International Development Studies Economic Development and Culture Change Term Paper

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International Development Studies: Economic Development & Culture Change

According to Sen, democracy is associated with the freedom of thought and action and, deriving from this, the freedom of the individual, political freedom, freedom of the press etc. In this sense, this concept of freedom (individual, political etc.) also infringes on the concept of economic development because a free economic agent will find it more motivating to commit himself to entrepreneurship etc. In this sense, entrepreneurship has always been considered as the engine of economic growth and development, so, in this sense, democracy, supporting freedom, also supports economic freedom and economic development.

The U.S. is obviously the best example of the impact of democracy on economic growth. U.S. democracy has constantly encouraged individual freedom and this manifested itself in the growth of the strongest economy on Earth. On the other hand, the former Soviet Union promoted a political system that did not encourage any forms of individual freedom and the economic system was a centralized one. This meant no entrepreneurial initiative and the implosion of the regime.

According to Sen, because democracy encourages economic development and growth, the development of society in general may lead to an abandonment of traditional culture and values in favor of new forms of culture, specific of a superior level of economic development. This may include, for example, the preference for videogames over the traditional reading or national traditions.

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2. Global institutions of development, such as the International Labor Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund or even the World Trade Organization, came into being with two different purposes. First of all, they came into being so as to regulate the mechanisms determining global actions, such as global trade and global financial transactions. In terms of development, this was beneficial for developing countries because it ensures that the mechanisms they were part of were regulated by mutually agreed and defined procedures. This ensured a fair contribution to the global mechanisms.

TOPIC: Term Paper on International Development Studies Economic Development and Culture Change Assignment

Second of all, these global institutions actually provided direct financial and technical assistance to Third World countries. In this sense, these institutions ensured that they dictated the terms of development for poorer nations, because the economic assistance came only in the case of the implementation of economic reforms and economic processes sustained by these organizations.

Their legitimacy came from the fact that (1) they relied on the Western developed countries who virtually created and implemented their policies, as well as ensuring the largest contributions to the societies' funds and (2) they were legitimized by the developing countries because of the financial aid they received.

3. Development favors universalization because of a global propagation of economic wealth. Additionally, economics is a universalizing discipline because it describes global, universal processes and the interconnection between individuals at all levels. On the other hand, contextualization is also important because it addresses specific sectors which might have otherwise be omitted, at a microlevel.

Sen advocates that freedom encourages and supports development because it is a determinant of individual initiative and social effectiveness. In this sense, development appears as the main result of freedom in economic terms, because of the stimulation of private initiative and economic evolution.

4. My development program would be concentrated on measures to stimulate education and increase the rate of alphabetization, computer and Internet usage etc.

In this sense, traditional economic indicators such as the GDP will only be necessary so as to determine the basic evaluation coordinates for the development of the society. For the purpose of evaluating the development program, we will have to use indicators such as number of persons having access to the Internet, number of persons having access to a computer (all these calculated to 100 or 1000 inhabitants), percentage of alphabetized people, number of colleges and universities to every 1000 inhabitants etc.

Obviously, the pros of such indicators would be that they directly target the area we were interested in improving: education and educational services. On the other hand, these indicators are limited only to this area of activity: while the GDP indicator, for example, reflects the way the entire society is moving in terms of economic development, the indicators we have mentioned are limited to the sector that is being analyzed.

5. The concept of utopia refers to the creation of an ideal state and of an ideal society. While this was the general concept in the time of Thomas More and his "Utopia," in the present day it has transformed to include a global peace and absence of any forms of military conflict, a general precipitation towards a war of ideas and markets rather than conquests and conflicts.

In my opinion, one word would be best to describe why utopia is the cornerstone of present day development: aspiration. Indeed, a utopia, even if, in its original form, is just a creation of overoptimistical ideas, is the foundation for the evolution because it gives the society something perfect towards which it can match its actions. In this sense, all development - related actions will aim to reach the initially utopian targets. Partially, some of these will be achieved and will thus commit to the society's development.

Part 2

Prince Henry the Navigator was an important figure of the Portuguese Empire in the 15th century. The geographic missions he sent explored the Western African Coast, including the discovery and claim for Portugal of natural trading outposts such as Cap Vert or the Azores. He tried to discover a new road from India, so as to trade spice in a less Muslim dominated area.

1492 - the Americas are discovered by Christopher Columbus, in search of a new road to India. Spain becomes the richest and most powerful country in Europe and is able to finance its European wars, due to the consistent supply of American gold.

Treaty of Tordesillas 1493 - the treaty that divided all the world outside of Europe between Spain and Portugal, thus deciding the global areas of influence. The colonization would follow, from now on, the procedures of the treaty.

Enlightenment - period of philosophical and existentialist rebirth in the 18th century. The ideas that were launched during this time impacting the French Revolution and the spread of equality ideas in Europe.

Glasnost - a set of policies introduced by Mikhail Gorbatchev in the Soviet Union in the 1980s and that introduced a progressive reduction of governmental control on such things as the press or the Sovier society in general. Some consider it brought down Communism, which could only function as a regime in a closed, illiberal society.

Colonies - territories that belonged, politically and economically, to another state that exercised control over it.

A third world - group of countries that are considered less economically and technologically developed. These would include countries in large parts of Africa, Asia etc.

A emerging nations - group of countries that have substantially developed in economic terms in the last decades.

Developing - developing countries are countries with a general low standard of living and still undeveloped, though growing, economies. These would be the equivalent of the third world countries.

Backward - undeveloped economical environments and societies in terms of technology etc.

A village vs. bush environments

Bandung conference of 1955 - conference organized by countries in the third world to promote the fight against colonialism and imperialism and mutual cultural cooperation between the participant states, as well as global peace.

Nonalignment - current during the Cold War period that included third world countries not involved either on the side of the U.S. Or the Soviet Union and who promoted ideological independence for themselves.

Decolonization - process begun after the Second World War during which the former European colonies in Africa and Asia gained their independence from the European overrule.

Newly Industrialized Nations (NIC) - countries that are neither yet fully economically developed, no underdeveloped. These are countries who have implemented successful economical and technological process and who have managed impressive economic growth rates in the last years.

Marxism - ideology that promoted economic equality and placing all factors of production in common, for all the population to benefit from it.

Capitalism - economic ideology that promotes the freedom of the market and where the factors and means of production are almost entirely privately owned.

Commodity - a homogenous good or product, as in the general capitalist notion.

International Labor Organization (LIO) - a specialized agency aiming to promote and sustain international labor principles and social justice, as well as the recognition of human and labor rights.

Non-governmental Organization (NGO) - non-profit organizations interested in promoting and sustaining different causes rather than in gaining a profit for themselves.

Underdevelopment - economies that have not yet managed to reach their economic or technological maturity and where the living standard is generally below the poverty line.

Postmodern - generally, this concept acknowledges ideas that have moved beyond and have extended modernism, including the replacement of rationality etc.

Sustainable development - economic development and growth that is corroborated with environmental protection and a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

International Development Studies Economic Development and Culture Change.  (2006, November 6).  Retrieved September 26, 2021, from

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"International Development Studies Economic Development and Culture Change."  November 6, 2006.  Accessed September 26, 2021.