CFP: Colonialism and Development (Joseph Hodge, Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, and Sarah Stockwell, coords.)

Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo Discussion

Yearbook for the History of Global Development

ed. Iris Borowy, George Bob-Milliars, Nicholas Ferns, and Corinna R. Unger


Colonialism and Development

Joseph Hodge, Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, and Sarah Stockwell, coords.


Call for Papers

The historical understanding of the multifaceted trajectories of development – as a set of contested discourses, as multiple institutional complexes and as a heterogenous repertoire of policies and practices – has evolved significantly in the past few years. This scholarship has included a fresh historical assessment of ‘colonial development’, critically engaging with its varying chronologies and dynamics; geographies and actors; motivations and ends; and its repertoires and consequences, planned and unintended. We now have a rich literature that engages with the diverse contexts, dynamics and problems of development and its intersection with other major historical phenomena of the twentieth century, such as the institutionalization of international organizations, the intensification of urbanization and industrialization, the widening of globalizing dynamics and global integration, decolonization, and the emergence of the ‘Cold War’ and the ´Third World’. This volume aims to register many of these historiographical achievements specifically as they relate to colonialism offering a critical overview of existing scholarship and documenting its variety and richness, while also probing existing chronologies (e.g., the colonial/postcolonial) and geographies of development.

While engaging with established fields of interest (for example, those related to international development; the relationship between science and development; and the connected histories of politics and development in a context of global decolonization), the volume seeks to open up new avenues of enquiry by adopting a more capacious approach to ‘colonial development’. It proposes to do this, first, by incorporating a wide range of empires and sites of development and exploring their connected histories, focusing on the circulation, and selective appropriation, of ideas, knowledge, human resources, and of capital and goods associated with development. Secondly, the volume will foreground a greater variety of state actors than usual (the military, for example) as well as the non-state actors that alongside colonial, international, and trans- and inter-imperial organizations were key players in the historical unfolding of development in colonial contexts. These non-state actors include missionaries, churches, NGOS, and philanthropic agencies; and banks, commercial organizations, and especially, mining and plantation companies. Finally, the volume will explore development in all its different modalities. These might include  representations and other cultural expressions of development (from literature and film to advertising); the techniques, technologies and the business of development (including infrastructures, patent history, and companies); ecological issues (from environmental consequences to the birth of ‘sustainable development’); the gendered dynamics associated with developmental discourses and practices; or the role played by racism and forms of racialization in the formulation and enactment of development policies (including in relation to population politics, and the spatialization of difference and welfare policies).

The expansive approach taken by our volume will be underpinned by two methodological goals. The first is to promote the cross-fertilization of historiographies focused on (colonial) development and those dealing with human rights, humanitarianism, philanthropy, welfare, security, and business. For example, contributions to the volume might explore the intersection between developmental projects and educational and welfare schemes (e.g., housing or public health). Second, the edited collection seeks to incorporate local voices and arguments, expanding the number of individuals and communities (men and women) understood as contributing to the dynamics of development (e.g., farmers, workers, ‘traditional’ authorities and white settlers, diverse ‘middleman groups’, and ‘experts’). It will seek to recover their inspirations and expectations, resources and agency, aims, solidarities and commitments. In short, a (plural) view from the ‘global south’, including its articulation with wider individual and institutional networks (in the ‘global north’, but also in other geographies of the ‘global south’) is fundamental to new, critical histories of (colonial) development.

The editors would welcome contributions dealing with these questions and addressing the following themes (including contributions that connect two or more themes), to be published at the series Yearbook for the History of Global Development (De Gruyter: ), in early 2025:


(1) Genealogies of colonial development: chronologies and periodizations

(2) Geographies colonial development: the spatialities, scales, and sites of developmentalism

(3) The internationalization of (colonial) development: national, international, transnational, inter-imperial and trans-imperial, connected histories of development

(4) Trajectories of colonial development: experts and expertise, networks and careers;

(5) Cultures and manifestations of colonial development: representations and materialities of development

(6) Gendered development: women and the historical dynamics of developmentalism

(7) The political economy of development: techniques, technologies, and the business of developmentalism

(8) The sciences of development: knowledge, institutions, practices

(9) The racialization of development: race and racism in the idioms and repertoires of development

(10) The agents of developmentalism: state and non-state actors

(11) Ecologies of development: environmental problems and consequences

(12) Development and the ‘social question’ in colonial contexts: connected histories of welfare, education, humanitarianism, human rights, housing.

(13) The infrastructures of development: communication, energy, logistics

(14) Repressive developmentalisms: the intersections between security and development


If interested, please send your proposal (title, abstract of 300–500 words, and a 2-page CV) to by August 30, 2023.



Joseph Hodge (West Virginia University)

Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo (University of Coimbra, Portugal)

Sarah Stockwell (King’s College London, United Kingdom)