Meanings of development
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Meanings of “Development”. “Essentially contested concept” “Development” is a political process Definition of the process is political Politics of development are normative Different interests and values impose preferences on definition, content, and direction of development strategies.

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Meanings of development l.jpg
Meanings of “Development”

  • “Essentially contested concept”

  • “Development” is a political process

  • Definition of the process is political

  • Politics of development are normative

  • Different interests and values impose preferences on definition, content, and direction of development strategies


Development as historical progress l.jpg
Development as historical progress

  • Progressive unfolding of history

  • Steady, confident, and onward process arising from application of human intellect and energies in the systematic understanding and transformation of the world

  • Grounded in European experience

  • Improvement in material circumstances, scientific understanding, and human freedom, quality, and autonomy


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Development as exploitation of natural resources

  • Used to rationalize European colonialism

  • Opening up and exploiting natural resources of the colonies

  • Development brought to the “backward” colonies by the “advanced” colonial powers

  • Colonies lacked knowledge, energy, and capital

  • Unlock potential for the benefit of all, colonizer and colonized


Development as promotion of economic social and political advancement l.jpg
Development as promotion of economic, social, and political advancement

  • Planned public, private, or combined mobilization of resources and technology to promote economic growth and social and political progress

  • Strategies for capitalist and non-capitalist development


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Development as a condition advancement

  • Stage or level of socioeconomic and political achievement

  • Ranked on a continuum, along a path leading to end-state or condition

  • Set of defining economic, social, and political characteristics

    • industrial or post-industrial economy (capitalist or socialist)

    • income and material welfare

    • greater cultural homogeneity and social equality

    • secular political system

    • high levels of public participation


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Development as a process advancement

  • Progressive (improving) change

  • Relative concept; no set of universal criteria

  • Promotion and institutionalization of capacity for constant adjustment, adaptation, and change

  • “Progress” is contentious and relative

  • Requires criteria and measurements to measure change

  • Selection is political and normative


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Development as economic growth advancement

  • Continues today in almost every country and policy-makers everywhere seek to promote it

  • Annual increases in GNP or income per capita

  • Result of intensification of productive effort and a transformation of methods and techniques in agriculture and/or industry, resulting in increased productivity

  • How benefits of growth are distributed

  • Social, political, and/or environmental costs


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Development as structural change advancement

  • Shift in structure of economy and output from primarily agricultural to primarily industrial, i.e., industrialization

  • Changing share contributed to GDP by agriculture, industry, and services, and by number of people working in different sectors

  • Shift from primarily rural and agricultural economy to primarily urban society and industrial economy


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Development as modernization advancement

  • Human societies develop from simple forms of traditionalism to complex expressions of modernity

  • Embodies condition and process approaches, with “traditional” society the starting point and “modern” society, “modernity,” the destination

  • Process moving societies through transition from one condition to the other


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Marxism and development as an increase in the forces of production

  • Economic growth, structural change, and progress toward an end-point called communism

  • Tribal  Asiatic and ancient  feudalism  capitalism  socialism

  • Process of progressive and revolutionary change

  • Capitalist or bourgeois stage represented most developed because of its creation of productive forces

  • Socialism most advanced mode of production in progressive development of human societies

  • Grounded in secular, rationalist, and materialist conception of modernization as basis for socialism


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Post-war meanings of development production

  • Growth, modernization, and structural change dominant orthodoxies

  • Little concern with human development or social development, or development as social justice

  • Commitment to growth reflected in development views of IMF, World Bank, and UN


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Development as social development production

  • Improvements in education, health care, income distribution, socioeconomic and gender equality, and rural welfare

  • Nationalization of major assets, redistribution of wealth (land reform), and popular participation in decision-making about means and ends of development

  • Social development and social justice for all

  • Growing inequalities within “developing” societies and between them and industrial societies needed to be addressed

  • IMF, World Bank, and UN needed reform if effective redistribution of resources in favor of third world countries was to occur

  • Political and economic reform necessary to alter pro-western bias of prevailing international economic regime

  • Policies needed to protect and promote third world interests in commodity prices, trade, and technology transfer


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Development as satisfaction of basic human needs production

  • Need for self-determination, self-reliance, political freedom and security, participation in decision-making, national and cultural identity, and a sense of purpose in life and work

    • basic goods for family consumption (food, clothing, housing)

    • basic services (education, water, health care, transport)

    • participation in decision-making

    • fulfillment of basic human rights

    • productive employment

  • Redistribution of income, assets, and power

  • Rapid economic growth

  • Required appropriate political action through the state


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Development as human development production

  • Social development, redistribution, and basic human needs

  • Fundamental meaning and purpose of development was to improve conditions

  • How growth translates or fails to translate into human development

  • Process of expanding human choices by enabling people to enjoy long, healthy, and creative lives

    • Long and healthy life

    • Education

    • Access to resources

    • Political, social, and economic freedom

  • HDI combines indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment, and income

  • UNDP has argued level of human development has been lower and slower in many countries than it could be or ought to be given their GDP per capita


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Development as freedom production

  • Primary end and principal means of development

  • Major sources of unfreedom -- poverty, tyranny, poor economic opportunities, systematic social deprivation, neglect of public facilities, and intolerance or repressive states

  • Five categories of freedom

    • Political freedoms enable people to shape government, government policy, maintain accountability

    • Economic facilities, opportunities for individuals to use resources for consumption, production, or exchange

    • Social opportunities, arrangement societies make for health care and education

    • Transparency guarantees, social and public trust achieved through clear disclosure to limit corruption and graft

    • Protective security, institutional safety net that prevents people being reduced to abject poverty and starvation

  • State and society have roles in strengthening and safeguarding human capabilities for development


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Sustainable development production

  • Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987)

  • Promote and maintain economic growth that reflects sustainability, equity, social justice and security

  • Protect resource base

  • Sustainable level of population

  • Adapt and re-orient technology to account for environmental impact

  • Ensure environmental issues are integral to policy-making and enhance international relations and cooperation


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Development as dependency production

  • Assumption of modernizers this could or would happen in the “developing” world in the same way it happened in the West is naïve at best

  • Foreign aid, foreign investment, and international trade have not promoted autonomous capitalist development

  • Condition of dependency in an increasingly global economy dominated by the “developed” nations and their multinational corporations


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Development as a discourse of domination production

  • Ideas and practices of ”development” (conveyed through aid, trade, projects, programs, and investment) represent cultural invasion that imposes western view of the world and inhibits creativity of invaded by curbing their expression

  • Western “knowledge” about development connected with western economic and political power (expressed through banks, companies, government agencies, and international institutions)

  • Right of people in third world to a voice, the right to be, and to assume direction of their destiny

  • Development discourse rooted in rise of West, in history of capitalism, in modernity, and globalization of western state institutions, disciplines, cultures, and mechanisms of exploitation

  • New ways of using, producing, and distributing resources, new conceptions and practices of development, must come from local initiatives, ideas and communities of grass-roots organizations and new social movements

  • Indigenous and participatory forms of activity define a particular kind of development and give expression to forms of resistance to poverty, injustice, and inequality, and to self-help at the local level


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Concluding remarks production

  • Every concept of “development” flows from some political context or purpose, or has been a response to political circumstances, or an integral part of an attempt to transform such circumstances

  • Implies a set of political implications for policy and practice

  • Politics and “development” are inseparable, both in concept and practice

  • Whenever and wherever “development” has been pursued it has always enhanced the interests of some at the cost of others