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The Book of Howard Handelman

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This is a review on the book of Howard Handelman entitled; The challenge of the third world development. In this book, Handelman has thoroughly mentioned the issues that the developing countries which are also termed as the third world around the world are facing in their struggle to reach the level of the developed countries. In a broader sense, these countries are targeting to become industrialize and democratic. The various themes that the author has discussed are: urbanization, changes in democracy, underdevelopment, reform in agriculture, conflicts of ethnic groups, political reform and religion, just but a few to mention. Handelman who studied political science at the University of Wisconsin seems to have written this text book while targeting the undergraduate courses in international relations.  He has looked at 150 countries that are still developing according to his view. Handelman’s work is very unique in the way that he has presented a variety of interrelating issues that are the current set backs in bringing up development inn the third world countries. For any person doing a research about the third world nations’ development or any person anticipating to get information concerning the plight of the third world countries can read this book which is very rich in analyzing the same (Handelman, 1998).

Quick Chapter reviews. In the first chapter, the common issues mentioned are, the underdevelopments in the political and economic sectors development and then the top theories of explanation. In the second chapter, the most effective political change in politics between the late 20th and the early 21st century, according to the opinion of the majorities has been discussed. He mentions the following countries as the ones that have experienced the political change: Countries of Africa, Asia and the Middle East that are in the process of development including the ones in the south of Europe the Soviet bloc that was.

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Most of other chapters of the book discuss the process of democracy and it can affect issues like the conflicts of ethnicity, the importance of women in politics and the appropriate ways of enhancing effective development. The reason why the author discusses this broadly is because the third world countries governments that have embraced democratic systems of leadership from their earlier oppressive dictatorship are still very delicate and need to be evaluated in order to justify that democracy is truly an appropriate tool towards a country’s development. The third and the fifth chapters cover politics and religion as portrayed in various developing countries, the cultural diversities and conflicts of ethnic groups and also the role of women in development. The two chapters broadly analyze the issues of gender and the social factors that have been seen as the tools of division in the third world nations. The Chapters six and seven tackle the themes of urbanization and the changes in rural sectors. Further in these chapters, the particular challenges that are faced by many developing countries in the two aspects of the society that are mentioned.  The final eighth and ninth chapters explore the military, politics and changes in revolution. The author looks at the various types of regimes and the lessons they have brought out, Examples of these types of regimes that he has mentioned are: the military regimes found in Indonesia and Brazil and the revolutionary governments like in Cuba and China. He gives these as the other available options for enhancing economic and political developments (Handelman, 1998).

The Stereotype. So many countries of the third world have endured so much suffering and oppression from their political leaderships to appoint of almost despairing. The developing countries are day after day struggling to make the developing countries reach a level of cooperation which has always seemed hard to arrive and the result becomes pity. The case of 2001, where the Pentagon and The World Trade Center was destroyed by bombing following the battle in Afghanistan one of the less developed countries of the world has led to a perception by majority in the developed world that the less developed nations are extremely poor to appoint of no help and are full of extremism and dictatorship. Fortunately there is a ray of hope in watching the third world nations that thrived in the rule of oppression and dictatorship choosing democracy and implementing it to greater heights for example in Latin America; Asia has experienced a great economic growth especially in eastern southeastern regions; South Africa was a destabilized nation and today it rapidly growing stable. Considering such encouraging cases, the developing nations and their leaders should chose to give a thought at the negative views they have developed towards the challenges of the third world countries in the effort to pop out of the shameful jungles (Handelman, 1998).

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