The Language of Global Development: A Misleading Geography, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Language of Global Development

A Misleading Geography, 1st Edition

By Marcin Wojciech Solarz


182 pages

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Paperback: 9781138701052
pub: 2017-02-01
Hardback: 9780415657020
pub: 2014-07-15
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203077382
pub: 2014-07-11
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Terms such as "Third World", "developing countries" and "Global South" are ubiquitous in the discipline of development studies, but they are often poorly defined, ideologically weighted and misleading.

Taking an intellectual history approach, this book examines the most commonly used spatial terms in the language of development, tracing their origins, meanings, evolution and processes of popularisation and demonstrating how geographical, political and economic concepts were used or misused in creating these terms. The book looks at the origins and the changing nature of fundamental development divisions from prehistoric times to the present day and analyses the process of conceptualising the contemporary North-South divide, focusing especially on the start of spatial development terminology in the twentieth century. It uses detailed maps to assist the reader in visualising the geographical complexities of these spatial terms, and discusses more recently developed terms, such as "emerging markets" and "BRIC", which are key to understanding the modern world.

This book provides a valuable resource for students and researchers in development studies, international relations, geography, sociology and anthropology, as well as practitioners in the field of development.


"The volume is much needed for those interested in the geographies and economies of global economic development."Geographical Education, Dr Jeana Kriewaldt, The University of Melbourne

"It provides much space for relevant concepts and views barely present in international literature on the topic. It can serve as a useful tool in university teaching in all subjects related to these problems. It can help students understand how we regionalise the world, why we are doing it the way we are, why we use these labels, and how these concepts are related to development theories. With the multilingual and multidisciplinary bibliography one can find the most important and relevant sources on global development and spatial terminology. Students and teachers in the fields of geography, development studies, politics or history can be the main public of this book, but with its easily comprehensible content and readability it is off ered for everyone interested in these issues." - Máté Farkas, Hungarian Geographical Bulletin 65 (2016) (2) 203–205.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. A world always divided: at the sources of contemporary spatial terminology 2. ‘Third World’: origins and meanings 3. ‘Third World’: glory and infamy 4. Newcomers and challengers: ‘developing countries’ and the ‘North-South’ dichotomy 5. The future of the North-South divide and its terminology

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Development and Society

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy