Development and Underdevelopment in Britain and Ireland


Many people, covering many academic disciplines, have an interest in what they would refer to as development, and approach it from the direction of what they conceive to be underdevelopment. This type of labelling customarily follows on from some narrower interest; either in a particular region (for example Africa, Asia, Latin America); or in a particular place (e.g. Nigeria, Brazil, China); or in particular peoples and cultures (e.g. the 1k-speaking peoples). Some people, particularly economists and political scientists, start from the theoretical end of the spectrum: their interest in particular regions, economics, political systems and so on derives from their hope that the material they find there will enable them to construct tighter theoretical formulations of their discipline. In either case, empirical interest in development is addressed firmly to societies which by relatively crude but clear criteria can be sharply distinguished from modern, industrial nationsand that invariably means a distinction between non-Western and Western nations. This distinction, potentially a patronising one, has been expressed in a variety of terms: developed underdeveloped, developed less developed, advanced-backward, rich-poor, high incomelow incomeand so on. Often, the way the dichotomy is expressed reveals the user's conception of development as a linear one, embedded in implicit or explicit values about what sort of development is desirable.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Mino2009DevelopmentAU, title={Development and Underdevelopment in Britain and Ireland}, author={Martin Mino}, year={2009} }