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Naomi Nkinsi

GEOG 335 Summer 2015

Final exam
Shorts Answers
1. Despite their many substantive differences on how to best carry out development, what
common threads run through different development paradigms?
Although the different development paradigms that weve discussed in class have various
approaches to addressing issues in the developing world, they do share common underlying
threads. One such commonality between all of the discourses is the pursuit of progress,
regardless of how this progress is defined or measured. In addition to this, all of the development
discourses seek to incorporate the traditionally disenfranchised into the global market either
through social or economic measures. Finally, organizations operating by these development
discourses utilize metrics and measurements that seek to not only validate their forms of
interventions, but indicate that they made significant positive changes in the developing world as
2. In what historical context did the good governance approach to development emerge?
The good governance approach to development came out of the post-Cold war context. During
this period in history, democratically aligned world powers were concerned about the threat that
communism posed on economic and national security. This discourse credited the failure of
structural adjustments programs not to the programs themselves, but the lack of proper
government implication in the recipient countries to allow these programs to work properly. The
implementation of the good governance discourse made having a democratic government a
precondition for receiving aid.
3. What are some ways that orientalist (remember: this is not necessarily the same as
modernist or progress-oriented) attitudes persist in contemporary depictions of
Orientalists attitudes, or the condescending depictions of the other (typically developing
countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East), developed and perpetuated by the Global North
and multilateral development agencies still persist in contemporary depictions of development. A
great example of this is the way that many African countries continue to be depicted by these
agencies and the media concerning the topic of development. A quick Google search of almost
any African country will come up with images of starved children with their arms out asking for
food with a caption declaring that for only $0.10 a day you could help a poor African. These
images, used both by private and international aid agencies, create a sense of an other that
requires the help of the developed world in order to become more humanized. This contemporary
orientalist attitude only further perpetuates the ideal of the white mans burden.

4. What basic argument(s) is / are used to justify and endorse the market as the best
development mechanism available, past and/or present?
Keynesian economics, though different from liberal economics in their emphasis on the role of
state, endorsed the idea that the market was the best development mechanism available.
Keynesian economics posed the argument that the inequality and poverty faced by the
developing world was due to economic instability and their inability/unwillingness to modernize.
If these countries were to increase production and export to the global market by creating more
consumerism through increasing government spending to create jobs, they would be capable of
modernizing and rising out of poverty. In this argument, increased production to the global
market is seen as as the most efficient method of development.
5. What argument(s) or evidence undermine(s) or disprove(s) the notion that taking
advantage of a countrys comparative advantage is a reliable way of developing
Taking advantage of a countrys comparative advantage, or focusing on the exportation of
goods that a country can produce at a lower cost than others seems like it would work to boost a
nations economy. However, past implementations of these policies have proven otherwise.
Having a diversified market is much more likely to boost a nations economy as it provides
security against disruptions in production. If a country, for example, were to focus solely on the
exportation of bananas, their entire economy could be vulnerable to collapse should they have a
bad season, another country find a way to produce bananas more cheaply, or if the banana
production was somehow halted due to other such unpredictable events. Economic development
is not particularly bolstered through comparative advantage.

Essay Prompt # 3
In contrast to the neoliberal and modernization discourses of development that weve
discussed in class, the human-centered development discourse seeks to promote the social welfare of
individuals living in developing countries with the idea that the development of societal and political
policies that allow for the upward mobility of the traditionally disfranchised will work to alleviate the
underlying determinants of poverty, inequality, and disease. As both multilateral and private aid
organizations begin to adopt this more humanized development framework, protection of the most
vulnerable populations has become an ultimate concern, especially as these organizations attempt to
further include communities into the global market.
With the case that has presented itself in Kenya concerning the diminishing rights of the LBGTQ
community, the human-entered development approach becomes even more complex as we must consider
whether imposing Western ideals of equality diminishes the traditional cultural beliefs of the Kenyan
people. We must now question if the West has a moral obligation to apply pressure through sanctions or
other means on the Global South when the welfare of women, children, ethnic, queer people, or other
marginalized populations is at stake.
In order to fairly and adequately consider the issue of social welfare in the Global South, we must
first examine the strong role that the Global North played in causing or further exacerbating these types of
conflicts in the Global South. In the case of Kenya, which did not become independent of European
colonial rule until 1962, we must recognize the Wests role in creating economic and ethnic inequalities
that have led to conflicts in the northern regions of the country over control of water and land. The
eruption of violence in Kenya in the 1990s over complaints of government corruption and issues such as
high unemployment, crime, poverty and droughts have consistently fraught the country with internal

While most would agree that countries like Kenya should work towards eliminating social
discrimination, much research has provided evidence that economic inequality works to promote social
inequalities. Keeping both this and the role that the West has played in creating economic inequalities in
these parts of the world in mind, is it not reasonable to conclude that it is, in fact, the Global North that
has caused these social inequalities that we now ironically seek to actively condemn? Is it not hypocritical
of the United States to have our nations leader travel to Kenya to promote LGBTQ rights when our own
LGBTQ communities can be legally discriminated against in over half of the country regardless of the
Supreme Court legalization of same-sex marriage?
However, regardless of the role that the West had played in perpetuating social inequalities in the
developing world, one could still argue that our role as global leaders demands that we speak up for those
who are otherwise unable to speak for themselves. From a purely economic perspective, the lack of
upward mobility of the socially disenfranchised equates to a complete exclusion of an entire population of
consumers who could be contributing to the global market trade. The inclusion of this large group of
individuals, according to neoliberal discourses, will promote increased production of goods, lead to the
influx of new jobs, and alleviate poverty globally. Although this model of trickle-down economics has
shown to not necessarily be as effective in practice as it appears to be on paper, it still stands that the lack
of social justice in the developing world only perpetuates the cycles of poverty that prevent progress.
With the incredible potential benefits of assuring equal rights for the worlds marginalized
populations at stake, it is very difficult to reconcile the desire to avoid imposing Western values on
countries that have suffered at our hands from ill-conceived development projects with protecting basic
human rights. Because the relationship of the West with the Global South had been historically based on
Western dominance, the implementation of further restrictions on these countries can lead to accusations
of hypocrisy and neo-colonialism. Regardless of this however, we must consider if the threat of
accusation is greater than the threat of potentially allowing for horrific acts such as ethnic cleansing and

genocides to continue. As the discourses of development continue to evolve, the issues of moral
obligations and national autonomy are sure to be next concepts worthy of discussion and further analysis.