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Chapter 7

GGR107 Finals Notes_Chapter 7.docx

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Sarah Wakefield

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Chapter 7
The word “development” may have produced a bewildering array of labels for peole and places hat are not
considered “developed”. Morag Bell suggests that the word Third Word has lots of tragic stereotypes of
famine, poverty, drought, etc., to animate it and make it seem coherent and defined.
Labelling whole regions and spaces as “developing or “developed” reduces and overlooks the political,
economic, social and cultural diversity of the places and communities included within these gross
generalizations, simplifications an aggregations.
It is important to grasp how places and peoples are spatially and socially differentiated through development
and inequality, experiencing progress and goof change in a variety of ways
Geography and the Third World
Labelling nations according to degree of development imposes negative uniformity.
All too often the “developing world” has been defined as a “problem” for the Western World
that can only be resolved with the intervention of Western experts, donor, technology or
The “three worlds” schema is very much a Cold War conceptualization of space is strongly
associated with the global, social and political conflict between capitalism and communism,
between the USA and USSR, in the second half of the twentieth century. The term posited a
first world of advanced capitalism in Europe, the USA, Australia and Japan, a second world
of the socialist bloc and a third world made up of the countries that remained when the
supposedly significant spaces of the world had been accounted for.
-These mental maps or imagined geographies or inequality are often created where people
have no direct experience describing to or referring to.
-Subscribers to the three world system have been criticized for the simplicity of these
divisions and their failure to recognize diversity and difference within these spaces; the world
does not consist of a series of individual national economies in the way often suggested in the
UN and World Bank reports.
-there is an observation that the global capitalist actively produces the inequality and uneven
For some, a big part of the economic development and the wealth of the rich are directly
imported from the poor countries.
-key question is how long would the world economic system generate inequality
Third world development partly represents a geographical imagining, a representation of a
better world, and a belief in the idea of correctable inequalities/injustices between nations,
states and regions and within existing global economic orders
-the term Third World also gives enormous power to Western Development to shape popular
perceptions of Africa, Asia, or Latin America
- the 3rd world thus is defined by and becomes intelligible through the languages and
representation of the agencies and institutions of global development
The idea of development is still very much relevant in societies which proclaim themselves
to be “developed”
Human Development Index also formulated a sense of development or category for bot
developing and developed socities.
-under this definition, development can be depicted in a single measure, the UNDP Index.
-UNDP Index combines data by country on life expectancy, literacy, income, environmental
quality and political freedom. The study can show:
1.) that every country can reach the highest level of performance set in the “West” or
or have access to the purchasing power of the upper income

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2.) In the case of GNP per capita, the HDI does in many ways point to the growing
gaps between different areas of the world
Conceptualizing development
Have taken quasi-mystical connotation
-sence that seeking to become developed has been constructed as an objective that is
unquestionably positive and beyond approach
Developmental thinking and the sum of total ideas about development, ideology and strategy
has been caught in a Western perception of reality.
Two prevailing thinking of development: modernization and dependency approaches.
Modernization. Often dualistic, opposing traditional to modern life-styles, indigenous to
westernized, as if no country of citizen could belong to both categories
-started after the end of WW2 and after UN was established and conceptualizations of
development received a decisive stimulus.
-conceptualization of development has become more complicated and contested when new
states are formed after the end of colonialism and in the context of the Cold War between the
USA and the USSR
-observers wanted to paint a picture of modernization of underdeveloped peoples confined to
backwardness but torn between the appeal of communism and the prospect of Western
-trickle down effect development (capitalist development from urban-industrial/rural areas to
other regions)
-model suggests a number of stages exist in the national development of countries or cities
leading to a final stage that represents the culmination of the development process.
-geographers studied the trickling down of development to underdevelopment nations and
found out that they can move briskly to modern tempo of life within few years, whilst the
state would be the key monitor and broker of development
-Rostow’s (1960) theory (stage one of traditional society to stage 5 of high mass
consumption. Rostows model devaluates and misterprets the traditional societies and the
advance stage is always the western modernization.
-Faulty in the philosophy:
1.) geographies and inequality development cannot be neatly summarized as a set of
prescriptive stages
2.) Failed to address importance of gender
3.) Failed to materialize among those who have been subjects of modernization
4.) Assumes the development that development can be mimicked, copied and
replicated and should try to reproduce the development of US or UK for example
5.) It implies that there is nothing before the beginning of development in a
developing country that is worth retaining or recalling but only on a series of
deficiencies, absences, weaknesses and incapacities
6.) very much based down top-down rather than bottom-up
7.) Scale of modernization was also often a problem in that they assumed that big is
beautiful (large infrastructure)
8.) Sometimes the school and practitioners also depoliticize development, making
few if any references to history and culture
-Like many development theory, it ended with a creed, a set of principles about what
was to be done, and heavily invested faith in the goals of mass consumption and
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