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Shaping the Developing World

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

First Edition

August 2013 | 424 pages | CQ Press
Why are some countries rich and others poor?

Shaping the Developing World explores the different theories that attempt to answer this thorny question. Interdisciplinary in his scope, Andy Baker adeptly uses a threefold framework of the West, the 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. Students learn to think like social scientists while coming to understand the full breadth of influences on a nation’s political, economic, and social development.

Country case studies at the end of each chapter offer an ideal testing ground for the threefold framework, as they apply empirical data to the various explanations of underdevelopment. Critical thinking questions then encourage students to weigh the different theoretical arguments. A series of well-designed features develop students’ understanding of indicators of development concepts and highlight various kinds of aid organizations and opportunities for development work in the field. Shaping the Developing World presents high-quality academic analysis and the latest scholarship in a format that’s engaging, informative, and above all, accessible.

1. Underdevelopment and Diversity in the Global South
Defining the Developing World

Naming the Developing World

Delineating the Developing World

Economic, Social, and Political Characteristics

Economic Characteristics

Social Characteristics

Political Characteristics

A Brief History of Economic Development

The Pre-Industrial Eras

The Industrial Revolution

Modern Economic Growth in the Developing World

Goals and Organization: Who or What Causes Global Poverty?

Causes of Underdevelopment: A Framework

Organization of the Book

Case Study: Why Is the Democratic Republic of Congo the Poorest Country on Earth?

The South: Kleptocracy and Cultural Fragmentation

The West: Stolen Aid, Colonial Abuses, and Slavery

The Natural World: Geography and the Resource Curse

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

2. Human Development and Underdevelopment
Defining Human Development

The Human Development Approach

The Complex Relationship between Economic and Human Development

Health Snapshot: Description and Causes of the Developing World’s Shortcomings

Key Health Indicators: Life Expectancy and Child Mortality

The Immediate Cause of Poor Health Outcomes

Health Trends: Tracking Improvements in LDCs through Time

Longer Lives

Causes of Convergence: The Declining Cost of Good Health

Education Snapshot: The Nature and Causes of the Developing World’s Deficit

Key Education Indicators: Attainment and Achievement

The Immediate Causes of Poor Educational Outcomes

Education Trends: Tracking Improvements in LDCs through Time

Higher Enrollments and Better Quality

Causes of Convergence: Better Government and Parental Commitment

Case Study: What Are India’s Failures and Successes in Human Development?

Health and Education Challenges

Health and Education Successes

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

3. The Benefits and Costs of Economic Development
The Cultural Costs of Development

The Cost: The Westernization and Homogenization of Cultures

The Cost: Deteriorations in Social Connectedness and Personal Character

The Response: Prosperity as a Universal Desire

The Response: Minimal or Beneficial Cultural Change

The Equity Costs of Development

The Cost: Deepening Global Inequality

The Cost: Deepening Domestic Inequalities

The Response: The Complicated Relationship between Development and Inequality

The Environmental Costs of Development

The Cost: Environmental Degradation

The Response: The Benefits of Development for the Environment

The Psychological Costs of Development

The Cost: Insecurity, Alienation, and Unhappiness

The Response: Revisiting the Ethics and Evidence on Happiness

Case Study: Has Economic Growth Brought Happiness to China?

The Gains

The Costs

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

4. Slavery and Colonialism
The Atlantic Slave Trade

The Triangular Trade

Features of the Trade in Africa

Features of the Trade in Latin America

Causes of Underdevelopment: The Long-Term Damage of Slavery

Consequences for Africa

Consequences for Latin America and the Caribbean

Critique: Questioning the Magnitude of Slavery’s Effects

Western Colonialism

The Importance of the Western Colonial Era for the Contemporary South

A Brief History of the Colonial Era

Causes of Underdevelopment: Western Colonialism’s Consequences

The Colonial Drain

Colonialism’s Institutional Legacy

Colonialism’s Cultural Legacy

Critique of Colonial Legacy Arguments

Case Study: Do Slavery and Colonialism Explain Nigeria’s Development Failure?

The West: Slavery and Colonialism’s Consequences

The South: Domestic Problems in Independent Nigeria

The Natural World: The Burden of Geography and the Paradox of Oil Wealth

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

5. Globalization and Neocolonialism
From the First Global Century to Import Substitution

The First Global Century

The ISI Phase

Export Promotion

Causes of Underdevelopment: Dependency and Other Early Theories of Global Exploitation

Latin American Structuralism

Dependency Theory

World Systems Theory

Falling Behind in the First Global Century

Critiques of Structuralism, Dependency Theory, and WST

Reintegrating the Globe

Trade Liberalization

Capital Market Liberalization

Changing Migration Flows

Remaining Barriers

Causes of Underdevelopment: Newer Concerns about Globalization


Sweatshops and the Race to the Bottom

Volatile Capital Flows

Foreign Debt

Brain Drain

Critique: Defending Globalization

The Benefits of Free Trade

Labor Exploitation or Enrichment?

The Nature of Foreign Debt

Brain Gain

Case Study: Is Neocolonialism Why Brazil Is Always the “Country of the Future”?

The West: Failures of Openness

The South: Shortcomings of Domestic Institutions

The Natural World: The Illusion of Abundance

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

6. Foreign Aid and the Bretton Woods Institutions
Foreign Aid

Understanding Key Concepts and Players in the Aid Regime

A Brief History of Foreign Aid

Causes of Underdevelopment: The Case for Aid Skepticism

Donor Motives

Donor Paternalism and Lack of Accountability

Donor Fragmentation and Aid Volatility

Recipient Absorptive Capacity and Governance

Recipient Economic Problems

Defending Foreign Aid and Its Record

Theoretical Defenses

Foreign Aid’s Many Successes

The Aid Trickle

Learning from Past Mistakes

The Bretton Woods Institutions: The IMF and World Bank

A Brief History of the IMF and World Bank

Causes of Underdevelopment: Imposing Market Fundamentalism

Foisting Capitalism on the Developing World

Other Criticisms

Critique: Defending the Bretton Woods Institutions

Loans and Conditionalities as a Choice

The Ethics of Conditionalities

The Case for Market Policies

Case Study: Has Foreign Aid Made Pakistan Poorer?

The West: The Failures of Aid and the IMF

The South: The Worst of Continuity and Change

The Natural World: The Paradox of Flooding amidst Dryness

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

7. Culture and Identity
Understanding Culture and Social Identity

Social Identity

Other Cultural Traits

Causes of Underdevelopment: The Culturalist School

Max Weber and the Protestant Ethic

Modernization Theory

Social Capital and Trust

Religion and Natural Culture

Critique of Culturalist Claims

Culture as Consequence, Not Cause

Mischaracterizing Culture in LDCs

Mixed Evidence

Cultural Relativism

Causes of Underdevelopment: The Costs of Cultural Diversity

Underprovision of Public Goods and Fragmented Markets

Poor Governance and Conflict

Stereotype Threat

Critique: Diversity as Consequence, Not Cause

Case Study: Are Iraqis Poor Because of Islam and Its Ethnic Cleavages?

The South: Islam and Sectarian Divisions

The West: The British Mandate and War with the United States

The Natural World: Oil and Sand

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

8. States, Markets, and Development Models
State-Led Development

State-Led Development in Thought

State-Led Development in Practice

Causes of Underdevelopment: Failures of the State-Led Model

Critique: Successes of State-Led Development


Marxist Thought

Socialism in Practice

Causes of Underdevelopment: Failures of Socialism

Critique: Socialism’s Successes

The Market-Oriented Strategy

Neoclassical Economic Thought

The Market-Oriented Strategy in Practice

Causes of Underdevelopment: Shortcomings of the Market-Oriented Strategy

Disappointing Results

State Capitalism

Critique: Successes of the Washington Consensus

Success Stories

Debating State Capitalism

Case Study: Did India’s Postcolonial Development Model Delay Its Economic Rise?

The South: India’s State-Led Development Model

The West: Exploiting the “Jewel in the British Crown”

The Natural World: Topography and Transport Costs

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

9. Economic Institutions and Informality
Property Markets and Informal Ownership

Urban Slums and Rural Land

Causes of Property Informality

Causes of Underdevelopment: Informal Property Markets

New Institutional Economics and Property Rights

Dead Capital

Critique: Is Formality Worth It?

Informal Work, Firms, and Finance

Labor and Business Informality

Financial Services

Causes of Underdevelopment: Challenges of Informal Firms and Finance

The Drawbacks of Informal Work

Shortcomings of Informal Finance

Critique: Formalization as a False Solution

Case Study: Does Informality Explain Peru’s Delayed Development?

The South: Informal Economic Activity

The West: Spanish Colonialism and British Neocolonialism

The Natural World: Pizarro Wins the Lottery

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

10. Political Institutions and Governance
Political Regimes



Hybrid Regimes

Political Instability and Regime Change

The Relationship between Political Regimes and Prosperity

Democracy’s Third Wave

The Judiciary and the Bureaucracy

Rule of Law


State Capacity

Judicial and Bureaucratic Quality around the World

Causes of Underdevelopment: Bad Political Institutions

Extractive Institutions

Inclusive Institutions as the Solution

Critique of NIE

Economic Development First

The Authoritarian Advantage

Mixed Evidence

Case Study: Does China’s Authoritarianism Explain Why It Is Poorer Than the West?

The South: Serial Authoritarianism

The West: A Century of Humiliation

The Natural World: Inhospitable Terrain

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

11. Violence and State Failure
Political and Criminal Violence

Political Violence

Criminal Violence

State Failure

Causes of Underdevelopment: The Costs of Violence and State Failure

The Costs of Armed Conflict

The Price of Criminal Violence

Critique: Reconsidering the Costs of Violence

Case Study: Is Somalia Poor because of Civil War?

The South: Civil War in the World’s Least Governed State

The West: The Legacy of Foreign Intervention

The Natural World: Climate and Nomadism

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

12. Gender Inequality
Female Empowerment

The Gender Earnings Gap

The Gender Gap in Education

The Gender Gap in Political Empowerment

Causes of Underdevelopment: Disempowered Women and Girls

Critiques of the Instrumentalist View

Female Health, Physical Security, and Fertility

Excess Female Mortality and Missing Women

Gender-Based Violence

Reproduction and Fertility

Causes of Underdevelopment: High Fertility

Critique: Doubting the Costs of High Fertility

Case: Is Afghanistan’s Treatment of Women the Cause of Its Poverty?

The South: Mistreatment of Women and Girls

The West: Legacy of a Global Pawn

The Natural World: Dry, Mountainous, and Landlocked

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources

13. Geography and Economic Prosperity
Geographic Commonalities of the Developing World

The Tropics

Other Commonalities

Causes of Underdevelopment: Physical Geography and Climate

The Tropical Disadvantage

Guns, Germs, and Steel

Natural Barriers to Economic Exchange

Critique of Geographical Determinism

Critique of Jeffrey Sachs

Critique of Jared Diamond

Overcoming Distance

The Resource Curse

Causes of Underdevelopment: Natural Resources

Dutch Disease and a Lack of Industry

Effects on Politics

Critique: A Resource Blessing?

Case Study: Is Geography Destiny in Mexico?

The Natural World: Mexico’s Geographical Disadvantages

The West: Colonial and Postcolonial Exploitation

The South: Instability and Autocracy

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Reading

Web Resources

14. Environmental Change and Development
Communal Environmental Problems

Degradation of Natural Capital

Why Community Environmental Problems Are Worse in LDCs

Causes of Underdevelopment: A Malthusian Trap

Critique: Recent History versus Neo-Malthusianism

Climate Change and Development

Causes of Underdevelopment: The Economic Burden of Climate Change

Causes of Underdevelopment: The Economic Burden of Climate Change

Case Study: Will Malthusian Traps End Indonesia’s Rise?

The Natural World: Indonesia’s Malthusian Crisis?

The South: Poor Government and Female Disempowerment

The West: Pathologies of Globalization

Thinking Critically about Development

Key Terms

Suggested Readings

Web Resources



Instructor Resource Site
Password-protected INSTRUCTOR RESOURCES you’ll actually use!
Save time and ease class preparation with the additional guidance and tools, including:

  • A comprehensive test bank provides more than 700 multiple-choice, fill-in-the blank, and short- and long-essay questions, as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding. The test bank is available in Word and fully loaded in Respondus, a flexible and easy-to-use test-generation software that allows instructors to build, customize, and even integrate exams into course management systems.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course.
  • A set of all the graphics from the text, including all of the maps, tables, and figures, in PowerPoint, .pdf, and .jpg formats for class presentations.

Excellent book which is useful to students and teachers. Very good internet guidance also

Department of Peace Studies, Bradford University
April 13, 2015

This was excellent when I used it last year

Department of Peace Studies, Bradford University
January 16, 2015
Key features
  • Chapter-opening vignettes paint scenarios that put a human face on underdevelopment and draw students into chapter material.
  • Country case studies at the end of chapters examine underdevelopment through the lens of the threefold framework while critical thinking questions encourage students to assess scholarly explanations and draw their own conclusions.
  • 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. 
  • Bolded key terms emphasize important concepts, while a Key Concepts list at the end of chapters helps with study and review.
  • Suggested Readings and Web Resources point students to additional material for additional learning.
  • A glossary defines key terms and concepts.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

For instructors

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