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Paths to Development

Development is a contested concept. Some would drop it, as colonialist, modernist, old fashioned. We tend to disagree, as many communities, in rich and poor countries, do want to change and they call this development. Development remains a challenge, and the contestation should be part of any attempt at development, as, in essence, it is a matter of politics, of people choosing a different path. New models, tools, new forms of participation, new values and sensitivities appear all the time and all of them can be used and abused. This should not deter anyone from engaging with the promises and pitfalls of development, especially as the diversity of demands keeps growing: development has to be inclusive, participatory, fair, sustainable, evidence based, efficient. Ideologies come with their own claims. 

These are some books on community development.


Feuer, H. N., Van Assche, K., Hernik, J., Czesak, B., & Różycka-Czas, R. (2020). Evolution of place-based governance in the management of development dilemmas: long-term learning from Małopolska, Poland. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 1-19.

Leta, G., Kelboro, G., Stellmacher, T., Van Assche, K., & Hornidge, A. K. (2018). Nikinake: the mobilization of labour and skill development in rural Ethiopia. In Natural Resources Forum (Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 93-107). 

Van Assche, K., Shtaltovna, A., Hornidge, A-K (2013) ‘visssible and invisible informalities and institutional transformation. Lessons from transition countries: Georgia, Romania, Uzbekistan’, in N. Hayoz, Chr. Giordano (Eds) Informality and post- socialist transition (Frankfurt: Peter Lang).

Van Assche, K., Duineveld, M., Beunen, R., Teampau, P. (2011) ‘Delineating locals. Transformations of knowledge/ power and the governance of the Danube delta’, Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, 13, 1, 1-21.

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