From Right to Left in Development Theory 9789814376754

The paper explores the central assumptions of the Neo-Classical, Structuralist, and Marxist theories of development in o

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Table of contents :
CONTENTS
PREFACE
INTRODUCTION
I. NEO-CLASSICAL GROWTI-I THEORY
II. THE STRUCTURALIST MODEL
Ill. POLITICAL OUTCOMES
IV. MARXIST AND NEO-MARXIST UNDERDEVELOPMENT AND ·DEPENDENCE THEORY
V. POLITICAL OUTCOMES
REFERENCES
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From Right to Left in Development Theory
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m. The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies was established as an autonomous organization in May 1968 . It is a regional research centre for scholars and other specialists concerned with modern Southeast Asia. It is governed by a Board of Trustees , the members of which include appointees from universities and government , as well as representatives from a broad range of professional and civic organizations and groups. An Executive Committee oversees day-to-day operations; it is chaired by the Director, the Institute's chief academic and administrative officer.

The Institute's research interest is focused on the multi-faceted problems of development and modernization, and political and social change in Southeast Asia. The results of such research are disseminated widely through a number of channels, involving several series of papers , monographs and books. The Institute's Occasional Papers is its first and oldest series of publications. It represents professional contributions on a variety of topics of regional interest.

The responsibility for facts and opinions expressed in this publication rests exclusively with the author and his interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the policy of the Institute or its supporters.

ISEAS Occasional Paper No. 61

FROM RIGHT TO LEFT IN DEVELOPMENT THEORY

FROM RIGHT TO LEFT IN DEVELOPMENT THEORY An Analysis of the Political Implications of Different Models of Development

KEVIN P. CLEMENTS

INSTITUTE OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDIES

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Copyright subsists in this publication under the United Kingdom Copyright Act, 1911, and the Singapore Copyright Act (Cap. 187). No person shall reproduce a copy of this publication, or extracts therefrom, without the written permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.

Distributed by

Maruzen Asia Pte. Ltd. Pasir Panjang P.O. Box 67 Singapore 9111 Printed in Singapore by Eurasia Press

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CONTENTS PREFACE

INTRODUCflON Two "Paradigms"

I

NEO-CLASSICAL GROWTH THEORY

11

The Political Outcomes

11

THE STRUCfURALIST MODEL

17

Ill

POLITICAL OUTCOMES

23

IV

MARXIST AND NEo-MARXIST UNDERDEVELOPMENT AND DEPENDENCE THEORY

27

POLITICAL OuTCOMES

37

V

Ultraradical Socialist Programmes Realistic Radical Socialist Programmes REFERENCES

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V

PREFACE This essay is concerned with the political implications of three major theories of development. As such it attempts to explain (i) the core assumptions of each theory and (ii) the specific political conclusions that flow logically from them. It is clear that theories are used by intellectuals, politicians, planners and businessmen in a variety of different ways. This essay deliberately vacillates between two different usages of theory. 1 The first is where decision-makers use theories as scientific legitimation for particular decisions - or in more Machiavellian terms, as a cloak for the promotion of sectional interests. The second sees theories as reasonably rational guides to action in response to specific social and economic problems. It is often very difficult to separate the two ways in which theories are used since a theoretical map or guide to action often becomes a rationalisation at a later stage. What is clear, however, is that while decision-makers in the Third World respond constantly to real ma terial and social forces they do so in terms of some theoretical perspective . These perspectives enable decisionma kers to feel that they are making decisions on a reasonably rational basis as well as providing the decision-maker with theoretical justification for what i normally a very political decision . Theory becomes ideology when it is used as a scientific rationalisation for the promotion of particular sectional interests. A major conclusion of thi paper is that Marxist and Neo-Marxist theories of development provide the best theoretical explanations of national and international development and underdevelopment. Because they are radical theorie , however, and do not by and large offer many specific solutions to the daily problems confronting decision-makers, a theoretical vacuum is created which tends to get filled by more conservative and less adequate explanatory theory . Decision-makers using conservative theory as their guide will often present their decisions in terms of the rhetoric of the more radical perspective thus creating a meas ure of mystification . More importantly, though , the specific usage of conservative neo-classical/ monetarist or bourgeois national st ructurali st theory tends to promote national and international interests which create inequality and perpetuate the gap between the haves and the have nots. Christchurch, New Zealand January 1980 Kevin P Clements

INTRODUCTIO N

Thirty developed countries, having less than 30% of the world's current population and foreseeably only 20 % of the world's population in the year 2000, now account for approximately 90 % of the world 's income, financial reserves, and steel production. and 95 % of the world's scientific and technological production . Eight of the countries alone have 80 % of the world's non-military manufactured exports : West Germany 21 % , United States 17 %, Japan 14 % . the United Kingdom, France and Italy each about 8 % and Canada 4 % . Moreover the 30 % of the world's population living in these 30 developed countries (both capitalist and socialist) produce 60 % of the world's agricultural output and consume over 60 % of the world's food measured in the wheat consumption equivalent, or 40 % of the world's dietary energy. (Andre Gunder Frank, Millenium : Journal of International Studies, Vol. 7, No . 2, I 978. p. I 53). Ten years and USS4 billion in aid later, Asia's leading development funding agency, the Asian D eve lopment Bank (ADB) has been told that its thinking was mi taken all along. An independent task force of academi commi ioned by the Ba nk to update its 1968 Asian Agricultural Survey has, in effect, repudiated the conventional development wisdom whi ch ha underpinned the ADB's agricultural strategy for the past decade .... Despite the infusi on of billions of development dollars and the efforts of international and national bureaucrats, the record of agricultural development among Asian ADB members has been mainly dismal. (Ho Kwon Ping, reporting on "Rural Asia : Challenge and Opportunity N in Far Easttrrn Economic Rr-view, I 5 September 1978, p. 47).

It is now widely acknowledged that international inequalities have worsened over the last thirty years and that this fact is largely explicable in terms of the exploitative nature of the capitalist world economy. 1 The World Economy model has not, however, been accepted by "orthodox" development theorists, policymakers and planner . Beca use of this, much development theory has succeeded in unwittingly perpetuating the development of underdevelopment in many, if not aU, less developed countries (LOCs) in Asia, Africa, and Latin America .

Sec I. WaUerstein, The Capitalist W orld Econ omy (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1979), for an elaboration of this idea.

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FROM RIGHT TO LEFT IN DEVELOPMENT THEORY

This essay is an analysis of the central assumptions and policy implications of some of "the conventional wisdom" embodied in different theories of development. Theory in Social Science structures helps explain puzzling or problematic economic, social and political behaviour. By definition, it is an abstraction from the real wo:rld and has to be tested in relation to objective facts of everyday life, but theory is also part of the world's subjective consciousness and exerts a considerable influence over the parameters of human behaviour. Social science the