Structure of the book and associated website

The major themes of development, environment and globalising capitalism run through each chapter. In the choice of subjects or activities for study I have tried to select those that relate to basic human needs – hence, chapters on the food crisis, the water crisis and the energy crisis – those that cover the major economic activities of the region – hence, chapters on mining, forestry, industrialisation and free trade – and those that deal with issues of great social concern – hence, chapters on indigenous groups and violence and human rights abuses. The last substantive chapter (covered only in the website), Chapter 10, deals with global issues which directly affect the region of Central America.

After outlining the major thrusts of development in each chapter, consideration is given to the significance of the development of alternative modes of production.