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Distinguish between the `orthodox' view of development and the `alternative' view of
development? 15 marks
The `orthodox' view of development is rooted in economic liberalism. In this view poverty is defined
squarely in economic terms. This view has dominated thinking on poverty, inequality and
development since 1945. It expanded in the 1970s and 1980s through the rise of neoliberalism.
There are many features of `orthodox' development such as the elimination of poverty is linked to
the ability to stimulate economic growth. Development is synonymous with economic growth and it
is stimulated by the free market system. This view of development is reflected in modernisation
theory which is a single linear path to development, reflected in the transformation of western
countries from traditional, preindustrial, agrarian societies to modern, industrial and mass
consumption ones. What it is trying to say that countries need to go from underdeveloped to
developed countries by having the latest technologies, manufactures, exploits and so on.
In addition, failed and `underdeveloped' countries have a lack of income or resources to satisfy
basic material needs. `Orthodox' view of development encourages individuals to pursue selfinterest.
It implies that `underdeveloped' countries are destined to become `modern' or `developed' ones.
Development occurs through providing incentives to work, engage in trade and setting up
businesses. Development is calculated on the basis of growth domestic product per head of
population which is the total value of all the goods and services produced in an economy, a measure
of national income. The market is the only reliable means of generating wealth as it provides
unlimited economic growth. Its influence expanded through the rise of neoliberalism and the
conversion of the institutions of global economic governance and a growing number of states, led by
the USA, to promarket economic philosophy, and again in the 1990s through the widespread
introduction of market reforms by former communist states such as Russia and South Korea.
The `alternative' view of development has become more important since the 1980s as
disillusionment has grown with topdown, progrowth strategies. These views reject the `one size fits
all' implications of `orthodox' thinking, preferring to look at local and regional context when planning
for developing. There are many features of `alternative' development such as the social and cultural
inclusion through respect for cultural diversity. This view is a collection of ideas about what
development looks like. Radical elements of this view are antiwestern, anticorporate and
emphasise the importance of selfmanagement and environmentalism. This is against the `orthodox'
view of development because free trade is linked to western countries. It supports the need for
sensitivity to local and regional needs and interests. It is based on selfreliance rather than reliance on
wealthy states. It is the view that poverty has structural character, stemming from disparities in the
global trading system.
`Alternative' view on development is a humanistic view of poverty that emphasises opportunity,
freedom and empowerment. This view also supports the `southern consensus' on development
which requires a greater role for state intervention. It disagrees that development occurs in the same
way for all countries through a shift from a `traditional' society to a `modern' society, which
therefore disagrees with modernisation theory. The local control is achieved through community
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Moreover, this view stems from disillusionment with the `top down' economic
model to promote growth.
`Alternative' view on development have stemmed from various sources, including resistance
movements in the `global south' such as the Zapatista movement in Chiapas in Mexico. The
Zapatistas are a society that is developed under an alternative view they are radicals emerged from
the jungle in Chiapas regions to declare war against the Mexican state. Their society is based on
agriculture and an agrarian state.…read more