Regional Paths of Development

Regional Paths of Development Development is the key challenge facing human society. The essence of development is to improve the quality of life, yet the striking technological revolutions of recent years have not resulted in better living conditions for most of the world’s population. These contrasts are not limited to comparisons between advanced industrial and developing societies; they are also reflected in starkly differing patterns of development within the third world. Five broad theoretical perspectives frame much of the literature on regional paths of development: neoclassical economics, world-systems/dependency theories, the developmental state, institutional analysis, and marxism. While these approaches are general in nature, there are marked affinities between individual theories and the experience of particular regions in the third word. Our review focuses on four third-word regions: Latin America, East Asia, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. East Asia comes out on top according to almost all indicators of economic and social development, followed by Latin America, South Asia, and, at a considerable distance from the rest, Africa. The comparative analysis of the paths of development followed in these regions not only generates useful insights about concrete development processes; it also serves as a tool for refining development heory itself, and points to promising new areas of research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Sociology Annual Reviews

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 1992 Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
Subject
Review Articles
ISSN
0360-0572
eISSN
1545-2115
DOI
10.1146/annurev.so.18.080192.002223
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Development is the key challenge facing human society. The essence of development is to improve the quality of life, yet the striking technological revolutions of recent years have not resulted in better living conditions for most of the world’s population. These contrasts are not limited to comparisons between advanced industrial and developing societies; they are also reflected in starkly differing patterns of development within the third world. Five broad theoretical perspectives frame much of the literature on regional paths of development: neoclassical economics, world-systems/dependency theories, the developmental state, institutional analysis, and marxism. While these approaches are general in nature, there are marked affinities between individual theories and the experience of particular regions in the third word. Our review focuses on four third-word regions: Latin America, East Asia, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. East Asia comes out on top according to almost all indicators of economic and social development, followed by Latin America, South Asia, and, at a considerable distance from the rest, Africa. The comparative analysis of the paths of development followed in these regions not only generates useful insights about concrete development processes; it also serves as a tool for refining development heory itself, and points to promising new areas of research.

Journal

Annual Review of SociologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Aug 1, 1992

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