Concept Of Political Development | Political Underdevelopment | What is Political Development ?


Concept Of Political Development | Political Underdevelopment | What is Political Development ?

Development is a contested concept. It is very much identified with the concept of modernization. But modernism is a part of development so it cannot determine development alone. Development as a concept is multidimensional. There is no unified theory of development.

Political development emphasis on three things:

  1.  Importance of democracy,
  2.  Importance of change in society,
  3.  Dimension of consequences of change in society.

The concept of political development was put forward by almond and Lucian Pye. Both of them talked about the development of the first world. They talked about the plurality of politics, accountability, and stability of the system.

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Definitions Of Political Development:

  1. According to David Apter "modernization is a particular case of development process. He argues development is a result of the integration of the functional role of the community.
  2. Rustow, in his book " stages of economic growth: a non-communist manifesto", talks about why certain countries are developed and some are primitive. He talks about certain stages of economic growth. He argues that every society has undergone 5 stages of development.

  •  Traditional society
  •  Transitional society
  • Take off society
  •  Drive to technological maturity
  •  Age of high mass consumption.

In addition to this, one of the important contributions was provided by Huntington. He argues political development as a process linked with the issue of political stability of Institution. It is linked with adaptability and change. 

According to him, when a system cannot change but society is changing, what we find is political decay rather than political development.

The above-mentioned concepts are the mainstream approach of political development but they are criticized for copying the west. They are seen as parochial. This is why alternative concepts came in the form of "underdevelopment".

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The foremost contributions to underdevelopment theory come from Furtado. In his book "Development and underdevelopment", he argues why the west able to develop, why capitalist structure works in the west but not in the third world countries. 

According to him problem of third world is the issue of autonomy. Most of the third world countries face certain structural problems link with societal and economic conditions.

Another major contribution in terms of political underdevelopment comes from the center-periphery model propounded by Andre Gunder Frank. In his book ''capitalism and underdevelopment in Latin America" (1967), Frank argues that the center is metropole and periphery is satellite. 

According to him, third world countries are underdeveloped because of its linkage with past or its colonial master. In spite of getting independence, third world countries are still following old kinds of mechanisms created by their colonial masters. 

Thus Frank argues that the underdevelopment of 3rd world countries is linked with dependency, which is a situation of unequal relation and symbol of domination.

Lenin in his book "imperialism: the highest stage of capitalism" talks about the role of monopoly capital. He argues third world countries not able to develop because of monopoly capitalism which means certain company holds absolute control over our society which leads to exploitation.

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