POLA90 WK 3 Notes

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Political Science
Spyridon Kotsovilis

rd LEC 3: Jan 23 – Debating the Impact of Development and Globalization: Are Things getting Worse? Acemoglu, Daron and Robinson, James, “Reversing Development” in Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty, 2012 p. 245-273 Reversing Development (pgs 245-251) • The Moluccan Archipelago in Modern Indonesia, the North was made up of 3 groups of islands: Tidore, Ternate and Baca, the Middle: Ambon and the South: Banda Islands • The Moluccas were central to the world’s trade as the only producers of the valuable spices: cloves, mace and nutmeg • The Portuguese found a direct route to the spice trade and quickly set about the task of taking control over the spice trade by capturing Melaka – Tome Pires (Portugese traveller): “Whoever is Lord of Melaka has his hands at the throat of Venice” • They failed to take control of the spice trade after their acquisition of Melaka because of the great deal of economic development in Southeast Asia • The Dutch then persuaded the Absolutist ruler of Ambon to give them a an exclusive monopoly over the clove trade, leading to the Dutch East India Trading Company(Played a major role Euro-Industrial Growth • The Dutch forcibly removed all other traders – including the Portuguese – they expanded to the northern Moluccas forcing the North to cease and desist the production of Cloves • Households in Ambon were obligated to deliver labour to the Dutch cultivating a set amount of Cloves • The Dutch took control of the Banda islands but there was no central authority whom the Dutch could coerce into signing a monopoly treaty or “system of tribute” to capture their supply of nutmeg and mace • The Dutch then had to compete with other merchants losing spices to their competitors but the Dutch governor (Coen) soon came up with another plan: Genocide. In 1621 he proceeded to massacre almost the entire population of the Banda islands leaving only enough people to preserve the know-how for Mace production, he created the political structure to enforce this society as a Plantation • The commercial expansion of SouthEast Asia that had flourished for years went into reverse • They retreated from any competition against the Dutch but this would not save them from the Europeans ultimately. By the end of the 18 C, nearly all were a part of the European Empires • CHAP 7 in Review: Expansion sowed the seeds for underdevelopment in many corners of the world by imposing extractive institutions. These destroyed commercial and industrial activity throughout the globe. Places that were part of European Colonial empires stood no chance of benefiting from industrialization’s new technologies The All Too Usual Institution (pgs 251-264) • The slave trade intensifies in Africa as Southeast Asia enjoyed a spread of economic expansion, European Slavery halted by the 1400s but Africa did not undergo the same transition • Europeans were eager for Africa’s slaves and traded guns and ammunition in return, both situations could not have a transformative impact on African society • The slave trade instigated two paradoxical reaction: First, many polities became absolutist regimes organized around the single objective to enslave and sell them to the Europeans. Second, As a consequence, warring and slaving destroyed all order and legitimate authority • The law became a tool for enslavement, no matter what crime was committed, the penalty was slavery, religious institutions as well became perverted by the desire to enslave and sell • In 1834 the slave trade was abolished by the British Empire, but this just lead to the redeployment of slaves back to Africa rather than the Americas Making a Dual Economy (pgs 265 and forward ) • Arthur Lewis - The “Dual economy” paradigm: Underdeveloped economies have a dual structure divided into both a modern sector(urban life, advanced technologies) and a traditional sector(rural life, agriculture, “backwards” institutions), referred to as the “problem of development” because labour is ineffectual in the traditional sector • The British found South Africa a favourable place to settle because of its climate and then came the discovery of the diamond reserves and gold mines. The huge mineral wealth convinced the British to extend their control over South Africa. • As the agricultural economy developed, rigid tribal institutions started to give way. They wouldn’t quite peak as an industrial revolution but progress was being made • Chiefs resisted improvements made on lands such as digging irrigation ditches or the building of fences or relinquishing private property, they saw that they were losing influence over headmen • By the Natives land Act of 1913, Africans were confined to smaller spaces and given only 13% of the land even though they made up 80% of the population. This was a gradual progression until the Act was put in place • The 1913 legislation also included provisions intended to stop black sharecroppers and squatters from farming on white-owned land, The Secretary for Native Affairs explained “The effect of the act was to put a stop, for the future, to all transactions involving anything in the nature of a partnership between natives and Europeans in the respect of land or the fruits of land. All new contracts with natives must be contracts of service”. • The “dual economy” was not natural or inevitable, it was an effect of European colonialism. The homelands were technologically backward and the people, uneducated, but this was all an outcome of gov’t policy, creating a reservoir of cheap African labour • With the passing of the Bantu Authorities Act, G. Findlay put his finger on the issue at hand: “Tribal tenure is a guarantee that the land will never properly be worked and will never really belong to the natives, cheap labour must have a cheap breeding place and so it is furnished to the Africans at their own expense”. • The “Color Bar” – A barrier preventing blacks from participating in various activities with whites. • The Apartheid regime realized that educated Africans would not supply cheap labour to the white man, so they discouraged black education and made sure their only available jobs were restricted to unskilled labour • Hendrik Verwoerd, an architect of the Apartheid regime lasting until 1994 (The year he was overthrown) passes the Bantu Education Act that bluntly stated, the success of the modern sector relied on the existence of a backwards sector, enabling white employers to pay unskilled workers low wages and make huge profits. Lewis’s approach had an optimistic future, that the unskilled workers would gradually become educated. In fact, the black workers were purposefully kept unskilled • Being built on exploitative extractive institutions, the economic development was limited • In 1994, there was an organized uprising. The Blacks rose up against the regime for the basic rights of which they were deprived Development Reversed (pgs 271-2
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