My perception on development, issues and a way forward

Some problems facing underdeveloped countries are low per capita incomes, low literacy and educational attainment and lack of basic services. In addition, certain physical environments, particular cultural traditions and determinisms and value systems. Furthermore, lack of natural resources, instability, colonialism as a scapegoat and other adverse internal situations like political factors.

Development is the capacity of a state to increase its human resource with the aim of achieving higher outcome to satisfy the citizens and empower them to make demands on the government. Therefore for these societies to achieve the level of economic development that the first world has achieved there is the need for them to follow the path that has seen the western advanced countries achieve high economic output.

They need to promote democracy and human rights and establish laws and formal governmental structures to address environmental problems. Economic growth is the most important means of raising people’s incomes and reducing poverty. It creates jobs and opportunities for poor people to support their families and build more stable futures.

Working with governments, investors and business should strengthen their business environment, increase their access to international markets, improve their infrastructure and give more people access to financial services.


Colonialism: Continuity and Change

The group’s power point presentation was on Colonialism. They spoke about continuity and change based on Colonialism. The case study emphasised on the justifications of the Dutch Empire to help explain the relevant concepts of development. The group wanted to highlight and bring out a country where colonialism was immense and in addition explore reasons for this because it is a place where it has not been given as much credit as it should, in terms of research.

The sources they used in their power point presentation were reliable and current. They were able to compare and contrast different colonised countries dating all the way back from the 15th century to the present day. They mentioned decolonisation as an alternative perspective to help them define the concept effectively.

I feel this group did a lot of research and were well prepared because they were able to answer questions promptly and precisely from the audience.

Gender Inequalities in Developing Countries

The group presented on gender inequality and more specific in developing countries. They represented two case studies: Human Trafficking in Thailand and indicated how it is a modern form of slavery today and in addition to that gender inequality in Saudi Arabia where, they demonstrated a few restrictions women were faced with through the use of the sharia law.

Majority of their power point presentation was on Human Trafficking and therefore they were unable to convey and bring out other substantial issues concerning gender inequality to help them define their concept effectively. It then became monotonous, therefore, that created a sense of dis-engagement towards what they were saying.

However, they did manage to place in some key issues separating women from men in areas such as employment, e.g. Saudi Arabian society sees women to be a wife and mother and moreover, education.

It was good to see that this group managed to come up with, in the conclusion, and point out solutions to aid in combatting this catastrophic issue today. Like suggesting that the UN must exert more pressure on the countries or create charities to help educate women.

On the other hand, the presentation focused mainly on women due to time constraints, therefore, we weren’t able to have a clear perspective because they didn’t quite mention or link evidence to the question. The group can improve on clarity when speaking.

Colonialism: Cause of Poverty Today?

The group presented colonialism, and further looked if it was a cause of poverty today. They exhibited a case study on South Korea in order to compare and contrast if colonisation still affects poverty today.

In the case study they looked at Education to aid in demonstrating how colonisation demolished the system in 1907 and by 1917 the number of schools halved, therefore, society had a lack of access to education which leads to poverty. They then went on and contradicted that by saying that South Korea was actually one of the countries that have been colonized but are doing well today.

The information utilised within the presentation was unreliable. I feel this because none of their sources were stated or sourced therefore it makes us question the facts and statics that were bestowed before us.

The presentation explored opposing perspectives with regards to the concept and case study by pointing out that historical injustices are not only responsible for poverty in developing countries but that they are other factors that have contributed to that such as: corrupt and inefficient management of an economy. E.g. greed and power hunger and war and strife. E.g. Sierra Leone and the Civil War.

Thus indicating, Karl Mark’s statement that ‘colonialism is a form of capitalism, enforcing exploitation, social change, searching for raw materials and new investment opportunities for capital accumulation’.

Field Trip to City of London

The romans in 43 AD found it. It was the capital of England in 978 AD, used as a trading centre and had a major impact on the international political economy and development.

It’s older than parliament and Britain’s popular tourist attraction and historical site. It’s the centre of banking and insurance in the world, has an independent city hall with its own budget and the importance of ports and rivers in London are for trading. This all contribute and influence economic growth.

The Bank of England brings monetary and financial stability and was Established in 1694. It made England a global power against France. It raised private funds to support the navy to capture attractive areas in the world through colonization and the thick and high walls were built to prevent thieves and ensure maximum security.

The Stock Exchange trade in shares and stocks. Trading began in 1688 and it was important during industrialization

Lloyds of London covers insurance for shipping involved in slave trade

The Baltic Exchange is the centre of world trade. Arranging world transportation and industrial goods from buyers to sellers, Tower 42, Guildhall, St Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern.

The field trip enabled me to think about development in different ways. We learned about continuity and change, the past and present and were able to explore colonialism, slavery, capitalism and globalisation.

Group Presentation

During week 11, my group and I are presenting our presentation via power point during the seminar. It is based on the topic title ‘Democracy and Development’. According to the Economist, they indicate that Democracy was the most successful political idea of the 20th Century. The group comprises of five people: Asya, Debbie, Adam, Michelle and myself. We have all worked collaboratively every Thursday from two to three PM to prepare and develop our arguments.

During the class discussion, we will dedicate and develop a thorough analysis and our own perspective and understanding of various aspects of development. Such as different concepts, theories, a case study, different indicators and issues regarding Democracy and Development. This will all be based on and relate to our two key questions: ‘Are Development and Democracy Compatible” and in addition to that, ‘Are Development and Capitalism Compatible’.

My role within the group entails me to communicate to the class and distinguish the characteristics of Democracy, how and when it commenced, the measurement and what Democracy encompasses. I will state and point out problems concerning Democracy and they’re after, Asya and myself will conclude and put together every individuals work in a power point.

How is Development Measured?

Economic development is a measure of a country’s wealth and how it is generated and brought into existence. Human development measures the access the world’s population has to wealth, jobs, education, nutrition, health, leisure, safety and in addition the political and cultural freedom.

This is measured by an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, there is much controversy, debate and discussion over whether GDP per se is an appropriate indicator of economic growth. Or whether other indicators should be used instead.

Despite a high GDP, it does not necessarily mean there is fair distribution throughout the country. It is assumed that all these indicators come from a very Westernly point of view.

They are some problems associated with the GDP as it is often assumed that the state and the market can be separated. Arguing and disputing against this are radical Marxists who challenge the views put forward by neoliberals, arguing instead that it is very difficult to separate ‘natural’ markets from ‘political’ states (Dale, 2010). In the era of the Cold War (1945-92).

Rostow, challenging the pro-soviet model of state capitalism, suggested his five-stage model of development, promoting capitalist development as he believed that, it is possible to identify all societies, in their economic dimensions, as lying within one of five categories: the traditional society, the preconditions for take-off, the drive to maturity, and the age of mass consumption (Rostow, 1990:4)