DEVELOPMENT STUDIES MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY (MKU) NOTES

Introduction

The term development is understood as a social condition within a nation, in which the authentic needs of its population are satisfied the rational and sustainable use of natural resources and systems. This utilization of natural resources is based on a technology, which respects the cultural features of the population of a given country.
This general definition of development includes the specification that social groups have access to organizations, basic services such as education, housing, health services, and nutrition, and above all else, that their cultures and traditions are respected within the social framework of a particular country.
In economic terms, the aforementioned definition indicates that for the population of a country, there are employment opportunities, satisfaction -at least- of basic needs, and the achievement of a positive rate of distribution and redistribution of national wealth. In a political sense this definition emphasizes that governmental systems have legitimacy not only in terms of the law, but also in terms of providing social benefits for the majority of the population.

1. Modernization Theories (Backwardness Theories)

According to modernization theories, internal factors in the countries, such as illiteracy, traditional agrarian structure, the traditional attitude of the population, the low division of labor, the lack of communication and infrastructure, etc., are responsible for underdevelopment. Differences in structure and historical origin are considered of little importance; international dependencies are not taken into account.
Consequently, a change of these endogenous factors is the strategy for development. The industrialized countries are the model for economy and society, and this model will be reached sooner or later.
There is a continuum between the least and the most developed country and each country has its position on this line. The difference as compared to the industrialized countries is the degree of backwardness which has to be made up for. Suitable measures are the modernization of the production apparatus, capital aid, transfer of know-how, so that the developing countries can reach the stage of industrialized countries as soon as possible. Development is seen as an increase of production and efficiency and measured primarily comparing the per capita income.

1.1 Dualism Theories

Dualism theories assume a split of economic and social structures of different sectors so that they differ in organization, level of development, and goal structures. Usually, the concept of economic dualism differentiates between two sectors of economy:
i) The traditional subsistence sector consists of small-scale agriculture, handicraft and petty trade, has a high degree of labour intensity but low capital intensity and little division of labour;

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BBM 121 Development Studies Module



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