You are not currently logged in. Please create an account or log in to view the full course.

Theories of Global Development

6. Post-Development Approaches

This is the course trailer. Please create an account or log in to view this lecture.

  • Description
  • Cite

About this Lecture


In this module, we think about post-development approaches which challenge the fundamental concept of development. In particular, we focus on: (i) The Development Dictionary, a 1992 collection edited by Wolfgang Sachs, which established the key ideas of post-development theory; (ii) Arturo Escobar’s critique of development as an external imposition from the Global North which does not consider local perspectives and interests; (iii) some criticisms of post-development theory, such as its refusal to acknowledge benefits of development and its failure to offer practical solutions to issues like poverty.


In this course, Professor Katie Willis (Royal Holloway, University of London) explores theories of global development. In the first module, we look at development as a contested concept, and at some of the ways it has been defined and measured. In modules two and three, we consider modernisation theories, their development since the Cold War, and their relationship to neoliberalism. In the fourth module, we think about dependency and world systems approaches to explaining different levels of development across the world. In the fifth and sixth modules, we look at sustainable development and the incorporation of environmental issues into development theory and practice, before turning to post-development theory and the critique of development as a concept.


Professor Katie Willis is Professor of Human Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. She researches a broad range of issues related to migration, gender and global development. Her publications include Unaccompanied Young Migrants: Identity, Care and Justice (2019) (as co-editor), Geographies of Developing Areas: The Global South in a Changing World (2014) (as co-author), and Theories and Practices of Development (2005).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Willis, K. (2021, August 23). Theories of Global Development - Post-Development Approaches [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Willis, K. "Theories of Global Development – Post-Development Approaches." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021,

Image Credits

Get instant access to over 5,800 lectures