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POL 201 lecture 4

Political Science
Course Code
Melissa Levin

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POL201: Lecture 4 10/04/2011 (info session October 13th)
Development Ideas: Modernization
Searching for explanations and solutions
Importance of Ideas
They can shape and justify action
They can justify inaction
They are usually linked to interests
They can obscure reality
1980s: Political scientists begin to do research outside of Europe and
north America
Cold war
beginning with 1948 in India and by 1963 most colonies
these countries begin to have political societies
Economic growth

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Massive growth in 50s and 60s in GDP
After WWII, the global economy took off
Marshall plan, World Bank, IMF, WTO born after WWII, lead
to radical development of European and decolonizing
Increases in urbanization, political participation, literacy,
The passing of traditional society: a move from traditionalism
to modernity
US foreign policy asked what can make countries want to go
democratic? How can we bring more countries into our sphere of influence?
Under what conditions will countries adopt democratic/communist
governments? Studied economies through the lens of modernization; to be
developed is to be modern. Development: process of modernization
Defining Modernization
Modernization is a process, a transition from a state of
traditionalism to a state of modernity
Assumes that this transition will take from point A to point B
Dominant philosophy of social sciences in developed countries

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Adopted easily in many in developing world
It’s used to understand poverty
Embraces classical economic model, of the west, free market
Assumes there’s some sort of deficiency in poor countries that leads
them to be underdeveloped; ranging from absence of democracy to
lack of capital, lack of technology or initiative
Tradition is obstacle to modernization
Basic features of modern societies are derived from those countries
that are already modern (Western society)
Based on a linear model of change: series of progressive changes
Traditional is represented by an unmoving static society
Modernity is mobility
Western Europe was a model for developing countries
Belief that all societies go through similar stages of development
Subsistence agriculture gives way to mass production
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