SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Goodfellow, Maya (2019) Race and processes of racialisation in British international development discourse, 1997-2017. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

Text - Submitted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Download (2MB) | Preview


This thesis analyses the role race and processes of racialisation play in British development discourse about India between 1997 and 2017. Using Stuart Hall’s conceptualisation of race, paired with critical race scholarship, decolonial theory, postcolonial theory and Gramscian notions of hegemony, it offers original empirical findings by examining and comparing three key areas: a) government discourse on development; b) development professionals’ views of their work and c) British newspaper reporting on development in India. The processes of racialisation present in each, and how they interact with colonial tropes, gender and class are evaluated qualitatively and comparatively. They are also compared with domestic discourses already established as racialised, that is discourses on race and asylum and immigration. I demonstrate continuities across these different realms, and identify significant similarities between the arguments of ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ development proponents in British politics. It is by looking at these multiple strands of discourse, articulated at times by different actors, that I suggest racialised development discourse is hegemonic. This thesis offers an original contribution in examining how shifting forms of racialisation operate in development discourse and by arguing that dominant development discourse is key to maintaining and is also maintained by representations of Britishness that are synonymous with whiteness. In addition, it not only demonstrates how race is central to ideas of development but also how this can be masked through competing forms of racialisation of the ‘to-be-developed’ and seemingly ‘positive’ forms of racialisation of people in India.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
SOAS Research Theses
Supervisors Name: Leslie Vinjamuri
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 11:57

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item