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Geography and the study of Third World underdevelopment re-revisited

Geography and the study of Third World underdevelopment re-revisited

Progress in Human Geography 13(2): 267-276

Progress in development geography has been recently associated with the shift of the perspective on underdevelopment from a right-wing, conservative standpoint to a leftward, liberal-radical position. Marxism often conceals its message in obscure rhetoric with moral overtones on colonialism, slavery, poverty, and underdevelopment. Liberal academics have lamely acceded to the dogmas of this once-assertive ideology. Marxist view have exerted a stimulus on debates, but could not provide answers to the issues of this discipline. The hopes of development and prosperity a generation ago have evaporated only to be replaced by news of economic malaise, the food crisis, and crushing debt. In the late 1980's geographers addressed Third World environmental issues. Blaikie and Brookfield examined environmental deterioration among elements of the population-environment issue. Lewis and Berry dealt with African environments and resources. Watts and Bassett touched on agrarian and political concerns in West Africa. Adams examined water resources development in Nigeria's Sokoto Valley. Bryceson analyzed the political economy of agriculture in Tanzania. Lawson depicted how government policy bore on agriculture and its regional pattern. Crush detailed the absorption of Swazi labor into the South African economy. Dayal described the deficiency diet of agricultural workers in Bangladesh. Others examined Africa's financial disaster, Japan's trade surplus, and the global population crisis. Nevertheless, the dearth of output on and neglect of Third World issues by human geographers awaits positive research publications.

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Accession: 046171068

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PMID: 12283967

DOI: 10.1177/030913258901300207

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