Africa South of the Sahara, Third Edition: A Geographical Interpretation, 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Africa South of the Sahara, Third Edition

A Geographical Interpretation

By Robert Stock

© 2013 – Guilford Press

593 pages

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This authoritative, widely adopted text provides a broad introduction to the geography of Africa south of the Sahara. The book analyzes the political, economic, social, and environmental processes that shape resource use and development in this large, diverse region. Students gain a context for understanding current development debates and addressing questions about the nature and sustainability of contemporary changes. Timely topics include the rise of foreign investment in Africa, the evolving geographies of rural-urban linkages, the birth of the Republic of South Sudan, and advances in the struggle against HIV/AIDS.

New to This Edition:

*Fully updated to reflect the latest data and trends in development.

*Chapters on development theory, cultural and societal diversity, the political geography of postindependence Africa, economic integration, and the geography of poverty.

*Substantially revised coverage of gender dynamics, urban living environments, mineral and energy resources, and many other topics.

User-Friendly Features

*Vignettes in every chapter that provide detailed case studies from a variety of countries and elaborate on key concepts.

*Recommendations for further reading on each topic, including print and online sources.

*Companion website with downloadable PowerPoint slides of all original figures, photos, and tables.

*An extensive glossary.


"Stock invites the reader to relearn the map of Africa and to locate and understand processes and events that continue to influence Africa’s development paths with quite different and often unpredictable outcomes. He uses vignettes to simultaneously enliven the text and create a productive platform on which to engage with recent developments in the continent. In its third edition, this book remains one of the key texts on the geographical study of Africa."--Maano Ramutsindela, PhD, Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town

"This significantly revised edition of Africa South of the Sahara offers a critical interpretation of received ideas. Stock situates contemporary human development concerns about sub-Saharan Africa in their historical, cultural, and regional perspectives. A new chapter on the history of development thinking guides the book’s synthetic discussions of rural and urban economies and livelihoods, population and resources, and health. The prose is lucid and the arguments compelling. A highly accessible introductory text for courses on regional geography, development studies, and global studies."--Thomas J. Bassett, PhD, Department of Geography and GIS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"I can't wait to use this text in my Geography of African Development course. The third edition is very up to date; it hits on many of the important issues associated with current developments in Africa. While there is continuity with prior editions, there is also substantial new material that is exciting to read. Highlights include expanded coverage of cultural factors; in particular, discussions of African contributions in the arts will engage students and draw them in to the study of the continent. Other new content addresses migration, Africa's growing role in the world economy, poverty as a human rights issue, energy resources, and much more."--Marilyn Silberfein, PhD, Department of Geography and Urban Studies, Temple University

Table of Contents

Introduction: New Beginnings?


1. The Map of Africa

2. Imagining Africa: Roots of Western Perceptions of the Continent

3. Thinking about Development: Development Theory and Practice in the African Context

Culture and Society

4. African Culture: Diversity and Creativity

5. Societal Diversity: Language, Ethnicity, and Religion

6. Gender Dynamics: Men and Women in African Societies

The Physical Environment

7. Geology and Geomorphology of Africa

8. Africa’s Climate: Regions, Dynamics, and Change

9. Biogeography and Ecology

Africa in Historical Perspective

10. The African Past

11. The Colonial Legacy

12. Independent Africa: Politics and Development

Dynamics of Population

13. Population Distribution

14. Population Growth

15. Population Mobility

African Economies

16. Africa in the World Economy

17. National Economies: Strategies for Growth and Development

18. Prospects for Economic Integration

Rural Economies

19. Indigenous Food Production Systems

20. Agrarian Development and Change

21. Food Security

Urban Economies and Societies

22. The Evolution of Urban Structure

23. Urban Economies

24. Urban Living Environments


25. Mineral and Energy Resources

26. Water Resources

27. Flora and Fauna as Economic Resources

Social Geography

28. Living in Poverty

29. Social Policy: The Health Sector

30. Children in Africa: Prospects for the Next Generation

Conclusion: Which Future?


About the Author

Robert Stock, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He previously held positions at the University of Saskatchewan and at Queen's University, Ontario.

About the Series

Texts in Regional Geography

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