This chapter evaluates agencies of development, which can be split into three broad categories: state, societal, and international actors and organizations. These categories should be understood to be overlapping and fluid. Indeed, few actors or organizations can be said to be purely international, of the state or society. Instead, most belong to and operate across multiple spheres of activity. Moreover, this boundary crossing is increasingly a requirement to get things done. Accordingly, the chapter pays attention to how different agencies interact with one another, legitimizing and delegitimizing different understandings of development in the process. It also shows how development is often driven by broad coalitions of actors and organizations working together, however contentiously, towards collective goals. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of emerging ways of understanding and doing development that acknowledge and incorporate this approach.
This chapter examines Brazil’s emergence as a global power, with a particular focus on how the country has striven to play a bigger role on the international scene. It first provides a brief historical background on Brazil before discussing contemporary Brazilian foreign policy — especially its leaders’ vision of the country as a consequential global player in an increasingly multipolar world. This is seen through the active campaigning for continental integration in which Brazil has played an important role by means of several initiatives. The chapter explores Brazilian foreign policy initiatives in four global issue arenas: trade, climate, financial governance, and nuclear proliferation. It concludes with the suggestion that in terms of material power resources and influence, Brazil was not a global power in the twentieth century, even as it notes the country’s aspiration to become a major international player in the early twenty-first century.
1. Changing Analytical Approaches to the Study of Politics in the Developing World
This chapter discusses the main broad analytical approaches or frameworks of interpretation that have been used in studying politics in the developing world. It first considers two contrasting broad approaches that long dominated political analysis of developing countries. The first was a politics of modernization that gave rise to political development theory, then to revised versions of that approach. The second was a Marxist-inspired approach that gave rise to dependency theory and, subsequently, to neo-Marxist analysis. The chapter also examines globalization theory and critical responses to globalization as neoliberal ideology, which have been associated with the ‘anti-globalization movement’ and have included arguments about orientalism and ‘post-development’ theory. Finally, it explores the strategies, categories, and more specific methods of analysis that have been typically deployed to assess the politics of developing countries.
This chapter examines China’s South–South relations and how it has been shaped by the nature of the Chinese state: a highly capable, developmental state that uses an array of instruments to promote its interests. In particular, it considers how, by means of foreign aid, economic cooperation, soft power, and trade, China aspires to be seen as a responsible global power. The chapter first looks at the history behind China’s engagement with countries of the Global South and the instruments that it has employed in this regard such as foreign investment, commercial loans, and soft power tools. It shows that Chinese ties with the developing world are shaped by long-standing foreign policy principles, including non-interference in the internal affairs of others, equality, and mutual benefit, along with its embrace of globalization and the growth of its multinational corporations. The chapter concludes with an assessment of concerns regarding China’s international engagement.
This chapter examines the concept of civil society. During the 1990s, civil society was a relatively obscure concept familiar mostly to scholars of Marxism. It then evolved into a mainstream term freely used by social science analysts in general, and by practitioners in the international assistance field in particular. Several factors contributed to these developments, including the growing interest in the United States and many European countries in promoting democracy abroad at that time. The chapter first defines civil society before discussing traditional vs modern civil society. It then considers the rise of civil society as an entity separate from the broader society and from the state, along with the state-civil society relations in the developing world. Finally, it explores how the concept of civil society became an important part of discussions of democratization.
This chapter studies how the debate on climate change has evolved and how development relates to climate change. Climate change relates to development in two main ways. First, economic development is likely to exacerbate future climate change. Second, climate change as it occurs impacts on development, often negatively. The different ways in which climate change relates to development lead to different types of intervention. Climate change mitigation policies are designed to limit future climate change or reduce its impact but may themselves curtail development options. Climate change adaptation policies attempt to work with climate change and achieve development in spite of its impacts. There are also policies to cope with 'loss and damage', i.e. extreme, often irreversible, impacts which are too severe for adaptation. Lived experiences of climate change and of the effects of mitigation and adaptation policies demonstrate how their impacts result from the interaction of physical effects with existing social and power relationships, including those of gender.
This chapter examines the impact of colonialism on post-colonial political development. It first provides an overview of the post-colonial world, noting how politics in developing countries are influenced by their pre-colonial heritage as well as colonial and post-colonial experiences. In particular, it considers post-colonial theory, which addresses the continuing impact that colonialism has on post-colonial development. The chapter proceeds by describing pre-colonial states and societies such as Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australasia, where varying patterns of state formation influenced both the kind of colonization that they experienced and their post-colonial development. It also considers colonial patterns in the post-colonial world and the occurrence of decolonization before concluding with an assessment of the legacy of colonialism to post-colonial states.
This chapter discusses some of the connections between colonialism, capitalism, and development. The making of colonial economies — through the organization of commodity production and trade by colonial states, settlers, and companies — entailed the 'breaking' of existing patterns of production and social existence, of whole ways of life. This process was encapsulated in the formation and functioning of colonial labour regimes. Other aspects of social and cultural change under colonialism also contributed to new forms of social differentiation among the colonized, and exposed the contradictions of colonial rule, not least in challenging its legitimacy. The European colonial empires were dismantled in the decades following the Second World War: anti-colonial movements became stronger, and international capitalism led by the USA no longer required the direct political rule of Asia and Africa (an 'imperialism without colonies'), while the proclamation of strategies of 'national development' by the newly independent states assimilated many of the tensions and ambiguities of the 'doctrines of development' of the era of (industrial) capitalist colonialism.
17. Democratisation, Governance, and Development
David Potter, Alan Thomas, and María del Pilar López-Uribe
This chapter investigates the concepts of liberal democracy, democratization, and governance and how they relate to development. There are several critiques of liberal democracy, which mostly correspond to well-known problems for any political regime. They include the 'tyranny of the majority', élite capture, clientelism, and the threat of populist capture. Alternative models claimed by their proponents to be democratic include illiberal democracy, direct democracy, and democratic centralism. Especially for proponents of market economy, liberal democracy and economic development are seen as complementary aspects of modern society. However, it is not clear that democratization leads to development. Successful development requires a supportive institutional environment. This may occur in a liberal democracy but it is not democracy itself that matters but 'something else' — which may be called 'quality of governance', including impartiality and effectiveness.
This chapter explores the link between democratization and regime change in the developing world. It begins with a discussion of theories of democratization, along with recent trends and understandings of democratic consolidation. It then considers variations within democratic and autocratic regimes and the different ways of measuring democracy. It also examines how domestic and international factors interact to affect politics in developing countries in general and processes of democratization in particular. Finally, it evaluates international dimensions of democratization, focusing on the significance of democratization for international development. It reflects on how the global good governance regime is adopting to a world that is no longer bipolar and in which U.S. (Western) hegemonic power is reduced.
This chapter examines the role of developing countries in international politics. International relations, as a discipline, has traditionally overlooked the significance of the developing world in global politics. The chapter begins by discussing the reasons for this and why such an oversight is lamentable. It then considers the position of the developing world throughout the large structural changes that have occurred in the international system since 1945: North–South relations during and after the Cold War and the emerging multipolar world, in which China is anticipated to return to the centre of international politics. The chapter also explores topics such as the United Nations’s involvement in development issues and its role in decolonization, U.S. foreign policy under the two Obama administrations, and nuclear proliferation.
This chapter examines the role of developing countries in the contemporary global economy. It first provides an overview of trends in the global economy, taking into account the implications of globalization for the developing world and the question of free trade vs protectionism. It then considers three key features of an increasingly globalized economy and their significance for the developing world: trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), and financial flows. It also discusses the role(s) of developing countries in global trade, the advantages and disadvantages of FDI, and two major components of the global economy that can cause serious economic disruptions: the buying and selling of currencies and stocks and shares in local economies, and the rapid movement of capital across borders. The chapter concludes with an assessment of factors that can reduce the economic well-being of countries in the developing world.
This chapter examines development policy objectives and their explicit focus on poverty reduction. It first considers different definitions of development policy objectives before discussing the roles that the market mechanism and the state should play in allocating society’s productive resources. In particular, it looks at the economic role of the state as one of the central issues dividing opinion on development strategy and explains how rising inequality led to a backlash against economic liberalization. The chapter proceeds by exploring the relationship between economic growth and poverty reduction, along with the political difficulties that arise from economic reform. It also analyses the importance of transforming the structure of economies and the new global development landscape, including changes in development finance.
22. Digital Technologies and the Future of Poverty and Development
This chapter assesses the use of digital technologies in international development. Digital technologies are transforming economic and social life and are used in almost every sector of development. However, positive benefits in the form of digital dividends are limited by continued digital divides in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) access. Use of digital technologies tends to reflect, reproduce, and amplify existing patterns of inequality. Thus, digital development initiatives need to design for equity, include non-digital communication, and pay attention to potential risks. The chapter then provides examples of contemporary digital development projects applying Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), and looks at 'frontier technologies' that may shape the future of international development.
This chapter assesses what the diseases of poverty are. Infectious diseases of poverty are widespread in low-income countries. As a result, under-five child mortality is often higher and life expectancy lower in these countries, compared with middle- and high-income countries. There are long standing disagreements about the most effective way to combat diseases of poverty in low-income countries. In particular, there is an enduring debate about whether selective biomedical interventions (such as deworming for neglected tropical diseases) should be the main focus of public health programmes or whether the most effective way forward is to develop a comprehensive approach which strengthens all levels of the health system, including primary health care units, while simultaneously improving access to clean water and sanitation facilities. Many populations no longer live in abject poverty, and the causes of death and disability have changed from infectious diseases to non communicable diseases. These changes are often described as an epidemiological transition. However, it has also been noted that a transitional period frequently occurs in which populations experience the 'double burden' of long standing infectious diseases alongside chronic, non communicable diseases.
This chapter reflects on a range of examples of pre-capitalist societies, chosen to illustrate the major arenas of colonial disruption, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and to show how they worked. The empires which Europe created in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were merely the last (to date) in a long line of imperial ventures. There were few areas in the world which had not previously been subject to overlordship by external forces, sometimes to the suzerainty of successive powers. However, these old empires often functioned quite differently from the newer empires created by Europe. The growth of capitalism in Europe drove a need for closer control over the type and extent of production in areas under imperial domination. Whereas in previous empires merchants had merely served the demands of wealthy minorities for luxury goods (and in the process accumulated hoards of personal wealth), now these stocks of wealth began to go directly into the transformation of productive processes in Europe (the Industrial Revolution) rather than into consumption. Thus the emphasis was increasingly on raw materials or intermediate inputs to European industry.
This chapter focuses on the concept of engineering for development (E4D), which falls within the idea of development as deliberate intervention. Some such interventions may contain large-scale infrastructure engineering to meet human needs and/or facilitate economic development, while others are at small scale to meet primarily everyday human needs. Public finance and/or aid usually plays a large part in these interventions, although implementation is likely to include NGOs or the private sector. By following and analysing what engineers do, it becomes clear how E4D is socially produced beyond its strictly technical dimensions. Case studies of E4D suggest that the key concepts for analysing its social production are: ecological modernization, networks, bricolage, and reflexivity. Key issues for infrastructure development are access and effective coordination of implementation networks through cooperative partnerships and/or contracts.
This chapter examines how developing countries are managing the relationship between the environment and development. Despite being widely regarded as a threat to their economic development and prospects for growth, environmental issues have come to occupy a central place on policy agendas throughout the developing world. Driven by donors, public concern, and vocal environmental movements, responses to these environmental issues have taken a number of different forms as they compete for ‘policy space’ with other pressing development concerns. The chapter links global agendas to national policy processes, highlighting differences and similarities between how countries respond to various environmental issues. It also considers patterns of continuity and change in the politics of environment in the developing world, along with new policy instruments for environmental protection. It concludes by reflecting on the likely future of environmental policy in the developing world.
This chapter studies the rise of global environmental concern, identifying major events and debates as they unfolded. Much human economic activity can be described as primary commodity production or manufacturing. Each of these has a potentially negative impact on the environment. The chapter then looks at the 'environmentalism of the poor', which tends to be based on material survival needs rather than post-material values. It also summarizes two discourses on the causes of sustainability and unsustainability. The Global Environmental Management discourse looks for top-down interventions to come from states or market actors, viewing local populations as the cause of much environmental damage. The People-Centred discourse reverses the analysis, arguing that local populations are often able to achieve long-term sustainability in their communities until outside actors like states and market actors disrupt those relations.
This chapter is organized around the idea of development: what it has meant to whom and why. The colonial period at its end was the beginning of what has been termed the era of development and was the beginning of an unprecedented internationalization and the emergence of a global economy. By the end of the 1990s, there were few parts of the world left untouched by the process of globalization which occurred since World War II. The first two decades of the twenty-first century have witnessed splintering and fragmentation and what some would argue to be signs of the end of the development era. Meanwhile, 'intentional development' at global level has broadened to include goals to deal with almost all aspects of what some call 'global crisis'. Analysts of development have moved to examining politics, power, and institutions in order to understand the growing complexity of development.