World Development: WD3

  • Created by: ZodiacRat
  • Created on: 04-06-15 08:49

Modernisation theory:

  • Followed on from colonial ideas of development.
  • Ideas of 'good development' are the modern development standards experienced by western countries, basically economic development.
  • Supported by Walt Rostow's theory - the route to reach the ultimate stage of 'development'. Needed to move from agricultural societies with 'traditional' cultural practices to a rational, industrial and service-focused economy. 
  • Really took off post-WW2 as the USA saw the opportunity to be 'saviour's of 'less fortunate' parts of the world. 
  • USA saw sharing of knowledge and money as vital for development - 'The Marshall Plan' - set up to channel economic aid to fund reconstruction in Europe.
  • Has underpinned work of international organisations such as the World Bank and national governments. (World Bank uses Gross National Product per capita to divide countries into development categories.)
  • Many LEDCs tried during the 1950s, 60s and 70s to follow Rostow's model, former LEDCs such as South Korea. 
  • With greater wealth come other benefits such as improved health, education and quality of life. 
  • Based on development of Europe, so there is evidence to prove it can be successful.
  • Assumption that benefits of such 'development' would trickle down to benefit all sectors of society, did not recognise social structures that created inequalities so free-flowing 'trickle-down' was blocked. (Women in Saudi Arabia)
  • Very little attention paid to potential environmental damage or long-term sustainability. (Aral Sea disaster - increased agricultural productivity in environmentally marginal zone.)
  • 'Mass consumption' - not all societies value the accumulation of material goods. 
  • Seen as too Eurocentric - based on the special case of western economies and was inapplicable to others. 

Dependency theory: 

  • 'Less developed countries' found themselves in a state of 'underdevelopment' due to the operation of modern capitalist systems - core industrialised countries have experienced growth and economic development through the exploitation of non-industrialised countries in terms of colonialism, trade or wars. 
  • Modernisation does not necessarily mean westernisation, countries must set their own goals appropriate to their own resources, needs and values. 
  • Countries should be self-reliant and in control of their own natural resources.
  • First developed in reference to Latin American countries by Andre Frank (1971) - 'underdevelopment' of Chile and Brazil didn't exist until the colonial period in the C16th. 
  • Latin America developed more during periods when it was less engaged with the global economy (e.g. WWII)
  • Popular during 1960s and 70s but still popular. 
  • Underdeveloped economies should withdraw or protect themselves from the global economy, so many LEDCs ahave adopted protetionis policies to promote development by limiting imports so domestic industries can improve. Some governments have taken over foreign-owned companies to keep profits within the country. 
  • Has underpinned some recent NGO campaigns such as Make Poverty History and Fair Trade. 
  • It is arguable that systems left inplace have made development more difficult (e.g. Kenya Tea relies on European market, all transport led to ports). 
  • Challenged by economic success of newly-industrialising countries of Asia during 70s/80s - Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, China, India. 
  • State owndership of industries could lead to corruption, and fewer incentives…


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