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Shaping the Developing World

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

Second Edition

January 2021 | 480 pages | CQ Press
Why are some countries rich and others poor?

Colonialism, globalization, bad government, gender inequality, geography, and environmental degradation are just some of the potential answers to this complex question. Using a threefold framework of the West, the South, and the natural world, Shaping the Developing World provides a logical and intuitive structure for categorizing and evaluating the causes of underdevelopment. This interdisciplinary book also describes the social, political, and economic aspects of development and is relevant to students in political science, international studies, geography, sociology, economics, gender studies, and anthropology.

The Second Edition has been updated to include the most recent development statistics and to incorporate new research on topics like climate change, democratization, religion and prosperity, the resource curse, and more. This second edition also contains expanded discussions of gender, financial inclusion, crime and police killings, and the Middle East, including the Syrian Civil War.

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 States, Markets, and Development Models
Chapter 8 Economic Institutions and Informality
Chapter 9 Political Institutions and Governance
Chapter 10 Culture and Identity
Chapter 11 Gender Inequality
Chapter 12 Violence and State Failure
Part IV The Natural World: Physical Geography
Chapter 13 Geography and Development
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


  • New research has been added on topics such as climate change (Chapters 3 and 14), Chinese investment in LDCs (Chapters 5 and 6), democratization (Chapter 9), religion and prosperity (Chapter 10), the resource curse (chapter 13), and more.
  • Expanded and reorganized discussions now appear on the history of global poverty (Chapter 1), the quality of education (Chapter 2), the costs and benefits of development (Chapter 3), the Sustainable Development Goals (Chapter 6), financial inclusion (Chapter 8), the gender earnings gap (Chapter 11), crime and police killings (Chapter 12), and more.
  • 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 case study of the Syrian Civil War (Chapter 12).
  • Gender-related topics now appear in more chapters throughout the book. 
  • The order in which chapters appear has been changed to follow a more logical organizational structure. Chapters 7 through 9 focus on policy and institutions, while Chapters 10 and 11 are focused on cultural causes of underdevelopment. 
  • Data for all tables, figures, and maps has been updated.


  • 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 promotion organizations, 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.
  • Active learning exercises provide ideas for getting students out of their lecture-hall seats to run simulations, debate controversial issues, play video games, write papers with a group, analyze data, develop research designs, apply for jobs and grants, and more.
  • 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.

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ISBN: 9781071807071