The global political economy stresses that development is a good thing but it is not easy to achieve as West makes it seem. It is important in the global political economy as development goes hand in hand with capitalism; the rich core countries extending their hand to the poor global south but with an ill intent. I don’t think that the West really wants to develop the global south they just want to make it seem like they are helping them. Therefore it makes development the fight of the fittest and those who prosper can hold an important place in global politics. (Doane, 2014)
Development is a word that has been universally accepted and always been around and has been cropping up lately in the past decade. Julius Nyerere; former president of Tanzania said that development is the political mobilization of people for attaining their own objectives. (Sachs, 2010). When you mention developed countries the majority automatically point to the Western countries also known as Core countries. For centuries they have been put on a pedestal because majority of them are advanced in many ways. They are also seen as big advocates for development; many western nations and organisations provide foreign aid to less developed countries, the countries they once used exploit but still do.
Now when developing nations are brought up many people assume the Global South as a clear example and some may have this idea that the developing nations should aspire to being advanced as the western countries are. When development is mentioned some people fail to recognize that GDP is only a fraction of how development is achieved, there are many factors that affect development and it varies of country to country just because of the culture dynamics that countries possess. GDP fails to measure income inequality, or provision of universal public services or even distribution of growth. (Doane, 2014)
Development assumes that everyone who is not up to the standards of the west is a bit backwards and stresses this idea of being advanced but it fails to recognize that different cultures develop that different paces and also ignores the fact that development is not necessary; some cultures like the Maasai in Kenya for example prefer the nomadic life that thrives within their indigenous communities. Aid is supposed to help the developing nations but that’s not always the case, because of the on-going corruption that plagues most developing countries and it proves the point that development continues to be a myth. Therefore foreign aid does more harm than good in this context and can increase inequality, and after the aid leaves the hands of these western organisations they have very little control of what goes on within the governments.
Government officials exploit their power by using the aid for ineffective agendas which do not benefit the country. Therefore social development is jeopardized because the government officials pursue their own selfish needs instead of the needs of the nation. They can use foreign aid to tackle unemployment, infrastructure, and education, healthcare and overall the poverty that is apparent. It is argued that aid could enhance social development but it does not due to power dynamics and corruption and this increased the vulnerability of the poor. (Nourou, 2014)
The Aid that Western countries and organisations provide is not moving the world in the right direction; towards development because general trends still suggest that poverty and inequality still exists in the world.(Wade, 2003)
There needs to be tougher regulations on the aid that is circulated to the “global south”, governments need to be given targets that need to be achieved in order to improve their states. Organisations should be careful with the projects that are supposed to “improve” developing countries as it can create more inequality. But also individuals should not assume that the global south is poor, they are considerably poor compared to the West which is vastly rich.
Doane, D. (2014). What’s so bad about development? | Deborah Doane. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/sep/01/development-ngos-third-world-global-south [Accessed 5 Dec. 2015].
Nourou, M. (2014). FOREIGN AID AND DEVELOPMENT: LOOKING BEYOND THE GROWTH EFFECT. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, 39(4), pp.99-101.
Sachs, W. (2010). The development dictionary. London: Zed Books, pp.1-2.
Wade, R. (2003). What strategies are viable for developing countries today? The World Trade Organization and the shrinking of ‘development space’. Review of International Political Economy, 10(4), p.634.