To better understand the historical and sociological impact of modern development, I conducted a literature review to compare and contrast varying viewpoints on development’s legacy. The official start of the modern era of development begins with President Truman’s 1949 speech that declared global poverty a threat to all nations since it could lead to communism. WWII resulted in social problems unresolvable for any one nation: Europe was war-torn, the aftereffects of the Great Depression were significant, and multiple Asian nations grappled with humanitarian tragedies. WWII fomented nationalism in many countries worldwide, resulting in wars of liberation. In response, the First World hoped to replicate its developmental experience in the Third World with aid mechanisms and planning systems, synonymizing development with economic growth (Potter et al. p. 10). In order to track modern development, measurements like the GDP favored quantitative change over qualitative change for development (Potter et al, p. 27). Overall, classical development has been detrimental to the world’s population. Modern development has decreased absolute poverty, or how many people live off less than $1.25 a day (Potter et al. pp. 30). However, relative poverty has grown to the point where the world’s wealthiest quintile held 83% of global income while the lowest quintile only held 2% (Potter et al, p. 22). Upon synthesizing the extant corpus, I conclude that despite economic benefits like decreasing absolute poverty and better infrastructure in central cities, development has considerably damaged the Global South and the future of this region’s development should be situated in an alternative, grassroots approach to development.
Oleksy, Ernest M..
"A Review of Modern Development."
The Downtown Review.
Available at: https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/tdr/vol5/iss2/2