One World, Many Stories: A Literary Exploration of Global Solidarity, Understanding, and Cooperation 

We collectively spend much of our living moments thinking about, learning about and contributing to global cooperation. So we put our heads together – our team, our members, folks across and beyond our network – to curate a collection of books that explore global issues, pathways to addressing them, and our role in it all. Our 2024 Booklist weaves an intricate tapestry of stories, knowledge, and perspectives that will captivate individuals interested in social justice, decolonization, solidarity, feminism, human rights, and global citizenship.

We also highly recommend these books if you’re interested in or contributing to international development.

Edited by: Themrise Khan,Kanakulya Dickson,Maïka Sondarjee

Given the growing interest in understanding the meaning, manifestations, analyses and implications of racism in North/South relations, White Saviorism in International Development seeks to remedy the shortcomings of the development studies literature on the prevalence of White Saviorism in Western development initiatives in the Global South. The volume comprises theoretical chapters, testimonies, stories and lived experiences from 19 contributors from across the Global South. 

book cover of White Saviorism in International Development

By: Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti

Driven by expansion, colonialism, and resource extraction and propelled by neoliberalism and rabid consumption, our world is profoundly out of balance. We take more than we give; we inoculate ourselves in positive self-regard while continuing to make harmful choices; we wreak irreparable havoc on the ecosystems, habitats, and beings with whom we share our planet. But instead of drowning in hopelessness, how can we learn to face our reality with humility and accountability?

By: Amitav Ghosh

A powerful work of history, essay, testimony, and polemic, The Nutmeg’s Curse argues that the dynamics of climate change today are rooted in a centuries-old geopolitical order constructed by Western colonialism. At the center of Ghosh’s narrative is the now-ubiquitous spice nutmeg; a parable for the climate crisis. The history of the nutmeg is one of conquest and exploitation—of both human life and the natural environment.

By: Jessica Hernandez

Despite the undeniable fact that Indigenous communities are among the most affected by climate devastation, Indigenous science is nowhere to be found in mainstream environmental policy or discourse. Here, Jessica Hernandez–Maya Ch’orti’ and Zapotec environmental scientist and founder of environmental agency Piña Soul–introduces and contextualizes Indigenous environmental knowledge and proposes a vision of land stewardship that heals rather than displaces, that generates rather than destroys. 

By: Cynthia Enloe

In this radical analysis of globalization, Cynthia Enloe examines recent events—Bangladeshi garment factory deaths, domestic workers in the Persian Gulf, Chinese global tourists, and the UN gender politics of guns—to reveal the crucial role of women in international politics today. Enloe describes how many women’s seemingly personal strategies—in their marriages, in their housework, in their coping with ideals of beauty—are, in reality, the stuff of global politics.

By: Gord Hall

The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book is a powerful and historically accurate graphic portrayal of Indigenous resistance to the European colonization of the Americas, beginning with the Spanish invasion under Christopher Columbus and ending with the Six Nations land reclamation in Ontario in 2006. Gord Hill spent two years unearthing images and researching historical information to create The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book, which presents the story of Aboriginal resistance in a far-reaching format.

By: Paulette Regan

In Unsettling the Settler Within, Paulette Regan, a former residential-schools-claims manager, argues that in order to truly participate in the transformative possibilities of reconciliation, non-Aboriginal Canadians must undergo their own process of decolonization. They must relinquish the persistent myth of themselves as peacemakers and acknowledge the destructive legacy of a society that has stubbornly ignored and devalued Indigenous experience. 

By: Stefan Dercon

In the last thirty years, the developing world has undergone tremendous changes. Overall, poverty has fallen, people live longer and healthier lives, and economies have been transformed. And yet many countries have simply missed the boat. Why have some countries prospered, while others have failed? Stefan Dercon argues that the answer lies not in a specific set of policies, but rather in a key “development bargain,” whereby a country’s elites shift from protecting their own positions to gambling on a growth-based future. 

By: Paulette Regan

The New York Times and USA Today bestseller! This eye-opening book challenges you to do the essential work of unpacking your biases, and helps white people take action and dismantle the privilege within themselves so that you can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too

By: M.G. Vassanji

M.G. Vassanji has been exploring the immigrant experience for over three decades, drawing deeply on his own transnational upbringing and intimate understanding of the unique challenges and perspectives born from leaving one’s home to resettle in a new land. The question of identity, of how to configure and see oneself within this new land, is one such challenge faced. But Vassanji suggests that a more fundamental and slippery endeavour than establishing one’s identity is how, if ever, we can establish a sense of belonging. Can we ever truly belong in this new home? Did we ever truly belong in the home we left? Where exactly do we belong? For many, the answer is nowhere exactly. 

By: Alice Muthoni Mũrage and The African Ancestry Project, in partnership with BC Black History Awareness Society

“Worlds Within: Diverse Histories, Identities, and Experiences of Black People of African Ancestry in British Columbia” is an output of the African Ancestry Project highlighting the diversity of Black people in BC. It shares our stories in our own voice by centering stories of over 160 project participants.

Please note that the curation of this booklist does not constitute as an endorsement for any of the books contained. The books and their contents do not necessarily align with the perspectives, positions, or values of BCCIC. Readers are encouraged to critically evaluate the content before forming their own opinions.

More of a Podcast Person?

Check out Volume 3 of Develop What? Our annual podcast playlist featuring some of our favourite episodes on social justice, climate action, movement building, anti-racism, and all things global cooperation.

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This booklist was made as part of our 2024 International Development Week programming. To see the other resources that we produced for this initiative, click here. Sincere thanks to Global Affairs Canada, who contributed funding to this initiative.

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