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Benjamin Selwyn

This chapter discusses how economic growth is central to most thinking about development. It argues that growth is visualised across much of development studies – ranging from Liberalism, to Statism, to varieties of Marxism – in ways that obscure the social (class) relations from whence it springs. These social relations are simultaneously generative of rapid economic growth, and impoverishment and inequality. Mainstream development theories, however, portray poverty as a consequence of a lack of growth, therefore justifying ever more growth, in a vicious cycle. These political economic and ideological dynamics are best explained by Marx’s theory of capitalist accumulation and exploitation. The chapter concludes by discussing alternatives to growth-based development.

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Liam Campling and Benjamin Selwyn

Global commodity chain, global value chain and global production network (GCC/GVC/GPN) approaches (here simply labelled GVC analysis) are part and parcel of mainstream development theory and practice. This chapter introduces and discusses critically these approaches. It: (1) describes their utility in understanding globalizing processes; (2) traces their lineage and evolution; (3) highlights and explains their key concepts; (4) illuminates some of their limitations; and (5) identifies ways in which they can be advanced further.