Modernisation and Radical Approach to Development

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This essay is an attempt to compare the modernization and radical approaches to development and deciding which approach of the two offers a plausible explanation to what is prevailing in LDCs like Zambia. It will start by defining the major concepts which are development, modernization and radical approach, and then it shall proceed to make a full analysis of the two approaches respectively. The advantages and criticism will be given specifically for the two approaches, and it shall evaluate which one is better helping us in understanding the problems faced in less developed countries. Finally a conclusion will be drawn in summation of the topic.
Development is perceived to be a multidimensional process involving major changes in social structures, popular attitudes and national institutions, as well as acceleration of economic growth, reduction in inequality and eradication of poverty, (Todaro 2008). Madden (1967:34) describes the term rural development as overall development of rural areas to improve the quality of life of rural people while Berry (1979) referred it to the establishment of appropriate decentralized structures for the effective participation of the masses of the rural population in initiating, implementing and sustaining developmental programmes. Agriculture is simply the occupation, business, or science of cultivating the land, producing crops, and raising livestock, (Ibid: 37).

Modernization, according to De Beer, (2001:32) citing Eisenstaedt (1966:1), is the process of change towards those types of social, economical, and political systems that have developed in the western Europe and North America from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century and have then spread to other European countries and in the nineteenth and twentieth century’s to the south American, Asian, and African continents. Other scholars like Harrison (1988:155) defines modernization as the result of the process of westernization involving economic, political, social and cultural changes which contrast with a previous`traditional’stability. While on the other hand, the radical approach advocates for a closed economy and argue that the structural changes needed to bring about economic development could only be achieved by state intervention, (Ibid).

Modernization theory tends to claim that underdevelopment is a product of internal deficiencies, it speculates about ways of overcoming these deficiencies. These deficiencies are perceived to arise from various institutions, social structures, values cultural practices and indeed attitudes. Hence forth, modernization argues that for development to take place, industrial activities must be perceived as the central component in the promotion of rapid economic and the improvement of socio-economic conditions. It made an assumption that all societies progress in a linear fashion from a traditional state to modernity based on the fact that now modern or industrialized countries were once underdeveloped peasant economies, therefore, their historical experience has significant policy lesson for the less developed countries hence the need for utilization of all available natural resources in aim of achieving or attaining development. Modernization held out a promise to newly independent countries or nations of the Third world a guided transition to the state of developed industrial society, De Beer (2001:32).

Modernization is basically classified into or using four major approaches and these are; economical, psychological, sociological and political approaches but then a detailed discussion of the above approaches shall start with the economical approach. The economical approach can be best described by using an economic model by an economic historian in the name W.W.Rostow. According to Rostow, economics provided the initial thrust of modernization. He therefore argues that economic development...
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