Seventh Edition   ©2017

World Regional Geography

Global Patterns, Local Lives

Lydia Mihelic Pulsipher (University of Tennessee at Knoxville) , Alex Pulsipher , Ola Johansson

  • ISBN-10: 1-319-04804-8; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-04804-4; Format: Paper Text, 752 pages

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New Thematic Approach

To focus teaching and help students retain information, each chapter of World Regional Geography now focuses on five themes:

  • Environment: What are the basic environmental characteristics of a region? What is the history of human use? How do issues of water scarcity, water pollution, and water management affect people and environments in a particular region? How do food production systems impact environments and societies in a region? How might global climate change and changes in food production systems affect soil and water resources? How are places, people, and ecosystems in a particular region vulnerable to shifts in global relationships? Which human activities contribute significant amounts of greenhouse gases?


  • Globalization and Development: How are lives changing as flows of people, ideas, products, and resources become more global? How has a particular region been impacted by globalization, historically and currently? How do shifts in economic, social, and other dimensions of development affect human well-being? What paths have been charted by the so-called developed world, and how are they relevant, or irrelevant, to the rest of the world? What new “homegrown” solutions are emerging from the so-called less developed countries?
  • Power and Politics: What are the main differences in the ways that power is wielded in societies? Where are authoritarian modes of governance dominant? Where have political freedoms expanded the most? What kind of changes is the expansion of political freedoms bringing to different world regions? How are changes in the geopolitical order affecting current world events?
  • Urbanization: Which forces are driving urbanization in a particular region? How have cities responded to growth? How are regions affected by the changes that accompany urbanization—for example, the growth of slums, changes in access to jobs, education, and health care, depopulation and decline in rural areas?
  • Population and Gender: What are the major forces driving population growth or decline in a region? How have changes in gender roles influenced population growth or decline? How are changes in life expectancy, family size, gender balance, and the age of the population influencing population change?


These themes are stated at the beginning of each chapter and tailored to the particular region. They are repeated at relevant points in the text as well as reviewed in “Things to Remember ” sections found throughout the chapter and in thought-provoking questions posed in the “Geographic Insights Review and Self-Test” sections at the end of each chapter.

Restructured Chapters
Each chapter covers the five Geographic Themes refer in the same order, with discussions of climate change, food, and water now under the heading of “Environmental Issues.” Some discussions of population issues have been linked with discussions of changing gender roles.
Epilogues: Polar Regions and Space
The epilogue discussing Antarctica now includes the Arctic because for comparative coverage in the context of climate change.   A new epilogue discusses space—an increasingly important geographical topic not only because of ongoing exploration, but because parts of space closest to Earth have already become central to our understanding of life on Earth, as well as the management of global communications, and even the conduct of hostilities.  

Up-to-Date Content, including:

  • Climate change and its environmental, political, and economic implications
  • Changes since the global economic recession that began in 2008 and its effect on migrants, labor outsourcing, and job security in importing and exporting countries
  • The role of terrorism in the realignment of power globally and locally, the emergence of the Islamic State group
  • The growing disparity in wealth in North America and throughout the world
  • Domestic and global implications of the U.S. political, economic, and military stances
  • Conflict over oil pollution in the Amazon, Caribbean, West Africa
  • Migration (voluntary and forced) and the ways it is changing both sending and receiving countries and regions both economically and culturally
  • Changing gender roles, in both developed and developing countries
  • Recent economic and social crises in the European Union, including the unexpected flood of refugees, and the consequences for the original EU members, new and potential member states, and the global community
  • Growing tensions between Russia, its neighbors, the European Union, Turkey, and the United States
  • The conflict in Ukraine
  • Political revolutions and conflict (the Arab Spring) in North Africa and Southwest Asia (often referred to as the Middle East)
  • Civil war in Syria and new refugee movements
  • The new influence of Arabic media outlets, such as Al Jazeera
  • Growing tensions over water in a number of regions
  • Disputes in East Asia over the islands and reefs in the East and South China Seas
  • The end of the one child policy in China
  • Civil change and unrest in Southeast Asia
  • The consequences of global climate change on Pacific Island nations
On the Bright Side
In light of the often overwhelming and at times worrisome nature of the information presented in any world regional geography course, each chapter now has a series of new On the Bright Side commentaries that explore some of the more hopeful patterns and opportunities emerging within each region, usually at the instigation of local people.