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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Sophia Moreau

Introduction September 13, 2010 o The course is about development and democracy the two dominant prisms through which we view the world o In the first semester, we look at development: Refers to processes by which societies develop economically; agricultural production specialization, exchange, and the market through which most people consume things that are made by other peoples o In our economy, many people produce nothing that we actually consume bankers, lawyers, etc. make the market work (they dont actually produce anything that anybody consumes); this is what happens in a so-called developed economy o In general, we consider development to be a good thing; countries at higher levels of development are wealthier; countries with higher GNPs are more developed than countries with lower GNPs o We think of countries as being on a trajectory from being less developed to more developed this is a positive direction; the reason its positive is because the more developed countries are wealthier o This is the normal logic that accompanies thinking about development, but there are critics of development o There are three big concerns about this whole development paradigm: Firstly, as societies develop people lose some of their traditional customsculture, which may have been tied to subsistence agriculture; their culture may have been tied to the land, to the seasons all of this can be lost as people specialize and move off of the farm and move towards urbanized areas; they lose a lot of what it meant to be them Secondly, the development model seems to presume that all countries in the world follow a particular western path of development; if they dont follow this model (subsistence agricultural production to market type specialization), then some countries appear to have failed; developed countries are success stories and underdeveloped countries are, by definition, failures; this trajectory makes some countries look like successes and some look like failures; this is one of the reasons we dont use terms like first world, second world, and third world anymore it implies that there is a race and some countries are first, second and third and the third world is behind the first world; this kind of thinking makes a lot of people anxious
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