The world is changing rapidly and so is the field of development studies. When I started my university studies and became interested in what was then called ‘issues of development and underdevelopment’, the map of the world I had grown up with was simple and orderly. It was conveniently arranged into a First World, a Second World and a Third World. I lived in the First World, the free and capitalist world. That First World was engaged in a Cold War with the Second World, the socialist world. The Third World was poor and troubled by famine. The Third World was considered underdeveloped because of the way it was integrated into the world capitalist system. It was subordinated and exploited by the First World, which reaped the benefits of that relationship. This was the main reason it became rich and developed. The Second World had no part in this and went its own way. I was concerned about the poverty and hunger in the Third World and wanted to do something about it. And so it became the main subject of my studies.
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

de Haan, L. (2015, June 18). Livelihoods in Development. Retrieved from