Politics in the Developing World

Fifth Edition

Peter Burnell, Vicky Randall, Lise Rakner

Politics in the Developing World

Fifth Edition

Peter Burnell, Vicky Randall, Lise Rakner






11 Apr 2017


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An impressive line-up of international contributors provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to politics in the developing world. The first four parts explore the theoretical approaches, the changing nature and role of the state, and the major policy issues that confront all developing countries. The final parts set out a diverse range of country case studies, representing all the main geographical regions. These country case studies illustrate the themes introduced in the thematic chapters and highlight the developing world as a place of diversity and rapid transformations. Readers are provided with the tools to appreciate the perspectives of developing countries.

The fifth edition has been thoroughly updated to address topical issues and themes, including refugee movements; the rise of the so-called Islamic State; organised crime; gender; the role of new forms of communication in political mobilization; and the replacement of Millennium Development Goals by Sustainable Development Goals. Two new country case studies have been added: Syria and the Sudan.

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Part I Approaches and global context
1: Vicky Randall: Changing analytical approaches to the study of politics in the developing world
2: James Chiriyankandrath: Colonialism and post-colonial development
3: Lise Rakner and Vicky Randall: Institutional perspectives
4: Robert Ahearne: The developing world in the global economy
5: Stephen Hobden: The developing world in international politics

Part II Society and state
6: Jenny Pearce: Inequality
7: James R. Scarritt and Johanna Birnir: Ethnopolitics and nationalism
8: Jeff Haynes: Religion
9: Vicky Randall: Women and gender
10: Marina Ottaway: Civil society
11: Siri Gloppen: Social movements and alternative politics

Part III State and society
12: Anna Persson: The Modern State: Characteristics, Capabilities, and Consequences
13: Astri Suhrke,  Torunn Wimpelmann Chaudhary, and Ingrid Samset: Violent conflict and intervention
14: Lise Rakner: Democracy and regime change
15: Lise Rakner: Governance

Part IV Policy issues
16: Tony Addison: Development
17: Peter Newell: Environment
18: Michael Freeman: Human rights

Part V Regime change
19: David Taylor: Pakistan: regime change or continuing military dominance?
20: Gyda Maraas Sindre: Indonesia: redistributive power
21: Reinoud Leenders: Syria

Part VI Fragile vs strong states
22: Nicola Pratt and Nadje Al-Ali: Iraq: from hard state to failed state - or fierce state?
23: Andreas Schedler: Mexico: transition to civil war democracy
24: Peter Ferdinand: South Korea: strong state, successful development

Part VII Development and human rights
25: Stephen Wright: Nigeria: development, human rights, and democracy
26: Rachel Sieder: Guatemala: enduring underdevelopment
27: Liv Tønnessen: Sudan: Human Rights, Development, and Democracy

Part VIII South-south relations
28: Leslie Elliott Armijo: Brazil as a global player?
29: Deborah Brautigam: China and the developing world
30: Emma Mawdsley: India as a post-colonial development partner


Edited by:

Peter Burnell - Professor of Politics and International Studies, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick.

Vicky Randall - Emeritus Professor, Department of Government, University of Essex.

Lise Rakner - Head of Department, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen.

Student Resources

The following resources are available for students using Politics in the Developing World:
  • Additional country case studies to encourage students to consider the political situations in different developing countries
  • A flashcard glossary to allow students to test their knowledge of important concepts
  • Study questions encourage readers to think critically about each chapter
  • Web links encourage students to go beyond the textbook and read more widely


`'Burnell, Rakner, and Randall offer us a comprehensive overview of politics in the developing world and a perfect blend of real world empirics and social science theory. If you are looking for an idea textbook, this is it.'' Nancy Berneo, Nuffield Chair of Comparative Politics, University of Oxford

`'Clearly written and systematically presented, this textbook contains a wealth of information around the core themes in development studies. The combination of theoretical and conceptual debats with specific case studies provides students with a solid introduction to the subject.'' Renske Doorenspleet, Associate Professor in Comparative Politics, University of Warwick