Theories of Development and Underdevelopment

Topics: Development, Economy, Development economics Pages: 24 (1039 words) Published: May 4, 2014
Theory of Development and Underdevelopment
Subject: Community Development and Planning
RUHSA Department, CMC, Vellore
Modernization theory
Development: An event constituting a new stage in a changing situation Oxford Definition
The theory focuses on Modernization being the best path to Development Economic development is given the prime emphasis
Modernization is described as a universal pattern
The theory emerged after the World War II

Walt Whitman Rostow
United States economist and political theorist
October 7, 1916 – February 13, 2003
Career Highlights
Special Assistant for National Security Affairs
Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe
Involvement in the Marshall Plan
The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto (1960) Rostow’s 5 stages of Development
Stage 1 – Traditional Stage
Stage 2 - Pre Conditions for Take Off
Stage 3 – Take off
Stage 4 – Drive to maturity
Stage 5 – Age of Mass Consumption
Traditional Society
The economic system is stationary and dominated by Agriculture with traditional cultivation forms Productivity and income is low
Society characterizes by a hierarchical structure (land lords, Kinship and low social mobility Highly dependent on natural resources
Strong values, morals and Myths
Role of Government is minimal and has little influence with the main society Low technical and scientific knowledge
Pre Conditions for Take off
The shift from an agrarian to an industrial or manufacturing society begins Increase in Agricultural production and domestic markets
Modification in the Socio -Political structure
Rise of Entrepreneurship and industrialization
Rural urban Migration
Government taking lead in implementing development activities

Take off Stage
Society is driven more by economic processes than traditions Steady investments in Industries and multi sector development Innovations and developments in science and technology
Increase of transport and communication
Commercialization of Agriculture
Changes in the social institution like family, marriage, kinship etc… Start of Globalization
This stage may last up to 50 to 100 years to reach maturity Supportive socio, political and institutional framework

Take off periods
Drive to Maturity
It is a long period of sustained growth
Modern technology is applied to many resources
Rapid self sustained economic growth
Growing international relationships
Expansion and diversification of economic sectors
Reinvestment in profitable economic activities
Increase in per capita income and standard of living
Import and export levels become equal
Environmental and Health impacts of industrialization are addressed effectively Age of Mass Consumption
Affordable modern comfort and reduced subsistence concerns
Consumerism – continuous increasing demands of consumer goods Society lives in prosperity and people have multiple choices Increased social security
Countries concentrate on
Military and Security
Equality and welfare
Merits of Modernization Theory
Possible to identify all societies within these 5 Stages.
It has a large influence on developmental strategies
Eg: India investing in information technology
Developing countries adopting ways of developed nations
Promote international relationships

Demerits of Modernization Theory
The theory based on historical facts (American and European history ) It is more of a classificatory system
The causes of change are not explained
Definition of development is not complete
This theory does not describe the negative aspects of modernization Eg rich and poor divide
Spread of diseases
Does not explain what will happen after the Mass Consumption Stage Countries with rich historical background are ignored

Having a low level of economic productivity and technological sophistication within the contemporary range of possibility Unexploited natural resources and...
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