Why are some countries rich and others poor? Shaping the Developing World: The West, the South, and the Natural World, by 1998 IDRF Fellow Andy Baker, attempts to answer this thorny question using a threefold framework 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. Country case studies at the end of chapters offer an ideal testing ground for the threefold framework, as they apply empirical data to the various explanations. 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 in a format that is both engaging and informative.
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