This book is an introduction to the nature and background of some of the central issues – economic, social, environmental – of modern times. It aims to provide the basis for a stimulating course for beginning students in departments of geography, politics, sociology and environmental science.
The book opens with an overview of the complex political, cultural and natural origins of world problems and of why some nations are rich and some are poor. The author then discusses in depth such issues as population growth, hunger, the extinction of species, global warming and climatic change, ozone depletion, energy conservation, deforestation, and the misuse of technology.
The book covers a range of perspectives on a diversity of societies, developed and developing. The author writes clearly, stressing the need, by argument and by exemplification, for informed, critical thinking. Students are shown both the decisions that have been made – and the resulting failures and successes – and the choices that must now be faced if crucial problems are to be solved.
The book is extensively illustrated with diagrams and photographs, contains guides to further reading and media resources, and includes suggestions for discussion and studying the material.
John L. Seitz is Professor of Government at Wofford College. He has extensive first–hand experience of South Korea, Iran, Brazil, Liberia and Pakistan. His Politics of Development was published by Blackwell in 1988.