IDSA01 Chapter 1 Notes.docx

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International Development Studies
Leslie Chan

IDSA01 Introduction to International Development Chapter 1-Meaning, Measurement, and Morality in International Development Labelling In International Development  labeling (people, places and processes within international development) make existing practices appear legitimate and shape future policy-making  modern concept of “development” is traced back to US President Harry Truman’s 1949 inaugural address  “…embark on a bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas. More than half of the people of the world are living in conditions approaching misery. Their food is inadequate, they are victims of disease. Their economic life is primitive and stagnant…For the first time in history, humanity possesses the knowledge and the skill to relieve the suffering of these people…”  the term underdeveloped implies an universal measurement of development that nations can be assessed against based on inadequate food, primitive economic life, disease and poverty versus scientific advancement, industrial progress and technical knowledge  the term “tiers monde” or Third World was initially used to draw a parallel of the third estate in pre- revolutionary France to countries outside the power blocs of the West and the Soviet Union but later became synonymous to poverty at the national level  there is an implied need for outside intervention by those who deem themselves to have achieved progress or development success on behalf of those who have not already done so or do not possess the necessary conditions to do so  There is no true clear and definite criteria by which a country can be termed “Third World;” how it is assessed, it is possible to “rise” or “escape” the title, why is it seen negatively and why are some areas of the world automatically thrown under that category???  in the 1970s as a result of the economic transformation of a number of previously categorized “developing countries,” a new term emerged known as the Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs) referred to as the “emerging markets”  the term suggests that they are perceived by the leaders of global capitalist enterprises as potential markets to target for profit and have shown the willingness to embrace the rules of market economics meaning they may be admitted into the coveted circle of accepted participants in global economic exchange  NIC status is determined by following category  manufactured goods contribute to 30% of GDP  manufactured goods are 50% of total exports  shift in employment from agriculture to industry  per capita income of at least US $2 000  a country’s GDP (measure of the value of goods and services produced in a national economy—can be high as result of natural resource wealth even when other sectors of the economy do not show signs of development) was the standard measure used to classify countries as developed or developing  World Bank measures gross national income (GNI) to partition countries into low-, middle- and high- income groups for determining the eligibility of a country for a loan yet asserts that even though the term developed alludes to low- and middle-income countries it does not mean that those economies are making “progress” towards development or those that are termed “developed” have achieved “development”  the term “fourth world” denotes the poorest of the poor countries, often the “failed states” of recent parlance which have experienced serious setbacks in human well-being and political government, typically in connection with armed conflict OR refers to the internal colonization whose status and citizenship rights vary globally but have suffered dispossession and abrogation of political, economic, social and cultural rights within countries where the dominant settler group has acted as a colonizer  discontent with “third world,” “developing,” and “underdeveloped” has prompted people to use terms as “two-thirds world” and “majority world” because they highlight that the majority of the world’s population are undergoing development  grouping countries (which in themselves are historically constructed conceptual entities) under a label “South” implies a degree of homogeneity that is simplistic and problematic thus the term “Global South” which better incorporated the centrality of historical and contemporary patterns of wealth and power into a loosely defined geographical concept  the way we understand and think about development is shaped by our cultural assumptions and historical position and by existing relations of power and knowledge Growth, Inequality, Poverty and Development Growth  development has been equated with the growth of an economy over a prolonged period of time  for example, the World Bank ranks countries by the GDP per capital (average income per person) or the GPI but GDP per capita is adjusted by purchasing power parity (PPPs) which take into account the different buying power of a dollar in different economies so they give an average income that is comparable in one currency  GDP growth rates have indicated for long which countries are improving and which countries are deteriorating in their level of development  growth in GDP is usually caused by rapid increases in productivity in agriculture, natural resource extraction of industrialization  assumed that growth of national wealth would “trickle down” to the poorest segments of society  however GDP per capita is a measure of average income in a country and is a number that depends on quality of collection of statistical data and tells little about the extent of poverty (proportion) and little about whether growth is trickling down to the poor  GDP growth per capita only benefits the richest segments of society and doesn’t necessarily reduce poverty Inequality  the distribution of income (income inequality) is a measure of how the wealth in a country is distributed among its population: what share of wealth is owned by the rich, and how much the poorest earn in comparison to the wealthiest  can be measured by dividing the population into five or ten equally populous strata (deciles or quintiles) and comparing average incomes of these different strata to each other  can be measured by the Gini coefficient which is a number between 0 and 1 where a relatively equal society scores 0.25 and unequal society scores 0.6  income inequality says two things: 1) that a privileged minority lead luxurious lives while a vast majority struggle in abject poverty and 2)that growth comes from the richer segment of the economy and doesn’t “trickle down to the poor,” huge income inequality between the super-rich and super- poor  poverty is always eliminated more quickly when GDP growth is combined with improvements (greater equality) in the distribution of income  countries that grow faster do not always improve the situation of the poorest whereas countries with low growth rates and GDP per capita may succeed in reducing the vulnerability of the poorest segments in society  the poorest and those least likely to benefit from the “trickle down” of growth are those who belong to disadvantaged ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups  when inequality becomes part of a national culture it undermines social capital which is the extent to which individuals are willing to co-operate in the pursuit of shared goals which is essential in the development of a democratic and civic culture Defining Poverty and Development  poverty is generally defined as an extremely low level of income  absolute poverty refers to being below the minimum level of income required for physical survival  moderate poverty is level of income at which basic needs are met but survival is not actually threatened  relative poverty (social exclusion) is a kind of poverty that does not threaten daily survival but in which an individual may not have the income necessary to fully participate in his or her society— type of poverty in developed countries  poverty is not just about income levels, it has social, political, psychological and moral elements and it cannot be alleviated merely by spurring economic growth of income per capita  new lens of development:  Dudley Seers  six conditions are necessary for development: 1) adequate income to cover the needs of basic survival, 2) employment (including any non-paid social role that cont
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