Development in historical perspectiveAfter studying this chapter, you should understand:
|• why and how colonialism left a lasting legacy in developing nations;|
|• the difference between semi-feudal/semi-capitalist social structures and capitalist social structures;|
|• the de-industrialization impact of colonialism and the biased nature of colonial infrastructure|
|• the new role credit played in the construction of neocolonial structures in the nineteenth century;|
|• the nature and importance of the terms of trade;|
|• economic dualism and its impact on colonial and post-colonial society;|
|• how to apply the concept of path dependency to post-colonial situations;|
|• the differential impact of early and mature colonialism; and|
|• the concept of colonial drain and the extent and significance of de-industrialization in colonial society|
Economic development demands and entails profound cultural change, including, often, transformation of the political system, of individual behavior norms, of the culture of work and production, and most fundamentally, modifications in the manner in which society confronts, moulds, propels, and adapts itself to the requirements of technological progress that are the font of economic growth and human development. Anyone studying the process of economic development must appreciate the wide-ranging cultural factors at work in any society. Failure to do so can result in a narrow and mechanistic interpretation of developing societies and the adoption of incomplete policy prescriptions which will, at best, diminish the effectiveness of efforts to achieve further progress.
At times, economists and others directly concerned with the process and problems of economic development have devoted too few of their efforts to understanding the historical conditions which have led to economic backwardness and underdevelopment. This failure may well arise from the fact that orthodox economists have generally been trained in the science of market behavior, with the assumption that human nature consists of, as Adam Smith maintained, a "natural propensity to truck, barter, and exchange." Taking such a perspective too literally,
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Process of Economic Development.
Contributors: James M. Cypher - Author, James L. Dietz - Author.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 2004.
Page number: 66.
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