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

by Andy Baker CQ Press
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Pbk 424 pages
AU$183.00 NZ$186.09
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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.

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.

1. Underdevelopment and Diversity in the Global South
2. Human Development and Underdevelopment
3. The Benefits and Costs of Economic Development
4. Slavery and Colonialism
5. Globalization and Neocolonialism
6. Foreign Aid and the Bretton Woods Institutions
7. Culture and Identity
8. States, Markets, and Development Models
9. Economic Institutions and Informality
10. Political Institutions and Governance
11. Violence and State Failure
12. Gender Inequality
13. Geography and Economic Prosperity
14. Environmental Change and Development

Shaping the Developing World is one of the most comprehensive, well-written, thorough presentations of development I have ever seen. We have needed a book like this for a long, long time—one that consolidates the theories, ideas, arguments, and styles of development in one place and presents the benefits and drawbacks of each one in the context of history and globalization. Andy Baker gives us this presentation with simplicity, with brevity, and with cogent, relevant examples that keep the book flowing and keep the reader interested. - Gina Yannitell Reinhardt, Texas A&M University

Shaping the Developing World has amazing coverage of the issues that should be addressed in any course on development, but rarely are covered in one text so comprehensively. Its organization, structure, and concrete examples of people’s lives in different contexts allow for a quick outline on the diversity of the development experience before delving into more detailed explanations of important topics like inequality and foreign aid. Additionally, the inclusion of a discussion of the environment really differentiates this text from others on the market and is an important addition to our discussion of the causes of underdevelopment. - Jessica C. Teets, Middlebury College

I really appreciate Baker’s attention to the natural context as another explanatory variable for development. This is something that most students are keenly aware of, yet most IPE and development texts do not entertain at length. The book’s case studies provide better examples of the domestic causes arguments on underdevelopment than most other texts. The threefold analysis of the cases is very good because it models the kind of writing I would hope to see from my students as they explore their own cases. It also makes for a very thorough and rigorous analysis. - Kristin Edquist, Eastern Washington University

Other texts typically study much the same material but are organized in dense chapters that tend to make it difficult to see the ‘big picture.’ Often they’re organized around development models that can really obscure development at the human level. With Shaping the Developing World, the big picture is always in sight while at the same time remaining tightly linked to the actual common sense issues of development. - David Penna, Gallaudet University

Shaping the Developing World, with its in-depth coverage, provides students with more analytical tools to strengthen their own arguments on development and development strategies. - Jessica Peet, University of Southern California

Andy Baker’s book is impressive for its breadth and depth. The chapters show an impressive collection of arguments and supporting evidence that will make a great teaching tool for development-related courses. The narrative is engaging and showcases the author’s nuanced understanding of all regions in the developing world. - Gustavo A. Flores-Macías, Cornell University
Andy Baker, University of Colorado-Boulder
Andy Baker is associate professor of political science at the University of Colorado Boulder where he teaches courses on comparative politics, political economy, global development, and African and Latin American politics. Dr. Baker conducts research on Latin American politics, international political economy, and mass political behavior, with current research projects focusing on the Latin American Left, public opinion toward foreign aid in donor countries, and the impact of globalization on economic insecurity in the developing world. He is the author of The Market and the Masses in Latin America: Policy Reform and Consumption in Liberalizing Economies (2009), which examines the nature and causes of citizens' attitudes toward free-market policies in 18 Latin American nations. His articles have appeared in such journals as American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Latin American Research Review, and Electoral Studies. He earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.