Looking at the development project!
If we see the history of the development, colonization and decolonization has played the great role in changing the development perception. When in colonization development was interpreted as the practical effort to preserve the colonies. In fact the perception of development in the European minds led them to colonize the other countries, which in their view were not developed. In spite of people’s denials of the colonization, they did realize one thing from colonization that is the importance of development for the good of the people and nation. While in decolonization, development was understood far more as the rising living standards of the people. Though countries after the World War II became free and independent, they did join the international relations for the development project.
Development was the internationally organized strategy to pursue the national economic growth which depended upon the international material and political –legal. The devastating period after the World War II needed to reconstruct the world economy which had been depressingly affected. The United States, then, planned the 2 initiatives to overcome the affects of the World War II, which were ‘the bilateral Marshall plan and the multilateral Bretton Woods Program’ which peaked in to action in 1950.
The key objective of the Marshall Plan was to reconstruct the Europe to stabilize the western world under which billions of dollars were transferred to the Europe and Japan. It helped Europe to overcome the trade deficit of Europe with the U.S. As U.S. accessed raw material from European colonies paying dollar which were deposited in London banks and with that Europe could financed the imports from U.S. U.S. investments’ in colonial and postcolonial territories demanded the European Manufacturing goods. It made the creative ‘Triangular trade’ complete. At the same time The Bretton woods system provided help to establish the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, twin sisters. World Bank was the membership based and it would borrow money from international subscriptions while IMF disburses credit to stabilize national currency exchange. The World Bank invested in national infrastructural as well as in agriculture.
If we see the post world war time, we find that third world has significantly awaked to make the international presence. Foreign aid was not only helping the third world countries to develop but a noteworthy bias has been found as these foreign aids focused on regionally powerful countries like south Korea, Turkey etc. An increase of presence in international politics, third world countries, formed the Non aligned Movement (NAM) which forge the philosophy of noninterference in international relations. It raised the question on legitimacy of the multilateral development plan for which the World Bank responded by creating the International Development Association (IDA) to provide the loans in highly discounted rates to low income countries.
These initiatives taken under the development project did succeed in the remaking of International Division of Labor. While first world also started producing the raw materials and third world’s self sufficiency also increased as it also started producing manufacturing goods. In contrary to this, the Food Aid Regime of U.S. created the food dependency of third world to U.S. The Public Law 480 program was the initiative to create future market of commercial sales by increasing the consumption of U.S. agricultural commodities in third world countries. The food aid program also prospered the meat consumption in the third world middle classes. It sadly replaced the traditional peasant foods with wage foods. However some countries like South Korea succeed to protect its farmers in spite of food imports like wheat but the countries like Colombia collapsed its significant part of agriculture due to Food Aid program.
We must consider that The Green Revolution helped countries in the rise of agricultural production. It changed the peasant farmers into commercial farmers. However, the effects of the chemicals in the ecological system were negative. The governments were highly inclined to provide the foods in low-priced rate to the urban people for political proposes to get votes or favors for election. But the bias couldn’t be unnoticed for long and the government had to plan for land reform. The high priced technology farming and the cheap foods were unbearable for the low income peasants as a result of which the migration of the peasants to the cities swelled in high numbers.
As we see, the development initiatives taken by the first world in third world were not solely for the development purpose but the great politics lies behind that. Some countries were industrialized and grew in the rate of 7 to 10 percent like Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea. Countries like South Korea depended on the American dollars injection. In spite of its centralized development policy it could highly succeed to increase the development rate. Whereas the food regime had highly negative effects in some countries and it increased the food dependency on first world.
If development leads the dependency of third world to first world, it can’t merely be called the development. To me it seems like the development project was initiated only on the basis of the people of urban area without thinking the peasants or local people in the countryside whose life depended on farming. If not why the suicide rate of farmers in India after the World War II was high? Why the slum area were swelled in spite of new farming technologies and market for produced foods. Either the way for development was expensive or the payment done to the farmers were cheaper than they contributed. The majority of people in countryside had to migrate because they had no option to survive with the high investment in farming and low income of the products.
The development initiative was never significantly helpful to raise the living standard of countryside people though it claimed to reduce poverty, it seems like it has only relocated the poverty. It is likely that we still need to think of the alternative development project keeping international relation in the centre.
Reference; Development and Social Change: a global perspective by McMichael, Philip. 2008