Developed and developing states have different views on the method and objectives of development; Developed states look to foster development as a means to: Open markets, Democratize, and to Promote all forms of human security Developing states seek development to promote: Their own competitiveness internationally and Appeal to constituents domestically.
The objectives and goals of development are constantly shifting; Each century sees a new measure of development Textiles to steel Steel to technology and Technology to services.
Measuring development is problematic, particularly in terms of economic development, Ex. China On the aggregate level it is considered quite powerful; However, at the individual level it is considered one of the least developed countries.
The UN’s Millennium Development Goals for 2015, focuses primarily on human and social issues. The human and social issues include an emphasis on: Poverty, Education, Gender equality, Child mortality, Maternal health, HIV/AIDs and other diseases, and Environmental stability.
As part of the efforts to address human and social goals, there is an international campaign to reduce the poorest countries’ debt burdens; Debt prevents these states from financially addressing human and social crisis such as: One example of international efforts has been the Live 8 concerts held in 2005.Live 8
G-8 leaders agreed at the 2005 Gleneagles meeting to forgive eighteen of the world’s poorest nations’ debts to the World Bank, the IMF, and the African Development Bank (AfDB) And to double the aid to Africa to $100 billion a year by 2010;
Civil society is defined as a politically active, issue- organized public; Internationally civil society comprises of NGOs, MNCs, and other non-state actors, Domestically civil society includes all kinds of groups other than government itself.
Modernization theories suggest that economic, political, and cultural conditions within states play a significant role in their development; Modernization theorists contend that LDCs will develop only by: Shedding their traditional social, political, and economic institutions in favor of The types of practices and institutions found in Western states.
The fundamental obstacle to development is traditional culture; Serves to block the societal transformations needed for rapid economic growth and democratization. Trade is seen as the engine of growth Modernization theorists call for free trade and open markets; LDCs, through trade and aid, can “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”
The process of modernity, leads to political, social, and economic problems that developing countries must address for development to continue. The trends most often affected are demographic transition and urbanization; the result of dropping death rates at a faster rate than dropping birthrates leads to rapid population growth, which in turn results in urbanization.
Modernization theory, however, generally views urbanization as an essential step in development and a modern economy; Though the transition is difficult for the individual, it is necessary as the city becomes the focus of the diffusion of new ideas, of science and technology, and social mobility.
Critics question whether earlier paths of development can be duplicated in developing states. Stress that traditional social and political institutions are difficult to change. Contend its Eurocentric (Western). The current international economic system is biased toward developed states.
Political development takes a more narrow view of development; Problematic considering a lack of consensus on which type of regime type is considered the most developed: Democracies; Soviet system of communism; “Asian values” promotion of order over rights; Islamic states. However, democratization can be used as a measure of political development because of its prevalence worldwide; rather than a normative view, this has been the trend worldwide.
The requirements for political development go beyond the normal trappings of democracy Political parties, A constitution, Separation of powers, Elections, And include the standard that political development has occurred when both political rights and civil liberties are present.
Theories of political development focusing on political culture suggest that political beliefs and values represent a social framework that is independent of institutions, economics, and other factors that explain political behavior.
Additional theories of political culture focus on patterns of: Individual orientation (behavioralism), Material interests and Social class (materialism).
Ronald Inglehart argues that there is a crucial link between economic development and democracy whereas Robert Putnam found that the development of civil society was more compelling than institutional, structural, and class-based explanations for democracy.
Finally, constructivists describe political cultural as a unified understanding and interpretation of politics among states’ elites; They suggest that political culture drives the process of development by informing elites’ decisions about which approaches will work best for them and their constituents.
Dependency theory rejects the premise that the source of underdevelopment is domestic in nature; Contends that the main reasons for development and underdevelopment may be found in the structure of the world economy, which is inherently biased against poor countries.
The disadvantaged position of the developing countries stems from its dependence on export of primary products, usually a single commodity such as coffee, cocoa, copper, or oil; Their economies are highly vulnerable to price fluctuations. The unequal terms of trade between developed and developing countries further impoverish the LDCs.
Modernization theorists suggest that MNCs promote development, and provide capital, technology, and training.
Dependency theorists contend that MNCs are exploitative, hinder development, and contribute to the widening gap between the rich and the poor states. They have three complaints against MNCs. MNCs avoid paying their share of taxes through accounting tricks. The technology that MNCs transfer to LDCs is often inappropriate for the region. MNCs do not bring capital into LDCs. In general, dependency theorists allege that MNCs can control and manipulate the production of primary commodities in developing countries, creating a neocolonial situation.
There are several critiques of dependency theory. It has been proven false by the LDCs that have managed to industrialize with the help of developed states. The plight of primary product exporters may not be as bad as originally claimed. They lay the blame for LDCs’ poverty squarely on the more developed countries, with little blame placed on factors within the developing country.
Import-Substitution Industrialization (ISI) is a strategy of economic isolation intended to encourage domestic production of goods traditionally imported; Accomplished via overvaluing the currency and erecting trade barriers to potentially competitive imports; ISI has not been very successful at either emancipating LDCs from economic dependence or providing a basis for long-term economic development.
Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) became the focus of the World Bank beginning in 1980 rather than an emphasis on development projects. SAPs were intended to lower LDCs governments’ debts by reducing their expenditures, opening their markets to investment and trade, and promoting exports. Although consistent with liberalization theory, SAPs failed to take into account domestic economic, social, and political concerns; in addition, SAPs fail to consider the environmental impact of their policies.
The World Bank and the IMF have created new ways to address the failures associated with SAPs; Have implemented “greener” policie Focused more on social programs and the elimination of poverty.
In searching for practical solutions, institutions and states are turning to two factors: technology and microfinance. Technology has created all kinds of opportunities for economic and political development.
Microfinance represents a new financing practice that promotes development from the bottom up. Banks and other financial institutions make small loans (mostly to women) who want to start or sustain small businesses; Focuses the ideas of development on the poorest of the poor rather than the elite within a society.
The issue of corruption in developing states must be addressed in any discussion of development (economic and political); it is conventional wisdom that corruption stifles development. Corruption is institutionalized and socialized but always comes down to the individual. Corruption, like development, spans economics, politics, security, and human welfare; Most institutions focus on promoting good governance and seek to reward steps taken toward this absence of corruption.
Development is difficult on several fronts; It is complicated by different agendas and priorities resulting in different approaches.