Economic And Human Development In Global North And Global South

2972 words - 12 pages

The disparities between the Global North and Global South is accounted by the low level of Economic and Human development in the Global South compared to the Global North. The four underlying factors that contribute to this lack of development in the Global South are Institutions, Culture, Geography, and Imperialism/Colonialism. The Global North refers to “industrialized nations, including West Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, that are part of a structurally integrated system of global capitalism”(MacLean and Wood p.245). The term Global North is interchangeable with developed countries, the West, industrialized countries or the First World. The Global South refers ...view middle of the document...

One term views development in terms of Economic development, which is defined as “the process of increasing a country’s wealth by diversifying the goods and services it produces and increasing the efficiency with which it produces them” (Draper and Ramsay p.196). The second term views development in terms of Human development, which is defined as “the process of “expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value”. These choices depend on whether the society in which they live gives them the opportunity to be well fed and healthy, safe from violence, literate and numerate, and able to participate in politics” (Draper and Ramsay p.196) In its entirety, a developed state is one which resembles states in the Global North. As David Slater says, “The West [Global North] was constructed as the model and prototype for the non-West –the future destination for traditional societies willing and able to make the transition to modernity (p.642)”. Before I discuss what causes the disparities, I would like to outline what it means to be developed like the Global North. I view development in terms of the categorization of Economic and Human Development outlined in the book The Good Society: An Introduction to Comparative Politics Second Edition by Alan Draper and Ansil Ramsay. Draper and Ramsay combine the categorization developed by the World Bank for Economic Development (based on “per capita income: low income ($975 per capita or less), lower-middle income ($976 to $3,855), upper-middle income ($3,856 to $11,905), and high income ($11,906 or more”) and the United Nations Human Development program (“divides countries into four categories: low, medium, high and very high”) to form four categories that is composed of highly developed, developed, moderately developed and least developed countries (p.197). For example, countries in the least developed category would belong to the low income category according to World Bank and low human development category of the Human Development program. It is important to keep in mind that not all countries fall comfortably into the set categories. For example, Saudi Arabia, as pointed out by Draper and Ramsay, into the World Bank’s highest income category but falls into the second highest category in the Human Development Programmes (p.197). Economic and Human development, or lack of it, is determined by four underlying factors.
The first factor that accounts for the disparities is Institutions. Institutions are defined as “groupings that have developed and are to attend to particular needs for society” (MacLean p.26). Institutions are important to Economic and Human development because they lay the foundations on which a state is built. According to Dani Rodrik, “the quality of institutions overrides everything else”(Draper and Ramsay p.207). Institutions are seen as key to encouraging citizens to invest in the state as well as a tool to help divide up the “benefits of growth” among the various factions...

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