A World of Difference, Second Edition Encountering and Contesting Development

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-08-08
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press

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Widely regarded as the authoritative text on development geography, this volume examines the nature and causes of global inequality and critically analyzes contemporary approaches to economic development across the third world. Students gain a deeper understanding of the interacting dynamics of culture, gender, race, and class; biophysical factors, such as climate, population, and natural resources; and economic and political processes—all of which have led to the present-day disparities between the first and third worlds. Numerous examples, sidebars, and figures illustrate how people in the Global South are experiencing and contesting the forces of globalization.

Author Biography

Eric Sheppard is Regents Professor of Geography and Associate Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change, University of Minnesota. Among his awards are Distinguished Scholarship Honors, Association of American Geographers; Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; Fesler-Lampert Professor in Public Humanities, University of Minnesota; and Scholar of the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota. He is coauthor or coeditor of several books and over 100 articles.


Philip W. Porter is Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota, where he taught geography from 1957 to 2000. He has specialized in African geography, with particular emphasis on livelihood systems and the biophysical environments in which they are pursued, as well as the political economies in which they are embedded. His first research was in Liberia and he subsequently did research in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. He has taught courses dealing with third world development and underdevelopment. He has also had a research and teaching interest in cartography and remote sensing.


David R. Faust is the Librarian for South Asia at the Ames Library of South Asia, University of Minnesota. He has published articles on development politics, nongovernmental organizations, and the disjunctures related to English-medium education in India.


Richa Nagar is Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. She is coauthor or coeditor of two prior books and has published articles on space and communal politics among South Asians in postcolonial Tanzania and the politics of empowerment in India.

Table of Contents

The inevitability of differences; culture, kinship, and gender; institutional/structural inequalities; views from the core - propagating development; views from the periphery - encountering development; population growth and the demographic; the atmospheric cycle and the hydrologic cycle; the carbon cycle; soils, vegetation, pests, water and agriculture; the earth's crust as a resource; disease and health; the management of tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems; the historical geography of colonialism and the slave trade; colonialism as spatial and labour control system; the end of colonialism and the promise of free trade; trading primary commodities; peripheral industrialization - paths and strategies; urbanization, migration, and spatial polarization within the periphery; trans-national production; foreign branch plants and economic growth; money and global financial markets; borrowing money - aid, debt, and structural adjustment; tourism and development; toward a different world.

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