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Shaping the Developing World

Shaping the Developing World
The West, the South, and the Natural World

Second Edition

January 2021 | 432 pages | CQ Press
Why are some countries rich and others poor?

Shaping the Developing World addresses the fundamental question of what 'development' actually is and examines social, political, and economic developments around the world. Andy Baker adeptly uses a threefold framework of the global North, the global South, and the Natural World to categorize and analyze the factors that cause underdevelopment—from the consequences of colonialism, deficient domestic institutions, and gender inequality to the effects of globalization, geography, and environmental degradation. This book is an introduction to the contested field of development and relevant to students studying geography, sociology, political science, economics, gender studies, and anthropology. 

The Second Edition has been updated to incorporate new research on topics like religion, democracy, informality, geography and development, and climate change. Issues of gender has been incorporated throughout the book. 

Part I Introduction
Chapter 1 Underdevelopment and Diversity in the Global South
Chapter 2 Human Development and Underdevelopment
Chapter 3 The Benefits and Costs of Economic Development
Part II The West: International Contexts
Chapter 4 Slavery and Colonialism
Chapter 5 Globalization and Neocolonialism
Chapter 6 Foreign Aid and the Bretton Woods Institutions
Part III The South: Domestic Factors
Chapter 7 Culture and Identity
Chapter 8 States, Markets, and Development Models
Chapter 9 Economic Institutions and Informality
Chapter 10 Political Institutions and Governance
Chapter 11 Violence and State Failure
Chapter 12 Gender Inequality
Part IV The Natural World: Physical Geography
Chapter 13 Geography and Economic Prosperity
Chapter 14 Environmental Change and Development

"Shaping the Developing World is the best text I've found for introductory courses in international development. It is well-balanced and accessible for all learners."

Matt Bluem
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

"An excellent and balanced introduction to the politics of the developing world that helps explain competing theories in clear detail."

Justin Lance
Presbyterian College
Key features


  • The Second Edition incorporate new research and trends in development in religion, democracy, informality, geography, and climate change, including;
    • Findings on the quality of education now constitute an important part of Chapter 2, as do discussions of malnutrition and other challenges in developing countries.
    • The book's coverage of the Middle East has improved with a new discussion of the West's colonialization of the region (Chapter 4) and a new Syrian Civil War Case Study (Chapter 12)
    • Gender issues now appear in more chapters throughout the book. 
    • Data throughout the book has been updated for all tables, figures, and maps.
  • The table of contents has been reorganized to follow a more logical organizational structure - Chapters 7 through 9 focus on policy and institutions, Chapters 10 and 11 are focused on cultural causes of underdevelopment. 


  • Chapter-opening vignettes paint scenarios that put a human face on underdevelopment and draw students into chapter material.
  • Understanding Indicators boxes explore how social scientists go about measuring concepts like prosperity, ethnic fragmentation, and gender equality, shining a light on just how complex data collection and analysis can be. 
  • Development in the Field boxes focus on different types of aid agencies and their work, such as microfinance institutions and democracy development efforts, so students see avenues for their activism or professional aspirations. 
  • Country case studies at the end of chapters examine development through the lens of the threefold framework while critical thinking questions encourage students to assess scholarly explanations and draw their own conclusions.
  • Bolded key terms emphasize important concepts, while a Key Concepts list at the end of chapters helps with study and review. A glossary defines key terms and concepts.
  • Suggested Readings point students to material for additional learning.
  • Active Learning Exercises get students out of their lecture-hall seats to run simulations, debate controversial issues, play video games, write papers with a group, analyse data, develop research designs, apply for jobs and grants, and more. 

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ISBN: 9781071807071