This chapter provides an overview of development over the last half century. It begins with a formative focus of development on economic issues and the way economic development was linked to national and global politics. It briefly reviews criticisms of the narrow economic approach to development and then discusses the reformulation of the concept to embrace a multifaceted process involving social, gender, and ecological dimensions. It examines the effects of neoliberal ideas on development since the 1980s and the challenge of persistent poverty and deprivation. Finally, it considers the achievements of development effort and challenges for the 21st century.
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