Class Readings POLB90
The Challenge of Third World Development- Howard Handelman
No agreement on a collective name for the approximately 150 countries that constitute the developing world
o First “underdeveloped”
This suggest backwardness
o Second “Developing”
Too much optimism about country prospects
o “Third World”
Has both the virtue and defect of being fuzzy
They fall under this banner not because of any specific quality but because they are not members
of either the First or Second World
o These countries however differ considerably
Third world Commonalities
All suffer from some aspects of political, economic, or social underdevelopment
o While some third world countries are underdeveloped in all major aspects of modernization, others are far more
advanced in some aspects of development then others.
Poverty is the most salient characteristic of developing countries.
National level: GDP per capita, highly unequal income distribution, poor infrastructure, limited use of modern technology,
low consumption of energy.
Grassroots level: economic underdevelopment connotes widespread scarcity, substantial unemployment, substandard
housing, poor health conditions, and inadequate nutrition.
o The data illustrates both the tremendous gap between most first and Third world countries.
However, Mexicans and Brazilians earn about eight times more than the average Nigerian or Ethiopian.
While less than 2% of Singapore’s population and less than 6% of Mexicans die before the age of 40, more
than one-third of all Nigerians and Ethiopians die young.
There is a correlation between Third World poverty and poor social conditions
If LDC’s are to modernize and develop in all aspects, they must extend to improve their educational systems.
o An educated workforce contributes to higher labor productivity, expands mass political participation and
maintenance of a democratic government.
Government policies significantly affect the extent to which economic growth produces social development
o Collecting taxes, avoiding corruption, allocating a larger share of its public spending to health care, sanitation and
Political development involves the creation of specialized and differentiated government institutions that effectively carry
out necessary functions.
o Developed governments must be responsive to a broad segment of society and respect the populations
fundamental freedoms and rights
Introduction: Moving from MDGs to GDGs- David Hulme and Rorden Wilkinson
Today the world has enough food for everyone to be fed, and the resources and technology to provide basic services-primary
education, health services and even social assistance are available. Class Readings POLB90
The problem is that our world is organized in such a way that around 1.5 to 2.5 billion people (depending on how you define
poverty) have little or no access to the most basic of human needs.
In a world of unprecedented affluence, why had it taken so long for leaders to agree to meet the most basic needs of so many fellow
human beings living in extreme poverty?
While the MDGs spell out "what is to be achieved," they do not explain "why” so many people are poor, "what should be
done" and what policies ought to be pursued to eradicate poverty.
Upside to MDGs:
Raised awareness of mass poverty
Downside to MDGs:
Abrogated any focus on macroeconomic development
Neglected the role of employment in national and international strategies
The failure to place quantifiable and time- specific measures for goal 8
The key players in global poverty reduction are the national governments of the countries in which very poor people live.
The Passing of Traditional Society- Daniel Lerner
Daniel Lerner is one of the key proponents of the modernisation theory, which says that the rest of the world should follow the
Western concept of modernity to achieve development.
Argues that modernization implies no ethnocentrism
o Western model of globalization exhibits characteristics that relevant everywhere
Middle Eastern modernizers would do well to study the historical sequence of the West.
Western society still provides the most developed model of societal attributes which Middle East
spokesmen continue to advocate as their own goal.
A problem with Middle Eastern modernization is its own ethnocentrism
Hatred sown by anticolonialism
Want modern institutions, but not modern ideologies, modern power but not modern purposes, modern wealth but not
wisdom, modern commodities but not modern cant.
The Mobile Personality: Empathy
Attached to this modernity is a distinctive personality. To be a modern individual, one must be able to empathise with others.
Lerner argues those who cannot see themselves in the shoes of others will not develop.
High empathic capacity is the predominant personal style only in modern society, which is distinctively industrial,
urban, literate and participant.
o Whereas the isolated communities of traditional society functioned well on the basis of a highly constrictive
personality, the interdependent sectors of modern society require widespread participation.
o People’s worldviews were limited to their physical horizons and their decisions involved other people in
o Empathy enabled the person to operate efficiently in the modern society which was constantly changing
Allowed the individual to internalize the process of modernization by not only being able to cope with
change, but also expecting and demanding it. Class Readings POLB90
The Mobile Multiplier: Mass media
The global network of mass media exposed individuals to new people, ideas and attitudes
o Helped accelerate the process of modernization
In the third world people could expand their empathy by exposure to mass media, which showed
them new places, behaviours and cultures,
Would help replace the structure of life, values and behaviours of traditional communities
with ones seen in modern western society.
The Change to Change: Modernization, Development and Politics - Samuel Huntington
‘’The primary problem of politics (in developing countries) is the lag of the development of political institutions behind social and
The focus on economic development has helped fuel the ongoing cycle of instability within these countries due to a lack of
focus on political development
o This plan was enshrined by nations who had always had a stable government
Huntington criticizes the modernization theory, arguing that its argument about economic change and development being the prime
factors responsible for the creation of stable, democratic political systems is flawed.
Focuses on other factors like urbanization, increased literacy, social mobilization, and economic growth.
o He stresses that those factors are not significantly related to political development; in fact a major part of his
argument is that those processes are related but distinct.
Economic development and Political development are two goals independent of each other
Huntington argues that order itself is a crucial objective in developing countries. The existence (or lack) of the order should not be
confused with the issue of the type of that order (both on political level - democratic, authoritarian, and on economic level -
socialist, free-market, etc.)
Huntington makes the argument that while modernity equals stability, modernization is actually a cause for instability, due
to urbanization, rising expectations due to literacy, education and the spread of media, etc.
o Social frustration leads to demands on the government and the expansion of political participation to enforce
Economic development increases economic inequality at the same time that social mobilization decreases the legitimacy of
that inequality. Both aspects of modernization produce political instability
o Uneven distribution of wealth in these poorer countries
The development of underdevelopment- Andre Gunder Frank
Argues that theoretical development policies follow a strictly European and North American viewpoint
Ignores the experience of those who were colonized
Our ignorance of the underdeveloped countries histories leads us to assume that their past and indeed their present
resembles earlier stages of the history of the now developed countries
Failure to explain the structure of the capitalist system and the effects it has had in promoting underdevelopment
Development as the west sees it occurs in stages, and underdeveloped countries are still in the early stages of their history.
Underdevelopment is not original or traditional
o The now developed countries were never underdeveloped, though they may have been undeveloped. Class Readings POLB90
They never faced the challenges that plagued the developing world
Colonization, foreign intervention
o Many of these countries were actually thriving
‘‘The economic, political, social, and cultural institutions and relations we observe there ( in the global south) are the products of the
historical development of the capitalist system no less than are the seemingly more modern or capitalist features of the national
metropoles of these underdeveloped countries’’
Thesis: Products of the single historical process of capitalist development
Metropolis- Satellite relations
Frank presents a theory of modernization that is based on a global relation of economic domination and exploitation, or what he
calls “metropolis-satellite relations.”
Frank’s primary points of reference are Latin American countries, which occupy a satellite position in relation to their
Iberian colonial metropoles.
o Frank argues that underdevelopment arises out of this metropolis-satellite relation because it is essentially a