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"Challenge from Third World Development"

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The author has however portrayed bias in the way in which he forces the themes that are currently applicable in the western developed world into the setting of the third world countries, For example. He takes the theme of democracy and brings his view stressfully that it would be a solution for the political problems that these poor countries are facing today. It true that democracy has it’s own disadvantages and it is not necessarily that it can work in the settings. To my opinion, it is not appealing for the author to give a solution but he can suggest methods that can be tried out and if they work, they can be integrated with other ways to bring out the best in the third world leadership and development. To give a good example of the weakness in his opinion of democracy as a solution to the problems of third world countries development is in the case where examples of countries like Costa Rica and Trinidad have very strong democratic systems while others like Syria and Myanmar fall under a highly dictated system but to any persons dismay, all of these countries mentioned in the two settings   suffer at least one or more facets of underdevelopment that are mentioned in this textbook (Handelman, 1998).

Since the year the book started selling, there have been controversies about the way Handelman has brought issues from various third world countries. The nationalities of several countries that he has mentioned in the book have published their dissatisfactions concerning one or more things that he has outlined in the book. For example, in the prior pages, he points out issues of Ethiopia, a country in Africa. He says that, Eritrea and Tigray which is province found in Ethiopia fought against the Ethiopian government and later became independent provinces within the same country. He seems to have not done research about this fact because the plain truth is that, in 1991 Eritrea became independent and Tigray province never did what he alleges because up to date it is a province under the government of Ethiopia. This book is targeted to be used by students of international relations world wide and it is improper of the author to relay the wrong information in such a textbook. He also continues to state some claims as facts which is very wrong (Handelman, 1998).

It is important that any other author preparing such books should base his literature on proven facts. To some readers, Handelman’s book is a solution to the much prevailed restlessness. The reason for this is because it contains a number of theories and occurrences that are embraced by various themes. He has a done a very rich analysis and comparison because after every positive statement he immediately gives a contradicting statement or a conclusion to the same point. On the other hand, I argue that the book exhibits so much repetition. His definition of third world countries is very plain and the language is he uses to define is not satisfying at all. He does not show that all developing countries are not at the same level of development. He generalizes to a certain extent and portrays that no third world country is better than the other. By doing this he does not recommend any up coming country on the measures to be taken to become a better nation. He has done a big comparison of United state’s political intervention and that of Rwanda and Congo on page 22 of the book.

The author mentions one hundred and fifty of the extremely poor countries in the world such as, Ethiopia and Afghanistan and also developing countries that are coming up vary fast like Taiwan and Korea. It is arguable that no one textbook can be able accommodate a thorough examination of such a large number of different countries. To tackle this, it would be easier to examine at the most common problems across the variety of countries and the available and possible solutions to these problems. Another critical issue is that he has no unique idea in his book and also he has not done much research on what he has written because most of the arguments he lays down have no base of fact; yet he has priced his book very expensively which is not very worth it (Handelman, 1998).

Most of the readers have argued that it is very hard to understand this book particularly those people that have no clear idea of the various theories and factors that surround the slow development of the third world countries. It can be a powerful reference tool for researchers though it has to be used hand in hand with related texts because some arguments are not based on any founded fact. It can add so much knowledge to a general reader who is curious about learning the third world countries. In short, the book lacks originality (Handelman, 1998).

For a political science book, it proves to be poorly written. This is a field that requires so many resources. The book lacks maps and though the author has included some charts, many readers and researchers and students have argued that they are irrelevant. Handelman has not organized his work in way that a reader cannot feel the flow of the ideas that are presented in that book making it a very difficult book to follow where a reader has to organize the ideas by himself. The other greatest and negative issue in the book is that Handelman has not presented any personal research findings but simply has paraphrased other peoples work and put the into one to make the book and one can guess the reason as to why his ideas are not flowing well and appear mixed up and in most cases repeated. A good political science textbook requires rich analysis and criticism (Handelman, 1998).

A visit to a country like Cuba, one will discover that most of the citizens are low income earners. It is a good example of what challenges most people in the developing countries go through. To my opinion, other than the poverty that encompasses such a country, there is a good aspect of very rich local culture. Other than pursuing foreign ways of up bringing their economic status, many developing countries of which have many things in common like a deep cultural background, would try and conserve their culture and encourage both local and international tourism into their countries because in the modern world so many people in both developed and developing countries have great interests in exploration of diversified cultures amongst other things. There are other countries that are working day and night towards development but poor leadership and corruption pulls them back to the starting point (Handelman, 1998).

There are various things that the developing countries can to do open up a door for development: to do a survey on the available liabilities and assets within the country and what are the solutions or interventions needed, to struggle and rely on the local support in the areas that are vital and to have a supply of global goods that are normally luxuries rarely bringing any competition to the industries, to try and take control of  available interventions by struggling to extract economic interventions from the world market chain through taxing and foreign currency exchange, to encourage some important things like organic agriculture, renovating of very old buildings, planting many trees with multi uses like fruit trees as shade providers, utilizing the local resources and expertise to get foreign currency for the country and lastly encouraging people to embrace suitable technologies in all possible cases. Some of the innovations found ion the developing countries are not planned but just arise from necessity issue like the organic agriculture and non-motorized transport which turn out to attract attention from all round the globe. Some of these countries will some day turn out to be emulated by the rest of the world in all sectors like Cuba is today in the sector of health among the developing nations (Handelman, 1998).

Many political science undergraduates or students verify that they have had bought this book for their course thinking that it was very resourceful but most of them became very frustrated. Most of them suggested that any one who reads it for a course should analyze Handelman’s views because they are hardly banking on facts. Handelman thinks in one way whereby he portrays that modernization comes about through westernization. There is no truth about this because so many developing countries have modernized without embracing any western style of living and even if they moderately integrate the western aspects with their own then they leave hem behind when they reach the point of modernization. This is another clear cut bias.


In my own opinion, each and every author do enough research before writing any book in order to exhibit originality at the end of it all.  Originality creates a good image of every author especially those of course text books because many students are of a book that gives them detailed content. Handelman has frustrated most of the readers who counted on his work and I would advise him to check out his readers’ criticisms so that next time he will convince them out of the stereotype they might have developed through his second poor edition.

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