Week 1 -4. docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Global Studies
Safdar Muhammad

Week 1 Theory = Speculative View (until proven)  Hypothesis with logical argument(s) to explain  Can be used for predictions about phenomena.  Expected to follow principles of rational thought & logic.  In Social Science - scholars develop hypothesis & collect evidence to prove their theory. No evidence = rejected. Theoretical Perspective  Theory can be accepted if there is strong evidence, no need to test all predictions. Why? Test can unfeasible  Unconfirmed prediction, test later. Predicted result referred to as ‘Theoretical Perspective’ – if proved wrong later must be revised / theory rejected Social Theory Traditions  Social theory begins with ordinary questions. Ex/some accept authority, other reject it, why?  Social theory = nonspiritual alternative to religion as an explanation 1 Tradition = leviathan  Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) after bloody war between Catholics & Protestants,  Hobbes’s Leviathan offered a worldly theory of social order.  Argued: society is founded on authority (leviathan = law giver) – needed for stability  No Leviathan = war against all & life is rough  Adapted by Karl Marx & Lenin, transformed lawgiver into Communist revolutionary nd 2 Tradition = Devotion  From Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778).  Devotion, not fear = foundation of social order  Justice exceeds inequality - justice needs social contract(pop. must submit to general will)  Private freedom depends on public equality – needs a “lawgiver.”  Durkheim later pursued the link between social solidarity & religious sentiment. 3 tradition  Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859) - Equally concerned with roots of order & governance  Third tradition is more cautious.  Writing after the French Revolution (1789–1799), Tocqueville the aristocrat pondered the implications of equality.  Societies emphasizing equality were hostile toward exceptional talent  In equalized societies, all is in doubt.  Max Weber (1864–1920) stressed probing the religious roots of capitalism. Emphasized hierarchical rationality of government bureaucracy. Weber claimed how modern organizations grew ever larger, more rational, and more hierarchical. Seeking a “value- neutral” perspective, Weber argued that modern society is increasingly subject to “rational authority,” as opposed to “traditional” or “charismatic authority.” 1 Week 2 Development – contextual strands in theory  Development theory = product of post–WW2 thinking  Global development was initiated. Europe & Japan rebuilding, Colonies facing poverty  Development comprised of: the idea of…  Modernization of economic & social institutions,  Sustained economic growth within national economy,  Improvement of well-being of the global population  Extensive utilization of world’s resources,  Replacement of “traditional” development  Development theory has developed via…  Economics - theories of efficient markets, trade, and income distribution  Sociology - research on processes of social change around the world  Anthropology - research on the values & practices of non-Western cultures  Political Science - research on institutions that drive international policy  History - research on circumstances that created modern institutions  Social Sciences – focus on inequality, freedom, etc. – that impact institutions  Vague outline, but they fall short of a full & general approach to development. Development theory = expansive interdisciplinary field  Decolonization & aftermath of WW2 - stimulated economic growth & development  Established World Bank & IMF (1944) for reconstruction of post WWII Europe later rd became the biggest creditor institution for 3 world. Economic Theories for Development  Neoclassical economic - formed on principal of demand & supply  Neoliberal development - free trade, open markets, privatization, deregulation  Dual Economy - capital intensive primary sector & labour intensive secondary sector Then came perspective of distribution, welfare, & alleviating poverty in developing world:  Millennium Development Goals (Sep. 2000) to be achieved by 2015  End of poverty and hunger, Universal Education, Gender Equity, Child Health, Maternal Health, Combat HIV/AIDs, Environmental Sustainability, Global Partnership Developed Country – High standard of life, modern infrastructure, Economy self-sustaining Developing Country – Low standard of living, undeveloped industrial base, low HDI South - oriented Definition  Process which enables humans to realize their potential & growth of society  Frees people from fear of want & exploitation (movement away from oppression) Human Development  Basic goal: enlarge range of people’s choices - make development democratic  Choices include: decent wages, employment opportunities, education, and healthcare… 2 Gilbert Rist’s Definition (Starting Point)  Require transformation / destruction of environment & social relations  Why? For reproduction of society – increase the production of commodities for demand  Development = practices (sometimes conflicting)  Practices: Innumerable - What is hoped vs. what actually occurs (envisioned ≠ reality)  Ex/ conflicts: Some practices promote international trade, others hold it back (duty) Reproduction of society  Practices enable world system to expand to ensure existence of societies or social classes. Transformation of natural environment  Transformation entails destruction - Every phenomenon of production involves destruction Transformation of social relations  New economic approach maintains - everything is scarce (resources) & nothing is free  Karl Marx on capitalism: “bourgeoisie have reduced family relation to a money relation”  Rist agrees: Things once personal & outside of a market, can be bought, Ex/ sperm bank To increase production of commodities (g/s)  More = better & Growth = necessity. Geared to effective demand:  People produce to sell, so they can buy something else.  Modern anthro: based on equality, leads to inequality as people = utility seeking traders Rist & Durkheim (Rist builds on Durkheim’s)  Religion = beliefs of given social group in certain undeniable truths (determines behaviour)  Durkheim: society need religion, it is an ‘eminently social thing’  Detour via religion raises new question. Development = modern religion? …  Western arrogance to consider modern society as different, society builds upon tradition  Necessary to reject “great divide” between “tradition” & “modernity”  Beliefs = propositions  Those who share them act in a particular way. Even if everyone personally questions the validity, it is impossible to escape the collective obligation it involves.  Belief = performative (people must believe it, so they can act in a certain way) Rist Concludes  Development = belief + series of practices (can’t separate, linked to each other)  Forms a single whole in spite of contradictions between them. So Development is…  A means towards a general objective (corresponds to needs of society)  Broader th
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