Geography Developing World
by
James A. Tyner
  • LAST REVIEWED: 26 February 2013
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 February 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199874002-0006

Introduction

Places and regions throughout the world exhibit vast differences in levels of social, political, and economic characteristics. Some places, for example, are more impoverished than others. Accordingly, scholars and politicians have forwarded a number of terms to capture the spatial inequalities evidenced across the Earth’s surface. The “developing world” has been proposed and used in reference to those regions of the world that are held to be lesser developed with respect to urbanization and industrialization. The root term “develop” is itself problematic, in that it suggests related terms such as “progress” or “improvement.” Consequently, the phrase “developing world” indicates a region that falls short of certain benchmarks of progress or development. In other words, “developing world” is defined as lacking in qualities that are presumed to be better or more advanced. This is seen especially in the dualistic terms that have been proposed: “developed” versus “developing” or “less developed,” “core” versus “periphery,” and “rich” versus “poor.” Conventional accounts of the developing world focus on a suite of structural and institutional conditions, including a legacy of (European) colonialism and the continued dependence on markets and products of the “advanced” industrial countries. In turn, studies often address key social, economic, and political measures: high rates of population growth, high rates of fertility and mortality, high levels of unemployment and underemployment, and high levels of poverty. Studies have also focused on issues of environmental exploitation and degradation, armed conflict and proxy wars, and political instability. Many of these studies emphasize the complexity and interconnectivity of these issues and conditions. Especially notable since the 1970s is the emergence of alternative accounts that address gender and age inequalities.

General Overviews

A myriad of terms have been used to describe the developing world. Indeed, previous terms included “backward,” “underdeveloped,” and “less developed.” To this one can add both “Third World” and “Global South.” The former term emerged in the 1950s in reference to a threefold division of the world based on political and economic characteristics. The “First World” referenced Westernized, capitalist countries, whereas the “Second World” was used to describe those countries that exhibited centrally planned economies (i.e., the Communist bloc). The “Third World” included a grab-bag of mostly poor, recently independent countries that had not yet aligned with either of the other two “worlds.” With Brandt 1980, another term was proposed—the “North–South” divide. Here, rich and poor regions were starkly defined as a geographic binary, with the “North” associated with wealthier, advanced countries and the “South” associated with more impoverished and lesser developed countries. This imprecise geographic ordering of development was modified in the 1990s with the promotion of the Global North/Global South. This modification was meant to destabilize the spatial determinism implied in the “North–South” divide and also to highlight the interconnectedness of regions at a global scale. In recent years a number of scholars have critiqued the terms “developing world,” “Global South,” and “Third World.” In López 2007 and Dirlik 2007 alternatives are proposed; in Murphy 2008 the terms are used, but with critical caveats. Especially notable are the contributions of feminist and postcolonialist writers such as Naila Kabeer (Kabeer 1994) and Chandra Talpade Mohanty et al. (Mohanty, et al. 1991) on the developing world. Murphy 2006 provides a comprehensive overview on the pedagogic aspects of teaching about the developing world.

  • Brandt, Willie. North-South: A Programme for Survival. London: Pan, 1980.

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    In this classic study, Brandt first introduces the “north–south” terminology that is now widely used. Although dated, this document provides a broad overview of the contested meanings of development.

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  • Dirlik, Arif. “Global South: Predicament and Promise.” The Global South 1 (2007): 12–23.

    DOI: 10.2979/GSO.2007.1.1.12Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Provides a good historical account of the intellectual, ideological, and political roots of the “Global South” as a concept and region.

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  • Kabeer, Naila. Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought. New York: Verso, 1994.

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    Somewhat dated, this text provides a comprehensive overview and critique of development theories. Kabeer concentrates especially on the marginality of women and households in many traditional accounts of the developing world and the implications of these omissions on policy debates.

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  • López, Alfred J. “Introduction: The (Post)global South.” The Global South 1 (2007): 1–11.

    DOI: 10.2979/GSO.2007.1.1.1Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In this first introductory article marking the launching of the journal The Global South, López suggests that researchers should concentrate on three areas of scholarship: globalization, its aftermath, and how those on the bottom survive globalization. López likewise argues for a shift from postcolonialism to postglobalism as a theoretical foundation.

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  • Mohanty, Chandra Talpade, Ann Russo, and Lourdes Torres. Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

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    Of the many critiques of the “Third World” as concept, this edited volume is considered a classic. Mohanty’s introductory chapter, “Cartographies of Struggle,” provides a key overview of feminism and the Third World, while her highly cited chapter “Under Western Eyes” provides a scathing critique of the idea of the “Third World woman.”

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  • Murphy, James T. “Representing the Economic Geographies of ‘Others’: Reconsidering the Global South.” Journal of Geography in Higher Education 30 (2006): 439–448.

    DOI: 10.1080/03098260600927369Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In this article Murphy argues that the Global South has often been marginalized within the teaching and research of economic geography. He provides a useful discussion on alternative ways of teaching about developing regions.

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  • Murphy, James T. “Economic Geographies of the Global South: Missed Opportunities and Promising Intersections with Development Studies.” Geography Compass 2.3 (2008): 851–873.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2008.00119.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Critiques the bias of many economic geographers to the study of the Global South; argues that geographers should direct more attention to the developing world as a means of better understanding the complexity of the global economy.

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  • Sheppard, Eric, and Richa Nagar. “From East-West to North-South.” Antipode 36 (2004): 557–563.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2004.00433.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Provides a useful discussion on the historical shift from a focus on “East–West” geopolitical relations (i.e., the Cold War) to a focus on “North–South” relations. Advocates for a critical approach to research on inequalities.

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Reference Resources

There exist numerous governmental and nongovernmental sites that address, either directly or indirectly, issues related to the developing world. Many of these sites publish both reports and relevant data. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is a good place to start to find policy-related materials and up-to-date statistics on the developing world. Both the International Labor Organization and the World Health Organization provide topic-specific information related to the developing world. The World Bank, although critiqued by many Marxist and feminist academics and activists for its policies and practices, provides a vast amount of financial and policy-related materials.

Journals

There are numerous journals devoted exclusively to the study of the developing world, such as the Global South, the Journal of Third World Studies, Third World Quarterly, and the Journal of Developing Areas. The Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography is the only journal devoted exclusively to the tropical regions; contributions are not limited, however, to the developing world. Four other journals—Development and Change, Journal of International Development, World Development, and Progress in Development Studies—emphasize development-related issues.

Approaches to the Study of the Developing World

Although far from homogeneous, the developing world is often associated with certain key characteristics. These places and regions are generally poorer, less urbanized, and less industrialized. Research that addresses the developing world, consequently, focuses especially on economic and, to a lesser extent, political conditions. These structural conditions, moreover, are often correlated with social, cultural, and demographic factors. Beginning in the 1950s, many scholars tried to explain, or account for, the poverty of the developing world through the use of Western notions of progress, modernity, and—more generally—development. This is readily seen in the use of “transitional” or “stage” models, such as the demographic transition theory, the “Stages of Growth” model, and the epidemiological theory. Later, competing theories, models, and frameworks were proposed, such as the dependency theory and world systems theory. The former refers to a series of interrelated propositions that identify the processes of unequal exchange in economic and social relations between the “developing” and “developed” worlds; the latter refers to a model that adopts a global perspective of the way in which all parts of the world have been economically and politically integrated into a “world-system” that is dominated by a handful of “core” countries (i.e., those in the developed world) and other regions (i.e., the “semiperiphery” and the “periphery”). By the late twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries, these approaches have been critiqued—but not entirely supplanted—by theories informed by postcolonialism. This latter concept refers, on the one hand, to those regions that reflect a legacy of European colonialism and, on the other hand, a general critique against Euro- or Western-centric modes of understanding. There are numerous general overviews to the study of the developing world. Dickenson, et al. 1996, although dated, provides a comprehensive overview of the developing world, as does Porter, et al. 2009 and Handelman 2012. For a more “development”-based approach, Potter, et al. 2008 is the best general overview. Todaro and Smith 2011 provides an economic-oriented overview of the development world. A political approach is provided in Smith 1996. Also, there are many texts that are geographically focused. For an introduction to Southeast Asia, for example, see both Dwyer 1990 and Rigg 2001.

  • Dickenson, John, C. G. Clarke, W. T. S. Gould, et al. A Geography of the Third World. 2d ed. London: Routledge, 1996.

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    Although dated, this provides a comprehensive introduction to the Third World, with general overviews of key topics, including agrarian systems, rural–urban divide, and population.

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  • Dwyer, D. J., ed. South East Asian Development: Geographical Perspectives. New York: Wiley, 1990.

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    There are various regional-focused texts devoted to the examination of development. This classic overview provides important topically focused discussions on issues related to development in Southeast Asia.

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  • Handelman, Howard. The Challenge of Third World Development. 7th ed. White Plains, NY: Longman, 2012.

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    This introductory text provides a solid overview of the economic, social, and political characteristics of the developing world. Newer editions provide in-depth discussions of contemporary challenges, such as global warming and health.

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  • Porter, Philip W., Eric S. Sheppard, David Faust, and Richa Nagar. A World of Difference: Encountering and Contesting Development. 2d ed. New York: Guilford, 2009.

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    A comprehensive overview of development geographies. The text concentrates especially on the nature and interactions of material inequalities across the Earth’s surface.

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  • Potter, Robert B., Tony Binns, Jennifer Elliot, and David Smith. Geographies of Development. 3d ed. Harlow, UK: Prentice Hall, 2008.

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    A comprehensive overview of the meanings of development; also provides useful overviews of spatial patterns of development. Chapter 1 in particular provides a good discussion on the conceptualization of development.

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  • Rigg, Jonathan. More than the Soil: Rural Change in Southeast Asia. Harlow, UK: Prentice Hall, 2001.

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    Although focused on Southeast Asia, this book provides crucial understandings of rural change in a developing-world context. Students are able to expand the thematic concerns of social, cultural, and economic change and apply these to other regions.

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  • Smith, B. C. Understanding Third World Politics: Theories of Political Change and Development. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.

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    Although dated, this book provides a solid overview of the basic theories of key theoretical issues and controversies associated with Third World development.

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  • Todaro, Michael P., and Stephen C. Smith. Economic Development. 11th ed. Boston: Addison-Wesley, 2011.

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    Written from a policy-oriented perspective, this long-running text focuses on the economic conditions of the developing world.

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Critical Approaches

In recent years, a number of critical texts have emerged to provide alternative understandings of the developing world. Glassman 2010 is a useful starting point to familiarize oneself with current debates over the meanings and approaches to critical development studies. Peet 1991 is among the best texts to provide a Marxist understanding of both the developing world and the meanings and theories of development. Rigg 2007 approaches the study of the developing world from the perspective of “the everyday,” as does Scott 1985, a classic text on peasant resistance. Both Sparke 2007 and Sidaway 2007 provide unique interpretations of the developing world and development; the former provides a “counter-mapping” to the understanding of the Global South while the latter proposes a notion of “enclave space.” Sylvester 2006 introduces the concept of biopolitics into the study of the developing world.

Urbanization

Although long stereotyped as a place of small, isolated rural settlements, the developing world is notable for its high (and increasing) levels of urbanization. Indeed, many of the world’s largest megacities are located in the developing world. And similar to their counterparts in the developed world, these megacities are focal points of political, economic, and social activities. Scholarship has focused both on the processes of urbanization within the developing world, such as Kraas 2007, as well as the daily life activities of people living in these cities, as in Agergaard and Thao 2011. Gössling and Schumacher 2012 provides a fascinating account of the informal sector in Madagascar while Milgram 2011 examines street vendors and female activism in the Philippines. Studies also address key issues related to urbanization. Bakker 2003 examines water supply issues and Konteh 2009 addresses health issues. A good overview of environmental issues related to urbanization in the developing world is provided in Parnell, et al. 2007. Lastly, Turner and Caouette 2009 considers agrarian resistance in the face of urbanization.

Migration

Population movements, including both internal and international migration, have long characterized the developing world. Scholars from a variety of disciplines have examined the causes and consequences of population mobility; the policies and practices that “regulate” population mobility; and the social, political, economic, and environmental interrelations of population mobility. Furthermore, a variety of theoretical approaches, including Marxism, feminism, post-structuralism, and positivism have informed these studies. Although dated, Chant 1992 remains a useful starting point to address gender and migration in the developing world. Both Parreñas 2001 and Silvey 2000 provide informative case studies on gendered migration from the Philippines and Indonesia, respectively. Skeldon 1997 remains the classic text to understanding migration as a development process. Finally, Massey 1988 provides a conceptually sophisticated account of the dynamics of international migration and economic development.

  • Chant, Sylvia, ed. Gender and Migration in Developing Countries. London: Belhaven, 1992.

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    This edited volume provides many key articles on the interrelations of gender and migration within the developing world. Chapters include case studies focused on, among other regions, Central America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

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  • Massey, Douglas S. “Economic Development and International Migration in Comparative Perspective.” Population and Development Review 41 (1988): 383–413.

    DOI: 10.2307/1972195Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article remains a key starting point to think through the interrelations of economic development and international migration. The author is a widely recognized scholar of international migration and has written extensively on the topic, often with a focus on Latin America.

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  • Parreñas, Rhacel Salazar. Servants of Globalization: Women, Migration, and Domestic Work. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.

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    Labor migration is a crucial economic practice for many governments in the developing world. It is also a highly contested and political issue. Arguably, one of the most important issues is that of the migration of domestic workers. This book, written by one of the most prolific and thought-provoking scholars today, is considered a classic. In it, Parreñas provides a comparative study of the export of domestic workers from the Philippines to both Rome and Los Angeles.

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  • Silvey, Rachel. “Stigmatized Spaces: Gender and Mobility Under Crisis in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 7 (2000): 143–161.

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    Rachel Silvey is well-known for her theoretically informed and empirically grounded case studies of gender, migration, and development. In this representative article, Silvey uses household surveys and in-depth interviews to explore how global economic crises impinge at the level of the “everyday” with respect to spatial mobility.

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  • Skeldon, Ronald. Migration and Development: A Global Perspective. Essex, UK: Longman, 1997.

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    This classic study, although somewhat dated, provides a thorough conceptual understanding of the interrelations of population mobility and development processes. The author has published many other influential case studies on the topic.

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Poverty

In certain respects, the developing world has been long characterized by poverty. Literally thousands of books and articles have been devoted to the topic; the following are illustrative of this subfield. A key article remains Bebbington 1999, which proposes a valuable framework with which to rethink the meanings of livelihoods. For a more ethical understanding of poverty see Pogge 2010. There are numerous case studies of poverty-related issues in the developing world. One particularly useful study centered in Central America is Brown and Lawson 1985; this study, especially, interrelates migration, development, and poverty. Another important overview is provided in Gilbert and Gugler 1992; in this text, the authors consider the interactions of poverty and development within Third World cities. A classic case study that addresses agrarian poverty remains Beckford 1999.

  • Bebbington, Anthony. “Capitals and Capabilities: A Framework for Analyzing Peasant Viability, Rural Livelihoods and Poverty.” World Development 27 (1999): 2021–2044.

    DOI: 10.1016/S0305-750X(99)00104-7Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Tony Bebbington is a well-known and well-respected scholar for his work on development studies and the developing world. In this widely cited article, Bebbington proposes a framework to better understand our conception of “rural livelihoods” and how this may contribute to more effective interventions in poverty amelioration strategies.

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  • Beckford, George. Persistent Poverty: Underdevelopment in Plantation Economies of the Third World. 2d ed. Kingston, Jamaica: Univ. of West Indies Press, 1999.

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    With a focus on plantation agriculture, this classic text provides a critical understanding of the exploitation and oppression that exists throughout the developing world.

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  • Brown, Lawrence, and Victoria Lawson. “Migration in Third World Settings, Uneven Development, and Conventional Modeling: A Case Study of Costa Rica.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 75 (1985): 29–47.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8306.1985.tb00056.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Both Larry Brown and Victoria Lawson have published extensively on Third World development. In this key article, the authors illustrate how migration is part and parcel of uneven development.

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  • Gilbert, Alan, and Josef Gugler. Cities, Poverty and Development: Urbanization in the Third World. 2d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

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    This classic text provides a comprehensive overview of poverty and development issues in cities in the Third World.

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  • Pogge, Thomas. Politics as Usual: What Lies Behind the Pro-poor Rhetoric. Malden, MA: Polity, 2010.

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    In this, and other writings, Pogge provides a view of poverty at the global level. Pogge, in particular, provides an alternative understanding to global poverty, highlighting how affluent states contribute to the structural impoverishment of the developing world.

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Food, Famine, and Hunger

The developing world has often been portrayed as a region vulnerable to famine and hunger. And while these conditions are not limited to the developing world, a legacy of colonialism and unequal structural relations within the global economy have been posited as factors that have augmented the prevalence of both famine and hunger. Research continues to focus on the structural conditions, and political responses, to famine and hunger, while new lines of inquiry have appeared, including the negative externalities associated with agribusinesses. A useful starting point—although dated—is Latham 1997. Nally 2011 provides an informative historical overview of “food provision” while Leathers and Foster 2004 presents a broad overview of undernutrition and hunger in the developing world. For a critical discussion of the meanings of hunger in the developing world, see Jarosz 2011. The topic of nutrition and biodiversity is explored in Frison, et al. 2006. Lerner and Eakin 2011 discusses hunger from the standpoint of “food security.”

  • Frison, Emile A., Ifeyironwa Francisca Smith, Timothy Johns, Jeremy Cherfas, and Pablo B. Eyzaguirre. “Agricultural Biodiversity, Nutrition, and Health: Making a Difference to Hunger and Nutrition in the Developing World.” Food & Nutrition Bulletin 27 (2006): 167–179.

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    This is a meta-analysis of a diverse set of case studies on agricultural practices and nutrition in the developing world; it provides a good introduction to the various issues related to nutrition deficiency in the developing world.

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  • Jarosz, Lucy. “Defining World Hunger: Scale and Neoliberal Ideology in International Food Security Policy Discourse.” Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research 14 (2011): 117–139.

    DOI: 10.2752/175174411X12810842291308Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    An informative discussion on the social and political context surrounding global hunger.

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  • Latham, Michael C. Human Nutrition in the Developing World. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, 1997.

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    Somewhat dated, this report still provides crucial insight into the status of human nutrition throughout the developing world.

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  • Leathers, H. D., and P. Foster. The World Food Problem: Tackling the Causes of Undernutrition in the Third World. 3d ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2004.

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    This book provides a broad overview of undernutrition in the Third World, with specific chapters devoted to the main causes of undernutrition and malnutrition.

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  • Lerner, Amy, and Hallie Eakin. “An Obsolete Dichotomy? Rethinking the Rural-Urban Interface in Terms of Food Security and Production in the Global South.” Geographical Journal 177 (2011): 311–320.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2010.00394.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This paper examines the context of food production in peri-urban locations. The authors argue that where and how food production persists are central questions for the future of food security in an urbanizing world.

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  • Nally, David. “The Biopolitics of Food Provisioning.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 36 (2011): 37–53.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2010.00413.xSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In this article, Nally traces the historical provision of food from the mercantile period to the present. Special attention is directed toward the interconnection of food provision, especially how corporate agribusinesses contribute to the oppression of the poor in the Global South.

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Health and Medicine

As a region defined largely by poverty and inequalities, it is not surprising that issues of health and medical care have attracted considerable attention. Both Harpham 2009 and Montgomery and Ezeh 2005 provide broad overviews of general health indicators; for a critical perspective, see Brown 2011. Baker and Liu 2006 addresses access to, and utilization of, health care services. Studies have addressed the gendered dimensions of health care. Jaggar 2002 explores the interrelations of poverty and health vulnerability, while Aveling 2012 highlights how gender inequality affects medical intervention programs. Sverdlik 2011 provides a comprehensive overview of health issues in informal settlements; Stephens 1995, conversely, provides an overview of health issues and urbanization more broadly.

Disabilities in the Developing World

The geographic study of disability is still in its infancy. Furthermore, existent studies overwhelmingly have concentrated on issues of disability in the developed world. That said, an emerging body is work is now forming on the lived experiences of disability in the developing world. Meekosha 2011 offers a good starting point, as does Grech 2011. For a discussion on how to conduct disability research in the developing world, see Singal 2010.

Gender and Development

A sizeable literature exists on the specific interactions of gender and development within the developing world. Some contributions, such as the classic volume Momsen and Kinnaird 1993, provide a broad geographic overview with important case studies; more recent volumes include the highly influential collection Marchand and Runyan 2010. The Beneria and Feldman 1992 edited volume remains a solid introduction to the interactions of economic crises, poverty, and women’s work, while Chant and McIlwaine 1995 provides a detailed account of women’s employment, migration, and household organization within the Philippines. The contribution of Dianne Rocheleau (Rocheleau and Edmunds 1997), who has written extensively on gender and development, provides a comprehensive overview of gender relations, property rights, and the environment. A theoretically rich, conceptual understanding of gender in the development process is provided in Moser 1989.

  • Beneria, Lourdes, and Shelley Feldman, eds. Unequal Burden: Economic Crises, Persistent Poverty, and Women’s Work. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1992.

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    Although dated, this edited volume provides numerous case studies that still provide a key conceptual overview of some of the most pressing issues related to gender and development, including food security, structural adjustment policies, and religion.

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  • Chant, Sylvia, and Cathy McIlwaine. Women of a Lesser Cost: Female Labour, Foreign Exchange & Philippine Development. Manila, The Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1995.

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    This is a comprehensive study that theoretically and empirically considers the interactions of women’s employment, migration, and household organization. It focuses explicitly on export-manufacturing, international tourism, and sex work.

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  • Marchand, Marianne, and Anne Sisson Runyan, eds. Gender and Global Restructuring: Sightings, Sites and Resistance. 2d ed. New York: Routledge, 2010.

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    This edited collection provides a crucial introduction to the interactions of gender and global restructuring, especially neoliberalism, in a variety of geographic contexts. Contributors, writing from a feminist standpoint, address also the politics of “race,” sexuality, and development.

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  • Momsen, Janet H., and Vivian Kinnaird. Different Places, Different Voices: Gender and Development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. New York: Routledge, 1993.

    DOI: 10.4324/9780203310953Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This classic volume provides multiple case studies on the salience of gender in development studies. Informative introductory chapters provide key geographic overviews for gender and development issues for the three regions covered.

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  • Moser, Caroline O. N. “Gender Planning in the Third World: Meeting Practical and Strategic Gender Needs.” World Development 17 (1989): 1799–1825.

    DOI: 10.1016/0305-750X(89)90201-5Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This theoretically rich paper remains the key starting place to understand “gender planning”: how men and women assume different roles in society and how this impacts development policy.

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  • Rocheleau, Dianne, and David Edmunds. “Women, Men and Trees: Gender, Power and Property in Forest and Agrarian Landscapes.” World Development 25 (1997): 1351–1371.

    DOI: 10.1016/S0305-750X(97)00036-3Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    The article provides both a conceptual and theoretical overview of gender, property rights, and forested landscapes.

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Tourism

Throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries, tourism as an object of study has grown precipitously. For scholars working on and in the developing world, tourism is especially important in that it has been widely promoted as a means of development. However, as scholarship has revealed, there are many problems associated with tourism. A recent, and very significant issue, is that of Medical Tourism. This practice includes both the illegal “trade” in human organs and the traveling of persons from (generally) wealthy regions to poor regions to procure human organs.

Tourism and Development

Brown and Hall 2008 is a good place to start for a general overview of the issues. Although limited to African tourism, Rogerson and Visser 2011 likewise provides a good overview. Other studies consider both the specific types of tourism as development strategies. For example, Rolfes 2010 provides an interesting case study on “poverty tourism” while Hampton 2003 presents an informative case study of “backpacker” tourism. Both Kaplan 2004 and Tosun 2005 offer case studies on the contributions of tourism toward development. Other studies, such as King and Wilcox 2008 and Brockington, et al. 2008, examine specific types of tourist-related development, such as the development of peace parks and other protected areas. Other works, such as Brockington, et al. 2008, provide more in-depth discussion of particular tourist-related activities and strategies, such as “protected areas.”

Medical Tourism

An emergent and exceptionally controversial practice is that of medical tourism. Connell 2011 provides a useful starting point. Both Warf 2010 and Wilson 2011 offer informative case studies in Central America and Southeast Asia, respectively.

Education

Education is widely recognized as a key policy issues in the developing world. There is a vast literature available, including both theoretical and empirical work. A good starting point is the classic text Carnoy and Samoff 1990. In this book, the authors provide a comparative analysis of educational theory and practice in five countries: China, Cuba, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Nicaragua. Special attention is devoted to differences in political-economic systems. Lockheed and Verspoor 1991 remains a highly influential volume that addresses policy options for improving educational practices at the primary level. Some texts, such as Kelly 1982, provide an explicit gendered approach to educational policies and practices in the developing world.

  • Carnoy, Martin, and Joel Samoff. Education and Social Transition in the Third World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990.

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    This widely cited text provides a key overview of educational policies and practices in the Third World; it is supported by five in-depth case studies that reveal a diversity of political-economic systems.

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  • Kelly, Gail, ed. Women’s Education in the Third World: Comparative Perspectives. Albany: State University of New York, 1982.

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    Drawing on a range of case studies, this edited collection continues to provide a useful introduction to the salient issues related to gender and education in the developing world. Students should read this volume more for its conceptual and theoretical insights, rather than “current” events.

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  • Lockheed, Marlaine, and Adriaan Verspoor, eds. Improving Primary Education in Developing Countries. Washington, DC: World Bank, 1991.

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    This important collection provides a series of recommendations for improving primary education in developing countries. An overview of educational practices is followed by a variety of case studies that address curricula issues, accessibility to learning materials, and ways to promote equitable access to schooling.

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Climate Change and Environmental Concerns

The developing world figures prominently in the often acrimonious debates surrounding climate change and global warming. Many scholars are quick to note that countries within the developing world contribute, proportionately, very little of the greenhouse gases held responsible for climate change; yet these same locations often bear (or potentially will bear) the brunt of the negative externalities associated with climate change. Research also continues to focus on other, long-standing environmental problems such as deforestation. Entries are divided into two subsections: those related to climate change specifically and those addressing environmental concerns more broadly.

Climate Change and the Developing World

Both Dasgupta, et al. 2009 and Mendelsohn, et al. 2006 provide comprehensive overviews of the issues of climate change and the developing world. Adger, et al. 2003 likewise provides a good overview, although they utilize the concepts of risk and vulnerability as a framework. Other studies, such as Rasmussen, et al. 2009, provide geographically specific case studies of the impacts of climate change. Both Mertz, et al. 2009 and Osbahr, et al. 2008 offer insightful analyses of human adaptations to climate change in the developing world, while Curtis and Oven 2011 outlines several ways in which scholars have addressed the interrelations of health issues and climate change.

  • Adger, W. Neil, Saleemul Huq, Katrina Brown, Declan Conway, and Mike Hulme. “Adaptation to Climate Change in the Developing World.” Progress in Development Studies 3 (2003): 179–195.

    DOI: 10.1191/1464993403ps060oaSave Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    In this review article, the authors explore the nature of risk and vulnerability in the context of climate change and review the various adaptive strategies utilized in the developing world. This is a comprehensive examination of the politics and social implications surrounding the establishment of protected areas, with particular emphasis on those in the developing world.

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  • Curtis, Sarah, and K. J. Oven. “Geographies of Health and Climate Change.” Progress in Human Geography (2011): 1–13.

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    The authors outline several ways in which scholars have addressed the interrelations of health and climate change.

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  • Dasgupta, Susmita, Benoit Laplante, Craig Meisner, David Wheeler, and Jianping Yan. “The Impact of Sea Level Rise on Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis.” Climatic Change 93 (2009): 379–388.

    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-008-9499-5Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Through an examination of eighty-four coastal developing countries, this paper examines the potential consequences of sea level change. The authors conclude that upward of tens of millions of people are likely to be displaced and that severe economic and ecological damage may result.

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  • Mendelsohn, Robert, Ariel Dinar, and Larry Williams. “The Distributional Impact of Climate Change on Rich and Poor Countries.” Environment and Development Economics 11 (2006): 159–178.

    DOI: 10.1017/S1355770X05002755Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Using two indices (impact per capita and impact per GDP), this paper examines the inequalities associated with climate change on developed and developing countries. Verging on environmentally deterministic sentiments, the authors conclude that poor countries are more vulnerable because of the geographic location.

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  • Mertz, Ole, Kirsten Halsnæ, Jørgen E. Olesen, and Kjeld Rasmussen. “Adaptation to Climate Change in Developing Countries.” Environmental Management 43 (2009): 743–752.

    DOI: 10.1007/s00267-008-9259-3Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    This article provides a useful overview of various adaptive responses to climate change in developing countries.

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  • Osbahr, Henny, Chasca Twyman, W. Neil Adger, and David S. G. Thomas. “Effective Livelihood Adaptation to Climate Change Disturbance: Scale Dimensions of Practice in Mozambique.” Geoforum 39 (2008): 1951–1964.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2008.07.010Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Through a case study of Mozambique, this article provides an understanding of how local communities adapt to climate-related environmental change. Special emphasis is directed toward issues of food security and poverty reduction.

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  • Rasmussen, Kjeld, Wilhelm May, Thomas Birk, Melchior Mataki, Ole Mertz, and Douglas Yee. “Climate Change on Three Polynesian Outliers in the Solomon Islands: Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation.” Geografisk Tidsskrift—Danish Journal of Geography 109 (2009): 1–13.

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    Through a case study of three small islands in Polynesia, the authors identify and discuss a series of adaptive measures taken by villagers in light of climate change. Specific adaptations revolve around coastal protection, construction methods, food and water supplies, and remittances.

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Environmental Issues and the Developing World

Climate change, of course, is not the only environmental threat to the developing world. Both mining and deforestation, for example, have drastically affected the landscapes and livelihoods of the region. Zerner 2000 provides a solid introduction to environmental issues and environmental management. Holden and Jacobson 2012 offers an illustrative case study of the environmental degradation associated with mining. Sambrook, et al. 1999 and Dauvergne 2001 provide exemplary case studies of deforestation in Central America and Asia, respectively. Fahn 2003, although written for the general audience in mind, provides a fascinating account of the environmental costs associated with economic development in Southeast Asia. Sodhi and Brook 2006 likewise addresses environmental degradation and biodiversity loss in Southeast Asia; unlike Fahn 2003, however, Sodhi and Brook’s book is highly technical. Lastly, Shiva 2008 provides a remarkable study that incorporates climate change, environmental degradation, resource depletion, and food insecurity.

  • Dauvergne, Peter. Loggers and Degradation in the Asia-Pacific: Corporations and Environmental Management. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

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    Focusing on changes since 1990, this book examines the governmental context of deforestation throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

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  • Fahn, James David. A Land on Fire: The Environmental Consequences of the Southeast Asian Boom. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2003.

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    With a focus on Southeast Asia, Fahn explores a series of key environmental issues, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and sustainable development. Easily approachable, the book provides some remarkable narratives about environmental change in a globalizing region.

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  • Holden, William N., and R. Daniel Jacobson. Mining and Natural Hazard Vulnerability in the Philippines: Digging to Development or Digging to Disaster? New York: Anthem, 2012.

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    A case study of mining-related environmental hazards in the Philippines. The book is notable for its focus on the dynamics of neoliberalism and environmental politics.

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  • Sambrook, Richard A., Bruce W. Pigozzi, and Robert N. Thomas. “Population Pressure, Deforestation, and Land Degradation: A Case Study from the Dominican Republic.” Professional Geographer 51 (1999): 25–40.

    DOI: 10.1111/0033-0124.00142Save Citation »Export Citation » Share Citation »

    Through a case study of the Cordillera Central, this paper examines the interrelations of physical and social processes associated with population growth, deforestation, and land degradation.

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  • Shiva, Vandana. Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis. Boston: South End, 2008.

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    This remarkable study considers the interactions of food insecurity, peak oil, and climate change.

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  • Sodhi, Navjot S., and Barry W. Brook. Southeast Asian Biodiversity in Crisis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

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    Written for the specialist, this book does not make for light reading. That said, it provides one of the best overviews of the crisis of biodiversity loss in Southeast Asia.

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  • Zerner, Charles, ed. People, Plants & Justice: The Politics of Nature Conservation. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

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    This edited volume provides case studies from Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia on the politics surrounding nature conservation and environmental management.

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Waste

An issue of increased importance within our globalizing world is that of waste disposal. Historically, scholars of the developing world have addressed the problem of waste from the standpoint of sanitation systems and also from the perspective of an economic livelihood (e.g., scavenging). Baabereyir, et al. 2012 is illustrative. More recent research has continued these lines of scholarship, with the added focus of electronic waste (e-waste). The best starting point is Grossman 2006. Joines 2012 highlights how technological advances associated with computers, mobile phones, and fiber optics reproduce global inequalities and pose significant health risks to people living in the developing world. Lepawsky and McNabb 2010 attempts to map the flows of e-waste. A fascinating account that examines the “politics” of waste is Moore 2009.

Armed Conflict, War, and Violence

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, most conflicts have been located in the developing world. On the one hand, this pattern reflects the difficulties of decolonization; a legacy of colonialism; political instability; and economic uncertainties. On the other hand, this pattern is also reflective of global political inequalities and the promotion of “proxy wars” between Western states. Among the vast literature, recent works have addressed the subject from a variety of perspectives and scales. Although geographically limited, a useful starting point is Scott 2003. Perkins and Neumayer 2010 provides a critical take on democracy, human rights, and the continued sale of military supplies. Lastly, Heise, et al. 1994 is significant in that the authors provide one of the first studies to consider domestic violence as a form of violence in the developing world.

Resources and Conflicts

Although overlapping with many of the above themes, the issue of resource (abundance/scarcity) and conflict is a key area of scholarship. This is also a hotly contested issue. On the one hand, a number of scholars maintain that resource scarcity leads to conflict; on the other hand, a competing claim forwards the idea that resource abundance may also lead to conflict. Opposite this debate is the sentiment that the relationship is too complex to promote a direct, cause-and-effect thesis. For a general overview of the interrelations of society and the environment—from a more global perspective, see Robbins, et al. 2010. Both Dalby 2009 and Homer-Dixon 1999 are classic—and competing—accounts of the security-environment nexus. Dalby approaches the topic from the perspective of international relations and provides a theoretically sophisticated overview of the major issues. Homer-Dixon’s work remains controversial, in part because he at times presents an overly simplistic cause-and-effect understanding of environmental degradation/resource loss and conflict. Peluso and Watts 2001 is an informative collection of case studies that address the interactions of violence and the environment; most chapters provide a critique of Homer-Dixon. The many writings of Philippe Le Billon are must-reads for anyone interested in resource conflicts and the political ecology of war. Le Billon 2001, Le Billon 2003, and Le Billon 2005 provide comprehensive overviews; other writings, such as Le Billon 2000, provide empirically rich case studies. Lastly, an interesting take on both environmental change and the topic of “new wars” is presented in Jung 2003.

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