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POL201Y1 Lecture Notes - Colonisation Of Africa, Chronic Inflation, French Revolution

Political Science
Course Code
Melissa Levin

of 4
POL201 Review Notes
Lecture 1: Introduction
Labelling the 3rd World
Regardless of the actual label, the fact that it exists is significant
o Can provide existing beliefs and practices legitimacy that it would not normally be
o Can construct notions of solidarity / homogeneity between nations placed in the group
Label is of little relevance today, 3rd world ‘blocs’ or groups have little cohesiveness or tangible
Countries are ultimately self-interested and view cooperation and solidarity as a secondary
Lecture 2: What is Development?
Abolition Movement: Mobilises against slavery based upon the ideals of the French revolution regarding
what is acceptable for a progressive society.
Coincides with a hardening of scientific racism: White Man’s Burden to civilise the native
Development: 3 main definitions / perspectives:
Mainstream, Conventional View: Significant and measurable economic growth and the
emergence of social, economic and political institutions.
Alternative, Human-Needs View: See below
Radical, Post-Modern View: Façade for continued global domination by the North
Human Development: measuring a society’s development by human well-being, rather than by wealth
or economic growth
Kerala and Cuba are success stories in achieving high levels of economic development relative to
economic growth
Represents a major challenge to neoliberal globalisation as Human Development goals are
pursued independently of economic growth
o Increasing public goods and services
o Decreasing Inequality
Decentralisation: Devolving powers to local bodies for local development
o Still undetermined whether this is a successful strategy
Feudalism: Rigid system of hierarchy and inherited privilege based on social obligation. Labor, land and
property were not treated as commodities.
Industrial Revolution: The rapid development of industry in Britain in the late 18th and 19th centuries,
brought about by the introduction of machinery.
Enclosure: The privatization of common land from subsistence to productive use. Was a key
component in providing the foundation for the Industrial Revolution to take place.
Patent system helped provide incentives for innovation
Transatlantic Slave Trade provided a vast number of raw materials that helped Western Europe
Mercantilism: Belief that there is a fixed quantity of trade in the world and that controlling it would
enable countries to become more powerful. Provided a powerful rational for Colonialism and a
Marxists viewed this as fundamental accumulation
Structural Transformation: Refers to a reduction in a nation’s dependency on agricultural commodities
in favour of manufacturing commodities. Is not known if it is caused by growth or vice versa
Structuralism: Focuses on specific barriers to development and how to overcome them; an
economic policy that blames chronic inflation primarily on foreign trade dependency,
insufficient local production, and political struggles over government contracts.
o Neostructuralists emphasised the role of technology / technological change and
selective import protection
o Proposal that selective protection may be used to encourage the development of
industries that are subject to returns to scale.
Neoliberal: Expectation that with free markets and privatised industry, exports will pave the way
for economic growth which will over time cause structural transformation
o Heavily adopted by Latin America and the Caribbean
o A correlation between exports, growth and structural transformation exists
Correlation has not proved causation
Demonstrates the fallacy of ahistorically universalising, trends are country specific and structural
transformation only happens if domestic institutions support the policies being undertaken to
achieve it.
Where structural transformed exports causes growth, LDCs should be encouraged to develop
the non-primary sector to their advantage
Lecture 3: Colonialism and the colonial state
Colonialism: System of formal domination of the social, political, cultural life of one society by another
Neo-colonialism: the process by which rich, powerful, developed states use economic, political
or other means to exert pressure on poor, less powerful, underdeveloped states
Waves of Colonialism
1. Voyages of Discovery: Simple plunder of resources, demographic collapse and demise of
indigenous institutional systems. Use of slavery for forced labour
2. Charter Companies: Expansion of financial base, raise capital and private investment to serve
the interests of the empire. Results in further subjugation
Visions of Colonialism (Cooper: Colonial Africa)
Stability was achieved when it stayed between these two visions
a. Treating people as objects to be use
b. Use of political and cultural power to remake Africa in Europe’s image
France sought to establish a civilising mission by bringing education, science and virtues. When
Africans graduated they would become French citizens
Africans learned the language and fought in French Wars, did not receive the reciprocal
Colonial Economy: Forcibly integrated into global economy in a position of subordination and inequality
Monocrop & raw material exports
Captive market for colonial exports
Lenin on Colonialism / Imperialism
Colonial possession alone gives complete guarantee of success to the monopolies
The more capitalism is developed, the more the need for raw materials is felt, the more bitter
competitors become, the more feverish the hunt for raw materials proceeds through the world
and more desperate the struggle for colonies becomes
Imperialism emerged as a direct continuation of the fundamental attributes of capitalism in
Fanon on Decolonisation: Always will be a violent process due to colonialism itself being violent
Can only occur with a direct uprising of the people or a neighbouring peoples breaking down
colonial structure
Violent means for liberation will result in a strong response to being recolonized
Assumes a romanticised relationship of envy between natives and settlers and adopted a low
level of analysis people’s feelings
Lecture 4: Modernization, capitalism and the state
Modernization: Process of transition between a state of traditionalism to a state of modernity. Based
upon the following assumed characteristics:
Traditional: Limited social mobility, primary economy activities, undifferentiated political
structure, rural, low social indicators etc.
Modern: Goal orientated, secondary economic activities, differentiated political structures,
rational; legal sources of authority, urban etc.
Modernization Theory: Assumes a single patch to development can be followed by all countries if they
adopt the correct mindset
Measures development solely in terms of GDP growth
Grounded in Rostow’s 5 Stages of Economic Growth Model
Prescriptions for Change
Rejection of tradition in favour of “Modernity Package”: Urbanisation, literacy, media exposure,
widespread economic and political participation etc.
1st World will lend a helping hand through aid and Institution Building
Responsibility for problems and overcoming them is solely placed on the developing country
What Takes Place in Practice
Symbolic Development: Construction of grand projects such as airports that are visually
enigmatic but otherwise inconsequential
Maximised Economic Growth: Increasing economic output as measured by Gross National
Production (Paper Growth)
Selective Growth: Looking at particular industries to build and grow. A common example is to
mechanise agriculture to increase profits and subsequently financing industrial growth