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POLB90 final Reiview paper.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
R Rice

What is the relationship between agrarian reform, industrialization and development? - Farmland is generally more evenly distributed in Asia than it is in LA. - Latin America’s late and relatively limited agrarian reforms failed to create an agrarian structure that was conducive to economic growth and development. - Agrarian sector was key to East Asia’s industrialization strategy as it was able to invest the surplus that it extracted from the agricultural sector in the industrial sector. - Occurred through authoritarian means, the state imposed agricultural modernization form above and appropriated the peasant’s economic surplus. In essence, agriculture subsidized industrialization. - Isbister and pattern of development in North – secret behind industrialization in the North was that it depended on important gains in farm productivity first, success in farming sector fist, then urbanization and industrialization. Can the East Asian development model be transported to other country contexts? Many possible answers. It would be a good idea to identify - No: key components that allowed success in East Asia may be lacking elsewhere including - - Confucian culture (Hard working, honesty, cooperation, social harmony) - Highly skilled bureaucracy – key part of the developmental state - Agrarian reform (concentration of land ownership remains and inequality may be generally higher – different class relations) - Weak civil society - Different international context Partially general approach might provide the basis for some countries to develop Yes – could help countries in their areas of comparative advantage and focus economies on that which would benefit the countries. What is the debt/environment connection? Susan George suggests that there are two debt/environment connections: 1. Borrowing to finance large-scale ecologically destructive projects (ex. Hydroelectric dams) 2. Repaying loans by selling off natural assets (ex. intensifying cash cropping for export) As a result, it is not their poverty, per se, that is causing local people in the Global South to degrade the environment, but global political and economic forces that are behind their actions. Debt for nature/equity swaps – concerned countries can purchase a portion of a country’s foreign debt in exchange for protection of a threatened ecosystem within their borders, such as setting up a nature preserve, e.g. World Wildlife Fund Is poverty a major cause of environmental degradation? 3 debates on the poverty-environment connection: - Industrialization and growth are the real problem (everyone cant live like the north vs. we just need to speed up to development to get to less polluting stages - Poverty leads to survival by any means including environmental degradation vs. sometimes the poor are stewards of the environment vs. its not poverty per se. but the political and socio economic accuses of it that are the causes of environmental degradation - Over population vs. over consumption. NGOs have been called the “magic bullets” of development. Do you agree with this assessment? NGOs: private organizations that promote the interests of the poor protect the environment, provide basic social services or undertake community development. NGOs are typically non-profit, value-based organizations, which depend, in whole or in part, on charitable donations and voluntary services, and increasingly on foreign aid. Real development takes multiple actors, working at multiple levels on multiple issues. Strengths of NGOs - Political autonomy - Strong grassroots links - Participatory methodologies and tools - Ability to innovate and adapt - Cost effectiveness Weaknesses of NGOs - Dependence on foreign funding - Corruption/self serving - Small scale interventions - Community dependence - Problems of accountability - Inadequate evaluation How can NGOs avoid relying on foreign aid? NGOs are becoming more dependent on foreign aid and therefore less autonomous - NGOs are becoming more dependent on foreign aid as money from domestic states and Northern publics have dried up. Many observers suggests that this is worrisome as it weakness their ability to operate as independent actors in society. They become beholden to the conditions of their funders, thus there is always the possibility that their agenda is really the foreign funders agenda. This they mat be losing their capacity to question and propose alternatives – contributing to a crisis of legitimacy for NGOs. - Advocacy [e.g. For policy change; lobbying government to address policy change; speaking out in favor of particular groups; seek to address fundamental inequalities of power and resources in society. - Diversify funding sources [don’t rely on only one source of funding, this allows organizations a measure of autonomy even if they accept funds from the WORLD BANK - Social enterprise: engage in market operations in order to generate a profit that can be sued for the NGOs development work (e.g. product marketing; supplying micro –credit) Can grassroots development make a difference without changing macro-level policies? - NGOs are beginning to realize that it is unlikely that their initiatives can expand and realize their potential in the absence of a supportive public policy framework. - Social progress requires state intervention in the redistribution of assets and decision-making power. - National policy changes are needed in order to bring about significant social and economic improvements for the poor. In other words, local empowering action requires a strong state. - Although alternative development efforts must begin at the local level, they cant remain there. Without directing adequate attention to the macro-level constraints to local-level empowerment, attempts by NGOs to improve
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