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Politics of Development Cheat Sheet by

POLDEV 4-2; Preliminary exam reviewer

Politics of Develo­pment

A political process creating winners and losers while requiring cooper­ation among powerful competing interests and coalit­ions.
Economic geography
The geographic distri­bution of economic activities such as production and employment
The most politi­cally relevant aspect of economic geography
Opport­unities are often distri­buted unevenly across space; both within and across countries.
Inequa­lities exist in the opport­unities for and remune­ration of workers with different skill sets.

Political Context in Develo­pment

Its coverage is extrao­rdi­narily broad and in key ways binding
Much of daily life and opport­unity is determined by the political context via its struct­ures, policies, and operat­ions.
It includes govern­mental systems and structures and their respon­sib­ilities in providing key services
Provides impetus, motive, and opport­unity for indivi­duals to actively engage in the context
Much of who we feel we are is reflected in the systems and practices of our governing; and if it is not, we often engage through various forms of activism to assure that it is.
The values that the political structures and actors endorse and enact
The currency of the political context is control or regulation of access, opport­unity, freedoms, rights, self-d­ete­rmi­nation, and self-e­xpr­ession.
The way governing bodies approach this control has unavoi­dable and often determ­inative impact on the day to day wellbeing of indivi­duals.

Political Factors and Develo­pment

Regime Type
A form or system of govern­ment; refers to the norms and rules regarding individual freedom and collective equality. Influences the policies that affect personal and public economic develo­pment.
Political Stabil­ity­/In­sta­bility
Refers to the reliab­ility and durability of a govern­ment's struct­ures. The more stable a political system is, the less risk a business operating in that country will face.
Nations where there is a high risk of terrorism or internal conflicts are less stable. Less stable systems are less likely to see an increase in economic develo­pment because they are risky to operate in.
Political Management
Govern­ments need to do lots of things to encourage develo­pme­nt—they need to build and maintain infras­tru­cture, and raise and spend finance wisely, on the right projects.
Level of Corruption
Identifies the level of dishonest, unethical, and illegal practices that are imposed on people and business operating in a region.
Corruption can include bribing politi­cians, local companies for materials, or paying to prevent compet itors from entering the market; causing a monopoly that makes services overly expensive.
Trade Laws
These are local and intern­ational policies that impact the import­ation or export­ation of goods.

Rostow's (1962) Five Stages of Growth

STAGE 1: Tradit­ional Societies
Economies are dominated by subsis­tence farming.
Societies have little wealth to invest and limited access to modern industry and techno­logy.
Contains cultural barriers to develo­pment
STAGE 2: The Precon­ditions for Take Off
Western aid packages brings western values, practices and expertise into the society.
Forms of Western Aid Packages
Science and Techno­logy; to improve agricu­lture.
Infras­tru­cture; improving roads and cities
Industry; western companies establ­ishing factories
STAGE 3: Take Off
Society experi­ences economic growth as new modern practices become the norm.
Profits are reinvested in infras­tru­ctures and new entrep­ren­eurial class emerges and urbanized that is willing to invest further and take risks
Begins to export goods.
STAGE 4: The Drive to Maturity
More economic growth and investment in education, media, and birth control.
The population start to realize new opport­unities opening up and strive to make the most of their lives.
STAGE 5: The Age of High Mass Consum­ption
Economic growth and production are at Western level of develo­pment.

Historical Develo­pment

Primitive Society
Earliest and histor­ically numerous of economic systems which tradition serves as the central means of bestowing order.
The Creation of a Central Apparatus of Command and Rulership
Origin of the second of the great systems of social coordi­nation; from ancient clusters of population impressive civili­zations emerged in Egypt, China, and India during the 3rd millennium BCE, bringing with them dazzling advances in culture and potent instrument of state power as a new moving force in history.
European Colonial
Spanish Colonies; charac­terized by sizeable indigenous popula­tions and large reserves of gold and silver, forced labor was instit­uted.
Use of slavery and forced labor resulted in economic and political inequality, which inhibited long-term economic develo­pment.

Develo­pment and Health

The absence of illnesses
The ability of people to develop to their potential during their entire lives.
An asset indivi­duals possess, which has intrinsic value—being healthy is a very important source of wellbeing
Instru­mental Terms of Health
Impacts economic growth. It reduces production losses due to worker illness.
Increases the produc­tivity of adult as a result of better nutrition
Lowers absent­eeism rates and improves learning among school children.
Health and Economic Growth
Affects it directly through labor produc­tivity and the economic burden of illnesses.
Impacts indirectly since aspects such as child health affect the future income of people through the impact of health has on education.

Theories of Develo­pment

Stimulated by the situation in the mid 20th century when decolo­niz­ation occurred and the economic disparity between European and underd­eve­lopment nations became obvious.
Modern­ization Theory
A systematic process to move underd­eve­loped countries to a more sophis­ticated level of develo­pment.
Explains inequality within or between states by identi­fying different values, systems, and ideas.
Stresses the importance of political develo­pment in the progress and climactic improv­ement of nations' economic standing and acknow­ledges social and cultural reforms
Emergence of Modern­ization Theory
The freedom of the Third World countries from coloni­zation and the strategies employed during the Cold War by Western countries in order to prevent these countries from being controlled by commun­ists.
Have a higher capacity to deal with the function of national identity, legiti­macy, penetr­ation, partic­ipa­tion, and distri­bution.
Dependence Theory
Approach to unders­tanding economic underd­eve­lop­ment; Emphasizes the presumed constr­aints imposed by the global political and economic order.
Underd­eve­lopment is mainly caused by the peripheral position of affected countries in the world economy
The system of capita­listic world causes labor upheaval that damages domestic economies of underd­eve­loped countries. It diminishes the economic growth rate and ends in the increased inequality of income thus creating a gap between major and minor countries.
Origin of Dependence Theory
First proposed in the late 1950s by the Argentine economist and statesman Raul Prebisch, and gained prominence in the 60s and 70s.
World Systems Theory
Deals with different forms of capitalism world- wide; takes a world- centric view and focuses on the relati­onship between countries.
Explains inequality by identi­fying different cultures and the role of the state in intern­ational connec­tions.
Waller­stein's (1979) World Systems Theory
WST is a multiple cultural system with a division of labor.
Poor labor in which different divisions are areas are dependent upon each other in exchanging the provisions of those areas.
Global­ization Theory
Uses a global mechanism of greater integr­ation with particular emphasis on the sphere of economic transa­ctions.
A US and Europe -centric positive model of develo­pment whose feature is the spread of capitalism around the globe.
Focus of Global­ization Theory
Commun­ica­tions and intern­ational ties; these are directed at cultural and economic factors in commun­ication systems.

Global­iza­tion: Factors in Global Connection

Cultural element that stresses the social and economic situation of the nation
Progress of technology and commun­ication has opened up opport­unities for local businesses allowing all kinds of economic relations
Develo­pment of sophis­ticated systems of commun­ication and globalized techno­logies thus making nations unified.
Can have 2 viewpoints of the outcomes of being unified: external conditions and outward system and the internal or domestic situation of every country within.
Internal or domestic situation of every country within
The units of analysis lead to the country's variables of economic growth or social indica­tors.

Modern­iza­tion: Types of Assistance

Education (Hoselitz)
It speeds up the introd­uction of Western values such as univer­salism, indivi­dua­lism, compet­ition, and achiev­ement measured by examin­ations.
Media (Inkeles)
Important to diffuse ideas; non-tr­adi­tional such as family planning and democracy.
Urbani­zation (Hoselitz)
The theory is that if popula­tions are packed more closely together, new ideas are more likely to spread than amongst diffuse rural popula­tions.


A condition in which one human being was owned by another.
A form of dependent labor performed by a non-family member.
Considered by law as property or chattel.
Deprived of most of the rights ordinarily held by free persons.
Generation of Slaves
Captures in war, either by design, as a form of incentive to warriors, as an accidental by-product or as a way of disposing of enemy troops or civilians.
Basic Types
Household (patri­archal or domestic slavery), Temple (state and military slavery)

Coloni­zation and Develo­pment

It is more than the plundering of a military and econom­ically weaker culture by a more powerful nation.
Often resulted in severe demogr­aphic crises.
History of Coloni­alism
Plays a pivotal role in determ­ining a nation's dispos­ition toward economic and social change.
Countries are not necess­arily condemned mechan­ist­ically to repeat the processes and behavioral patterns establ­ished in the past.

Health and State of Develo­pment

The relati­onship between the health of a population and the state of develo­pment of a society is complex and varies over time.
Improved Health
One of the main benefits of develo­pment.
Results partly from an increase in income and partly from scientific progress in the fight against disease and disabi­lity.
Health can be considered part of a society's capital stock, as long as the essential differ ences between this type of capital and physical capital are recogn­ized.


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