INTRODUCTION TO DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
"Nature knows no pause in progress and development" (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
The field of development studies (aka international or comparative development studies) has, unfortunately, always been something of a stepchild as an academic discipline since its emergence in the late twentieth century. It is perhaps best characterized as a multi-disciplinary field where one will find most scholarly contributions come from the fields of anthropology, criminology, demography, ecology, economics, geography, history, international relations, philosophy, political science, public management, and sociology. Other interdisciplinary or emerging fields that have made their mark include area studies, cultural studies, epidemiology, ethnic studies, migration studies, pedagogy, postcolonialism, and women's studies. Note: it may be an arcane piece of academic trivia, but a "multi-" disciplinary field denotes one where the practitioners never really depart from their "home" discipline, as opposed to "inter-" or "trans-" disciplinary efforts where a common base or synthesis is sought. Therefore, it might be more accurate to refer to practitioners as belonging to a loosely-knit community rather than a "field." While it would be nice to provide a crystal-clear definition of development studies, there is none that quality, so suffice it to say that development studies regards the study of change in developing countries.
There are some who would argue with this simple definition, saying instead the field ought to be concerned with providing a "voice" to those in poverty around the world, but this is methodology, not theory, and there's a whole lot more to development studies than understanding poverty. For example, there's the much more important concept of "penury" which refers to how many people die from poverty or destitution (the World Bank defines this as less than $1.25 per day, and it afflicts one billion people). To prevent starvation (the most common cause of penury), there are those who say the field ought to be focused upon agrarianism (back-to-the-land, eco-, or "green" movements) and indeed, this makes sense if only because most developing countries tend to be agricultural countries, but also because it affords inclusion of the natural sciences into the field. Again, it may seem like arcane academic trivia, but the field of development studies really needs to separate itself from fields such as international relations and comparative politics. The problem is that any serious study of it is found in only a few academic (mostly political science) programs. And, development studies is not usually found in the teaching curriculum of undergraduate institutions, but instead at the graduate level, or more frequently, within some non-teaching, university-affiliated center or institute. It is said to be a discipline which originated in Great Britain as a leftover from the old field of colonial economics (how to run a colony, which is a subject matter that the modern field of development economics claims no association with). Development economics is mostly a hard-core, quantitative enterprise, and development studies is mostly a theoretical, soul-searching enterprise. Students educated in development studies are vastly needed for jobs in IGOs, NGOs, the World Bank, private sector consultancy and aid firms, journalism, and research centers.
It is difficult to pinpoint the precise date when exactly the idea of development studies emerged. Military historians tend to think it all started with the Marshall Plan in 1947 when the U.S. led the way for European postwar recovery. Other historians sometimes pinpoint the date to President Truman's inauguration speech of 1949 when he advocated a new social science be created to apply knowledge and skill to relieve the suffering of people. Others often pinpoint the date to 1961 when President Kennedy initiated the Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps. Indeed, journals of development studies started appearing in the 1960s and 70s. However, most scholars will admit that "development science" as a science only emerged in the mid-1990s, despite some notable economists who jump-started the field of development economics (quantitatively and qualitatively) as far back as the 1950s. Various development theories have also been around since the 1950s, and since then, two major paradigms have emerged (Hunt 1989). It would not be inaccurate to characterize these paradigms as locked in mortal combat, making development studies one of the most intellectually vibrant and contentious fields today. Although greatly simplified, the two major paradigms are explained below:
Two Major Paradigms in Development Studies
(Parsons 1951; Rostow 1952; Almond 1970; Bernstein 1971; Higgot 1980; Charlton & Andras 2003)
|The idea that lesser developed countries should follow the models of developed countries in terms of politics, economies, and values. Comparative studies should look at differences between "traditional" and "modern" societies and attempt to define the policy requirements for moving societies from one condition to the other; e.g., systems theory, nation-building, democracy promotion, counterinsurgency studies.|
(Prebisch 1959; Galtung 1971; Wallerstein 1974; Duvall 1978; Ritzer 2007)
|The idea that the internationalization of capitalism intensifies the unequal and ongoing pattern of dependency by Third World nations on First World obsolete technology, useless commodities, and media control; e.g., McDonaldization, Cocacolonization, and Starbuckization being types of neocolonialism and structural imperialism. Not all dependency theorists are Marxists, but many clearly are. Development assistance is usually seen as exploitative, paternalistic, and coercive.|
THE REINVENTION OF DEVELOPMENT
For the most part, the field of development studies has yet to accomplish two central tasks: (1) an adequate conceptualization of the development process; and (2) the development of tools which practitioners could use for implementation. These are serious deficiencies, but they do not make the field worthless. Indeed, "development" is a difficult socio-spatial dynamic process to conceptualize (akin to the problem of trying to define evolution), and implementation involves more than just overcoming technical problems. It is probably correct to say the field is disjointed, or as Peet & Hartwick (1999) put it, "in desperate need of reinvention." Reinvention is needed because many (mostly Western) ideas about development have alienated many in the developing or lesser developed countries (LDC). There is a long history of Third World resentment toward Western developmentalism chronicled by the likes of Sachs (1992), Escobar (1994), and Rahnema & Bawtree (1997).
Escobar (1994) explains the resentment best. Pre-1940 colonial thinking was that economic development was pointless because the "native" capacity for science and technology (the basis for economic development) was nil. The best that could be hoped for was some enlightenment by being around the colonizer (the white man). Over time (circa 1950), colonial concern began to center around various "social interventions" (or philanthropic work) aimed at improving native habits of association, hygiene, morality, and child-rearing. Soon (circa 1960), the social problems of LDC became objects of public management, by commissions and advisors (lots of them), all determined to root out the true causes scientifically and anxiously in accordance with the implementation of comprehensive social planning. When such planning failed (as it often did), the commissions and advisors would simply report "if only the people were more committed to helping themselves." Failure was caused, not in small part, by the resentment of people toward the West's messianic quest for salvation and desire to make LDC a "shining example" of how more civilized people could bring progress toward the uncivilized. Easterly (2006) echoes this by criticizing Western developmentalism for being driven by The White Man's Burden -- a kind of utopian, social engineering where Western planners think they know all the answers. Easterly (2002) also chronicles the rise and fall of various "fads" in development policies.
Problem is, the field of development studies still hasn't stopped "blaming the victim." Take, for example, Calderisi's book (2007), which blames the problems of Africa on Africans themselves. Calderisi (2007) says it isn't the legacy of colonialism, or the supposed inequities of globalization and world trade, that are to blame for Africa's problems. Africa's problems, he says, are largely of its own making, the product of dictatorial, kleptocratic governments; rampant corruption; bad economic choices, discouragement of private investment; strangulation of new business with red tape; and a cultural fatalism that inures Africans to continual misery. It's not just Africa. Lots of nations lack of capacity for anything other than a drug economy and shooting at ships on the high seas or harming another nation's diplomats. The problem is not so much bias toward such countries, but getting over the outrage at the things they do and finding some positive way to harness the power of their inevitable conflicts.
Collier (2007) says that there are about 50 nations (fragile states) in danger of becoming "failed states" whose problems defy traditional approaches to development. They are caught up in endless cycles of civil war, dependence on the extraction and export of natural resources, and bad governance. Aid is often ineffective, and globalization actually makes matters worse, driving development to more stable nations where there's at least a chance of success. If the bottom billion are to be helped, it's going to take preferential trade policies on behalf of the developed nations, new international laws against corruption and bad governance, and, yes, even carefully calibrated military interventions.
Slaughter (2004) and Fukuyama (2006) both note that the problem may not entirely be "state failure" on the part of developing countries, but "organizational failure" on the part of developed countries. There does not exist any international organization nor American institution which is really set up all that well for democracy promotion. In fact, it may not even be possible to export democracy because there are too many problematic parts in the package that require liberal "breakthroughs" on the part of the receiving culture. Copying superficial aspects of democracy, like election procedures, typical produces counterproductive results (Zakaria 2003). In today's world, however, regulators have replaced diplomats and statesmen. Bankers, securities commissioners, and insurance supervisors, for example, are all frequent visitors to developing countries. Their interests lie in establishing global financial stability, and as many scholars have pointed out (e.g., Keohane and Nye 1974), such visitors and the transgovernmental networks they represent do not answer to any treaty, any international law, or any recognition of sovereignty. The closest thing that exists to a new world order is "cowboy capitalism" (Gersemann 2004) on the loose. Diplomats, ministers, and heads of state, for their part, tend to meet together like a club at G8 summits and accomplish little more than photo opportunities.
Starting in the 1950s and for many years thereafter, development economists believed in the Harrod-Domar growth model, which held that developing countries only need investment capital to succeed. Hence, the American approach to international development mimicked the likes of Tennessee Valley Authority initiatives which worked so well in the U.S. Therefore, American and multilateral agencies like the World Bank funded all kinds of "big projects" overseas -- e.g., dams, roads, electricity, and other large engineering projects. Private groups like the Ford Foundation (and Carnegie and Rockefeller) helped out. Some of the developing countries so assisted, paradoxically became dictatorships, Pakistan being a notable example. By the 1970s, there was considerable disillusionment with this model, and the Solow growth model became popular, which added a component of labor productivity by educating a workforce to promote steady-state development. One of the axioms of economics is that capital always accumulates faster than people are born, so there needs to be a plan for human resource management (workers in the pipeline), otherwise, income inequality results from the existing workforce become outdated in skills. Often, this kind of planning involves empowerment of women into the workforce, and this represents a significant obstacle to development in many countries, mostly Islamic ones. There is also a need for public health management, as a number of people in developing countries suffer from diseases and/or disabilities that prevent them from being able to work. In fact, the U.N. estimates 80% of all disabled people live in developing countries.
The conservative years of the 1980s, with the Reagan and Thatcher administrations, brought policies of economic orthodoxy and free trade to the agenda. Economic planning fell out of favor, and in its place, structural adjustment loans became popular. These are loans to developing countries from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank. Conditions are attached so that the money is spent on the right things, such as privatization of industry, devaluation of overvalued currency, and reducing trade barriers. Money for debt relief requires a developing country to file a strategy for poverty reduction. Other conditions sometimes involve austerity measures and the requirement for balanced budgets. Under austerity measures, a nation is forced to cut social services and a short-term standard of living decline takes place until economic conditions improve and fiscal balance is restored. A number of critics have long argued that the Third World's dependence upon an endless series of structural adjustment loans amounts to nothing less than blackmail -- since poor nations often have no choice but to comply (Chossudovsky 2003; Stiglitz 2003). Since 2002, however, structural adjustment policies have been tied to accomplishment of the U.N.'s eight Millennium Goals rather than the ten conditions (or "right things") of the Washington Consensus -- a major source of anti-globalization sentiment in that the IMF and World Bank were seen as "stooges" of an American foreign policy to make the world more profitable for American businesses.
The Millennium Development Goals
|1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
By the mid-1990s, new models for thinking about development policies emerged, the most notable ones being part of the so-called "new institutionalism" movement. New institutionalism basically argues that in order for any incorruptible (durable) economic progress to take place, there first of all has to be some credible and legitimate institutions which shape public values. Some key institutions are property rights, healthcare, mental health clinics, a civil service system, and an effective criminal justice system (aka rule of law), but there are other "institutions" which in a broad sense ought to be construed as those laws, rules, and regulations that shape the behavior of individuals, especially their economic behavior. New institutionalism is associated with the free market philosophy of an economist named Douglass North (1990) as well as Weberian sociologists like Powell & DiMaggio (1991). Such institutions must be in place before a society can move from an amorphous longing for freedom to a well-functioning, consolidated democratic political system with a modern economy (Fukuyama 2006). A key concept in new institutionalism is path dependency, which holds that every society faces critical junctures where actors make contingent choices that set the society on a specific trajectory of institutional development that is often difficult to reverse. Another theoretical centerpiece is the concept of logic, a micro-macro bridging concept defined as those cultural beliefs and rules that structure cognition and decision-making at the individual level, and at the organization level, focus the attention of decision-makers on a delimited set of issues and solutions, leading to logic-consistent decisions (Hirsch & Lounsbury (1997). Scholars from many fields are currently finding new institutionalism a fruitful area in which to develop and test theories. However, it is just as important to not neglect "old" institutions such as property rights. It is impossible for a country to develop without reliable (and therefore tradeable) definitions of property. Poor people often own property that could support a loan and could support a business, but it is worthless as collateral if they cannot prove they own it and if there are no honest judges to defend the mortgagor from an unscrupulous mortgagee.
THE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY BUREAUCRACY
Although the World Bank is the planet's biggest development institution, the lead agency involved in international development on behalf of the United States is USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development). Its mission is to promote peace and stability by fostering economic growth, protect human health, provide emergency humanitarian assistance, increase literacy, and enhance democracy in developing countries. Its goals are to promote transformational development, strengthen fragile states, provide humanitarian relief, support U.S. geostrategic interests, and mitigate global and transnational problems. The origins of USAID go back to the end of World War II, specifically to June 5, 1947 when Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a commencement address at Harvard advocating the U.S. use its power and wealth to nurse a world devastated by war back to health. This speech gave rise to what became known as the Marshall Plan and formed the historical foundation for USAID (although the agency was not officially established until 1961 by executive order of President John F. Kennedy). Just as with the military's Nine Principles of War, USAID has Nine Principles of Reconstruction and Development, explained in detail as follows:
Ownership -- building on the leadership, participation, and commitment of a country and its people. It is essential that the country’s people view development as belonging to them and not the donor community.
Capacity Building -- strengthening local institutions, transferring technical skills, and promoting appropriate policies. This means ensuring that the country's key government positions are staffed by competent, qualified people. For example, it is not enough to build universities and educate the country’s population. There must be opportunities for university graduates to become future political and business leaders.
Sustainability -- designing programs which ensure the impact endures. A good balance should be sought between economic, social, and political development. For example, building electricity or water plants should take into consideration the replenishment of supply, trained maintenance staff, and ecological impact.
Selectivity -- allocating resources based on need, local commitment, and foreign policy interests. In some select situations, it is best to concentrate resources at the best place and time.
Assessment -- conducting careful research and adopting best practices. On-ground assessment ought to be made of the country's absorptive capacity to receive large amounts of assistance. Assessing lawlessness, for example, requires finding out if any warlords or organized crime groups are going to skim the money.
Results -- achieving defined, measurable goals and strategically focused objectives. Specific and meaningful benchmarks and metrics of effectiveness should be used.
Partnership -- collaborating with regions, communities, donors, non-profit organizations, the private sector, international organizations, and universities. For example, one of the first things which is usually done in a post-conflict stability operation is to set up a public radio station which highlights the various partners.
Flexibility -- USAID commanders (called "mission directors") have enormous flexibility to change plans on a moment's notice, and often do so, in response to changing circumstances and opportunities.
Accountability -- USAID seldom provides up-front money to untested or unvetted groups or individuals unless there are safeguards against cost overruns, financial abuse, and contractor mismanagement. Other anti-corruption measures are incorporated into procurement guidelines.
In principle, development work seems easy. However, the actual work suffers from serious PROBLEMS, contradictions, and paradoxes. An example of a contradiction is the Selectivity principle which sometimes justifies "showcase" projects which don't do anybody any good. The best statement about problems which can be said is bureaucracies often don't work in Third World countries. The bureaucracy-unfriendly problem occurs whether one is trying to set up an indigenous bureaucracy or importing a bureaucratic model. Regarding the latter, what usually happens when aid bureaucrats are sent in is that built-in incentives force these bureaucrats to satisfy the rich countries doing the funding instead of actually helping the average, poor Joe on the street. Many aid agency workers are hard-working and well-intentioned, but their rewards for good work come from filling out grand, glowing, self-serving reports that feed the egos of superiors back home. The problem is even worse when the civil-military interagency problem is considered. In such cases, interagency team management is expected (see PDD 56 for Complex Contingency Operations), but the agencies expected to cooperate have significant differences in culture, personalities, and training (see the anonymous Defense is from Mars, State is from Venus). Interestingly enough, the U.S. State Department's blog, Dipnote, was launched in late September, 2007, and promises to be a place where the role of State in international development will be discussed.
The two major international organizations involved in development work are the World Bank and the IMF. Both are Bretton Woods institutions, which means the idea for them emerged in 1945 at a U.N. conference (i.e., the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference) held at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. 45 different nations attended the conference, and the idea was to speed up post-war reconstruction, aid political stability, and foster peace by establishing programs for global development. Space does not permit an extended discussion of the history or operations of these organizations, so please allow the following brief descriptions to suffice, with the links to each organization's website being your best bet for information:
The World Bank and IMF
|World Bank -- www.worldbank.org -- 185 nations contribute to it, and it provides low-interest loans, interest-free credit and grants to developing countries for education, health, infrastructure, communications and many other purposes. It is headquartered in Washington DC, and employs about 10,000 people, about 30% of which work in country offices. The Bank also provides analytical and advisory services for understanding the economic situation of each country, identifying a country’s priorities and tailoring its efforts correspondingly. Since it began, the World Bank has run almost 12,000 projects in 172 countries, but in recent years, fewer nations have needed the money and expertise the Bank has to offer.|
|International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- www.imf.org -- 185 nations contribute to it, and it provides interest-only loans to countries to help ease balance of payments adjustments, or the system by which countries set their currency exchange rate, which by international agreement requires they not "peg" their currency at rates which cause "fundamental disequilibrium" in the overall balance of payments for the global economy. The IMF also provides technical assistance and training for bank management, tax and customs policies, social safety nets, and management of debt.|
The other notable international organization devoted to development is the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). It is best thought of as a network of offices around the world which monitor progress toward the U.N.'s Millennium Goals, but they are headquartered in New York and have been publishing analytical reports since 2004, and annually, they rank the world's nations on the Human Development Index (an authoritative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, and standard of living) and the world's developing nations on the Human Poverty Index (a measure of infant mortality, illiteracy, long-term unemployment, and disposable income). In recent years, they have taken an interest in gender equity. Their parent organization is the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations which, in a kind of way, monitors and applies sanctions for human rights violations. However, the head of UNDP is the third highest-ranking official at the U.N. UNDP also provides expert advice, training, and grant support to developing countries. The UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from developed nations, and the U.S. is a large, but not the largest donor (Note: since its creation in 1945, the United States has been the world's biggest contributor to the United Nations, but in recent years, the U.S. has only been contributing 22% of the UN's regular budget). UNDP's results-oriented, policy implementation unit is a relatively new organization called the UNDG (United Nations Development Group) which uses country teams to report on progress made by other U.N. units and programs. One hesitates to mention this, but UNDP has, from time to time, been involved in scandal, the most recent one being the "dollars-for-dictators" scandal of 2007 when it funneled money to North Korea at the same time the international community was putting pressure on that country. UNDP was also involved in the more infamous Iraq "oil-for-food" scandal of 2003, the same year that the U.N. Headquarters in Baghdad was bombed.
In recent years, the concept of sustainable development has become popular. In 1987, a U.N. report (the Brundtland Report) defined it as "development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Sustainability means something viable, ongoing, and capable of being maintained indefinitely, and the areas of development that the concept is concerned with include economic, social, political, and environmental. Each of these is conceived as a reinforcing pillar of the other, and explained below:
economic development -- a business is sustainable if its practices call for the use of renewable resources and it holds itself accountable for the environmental and human rights impacts of its activities. Auditing to ISO standards is one way of accomplishing this. Other methods include appropriate waste disposal and corporate social responsibility strategies, a typical strategy being the one called "triple bottom line" which attempts to get businesses to conduct full cost accounting for "people, planet, and profit."
social development -- sustainability at this level involves the use of public management to make policy decisions which improve quality of life and implement progressive elements of a civil society. Cultural diversity is one way of accomplishing this, as are equitable methods of dealing with population problems.
political development -- sustainability at this level involves the use of good governance to create an engaged citizenry and the efficient use of disaster management to protect that citizenry from risk and harm. Compliance with international law is one way of accomplishing this, as are provisions for enhancing information to citizens for decision making and participation.
environmental development -- sustainability at this level involves the use of land management to minimize environmental degradation, and to halt and reverse any deterioration processes in the physical environment. Setting up a system of ecosystem metrics is one way of accomplishing this, as are efforts at recycling, halting deforestation, and controlling overexploitation of natural resources.
The way these pillars of sustainable development are implemented is through two types of policy. Vertical policy integration ensures that there is compliance at all levels of government (e.g., from national to regional to local). Horizontal policy integration ensures that the different agencies or ministries within a country are all integrated, coordinated, or "on the same page" so that no one sector is being over-sustained or under-sustained. In recent years, there has grown an interest in devising various metrics or benchmarks for sustainable development. These metrics range from quantitative equations like the "Sustainability Index" to the more graphical, map-oriented "Sustainability Dashboard." Examples of these and other metrics are available via the Wikipedia Entry on Sustainability which also explains the conceptual focus on outcomes. Paul Hawken (1999) has most notably been in the forefront of the outcomes movement as the inventor of such terms as ecological footprint and triple bottom line.
Two Important Standards for Sustainable Development
|ecological footprint||The measurement of human demand on Earth's resources based on the planet's ecological capacity to regenerate them. It is simultaneously an estimate of biologically viable land and sea area as well as an estimate how many planet Earths it would take to support humanity if everybody lived a given lifestyle. It is measured in global hectares (gha) per capita, and used to argue that many current lifestyles are not sustainable, such as the footprint for a typical United States lifestyle which is 9.6 gha (as opposed to China's 1.6 gha). You can find out any nation's footprint as well as your own at www.footprintstandards.org.|
|triple bottom line||The idea that businesses can do business in a sustainable fashion by focusing upon solid profit, environmental quality, and improved human welfare. It holds that businesses should divest from waste dumping and child labor (money alone not being the driving factor). It holds that if businesses harm people, they will sue, boycott, make life miserable, and drive away profit. It is part of the official platform of Green Parties who press for legal liability reform such as greater wrongful death awards for victims of corporate crime based on a value of life calculation of 15 to 1; this being the amount that people in developed nations can be said to benefit from the death of every exploited worker in a developing nation.|
What is "sustainable" may vary from country to country, depending upon moral values toward environmental preservation and conservation of natural capital. Different cultures have different attitudes of "respect" or "disrespect" toward the environment (e.g., plants, forests, woods). One person's "weed" may be another person's "flower." However, sustainability is not just about ethics, philanthropy, or socially responsible business. Sustainability thinking involves, at base, a desire to achieve human and ecosystem longevity along with a greater sense of well-being and connectedness. The notion of "well-being" is associated with the sociological or criminal justice concept of Quality of Life, which is the idea that not only can people be relatively free from pain and disease, but they can be free from worry, stress, and other negative emotional states. In the criminal justice context, improved quality of life is associated with the community policing concepts of "disorder" and "incivility" which are terms describing how kind and polite people are to one another, as well as with the concept of "victimless crime" which refers to how much people are harming themselves thru drug use, etc. In many ways, sustainability is about becoming more "civilized" and continually improving at it.
SUCCESSES AND DISAPPOINTMENTS
Development, growth, and modernization have a long way to go, but there have been some dramatic successes, most notably among the so-called "Asian Tigers" of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Especially among the first four of these, also known as Asia's "Four Little Dragons," the economies of these societies have sustained durable growth and development for so long now that they are at, or nearly at, the status of fully developed nations. These countries achieved their success primarily by boosting exports to developed countries, but they also boosted investment in education (particularly higher education), improved labor-management relations (the Japan model), improved consumer savings rates, and engaged in responsible land reform so that agricultural workers would not become disgruntled. The Asian Tigers are no longer places of cheap labor; the manufacturing giants of India and China are. Success, according to Schoenbaum (2006), comes from the following policies:
fiscal policy stability - keeping budget deficits low; avoiding inflation; creating stable climate for business
responsible monetary policy - avoiding the printing of money to fund deficits
building human capital - through education and health care
welcoming international investment - through ideas and technology
decreasing costly subsidy programs - and privatizing public sector enterprises
reforming tax policies - through streamlined processes
investing in infrastructure - seaports, transport, communications, and electric power
encouraging saving - at the personal level
openness to international markets and trade - developing countries provide about 30% overall
Disappointments have included nations like North Korea and Myanmar (Burma), which have been the least dynamic in terms of integrating any free market principles into their economies. One of the more general disappointments in development studies overall is the phenomena called marginalization, which refers to when increases occur in the size of the middle and upper classes but the poor actually become more poor. The tragedy of this phenomena is that it involves increases in absolute, not relative poverty. This condition seems to occur with some recurrent frequency where there are low school enrollments and high birthrates. In addition to poverty itself, many of the world's developing nations face a huge debt problem, where they are forced to pay billions of dollars annually. Debt relief is a controversial subject, and one which has implications for developed nations as well (e.g., subprime mortgages, credit card and school loan debt), but there seems to be little hope for any kind of debt forgiveness scheme like the Vatican keeps advocating. In the meantime, it can only be hoped that development experts will eventually hit upon the right mix of principles, policies, and programs that bring some measure of well-being to all the world.
INTERCONNECTED WE PROSPER
Millions of people are pulled out of poverty every year, and this is cause for global celebration. At no other time in human history has it ever been more possible to win the war on global poverty, and we owe it all to global inter-connectedness. Not just goods and services cross borders but information and ideas now flow across borders freely and constantly. The Internet was a big, almost magical boost for this, but it is also a big source of misinformation and fear-mongering. It cannot be proven, for example, that increased demand among developing nations is the cause of increased (gas and food) prices in developed nations. There is no reason to fear the global rise of living standards. It is not a zero-sum game, and Western civilization will NOT fall. Certainly, there will be increased competition, and there are natural limits to certain commodities. But, there are no limits on human ingenuity, and few downsides to an increasingly sophisticated and educated, global middle class. The greatest challenge in the developed world today may very well involve coming to grips with the social justice implications of whether we should deny others a chance at prosperity because it may challenge our own comfort. Incredible opportunities await for creating wealth and to do so in a less harmful and more beneficial fashion.
A Syllabus for a Course in Development Studies (pdf)
Appropedia Wiki on Sustainable Development
Center for Global Development
Development Studies Association
Development Studies Network
Institute of Development Studies
Progress in Development (online journal)
Queen's Univ. Dept. of Global Development Studies
Norwegian Univ. Dept. of Environment/Development Studies
The Nature of Development Studies (pdf)
The Nine Principles of Reconstruction and Development
Triple Bottom Line: A Business Metaphor for a Social Construct (pdf)
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
USAID Center for Democracy and Good Governance
U.S. State Department Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization
Univ. of Birmingham's International Development Dept.
Univ. of Cambridge Dept. of Development Studies
Univ. of E. Anglia Dept. of Development Studies
Univ. of Ghana School of Development Studies
Univ. of London's Dept. of Development Studies
Univ. of Oxford's Dept. of Development Studies
Wikipedia Entry on International Development
World Bank Report on the Wealth of Nations (pdf)
World Institute for Development Economics Research
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Last updated: October 22, 2013
Not an official webpage of APSU, copyright restrictions apply, see Megalinks in Criminal Justice
O'Connor, T. (2013). "Introduction to Development Studies," MegaLinks in Criminal Justice. Retrieved from http://www.drtomoconnor.com/2010/2010lect04b.htm.