Chapter 9: Development and Underdevelopment
This Chapter examines:
Theories of development
Structural roots of underdevelopment
Implementation and effects of neoliberalism in global south countries
Role of state violence and war in production of poverty in global south countries
Forms of resistance to neoliberalism
Initially development was associated with progress.
o The idea of industrialization and democratization of society based on the equal rights
and freedoms of its citizens
After WWII it became a full blown project that became part of state policy.
o Became a process that generated economic growth, industrialization and modernization
in regions and countries perceived to be poor, traditional, and underdeveloped.
Recently, development has branched out
o Progress for women
o Empowerment of the underprivileged
o Environmental sustainability
Interest in development was sparked by:
o The Cold War where Soviet Union and United States had an intense competition to
amass power by gaining influence and control over less developed countries.
o Businesses became interested in new markets for geopolitical and economic reasons
Some argue that world capitalism would lead to development while others argue that genuine
development cannot occur within the confines of capitalism
Relevance of Development and Global Inequalities
Development can be looked at in terms of either:
o Morality and social justice
The worlds desperately poor should be lifted out of a life of illiteracy, disease
$3 coffee from Starbucks exceeds the average daily wage of more than a billion
o Self-interest and need for security
neighbours poverty would have unpleasant implications for us
High levels of violence and unrest that accompany poverty
Have to pay higher taxes for police force to maintain order and deal with the
impoverished who are angry
Failure to raise the living standards of others
o The model describes huge differences in income between our neighbours and us and
points out the inequality that exists within poor neighbourhoods. o Neighbourhood economy is maintained by a system of power relations bucked up by
disproportionate wealth and the ability to exercise violence to protect your wealth.
Theories of Development
Development in Stages
o Societies pass through stages of development and are susceptible to pathologies or
o W.W. Rostow argued that social development follows several necessary stages of
o When the society comes into contact with a developed society, science and technology
spread and the traditional society is at a stage of possible Takeoff
o Takeoff occurs when and if an increase in market transactions, manufacturing and trade
o Efficient scientific and technological diffusion moves society faster towards
Development as a State of Mind
o Modernization theory emphasizes the importance of values and norms as drivers of
development, the responsibility lies in the third world countries themselves for
o Entrepreneurship the desire for feelings of accomplishment and personal
o Societies that encourage entrepreneurial behaviour and competitiveness are most likely
to develop economically and socially.
o Others emphasize the importance of other values the need for savings, investment,
innovation, education, self-control in having children and so on.
o In general, modern theorists believe that development happens when the citizens of the
poor countries adopt the virtues of the developed North/West
Development as Dependency
o Each part of the world is shaped by and helps to shape a wider global reality.
o It was the nature of the relationship between metropolitan and colonial powers and
satellite colonies that blocked economic progress in the global south.
o History shows that Africa, the Middle East, China all boasted great civilizations at one
o Europe invaded Africa and caused pillage and plunders, caused massive death and
migration and economic upheaval. Europeans exploited the global south for its riches
after conquer existing civilizations.
o Gunpowder and firearms helped secure this victory.
o Since 1500 the social and economic structures established by the European colonizing
powers brought about:
Distorted local societies for the benefit of European traders and merchants A local European elite to take valuable minerals to the mother countries,
fuelling the development of industry in Western Europe while robbing the
global south of their resources
The slave trade also undermined traditional state structures and created deep-
seated ethnic animosities
In the 19 century the European powers also established artificial boundaries
that ignored traditional ethnic spheres of influence and increased ethnic
antagonism and warfare.
The Slave Trade generated unheard of wealth and gave the European
aristocracy and royalty great power, this enabled capital to accumulate and be
used for industrialization, spurring European development.
Andre Gundar Frank, the historical development of the capitalist system
generated underdevelopment in the peripheral satellites.
Countries versus Class as Causes of Development
Originally the theory was that Western Europe extracted surplus from other areas such as Latin
America, Africa and Asia, through unfavourable terms of trade that exploited the lands.
o The prices of agricultural goods declined over time relative to the prices of the industrial
Robert Brenner challenged this theory and revived a Marxist approach that emphasized class
relationships. He argued that the struggle among classes to achieve dominance is the