Skip to main content

Part of the book series: Key Challenges in Geography ((KCHGE))

  • 2059 Accesses


The nexus between political-economy, development and discourses, bottom-up people’s needs and power of institutions such as the World Bank and IMF all comes into play here in the geopolitical analyses. Based on historical experiences and Utopian ideals, concepts regarding development are codified in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The quest of assuring human needs entails elimination of hunger and poverty, and guaranteeing good health services and well-being, along with quality education and gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable clean energy, decent work and economic growth, with industry, innovation and infrastructure, and reducing inequalities, as well as creation of sustainable cities and communities. Along with this is the issue of responsible consumption and production, with action taken on climate change, policies and use of water and land environments. Central to this is peace, justice and strong institutions, with durable partnerships to implement sustainability. Basically, it can be argued that any action that does not alleviate poverty in some way cannot be called development but defining poverty has to be addressed in specific contexts. Conflicts remain the biggest threat to development and hence a human rights approach is imperative. Key development ideas must be linked to wider conceptual frameworks of globalisation and glocalization, and democratisation processes. Economic institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, WTO and economic governance all form part of the development interconnection.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 99.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. 1.

    The goals are found in paragraph 54 UN Resolution A/RES/70/1 of 25 September 2015.

    To read more see: Sumner and Tribe (2008), Willis (2005), Chari and Corbridge (2008a), Kothari (2005), Kothari an Minogue (2002), Payne (2005), Rapley (1996), Schuurman (1996).

    Chari and Corbridge (2008b). The Development Reader brings together fifty-four key readings on development history, theory and policy: Adam Smith and Karl Marx meet, among others, Robert Wade, Amartya Sen and Jeffrey Sachs. It shows how debates around development have been structured by different readings of the roles played by markets, empire, nature and difference in the organization of world affairs.

  2. 2.

    World Happiness Report.


  3. 3.

    2015 UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR)

  4. 4.

    UN SDGs 2015.

  5. 5.

    To read more:

  6. 6.

    UN The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

  7. 7.

    UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

    World Food and Hunger—

  8. 8.

    UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

    For education and human development, see Paulo Frere,

  9. 9.

    See: Rapid education responses in complex humanitarian emergencies.


    Protecting the right to education for refugees; Working papers on education policy; Vol.: 4; 2017.

    Jusoor Refugee Program.

    Euronews—Learning World:

  10. 10.

    UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

  11. 11.

    UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

  12. 12.

    UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

  13. 13.

    UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

  14. 14.

    UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

  15. 15.

    For further reading on refugees and children and education see: UNESCO. Missing out: Refugee Education in Crisis. Also

  16. 16.

    See: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2015, for executive summary, see pages 5–9.

  17. 17.

    George Alleyne, Robert Beaglehole, Ruth Bonita Quantifying targets for the SDG health goal. The Lancet. Volume 385, No. 9964, pp. 208–209, 17 January 2015.

    Martin Sandbu 15 September 2015. UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2015.

  18. 18.

    Briant Carant (2017).

  19. 19.

    Hickel (2016).

  20. 20.

    See: and

  21. 21.

    See: and and

  22. 22.

    What is Development Geography? What does Development Geography mean?

  23. 23.

    What is poverty?

    Why some countries are rich and others poor.

  24. 24.

    Francis Fukuyama, What is Development?

  25. 25.

    What’s the difference between Neoliberalism and Liberalism?

  26. 26.

    Fukuyama. F. 1989. The End of History?

  27. 27.

    The Concise Encyclopaedia of Economics. Joseph E. Stigler.

    Hudson, Michael; Feder, Kris; and Miller, George James (1994). A Philosophy for a Fair Society. Shepheard-Walwyn, London.

  28. 28.

    Thomas Spence. British pamphleteer. written by: the editors of encyclopaedia Britannica.

  29. 29.

    Chambers (1997, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2010), Narayan et al. (1999), Allen and Thomas (2000).

  30. 30.

    YouTube: World Hunger Documentary, UWFH Stenden.

  31. 31.

    YouTube: T. Robert Malthus: The Principle of Population Explained.

    YouTube: Population, Sustainability, and Malthus: Crash Course World History 215.

  32. 32.

    YouTube: Ideas of Entitlements as proposed by Amartya Sen.

    Sen (1981), Allen and Thomas (2000).

  33. 33.


  34. 34.

    Documentary: People’s Century Part 17 1954 Living Longer.

  35. 35.

    YouTube: Overview of theories of development | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy.

  36. 36.

    YouTube: The Division of Labour.

  37. 37.

    Gender and Development. Wiki gender.

    Rethinking development in the 21st century—Vandana Shiva at the Governance Innovation Week 2014.

    Allen and Thomas (2000).

  38. 38.

    IMF (2018).

  39. 39.

    The Economist, 20 Sep. 2018. America and China are in a proper trade war. Donald Trump announces another wave of tariffs. China retaliates.

    Reuters. Business News. Sep. 18, 2018Susan Heavey, Yawen Chen. China to penalize $60 billion of U.S. imports in tit-for-tat move.

  40. 40.

    YouTube: Overpopulated—BBC Documentary.

  41. 41.

    Allen and Thomas (2000).

    YouTube: Tracking World Migration | The Economist.

  42. 42.

    Wackernagel, Mathis and Rees, William (1996) “Our Ecological Footprint” (New Society Press).

    Rees (1992), Wackernagel (1994).

    Earth Day Network.

  43. 43.

    CO2 Emissions.

  44. 44.


  45. 45.

    See: Takshead et al. (2010).

  46. 46.

    European Parliament News. 30-6-17. Europe’s Migration Crisis.

    Daniel Howden, A tale of two crises in Greece—coping with economic depression and refugees. The Guardian. Thursday 3 December 2015.

  47. 47.

    UN FAO (2002).

    UN Human Security Unit. HUMAN SECURITY IN THEORY AND PRACTICE. An Overview of the Human Security Concept and the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security.

  48. 48.


  49. 49.

    What’s the difference between the IMF and the World Bank? | CNBC Explains.

    See: and

  50. 50.

    To read more:

  51. 51.

    To read more: Difference Between G8 and G20 | Difference Between | G8 vs G20

  52. 52.


  53. 53.


  54. 54.

    World Bank World Development Report. 2017.

    Constitutional Principles: The Rule of Law.

  55. 55.

    The Development of Underdevelopment in the UK, Colin Leys, SOAS University of London.


  • Allen T, Thomas A (eds) (2000) Poverty and development into the 21st century. Open University in association with Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Briant Carant J (2017) Unheard voices: a critical discourse analysis of the millennium development goals’ evolution into the sustainable development goals. Third World Q 38(1):16–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chambers R (1997) Whose reality counts: putting the first last. Intermediate Technology Publications, London

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Chambers R (2002) Participatory Workshops: a sourcebook of 21 sets of ideas and activities. Earthscan, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Chambers R (2005) Ideas for development. Earthscan, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Chambers R (2008) Revolutions in development inquiry. Earthscan, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Chambers R (2010) Provocations for development. Practical Action Publishing, Rugby

    Google Scholar 

  • Chari S, Corbridge S (eds) (2008a) The development reader. Routledge, Oxford and New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Chari S, Corbridge S (2008b) The Development Reader. Routledge, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Hickel J (2016) The true extent of global poverty and hunger: questioning the good news narrative of the millennium development goals. Third World Q 37(5):749–767.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • IMF (2018) World economic and financial surveys: world economic outlook database.

  • Kothari U (ed) (2005) A radical history of development studies. Zed Books, London and New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Kothari U, Minogue M (eds) (2002) Development theory and practice: critical perspectives. Palgrave, Basingstoke

    Google Scholar 

  • Narayan D, Chambers R, Shah N, Petesch P (1999) Global synthesis: consultations with the poor. World Bank, Washington DC

    Google Scholar 

  • Payne A (2005) The global politics of unequal development. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Rapley J (1996) Understanding development: theory and practice in the third world. Lynne Rienner

    Google Scholar 

  • Rees WE (1992) Ecological footprints and appropriated carrying capacity: what urban economics leaves out. Environ Urbanisation 4(2):121–130

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schuurman FS (ed.) (1996) beyond the impasse: new directions in development theory, 2nd ed. Zed Books: London and New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Sen A (1981) Poverty and famines: an essay on entitlement and deprivation. Clarendon Press, Oxford, p 1981

    Google Scholar 

  • Sumner A, Tribe M (2008) International development studies: theories and methods in research and practice. Sage, London and California

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Takshead AA, Hubyab M, Frantzic S, Lovettad JC (2010) Dealing with pollution from conflict: analysis of discourses around the 2006 Lebanon oil spill. J Environ Manag 91:887–896

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • UN FAO (2002) Emergency field operations pocket book.

  • Wackernagel M (1994) Ecological footprint and appropriated carrying capacity: a tool for planning toward sustainability (Ph.D. thesis). School of Community and Regional Planning. The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

    Google Scholar 

  • Willis K (2005) Theories and practices of development. Routledge, Oxford and New York

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gerry O’Reilly .

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

O’Reilly, G. (2019). Development: Ideal and Basics. In: Aligning Geopolitics, Humanitarian Action and Geography in Times of Conflict. Key Challenges in Geography. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics