Development in Theory and Practice: Paradigms and Paradoxes

Development in Theory and Practice: Paradigms and Paradoxes

Development in Theory and Practice: Paradigms and Paradoxes

Development in Theory and Practice: Paradigms and Paradoxes

Synopsis

Praise for the first edition: "This valuable contribution to the literature on development is highly recommended." Choice "Concise, clearly organized, & well written.... The insights & values pervading this book need to be much more widely shared." Studies in Comparative International Development "A superb text. The line of argument is clear & logically developed, inviting the reader to 'lateral thinking' & clear comparison. Most important, however, is the successful attempt to separate development facts & practices from abstract idealization & disguised propaganda." Jorge Nef University of Guelph, Ontario

Excerpt

Explaining Development: Theories and Models

Any attempt to characterize competing models of development is handicapped by overlap and underlap and fuzziness at the margins. Most dichotomies coincide to some degree with what might be labeled First World and Third World perspectives. Such a division, however, fails to account for the fact that Third World elites, pursuing class interests as well as individual economic and political interests, often adopt First World perspectives, and that a great many scholars and practitioners of development from the First World choose to identify with the nonelites of the Third World.

We might circumvent the fallacies of a territorial approach by speaking of concentrational versus redistributive, or elitist versus egalitarian, approaches, but such categorization would call for imputing to some players motives and values that are not acknowledged. We will begin therefore by segregating models and approaches into two very broad categories having their modern theoretical and philosophical roots in Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. the categories had in common the assumption that progress, or development, was possible and desirable, but they differed in that one viewed the economic interests of nations and classes as being in harmony while the other viewed those interests as being in conflict. Not surprisingly, the states promoting the view of harmonious interests have been those that were expanding their economic horizons and seeking to penetrate markets previously closed by colonial arrangements or nationalistic protectionism. Those same states, however, have not been averse to placing pragmatism over principle when their own interests called for protecting domestic markets or colonial or neocolonial relations. in fact, due to the fierce trade competition the United States encountered during the 1980s and early 1990s from Japan and the so-called Asian tigers, the familiar call for "free" trade was often supplanted by a call for "fair" trade.

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