International Development Political Economy of Term Paper

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" (S. M. Lele, Sustainable Development" A Critical Review, p. 611)

The main objectives of the sustainable development are to: revive growth, change the quality of growth, satisfy the basic needs for jobs and subsidiary services, ensure a sustainable level of population, preserve the resources, reorient technology and control risk, consider both economy and environment in the decision making process, and reorient international economic relationships. (S. M. Lele, Sustainable Development" A Critical Review, p. 611)

Connections between the two

Harriss promotes the idea of disciplined economics and governance based on rules. Lele promotes the sustainable development, again a form of governance based on a strict set of rules. The idea at the basis of these two theories is practically the same: governance, economy and the entire human behavior should be based on a set of rules previously elaborated to protect the interests of the participants as well as the environment's. In one word, discipline should be the one rule by which the world is to be governed.

Harriss's cross-disciplinary approaches development from a wider point-of-view: economical, humanitarian, academical, political and social. He explains the importance of discipline in all domains with examples in the scholar domain.

Lele's sustainable development is more concerned about a concrete aspect: correctly applying the rules of economics towards the protection of the natural resources on the planet. Economical growth and acquiring of profits should not be allowed if it meant damaging the atmosphere or the ozone layer.

Even if the causes for which these two economists militate are different, they promote the same idea: all actions should be based on considerations of rules and external environment.

Issues on conceptualizing poverty

To better understand poverty, its causes and consequences, Ravi Kanbur, professor at Cornell University in New York associated it with lack of education and health (both physical and mental). In countries where inhabitants have limited opportunities to educate themselves and where health is not properly guarded, economic regression is prone to install.

Kanbur also brings up the fact that a country's economical status can be identified through its participation to international trading. The amount of products a country exports compared to the number of imported products is an important factor in determining how poor a country really is.

Branko Milanovic believes that poverty in the Southern countries of the globe is strengthened by the globalization process. While the process affects the Northern regions of the globe by decreasing the number of available "middle-class jobs," in the south, children are being sent to work from very early ages and in miserable conditions (Branko Milanovic, The Two Faces of Globalization: Against Globalization as We Know It).

This argument proves Kanbur right: if a child is being sent to a workplace instead of a school, he will never be able to acquire a proper education and progress further on in his life. If this happens to most children, the educational system fails, contributing to the failure of other systems as well, leading in the end to poverty.

A collaborative research of David Hulme (University of Manchester) and Andrew Shepherd (Development Institute, London) pointed out four major questions regarding poverty in the southern parts of the globe. These questions and a succinct answer to them are presented next:

Q1: What is chronic poverty?

In an attempt to define the chronic poverty as simple and clear as possible, Hulme and Shepherd propose the following definition: "chronic poverty can be viewed as occurring when an individual experiences significant capability deprivations for a period of five or more years. "

Q2: Who is chronically poor?

To identify those individuals or countries chronically poor, specialists elaborated a chart of the poverty line. Based on the revenues and quality of life, they identify the countries under and above the poverty line for several years. If a country has not been above the line for more than five years, it is considered chronically poor

Q3: Why are people chronically poor?

Hulme and Shepherd believe that countries become poor once they become vulnerable; politically, socially, educationally or economically vulnerable. In this aspect, they agree with Kanbur, stating that not only economy is a cause for poverty, but also other factors contribute, such as education.

Q4: What are the implications of the answers to the earlier questions for poverty reduction and policy?

The answers to the three previous mentioned questions imply that there is a severe necessity towards aiding the chronically poor economies. And this aid should not only be financial, but the LDC should also be assisted with education, health or social interactions.

David Hulme and Andrew Shepherd, Conceptualizing Chronic Poverty)

Strategies proposed for reduction of poverty

Kanbur believes that for the problem of poverty to be solved, people need to form a certain culture and achieve a particular level of education. He suggests implementation of educational, health, and income programs which would "equally become tomorrow's foundations." (Ravi Kanbur, Economic Policy, Distribution and Poverty: The Nature of Disagreements, p.1085)

No matter what channel rich countries choose to help the LDC, they all need to agree on it, discuss it, compare the advantages and disadvantages for both partners, negociate the terms and only then make a decision.


Jamie Joseph, Development in Practice, Volume 11, Numbers 2 & 3, May 2001; Sustainable Development and Democracy in the Megacities

Joseph T. Siegle, Michael M. Weinstein, and Morton H. Halperin, Why Democracies Excel, Foreign Affairs September/October 2004

Mick Moore, Political Underdevelopment, What causes 'bad governance', Volume 3, Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2001

Lionel Cliff and Robin Luckham, Complex political emergencies and the state: failure and the fate of the state, Third World Quarterly, Vol 20, No 1, pp 27A± 50, 1999

John Harriss, The Case for Cross-Disciplinary Approaches in International Development, World Development Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 487-496, Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.Printed in Great Britain, 2002

S.M. Lele, Sustainable Development" A Critical Review, World Development, Vol. 19, No. 6, pp. 607-621, Printed in Great Britain, 1991

Ravi Kanbur, Economic Policy, Distribution and Poverty: The Nature of Disagreements, World Development, Volume 29, No. 6, pp. 1083-1094, Elseiver…[continue]

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