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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Polity; 1 edition (3 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745635806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745635804
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"This book should certainly appear on reading lists as an important counterpoint to more optimistic liberal internationalist and cosmopolitan approaches."
Times Higher Education

"Duffield?s book turns the liberal vision of the world upside down."

"A very thought–provoking and insightful work which is warmly recommended to everybody with an engagement or interest in development policies."
Economics of Peace and Security Journal

"Mark Duffield has written a brilliant book which draws together the strings of the end of the Cold War, the securitization of politics, the development of a neo–liberal discourse of humanitarian intervention, and the fusion of the national and the international. Particularly compelling is his contrarian view of the consequences of the liberation of the UN from the shackles of the Cold War."
Janice Stein, University of Toronto

"Once again, Mark Duffield has gone beyond the platitudes of ′development speak′, ′security speak′ and ′humanitarian speak′. The book is crammed with insights and with challenges to received wisdom."
David Keen, London School of Economics and Political Science

"Humanitarian and development aid and actors as counterinsurgency: in this carefully documented but devastating analysis of the people–centred technology of security for the West since the mid–1990s and its historical context, Duffield provides both practitioners and scholars with an interpretive framework for the new North?South division and consequences of liberal internationalism that is original and challenging and which demands serious debate."
Susan L. Woodward, City University of New York

From the Back Cover

According to politicians, we now live in a radically interconnected world. Unless there is international stability even in the most distant places the West′s way of life is threatened. In meeting this global danger, reducing poverty and developing the unstable regions of the world are now imperative. In what has become a truism of the post–Cold War period, security without development is questionable, while development without security is impossible.

In this accessible and path–breaking book, Mark Duffield questions this conventional wisdom and lays bare development not as a way of bettering other people but of governing them. He offers a profound critique of the new wave of Western humanitarian and peace interventionism, arguing that rather than bridging the lifechance divide between development and underdevelopment, it maintains and polices it. As part of the defence of an insatiable mass consumer society, those living beyond its borders must be content with self–reliance.

With case studies drawn from Mozambique, Ethiopia and Afghanistan, the book provides a critical and historically informed analysis of the NGO movement, humanitarian intervention, sustainable development, human security, coherence, fragile states, migration and the place of racism within development. It is a must–read for all students and scholars of development, humanitarian intervention and security studies as well as anyone concerned with our present predicament.

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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful By dimanddimmer on 19 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
I think the title said it. If you are looking to buy this book for a course, a PhD on Medieval Spanish poetry would be of just as much use. You may want to read David Chandler's 2008 `Review Article: Theorising the Shift from Security to Insecurity - Kaldor, Duf'eld and Furedi' in Conflict, Security & Development Journal 8:2 (June), pp. 265 - 76.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
Interesting work on globalization and development 15 Mar. 2012
By D.K. Thompson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Duffield utilizes the Foucauldian concept of "biopolitics" as a starting point in assessing the effects of neoliberal globalization in the global South and the urge to "develop" underdeveloped places. In the first chapter, he links together the Marxist idea of "accumulation through dispossession" with Foucault's concept of "biopolitics" to create a framework for his analysis of the role of global institutions (including international financial institutions, governments, supranational organizations such as the UN, and more local NGOs)in governing populations - which he differentiates between "insured" and "non-insured" to stress the contrast between how life is valued in developed areas and in developing areas. Within this framework, he moves on to discuss how NGOs rely on emergencies and marginalize governments through processes that resemble a new take on the colonization of underdeveloped states. The book includes two case studies: one on Mozambique and one on Afghanistan. I find the case study on Afghanistan to be the more interesting of the two - while I do not always agree with Duffield's use of the term "biopolitics" in relation to its original meaning, I think he does a fairly good job of uncovering in a more concrete manner some of what Foucault pointed to in "Security, Territory, and Population" (which I highly recommend reading). After the section on Afghanistan, Duffield's argument points back to the role of the global order in creating and sustaining instability, managing flows of migrants and of money, and generally of producing an environment conducive to the expansion of developed interests at the expense of developing countries and their citizens. Duffield's work is certainly a large contribution to the critical literature about NGOs, IFIs, and Western capitalist-driven globalization. I find it to be at times alarmist, primarily because of its one-sidedness regarding the negative effects of "development" that tends to sideline more locally-informed perspectives of what is going on in the developing world. But then this largely comes with the territory of more theoretical works. What I appreciate about Duffield's work is his focus on security and on the nexus between governance, security, and economics, where many other globalization theorists have focused perhaps too heavily on the financial side of the triad. Also although I don't totally buy the way in which Duffield uses "biopolitics," I think his return to Foucauldian concepts of the objects of governance - to the notion of "population" is informative regarding global debates. Overall, a good book, but I don't think it's great. Maybe I'll have to read some of it again and see if it's better the second time around - it is interesting enough to be worth that.

The bottom line: If you are interested in security studies, conflict zones, and how low-level insurgencies relate to the international system, I'd recommend reading this book; if you are not directly interested in the security side of things, you would probably find this book interesting but I can't say I would necessarily recommend owning it.
I almost fell asleep then... 9 May 2012
By Michael Griswold - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mark Duffield's Development, Security, and Unending War is not a read for the faint of heart, the pages and smaller text tend to blur together turning a 234 page read into a 500 page psycological albatross. Sitting in the Rock Valley College library, I almost feel asleep reading it. But the argument itself, if you manage to see it through the trees is very fascinating. Duffield argues that the means of liberal governance such as NGO's, humanitarian intervention, and sustainable development actually act as way of governing underdeveloped populations and keeping their problems away from The West. Duffield concludes his argument with a masterstroke of a chapter that outlines Western governments treatment of immigrant populations--this was pivotal because it illustrated not just how Western governments act abroad, but domesticly which gave the argument greater and broader pull. A thought-provoking and engaging argument for all scholars of international relations.
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