberation of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (1969) Davidson 


Xala (1974) Ousmane

The Green Book (1975) Gaddafi

Resistance and Decolonization (1977) Cabral

I Write What I Like (1978) Steve Biko


Tanzania: A Political Economy (1982) Coulson

Stranglehold on Africa (1983) Dumont and Mottin

Rural Vulnerability fo Famine in Ethiopia (1986) Wolde Mariam

Introducing Liberation Theology (1986) Boff and Boff

Adjustment with a Human Face (1987) Cornia, Jolly and Steward


Domination and The Arts of Resistance (1990) Scott

How Can Man Die Better (1990) Pogrund

A History of Modern Ethiopia (1991) Bahru Zewde

From Dictatorship to Democracy (1993) Sharp

Fictions of Feminist Ethnography (1994) Visweswaran

People of the Plow (1995) McCann

Civil Society: Challenging Western Models (1996) Hann & Dunn

Slaves into Workers (1996) Sikainga

The Lie of the Land (1996) Leach and Mearns

The Art of the Impossible (1997) Havel

Capitalism in the Age of Globalization (1997) Amin

The Power of Babel (1998) Mazrui and Mazrui

Civil Society and the Aid Industry (1998) Van Rooy

Envisioning Power (1999) Wolf

Men in the Sun (1999) Kanafani

Civil Wars in Africa (1999) Ali and Matthews


Empire (2000) Hardt and Negri

World-systems Analysis (2004) Wallerstein

The Liberal Virus (2004) Amin

The World Bank and Struggles for Social Justice in the Age of Globalization (2005) Goldman

Polio: An American Story (2005) Oshinsky

The Collapse of Globalism (2005) Saul

How Trade Can Promote Development (2005) Stiglitz and Charlton

Medical Apartheid (2006) Washington

The Siege of Mecca (2007) Trofimov

Hunting Causes and Using Them (2007) Cartwright

Decent into Chaos (2008) Rashid

Indigenous Methodologies (2009) Kovach

Field Notes on Democracy (2009) Roy

Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom (2009) Taiaiake

An African Renaissance (2009) Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Life After Violence: A People's Story of Burundi (2009) Uvin


The Politics of Military and Humanitarian Interventions (2010) Fassin & Pandolfi

Citizen Action and National Policy Reform (2010) Gaventa & McGee

Adventures in Aidland (2011) Mosse (Ed)

Why Civil Resistance Works (2011) Chenoweth and Stephan

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters (2011) Stearns

Yemen and the Politics of Permanent Crisis (2011) Phillips

Labor and Legality (2011) Gomberg-Munoz

Pox: An American History (2011) Willrich

How Migration Shaped Our World and Will Define Our Future (2011) Goldin, Cameron and Balarajan

Seasonality, Rural Livelihoods and Development (2012) Devereux, Sabates-Wheeler and Longhurst

Interventions (2012) Kofi Annan

Re-defining Food Security for the 21st Century (2012) Gibson

Q-Squared (2013) Shaffer

Global Social Policy in the Making (2013) Deacon

The Battle for Afghanistan (2013) Dalrymple

Thomas Sankara (2014) Harsch

Toxic Aid (2014) Edwards

Organizing Women Workers in the Informal Economy (2013) Kabeer, Sudarshan and Milward

American, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes (2014) Gopal

The Quest for Socialist Utopia (2014) Bahru

American Slavery & Capitalism (2014) Baptist

Capitalism vs the Climate (2014) Klein (and How Change Happens)

Anatomy of Giving (2015) Dwyer

Team of Teams (2015) McChrystal

Blueprint for Revolution (2015) Popovic

There is No Such Thing as a Free Gift (2015) McGoey

Blinded by Humanity (2015) Barber

Human Rights and the Food Sovereignty Movement (2015) Claeys

Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few (2015) Reich

Sustainable Livelihoods and Rural Development (2015) Scoones

Between the World and Me (2015) Coates

Originals: How Non-conformists Move the World (2016) Grant

Two Arabs, A Berber and a Jew (2016) Rosen

Ebola: How a People's Science Helped End an Epidemic (2016) Richards

Lessons Learned from Canada's War in Afghanistan (2016) Saideman

Poverty and the Millennium Development Goals (2016) Cimadamore, Koehler and Pogge

How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty (2016) Kohl-Arenas

Innovation and its Enemies (2016) Juma

May Our People Triumph (2016) Lumumba

The World's Emergency Room (2016) VanRooyen

Who Really Feeds the World? (2016) Shiva

Rules for Revolutionaries (2016) Bond and Exley

The Self-Help Myth (2016) Kohl-Arenas

The Politics of Development in Morocco (2017) Bergh

How One Small Town Banned Pesticides (2017) Ackerman-Leist

The Development Dance (2017) Swedlund

Why Don't the Poor Rise Up? (2017) Truscello and Nangwaya

Drawdown (2017) Hawken

Against Colonization and Rural Resistance (2017) Kapoor

A Socialist Peace? (2017) McGovern

The Untold Story of a Medical Disaster in Colonial Africa (2017) Lachenal

War in 140 Characters (2017) Patrikarakos

Collapse of a Country (2017) Coghlan

Revolution and Authoritarianism in North Africa (2017) Volpi

Making Sense of the Syrian Revolution (2017) Saleh

No Is Not Enough (2017) Klein

Children and Environmental Toxins (2018) Landriagan and Landriagan

Navigation by Judgment (2018) Honig

The Tyranny of Metrics (2018) Muller

How Democracies Die (2018) Levitsky and Ziblatt

Mass Starvation (2018) De Waal

Who Are You and Why Are You Here? (2018) Claessens

Participatory Development Practice (2018) Kelly and Westoby

Factfulness (2018) Rosling

The Lies that Bind (2018) Appiah

Getting to Zero (2018) Walsh and Johnson

Secular Translations (2018) Asad

Cooking Data (2018) Biruk

Food Aid in Sudan (2018) Jaspars

Knowledge and Global Power (2019) Collyer, Connell, Maia and Morrell

People, Power, and Profits (2019) Stiglitz

Measuring What Counts (2019) Stiglitz, Fitoussi and Durand

Globalisation and Seed Sovereignty (2019) Walshe

Evaluation Landscape in Africa (2019) Mapitsa, Tirivanhu and Pophiwa


Who Owns the Problem? (2020) Adesanmi

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961 Hits

Essential Development Studies Books


Discourse on Colonialism (1950) Cesaire

The Colonizer and the Colonized (1957) Memmi


The Wretched of the Earth (1961) Fanon

False Start in Africa (1962) Dumont

Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare (1968) Nkrumah


Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970) Sen

Class Struggle in Africa (1970) Nkrumah

Rules for Radicals (1971) Alinsky

A Theory of Justice (1971) Rawls

The Social Consequences of Resettlement (1971) Colson

The Struggle Continues (1973) Nkrumah

Unequal Development (1976) Amin

Peasants into Frenchmen (1976) Weber

Orientalism (1978) Said

The Rational Peasant (1979) Popkin


Markets and States in Tropical Africa (1981) Bates

Imagined Communities (1983) Anderson

Rural Development (1983) Chambers

Silent Violence: Food, Famine & Peasantry in Northern Nigeria (1983) Watts

Surplus People (1985) Platzky & Walker

Sweetness and Power (1985) Mintz

Weapons of the Weak (1985) Scott

Decolonizing the Mind (1986) Ngugi

The Violence of the Green Revolution (1989) Shiva


Anti-Politics Machine (1990) (Practicing & Framing) Ferguson

Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance (1990) North

The Scramble for Africa (1992) Pakenham

The Black Man's Burden (1992) Davidson

Encountering Development (1994) Escobar

The Two Faces of Civil Society: NGOs and Politics in Africa (1996) Ndegwa

Whose Reality Counts? Putting the First Last (1997) Chambers

Aiding Violence: The Development Enterprise in Rwanda (1998) Uvin

Seeing like a State (1998) Scott

Infections and Inequalities (1999) Farmer

Moral History of the 20th Century (1999) Glover

King Leopold's Ghost (1999) Hochschild

Decolonizing Methodologies (1999) Smith

Development as Freedom (1999) Sen


The Mystery of Capital (2000) de Soto

When Victims Become Killers (2001) Mamdani

Civil Society and Development (2001) Howell & Pearce

The Road to Hell (2002) Maren

Kicking Away the Ladder (2002) Chang

Letting them Die (2003) Campbell

War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004) Hardt & Negri

Reclaiming Development (2004) Chang

Cultivating Development (2004) Mosse

Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor (2005) Farmer

Bury the Chains (2006) Hochschild

Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (2006) Acemoglu & Robinson

The Will to Improve (2007) Li

The Origin of Wealth (2007) Beinhocker

Silences in NGO Discourses (2007) Shivji

The White Man's Burden (2007) Easterly

Does Foreign Aid Really Work? (2008) Riddell

World Poverty and Human Rights (2008) Pogge

Famine Crimes (2009) De Waal

Civil Resistance and Power Politics (2009) Roberts & Ash


Dead Aid (2010) Moyo

Partner to the Poor (2010) Farmer

Poor Economics (2011) Banerjee & Duflo

Can Intervention Work? (2011) Stewart & Knaus

Origins of Political Order (2011) Fukuyama

The Idea of Justice (2011) Sen

One Illness Away (2011) Krishna

Creating Capabilities (2011) Nussbaum

Social Life of Disease (2011) Willrich

U.S. Development as Foreign Policy in Ethiopia (2012) McVety

Why Nations Fail (2012) Acemoglu & Robinson

Getting Better (2012) Kenny

From Poverty to Power (2012) Green

The Quest for Prosperity (2012) Lin

The Price of Inequality (2012) Stiglitz

Globalectics (2012) Thiong'o

Do Muslim Women Need Saving? (2013) Abu-Lughod

Critique of Black Reason (2013) Mbembe

The State of Africa (2013) Meredith

The Almost Revolution (2013) Carothers and Gramont

Poor Numbers (2013) Jerven

Social Movements and Market Transformations (2013) Kapstein and Busby

The Limits of Institutional Reform in Development (2013) Andrews

Foreign Intervention in Africa (2013) Schmidt

The Making of a Better World (2014) Eyben

Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier (2014) Li

Capital (2014) Piketty

Navigating Complexity in International Development (2015) Burns & Worsley

Give a Man a Fish (2015) Ferguson

The Politics of Evidence and Results in International Development (2015) Eyben et al (Eds)

The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa (2015) de Waal

The Great Surge (2015) Radelet

How Change Happens (2016) Green

Global Inequality (2016) Milanovic

How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (2016) Ang

Encountering Poverty (2016) Roy, Negron-Gonzales, Opoku-Agyemang, Talwalker

Doughnut Economics (2017) Raworth

Can We Know Better? Reflections for Development (2017) Chambers

Why We Lie About Aid (2018) Yanguas

Human Rights in Africa (2018) Ibhawoh

Necropolitics (2019 translation) Mbembe

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1821 Hits
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