Government and Politics in South Asia

By Craig Baxter; Yogendra K. Malik et al. | Go to book overview

13
Modernization and Development

PAKISTAN FACES AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE. Fifty years after independence, it is still confronted with profound challenges to its integrity as an independent nation-state, stemming both from numerous domestic shortcomings and from Pakistan's hazardous international security environment. This chapter serves as a summary of such challenges.


Modernization and Development: Pakistan's Unresolved Dilemma

The years following World War II witnessed the emergence of the subdiscipline of development in the social sciences. In economics, development concerns the process by which a society achieves self-sustaining growth; in sociological terms, the process is one of movement toward a more egalitarian class structure; in political terms, the process is one of movement toward more representative institutions. In each case, development places an emphasis on increasing the capabilities and complexity of institutions in order to create or prompt the desired social change.

Closely wedded to the concept of development is modernization. Modernization theory argues that societies follow a unilinear process from traditional forms of social organization to more modern forms. For instance, as a society modernizes, "primordial attachments" (kin, caste, religion, ethnicity) weaken and are gradually replaced with modern forms of social organization (class, ideology, secularism). Indeed, modernization is both a cause and a consequence of the developmental process.

The catalyst for the sudden prominence of these theories was the emergence of the dozens of new states carved from the breakup of colonial empires in Asia and Africa. Early ( 1955-1965) advocates of development and modernization held that with the right combination of assistance (money,

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