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Submitted by, Ahona Sen Roll No- 2012LE002.
and says that development is the removal of ‘major sources of unfreedom’. in my opinion. for example such as facilities of education and health. is the circumstances in society that deny people the opportunities to realise their full potentials. are also sources of ‘unfreedoms’ people experience. What Amartya Sen. is pointing to as ‘unfreedoms’. that is result in ‘social development’. Thus development would mean creating circumstances to let individuals exercise their full capabilities to lead a sustainable and comfortable life. Viewing development as freedom and thus the removal of ‘unfreedoms’ points out that individual freedoms to realise one’s full potentials can propel an entire society forward in the path of development. is a narrow view of development since it does not take into account other essential facets of development which relate to freedoms of people that are dependent on social and economic arrangements. sanitation facilities shelter and nutrition. In my opinion.Note on Development as Freedom Amartya Sen has advanced arguments to explain how he perceives development to be essentially a process of expanding real freedoms that people enjoy. Amartya Sen explores the concept of ‘unfreedom’. for example. Conditions of life are rendered very difficult by denial of access to such necessities and economic poverty engenders this. Amartya Sen has also dismissed the view of looking at markets as only a source of inequities. He has established that looking at development as merely a growth of GNP or identifying it with industrialisation. education and other public facilities that are responsible for ‘social care’ and maintaining order and peace in society. the freedom to participate in public discussion and debate. He recognises that capabilities of markets to propel forth economic 2 . Political regimes that are authoritarian. ‘Unfreedoms’ are also the result of lack of adequate facilities for health. that deny political liberties of engaging freely in public discussions and debate. what Amartya Sen does is focus on how the view of development as expansion of substantive freedoms (those liberties integral to leading a life with a comfortable standard of living) can do justice to any conception of a just and wholesome development which development practitioners and those involved in the discourse on development can resort to. He identifies ‘unfreedoms’ as economic poverty which results in insufficient access to health. as well as political and civil rights.
literacy and good health helps the man and his family to further consolidate their economic position through gainful work. Amartya Sen thus mainly points to how the different freedoms converge in creating a situation of complete freedom for an individual. He sees the enhancement of individual capabilities through provision of ‘instrumental freedoms’ (political freedoms. implied as the movement away from ‘underdevelopment’. He noted how markets can be used against just development by creating bonded labour and denial of access of product markets to small producers who ‘suffer under traditional arrangements and restrictions’. Development was meant to reflect the present economic and 3 . social and political freedoms and can strengthen each other. For example. engages them actively in pursuing their freedoms and shaping their lives.growth and also generate economic freedoms through the process of freedom of economic exchange. Again. economic facilities. In turn. Amartya sen is of the view that looking at development as freedom requires arguments both for and against the market mechanism to be carefully considered and a narrow for or against market view to be dropped. The President of the United States. social opportunities. on the 20th of January. a man who has the political right of freedom of speech is in a better state to strengthen his economic position ( say through trade unionism). Amartya Sen also expresses his belief that individuals are not passive recipients of the fruits of development but the approach of development as freedom. Note on Development By Gustavo Esteva Esteva acknowledges that development has over the decades had several ambiguous connotations and has been amoeba like in the accommodation of various factors as components of development. a better economic position grants him and his family access to educational and health facilities that can improve the quality of their lives. The overarching and most prevailing sense of development that has held the world in its notorious grasp has however been the one introduced by Harry Truman. transparent guarantees and protective security) as the precursors of individual development and ultimately ‘social development’. 1949. Thus we see various freedoms an individual can enjoy complement and supplement each other. He believes that connections exist between economic.
In order to establish the superiority of the present condition of the United States it was convenient and beneficial for the latter. in striving towards higher GDP. poses problems for attempts at more just formulations. lead to development thinkers looking for fairer ‘kinds’ of development such as ‘endogenous development’ a concept coined by the UNESCO . Thus Esteva in his note has traced the evolution of the concept of ‘development’ over the decades and shown how it is mired with complex and multiple meanings.societal condition of the United States. A recognition of the inequities that this notion of development. with the dominant one championing hegemonic and colonising tendencies. Who is to say it is? Thus the very concept of ‘development’. with its ambiguity. An appreciation of the uniqueness and culture diversity of the rest of the world was caste into a shadow and became far removed from this narrowly defined notion of development (which in fact benefitted only the US). resulted in. He believes that people all over the world have now reacted to this unjust notion of 4 . ‘a formidable and incessant productive machinery’. The pertinent question was. posed theoretical problems associated with the word ‘development’ in itself. The US reality was considered to be the supreme reality and two-thirds of the world’s population were expected to conform to this reality in order to pull themselves out of their own wretched realities. However the idea of a ‘development’ that accounted for the distinctive features and value systems of particular nations instead of blindly aping the industrial West. to caste the rest of the world. The sense of development that Truman championed constituted growth in GNP and industrialisation as ultimate ends towards which all societies must traverse. what in deed should be considered as a benchmark for ‘development’ if a ‘ single cultural model’ was not to be imposed on the entire world? What the different nations would move towards in appreciation of their cultural exclusivity might not be a ‘development’ at all. as in an undesirable and disadvantageous position. that took the reference point of the West. This definition was thus a part of a sinister design to enlist the rest of the world’s population (almost two-third) in support of the market mechanism (which in the hands of such imperialist in fact robbed people of their economic choices). which was a highly industrialised country at the time. in considering the Western social order as superior and thus helping the US consolidate its hegemony in the world order. and thus pull themselves out of ‘underdevelopment’. which did not approximate to the US’s economic and social order.
development as it had meant in Truman’s time.( since the world is being steadily depleted of its natural resources) and thus headed towards a dead end. has become out dated since. Sachs believe the very premises underlying it ‘have been out dated by history’. Thus. However. that is industrialisation and technological advancement. villages and neighbourhoods in which they live on their own terms. served to benefit the US. dissatisfaction and greed and instead engage in economic transactions that are confined to their own societies. the most industrialised nation. This was exactly what helped the US maintain its supreme position in the world’s social and economic order for years. intrinsically this model of development holds threats in store for the future. They resort to traditional medicines an do no not panic in absence of hospital and nurses and allopathic drugs. with present notions of development encroaching unfavourably on the lives of too many. Thus these men and women have tried to shield themselves from a skewed ‘development’. Sachs advances four arguments.development and retracted from this domineering world order. Such a conception of ‘development’ served to enslave in a sense the populations of the Southern countries who viewed themselves with selfpity and strove to model their nations following the US example. they disassociate themselves from the economic logic of global markets that breed inequities. First. three of which I have discussed below. Here they do not experience any ‘scarcity’ since they do not look upon the West to suggest to them what they are lacking in. which was in post second World War period. has in it the seeds of self-destruction. based on which it claims supremacy. the model of industrialisation and technological advancement the US follows. 5 . They have developed what is called the ‘new commons’. they embed their learning in their traditional cultures and do not grieve the lack of access to the ‘modern’ education system. A deconstruction of the concept of development is thus the need of the hour. Note on Introduction to Development Dictionary by Wolfgang Sachs Wolfgang Sachs has highlighted how the concept of ‘development’ that emerged with Harry Truman labelling the Southern countries as ‘underdeveloped’. Such a model of development is based on exploitation of resources and resultant ecological imbalance.
‘development’ has evidently not achieved this.’ 6 .Secondly. Truman had spoken of brining 'improvement and growth of underdeveloped areas’. that naturally enlisted the decolonising countries in its support against the rising influence of the Soviet Union. However. Thus according to Sachs. the US had advanced a notion of development. 1949. and a fantasy that unleashes passions. Development can only thus be conceived of as a ‘cast of mind’. the age of development has passed and what remains are the ruins of a concept that had once emerged as a political instrument to propel one society to the forefront of the world order. ‘a perception which models reality. has lost its very essence. the conception of development with the political motivation spelt out above. now that the confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union has come to a halt. However with burgeoning inequalities. and thus attempted to maintain its (the US’s) position as rank one in the world order. Thirdly. a myth which comforts society. development is an illusion. the first communist country to industrialise itself. In his speech on the 20th of January. the social polarisation that has resulted with the widening of gaps within countries and between countries is contrary to what development was meant to bring about according to Truman.