Introducing global development
Development is about change that is a result of human activity, and such change has happened throughout human existence. In this course, you will first examine a particular framing of change processes − that associated with industrialisation and the concept of a ‘modern’ society. The view of development as modernisation emerged clearly in the 1950s and 1960s, although its origins can be traced back much further. Between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, the economic, social, cultural and political systems of countries in Western Europe and North America were transformed and, in the post Second World War period, the industrialised countries were the dominant actors in the international system. They promoted a message that all societies should aspire to follow in their path and become technologically advanced and modern. Such a view of development gives rise to an established perspective that sees a stark divide between the wealthy and powerful ‘developed’ countries of the global ‘North’ and the poorer, marginalised ‘developing’ countries of the global ‘South’.
You will explore the arguments for questioning and potentially moving away from such a binary view. There is increasing recognition of a need to think about development in global terms, a perspective that recognises that all countries are affected by, and need to participate and collaborate in, addressing the serious global issues of the twenty-first century. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an important step in this direction. To support and provoke your thinking on global issues and on the SDGs, you will be introduced to PASH (Power, Agency, Scope, History), a conceptual and analytical framework created for the course.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.