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Modernization Theory

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Sophia Moreau

Modernity and Modernization Theory September 27, 2010 o Why the industrial revolution would have happened in Britain but not somewhere else? What were the conditions that were unique to Britain that made the IR happen there or happen there first? Modernization o Daniel Lerner From Tradition to Modernity o Political scientists started to do work outside of Europe and North America in the 1950s o Driven by three impulses the Cold War, Decolonization and Economic Growth o Cold War o Two super powers vied for control of the world began in earnest in the early 1950s just 5 or 7 years after WWII in which the US and the USSR had been allied o In the 1950s, the two superpowers started to view the world and tried to divide the world through the lenses of democracy and communism o The main, driving impulse of US foreign policy became: What will make countries more democratic? Under what conditions to countries adopt democratic or authoritariancommunist governments? o Parts of the world in the global south had been previously understudied o A lot of this money came from the Ford foundation o This is a central concern of the US government and the US government is funding a lot of research, and as a result academics start doing a lot of research in the colonized world Decolonization o Decolonization map demonstrates the way in which the whole world was colonized o When decolonization happened these countries throw off the yolk of imperialism, its a big deal o Starting in 1948 with India most countries manage to become independent in the 1950s o The great wave of decolonization started in 1948 and it was mostly over by 1963 o Its an incredibly short period of time in which decolonization occurs www.notesolution.como For political scientists, what this means is that now there are actually politics in parts of the world where politics were considered devoid o There is internal politics in the previously colonized countries o Domestic politics, nationalism, parties and people vying for local power at the local level there is actually political stuff happening on the ground that political scientists can go out and study o Africa firmly in the domain of anthropology before the 1950s; a place where anthropologists could go and study language, kinship ties, etc.; it wasnt a place to study voting, charismatic leadership, etc. until later o Many graduate students who were young and idealistic were very inspired by decolonization because it looked like a global uprising o Suddenly you have waves and waves of people going to Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia that had been colonial up until this point academic literature is getting produced from these parts of the world Economic Growth o World economy takes off o Economic growth was particularly impressive in the western democracies, but it also existed in many poor countries, especially in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Turkey (our reading today) o These strides were both driven by and resulted in many important changes on the ground o Driven by literacy, political participation, mobility o In many poor countries, analysts also began to see the passing of traditional society what appeared to them to be a move from tradition to modernity o Almost without exception the political scientists who went out and studied this all looked at the world through the lens of modernization o They conflated development and modernity they imagined they were one single thing o Underdeveloped societies are traditional; developed societies are modern Balgat o In the reading, Lerner looks at Balgat, a remote village in Turkey o Specifically, what Lerner does is he takes the reader to a small village called Balgat a small village within the capital city Ankara o The author directs our attention to a number of things that our notable about Balgat, and the point hes trying to make in the first chapter is that the things that he points to are mostly there to
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