Magazine article Foreign Affairs

The Development Century: A Global History

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

The Development Century: A Global History

Article excerpt

The Development Century: A Global History EDITED BY STEPHEN J. MACEKURA AND EREZ MANELA. Cambridge University Press, 2018, 366 pp.

During the twentieth century, development emerged as a concept and an organized activity in international society. Every year, governments, international organizations, and private foundations send money and experts abroad to promote economic growth and social development. This collection of essays by a group of prominent historians provides the best portrait yet of the origins and evolution of international development. The rise of Cold War-era modernization theory and the geopolitics of U.S. foreign aid are well-known stories. But these authors show that international development has a much longer history, one that is intertwined with the emergence of the modern global order. In her contribution, Amanda Kay McVety traces the concept to the Enlightenment and the work of early political economists, such as Adam Smith. …

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