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SALI 6010: Module 1: Introduction An Overview of the Main Issues


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Title: SALI 6010: Module 1: Introduction An Overview of the Main Issues

SALI 6010 Module 1 IntroductionAn Overview of
the Main Issues
  • What is development?
  • How have ways of seeing development tended to
    shape development theory and policy?
  • What are the contemporary dilemmas of development
  • What are the contemporary objectives of
  • What is the state of development in the world
    and the region?
  • Looking back- Looking ahead Whither the
    development project?

What is development?
  • What characteristics do you associate with
    developed and less developed countries?
  • Are countries really classifiable?
  • What develops?
  • Whose development is it? Who and what have
    defined it? Consider here alternative forms of
    social life and their viewpoints
  • For what end is development? Is there an end to
    it? How are these chosen or determined?

What is development?
  • Are small countries supposed to have the same
    features as large countries when it comes to
    mapping their state of development?
  • Can rich countries lack development?
  • Is development the negation of poverty? Or is
    it, its Father? sibling? No real relation?
  • But then, what is poverty? Who are the poor?

The challenge of development
  • When we speak of the challenge of development
    what has been meant by that?
  • Post war US perspective provided by Harry Truman
    in his inaugural presidential address
  • We must embark on a bold new program for making
    the benefits of our scientific advances and
    industrial progress available for the improvement
    and growth of the underdeveloped areas. quoted
    in Gilbert Rist, The History of Development,
  • Should one take the US model of development or
    progress as the defining template for what
    attaining a state of development should look

The Idea of Development
  • Is the Western discourse on development neutral?
  • it inevitably contained a geopolitical
    imagination that has shaped the meaning of
    development for more than four decades. It is
    implicit in expressions such as First and Third
    World, North and South, center and periphery. The
    social production of space implicit in these
    terms is bound with the production of difference,
    subjectivities and social orders. Escobar,
    Encountering Development, (19959)

The History of Development
  • To the extent that Escobar is correct, it implies
    that a study of development is first of all an
    effort of raising awareness of the processes and
    powers involved in the construction of the idea
    of development?
  • That is, if the idea of development is neither
    self evident nor universal, where did (does) it
    come from? And what ways of thinking and seeing
    come with it?

The History of Development
  • The origin of the idea of development is founded
    in the rationalism and humanism of the 17th to
    19th century, as Potter et al note in Geographies
    of Development ( 19994)
  • During the Enlightenment period it was
    believed that by applying rational and scientific
    thought to the world, change could become more
    ordered, predictable and valuable. Those who
    could not adopt to such views became thought of
    as traditional and backward.
  • The work and writing of Sir William Petty (late
    17th century) on taxes and national accounting,
    Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations, 1775), David
    Ricardo, ( theories of distribution and
    international trade), Karl Marx, ( theory of
    capitalist accumulation, contradiction and
    crises), and Émile Durkheims, Max Webers and
    Talcott Parsons social theories of modern
    society, provided the conceptual grid for much of
    later approaches and perspectives on the nature
    of modern development.

The History of Development
  • The contemporary (post-war) view of development
    emerged with
  • The post-war rise of the Keynesian inspired
    development planning for both colonial and
    post-colonial growth, given the success of the
    European Marshall plan. (Note Countries often
    worked with a simplified view of Harrod and
    Domars dynamic growth equations, where growth is
    a function of the level of investment/savings and
    justified their state interventions by noting the
    problems of market failure and imperfect
    equilibriums, e.g. Poverty traps)
  • the US post war foreign policy agenda. Both of
    which prompted the emergence of the
  • Dual economy, structuralist and modernization
    frameworks for discussing the success and
    failures of Third World development.

The Quest for Development
  • The ideas for catching up to the West which
    underpinned these early approaches were a
    powerful stimulus for newly independent states to
    seek to exceed their negative endowments from a
    colonial past.
  • The First wave development strategies of the
    post-colonies was led by the developmental
    state whose object was to break out of the
    conditions of backwardness or
  • The pivotal emphasis was on realizing growth as
    the evidence of the emergence of a modern
    economy, identified by the rise of an urban
    capitalist industrial sector ( as distinct from
    an agricultural/rural economy).

Questioning Development?
  • The growth of inequities and poverty or the
    failure to take of into self sustained growth
    in these newly independent states provoked
    grass-roots and intellectual critiques of the
    development paradigm and the states development
    policies for catching up.
  • A Sharp distinction is drawn between growth and
    development, in the debate over how to measure
    the well being of the inhabitants of a country,
    or their experiences of progress.

What should development mean?
  • The measure of growth as proxy for social and
    economic welfare/ progress criticized on grounds
    that aggregate income measures such as Gross
    domestic product ( GDP) per capita ( income per
    head) suppresses ( inter alia)
  • Distributional inequities
  • Non-market transactions ( eg in the informal
  • Quality of life experiences, e.g. in terms of
    health education, life expectancy, infant
  • Environmental quality and sustainability.
  • Major consensus is shaped around the need to move
    to define development beyond growth.

Rethinking development- key shifts
  • Central shift in defining development from
    outcome to process variables. Moving away from
    utilities, based on income and consumption, to a
    focus on what individuals are able to do and be,
    as later to be measured or evaluated by Sens
    freedoms and capabilities approach to
    development. Sens work underpins the rise the
    UNDPs human development approach and its many
    human development indices.
  • Associated with this shift are the critiques
    from Marxist, Plantation and dependency schools,
    feminist, grass-root alternative development or
    anti-development social movements as well as
    post- structuralist critiques of the certainties
    of modern society and modern development.

  •   The conventional model of development is in
    doubtit is becoming increasingly clear that the
    way we have thought about development in the past
    is no longer adequate. There is no room for
    business as usual. The present is characterized
    by a triple crises The first is the crises of
    the state the second is the crises of the
    marketthe third is that of science This triple
    crises calls for a redefinition of development
    that takes into consideration the lessons of the
    past. (UNDP, 1995, p6, quoted in Thomas, C.,
    1996, p. 235)

  • The essentialisation of the Third World and its
    inhabitants as homogenous entities
  • The unconditional belief in progress and the
    makeability of society
  • The importance of the nation-state as the
    analytical frame of reference and the political
    and scientific confidence in the power of this
    state to realize human progress. Schuurman (2002,
    p. 8)

What is development, again?
  • Competing views of development increasingly
    populate the project of development.
  • From
  • Theotonio Dos Santos ( 1968)
  • Development means advancement towards a certain
    well defined general objective, which corresponds
    to a specific condition of man and society
    whichcan be found in the most advanced
    societies of the modern world.
  • To..

Re-defining the problem of Development
  • James Lamb ( 1973)
  • If there is to be a possibility of choosing a
    human path so that all human beings may become
    the active subjects of their own history, it must
    begin at the level of new analysis. Development
    should be a struggle to create criteria, goals
    and means for self-liberation from misery,
    inequity and dependency in all forms. Crucially,
    it should be the process a people choose which
    heals them from historical trauma, and enables
    them to achieve a newness on their own terms

Re-defining the problem of Development
  • Dudley Seers The questions to ask about a
    countrys development are therefore What has
    been happening to poverty? What has been
    happening to unemployment? What has been
    happening to inequality? If all these have become
    less severe than beyond any doubt there has been
    a period of development for the country
    concerned. (Dudley Seers, 1972)

Re-defining the problem of development
  • Amartya Sen (1998)
  • It is not hard to see why the concept of
    development is so essential in general. Economic
    problems, do, of course, involve logistical
    issues, and a lot of this is undoubtedly
    engineering of one kind or another. On the other
    hand, the succes of all this has to be judged
    ultimately in terms of what it does to the lives
    of human beings.
  • Joseph Stiglitz (1998)
  • It used to be that development was seen as
    simply increasing GDP. Today, we have a broader
    set of objectives, including democratic
    development, egalitarian development, sustainable
    development, and higher living standards.

New Agenda setting
  • The critical questioning of the development
    project has stimulated new agenda setting as
    well as new goal setting.
  • Consider here some of the issues being pressed by
    the alternative development movement

New Agenda setting
  • In light of the new shifts in perspectives on the
    nature and valued ends of development, the world
    has witnessed the rise of a global agenda
    setting process being partly mediated by the
    United Nations.
  • Other mediators are/have been, of course, the so
    called Bretton Woods Institutions, namely the
    World Bank ( IBRD) and the International Monetary
    Fund ( IMF). These institutions now seek to work
    closely with the UN and the WTO to foster a
    Pro-poor and good governance growth agenda, after
    the failures of structural adjustment engendering
    an implicit global cross-conditionality between
    these institutions concerning development.
  • This UN intervention is being promoted under a
    human rights based regime of social justice.
    NB The human right to development promulgated
    in 1986.
  • The New status quo for global development
    objectives is presented in the UN Millennium
    summits and the Millennium development goals,
    MDGs. ( see slides)

New challenges and issues
  • Paradoxically, the effect of the radical
    critiques of the development project was to shake
    development studies to its core, see Schuurman
    (2000),and open spaces for the rise in 1980s of
    a new hegemonic paradigm for modern progress,
    namely neo-liberal globalization.
  • In effect development was seen as being less a
    product of nation-state initiatives ( although
    this is still hotly being debated), and more due
    to the effects of integration into the world
    economy, or world system, primarily through open
    market processes. The primary institution for
    driving this new consensus has been of course the
    World Trade organization. This began however with
    80s Structural adjustments

New Challenges and issues
  • The WTO under-pinned model of neo-liberal global
    development resurrects all the traditional issues
    raised in the critiques of development. For
  • The role of the market versus the state, or other
    institutional conditions, for effectively
    operating markets.
  • The problems of structural differences between
    states, for example because of the size or the
    structure of the economy
  • The problems of markets not being optimal because
    of the absence of the perfectly competitive
    conditions for utility and profit
    maximization. Consider here, market concentration
    and power, informational asymmetries, and the
    role of conflict and inequity in shaping possible
    market outcomes and opportunities and
  • The role of agriculture in meeting the goals of
    sustainable human development. NB the basis for
    the repeated failure of the WTO Doha round

The more things change the more they remain the
  • More generally, while adding to the weight of
    criticism as to the effectiveness of the
    nation-state interventions versus market for
    ensuring global wellbeing, the WTO may also be
    criticized for, (as development studies
    practitioners were)
  • Essentializing developing countries peoples and
    problems by working with such crude categories as
    developed, developing and least developed, which
    ignore the issues of small size for example and
  • Promoting an unconditional belief in modern
    progress and the instrumental makeability of
    society ( again from the top down).

Challenges and Issues for the 21st Century
  • Can the UN and WTO mechanisms of global
    governance which both assume the inevitability of
    western models of development guide the world to
    new levels of prosperity and human well being?
  • What should one make of the Global good
    governance agenda promoted by the World Bank? Are
    corrupt nation states the harbinger of the demise
    of development?
  • What chances does the world have for redressing
    the pervasive crises of development that range
    from unprecedented levels of global inequalities,
    informalization and urbanization, to human
    insecurity ( in a conflict prone world) and
    environmental vulnerability.
  • (See Slides)
  • Can there be development by the people, of the
    people, for the people?

Class assignment
  • For the next session, the class will
  • Outline and debate the merits of the
    modernization paradigm, (its economic social and
    political propositions), in light of the
    challenges facing Caribbean small states.( And,
    of course, in light of your readings/research and