Discuss how scholars’ understanding of the term development has evolved overtime.
Development as a field of academic enquiry is a heavily contested terrain. The dimensions of development are extremely diverse, including economic, social, political, legal and institutional structures, technology, the environment, religion, the arts and culture. A whole lot of scholars’ and academics have come up with different perception on the term development. The following paragraphs seek to highlight and analyze how different scholars perceived the term development.
Todaro et al (2009) described development as the capacity of a national economy whose initial economy condition has been more or less static for a long time, to generate and sustain an annual increase in its gross national income (GNI) at rates of 5% to 7% or more. This entails the use of rates of growth of income per capita to take into account the ability of a nation to expand its output at a rate faster than the growth rate of its population and also how much of real goods and services is available to the average citizen for consumption. For example, some oil rich African countries like Libya have been enjoying high gross national income to an extent that it provided its citizens with some basic needs like health and education for free.
Swanepoel (2000), expressed that the study of development came into being in the immediate post World War 2 period as a result of the decolonization process which saw the emerging of different countries which had different standards of living. These newly independent countries were viewed by developed countries in Europe and North America as underdeveloped. These so called third world countries were believed that they would achieve the level of growth and standards of living similar to those of developed countries. This optimistic approach gave birth to the modernization theory immediately after the Second World War. Some scholars believed that the modernization theory came...