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Geographies of Developing Areas

The Global South in a Changing World

By Glyn Williams, Paula Meth, Katie Willis

Routledge – 2009 – 464 pages

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  • Add to CartPaperback: $65.95
    April 6th 2009
  • Add to CartHardback: $180.00
    March 13th 2009
    Currently out of stock


This significant new textbook questions traditional conceptions of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to provide a new understanding of the ‘Global South’, highlighting the rich diversity of regions that are usually only viewed in terms of their ‘problems’. Providing a positive but critical approach to a number of key issues affecting these important areas, the book:

  • examines the ways in which the Global South is represented, and the values at play
  • explores how the South is shaping, and being shaped by, global economic, political and cultural processes
  • looks at peoples’ lives and identities
  • assesses the possibilities and limitations of different ‘development’ strategies.

A timely assessment of the way global processes are perceived from the Global South, the book is illustrated with over sixty colour photographs. It includes a full glossary of key terms, case studies from fieldwork conducted across a range of communities and nations, and introductions to the wider literature in this field.

This is a wonderful new textbook for all students interested in Human Geography and Development Studies.


This is a big book which takes as its canvas much of the world. But it is also one which draws on the personal experiences of the three authors. In clear prose and with boxes, illustrations and supporting tables and figures, the authors liberate developing areas from the distorting shadow of development, imbuing their populations with agency and individuality. Like the best geography books, it ranges across scales, draws on evidence from every quarter, and knits together an argument and a position that is at once sufficiently structured to give clarity and direction, and sufficiently nuanced to emphasise difference and stress the contingency of the world.

Jonathan Rigg, Department of Geography, University of Durham, UK

Geographies of Developing Areas is a path breaking textbook. It offers teaching resources drawing on experiences in the Global South across most sub-fields of Human Geography. It means that undergraduate Geography curricula can now easily reflect the concerns of a wider world. The text is exceptionally well presented, with a lively and accessible writing style. As it draws on the detailed contemporary research and personal field experiences of the authors, it easily engages the reader. It will be a great boost to geography teaching in many different contexts."

Jenny Robinson, Open University, UK

Glyn Williams, Paula Meth and Katie Willis are to be congratulated for their innovative and clear account of the lives and circumstances in the global South. Their central point - that 80 percent of the world's population deserves more systematic attention from 'mainstream' geography - comes across convincingly and informatively. Skilfully weaving the latest research into a structured and highly accessible point-by-point discussion, this book is a welcome addition to human geography resources and suitable for a range of undergraduate courses.

Sarah Radcliffe, University of Cambridge, UK

This book is a telling contribution to comparative understanding of the majority world. Blending vignettes with high quality commentary, the book will be a major resource for scholars and students alike, offering a beautifully written overview of the social, political, economic and cultural geographies of developing nations. The text departs from standard development debates to probe contemporary social processes shaping people’s lives in the global south. It will become a standard reference for development geographers and deserves to be read by human geographers and anthropologists much more broadly; a terrific achievement.

Dr. Craig Jeffrey, Associate Professor in Geography and International Studies University of Washington, US


1. Introduction Section 1: Representing the South 2..Representing the South Section 2:The South in a Global World 3. The South in a Changing World Order 4. The South in a Globalising Economy 5. Social and Cultural Change in the South Section 3: Living in the South 6.. Political Lives 7. Making a Living 8. Ways of Living Section 4: Making a Difference 9. Governing Development 10. Market-led Development 11. DIY Development 12. Conclusions

Author Bio

Dr. Glyn Williams is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Town and Regional Planning at The University of Sheffield, UK. His main research interests lie in the fields of poverty and participation; state power and political practices; and environmentalism and environmental governance. He has conducted most of his research in India.

Dr. Paula Meth is a Lecturer in Town and Regional Planning at The University of Sheffield, UK. Her research focuses on social development, particularly in Southern Africa, with a special interest in processes of gendered marginalization.

Dr. Katie Willis is a Reader in Development Geography and Director of the Centre for Developing Areas Research at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. Her research focuses on two main areas: social development, particularly health, in urban Latin America, and transnationalism and migration.


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Name: Geographies of Developing Areas: The Global South in a Changing World (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Glyn Williams, Paula Meth, Katie Willis. This significant new textbook questions traditional conceptions of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to provide a new understanding of the ‘Global South’, highlighting the rich diversity of regions that are usually only...
Categories: Development Studies, Human Geography, Development Geography