Livelihoods and Development

New Perspectives

Volume Editor:
This books aims to further develop theory and practice on people-centred development, in particular on the livelihood approach. It focuses on four contemporary thematic areas, where progress has been booked but also contestation is still apparent: power relations, power struggles and underlying structures; livelihood trajectories and livelihood pathways: house, home and homeland in the context of violence; and mobility and immobility.
Contemporary livelihood studies aim to contribute to the understanding of poor people’s lives with the ambition to enhance their livelihoods. Nowadays livelihood studies work from an holistic perspective on how the poor organize their livelihoods, in order to understand their social exclusion and to contribute to interventions and policies that intend to countervail that.

Contributors are: Clare Collingwood Esland, Ine Cottyn, Jeanne de Bruijn, Leo de Haan, Charles do Rego, Benjamin Etzold, Urs Geiser, Jan Willem le Grand, Griet Steel, Paul van Lindert, Annelies Zoomers.

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Leo de Haan, PhD. (1988) University of Amsterdam, is Professor of Development Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. He has published widely on poor people’s livelihoods in the developing world including The Livelihood Approach: A critical exploration (in Erdkunde 2012).
'The subtitle New Perspectives is amply justified. For the understanding of livelihoods the six case studies and the concepts which both frame and derive from them break new ground with significant contemporary relevance. The cases include migrants, refugees, people in insecure and conflicted conditions, and rural people subject to rapid changes in policy, mobility, digital connectivity, rural-urban links and scope for networking. The vocabulary and lenses of the authors illuminate the changing nature of livelihoods for many poor and marginalised people. New perspectives are opened up by concepts such as livelihood trajectories, community pathways, translocal livelihoods, exclusionary processes, the everyday production of inequality, intangible forms of mobilities, geographies of fear and the control of space. Livelihoods and Development is a rich treasury of grounded insights which broaden and deepen our understanding and shed new light on the complexity, diversity and versatility of ever evolving livelihoods. It is essential reading to inform, inspire and extend the range of all who teach and research livelihoods. It has much too for thoughtful policy-makers and practitioners who wish to improve what they do in seeking to ‘leave no one behind’. I commend it to a wide audience. It is conceptually transformative. After this book, livelihood studies should never be quite the same again'.

Robert Chambers, Institute of Development Studies, UK


Chapter 1
From Poverty to Social Exclusion: A Livelihoods Introductory
Leo de Haan

Chapter 2
Understanding Poverty, Defining Interventions: Why Social Relations Need More Attention in Livelihoods Analyses and Why This Complicates Development Practice
Urs Geiser

Chapter 3
Mobility, Space and Livelihood Trajectories: New Perspectives on Migration, Translocality and Place-making for Livelihood Studies
Benjamin Etzold

Chapter 4
Social Inclusion and Sustainable Livelihood Trajectories of Portuguese Immigrants in Curaçao: From Contracted Oil-Workers through Agro-Commercial Entrepreneurship to Business Elite
Charles do Rego and Jeanne de Bruijn

Chapter 5
Two Decades of Livelihood Transformation and Community Pathways in the Bolivian Andes
Jan Willem le Grand and Annelies Zoomers

Chapter 6
Defending Homeland and Regaining Freedoms: Interpreting Livelihoods Among Conflict-Affected Communities in Southern Lebanon
Clare Collingwood Esland

Chapter 7
New Connections – New Dependencies: Spatial and Digital Flows in sub-Saharan African Livelihoods
Griet Steel, Ine Cottyn and Paul van Lindert

Chapter 8
Power and Pathways, Violent Conflict and Mobility: Empirical Findings and Conceptual Innovations in Livelihoods Studies
Leo de Haan


Researchers, students and development practitioners working on poverty and livelihoods and trying to understand and countervail processes of social exclusion.

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