Development: Discourse, Alternatives and Possibilities

Collaboration among INTL305 students…

Assignment 3 – Modernization theory

Please read the chapter in Peet & Hartwick on theories of modernization. In addition, please read the brief overview of Rostow’s “stages of growth” model:

Rostow’s Non-Communist Manifesto

After you have reflected on the reading materials, please respond (in about 200-250 words maximum) to the following three questions as a comment to this post. Be sure to post your comments by 11:59 on March 3. If possible, try to complete this assignment before March 3, as it will help you prepare for your exam that same day.

1) What does a process of economic modernization look like? In other words, how should the economic system of a county change as it modernizes/develops?

2) Is the process of modernization an internal or external process? If a country fails to modernize, what are the possible explanations?

3) Stage 2 of Rostow’s linear stages of growth model is called “pre-conditions to take-off”. For the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, what was the impetus for their take-off (what created the pre-conditions)? What does this imply about  modernization and development in less-developed countries?

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Written by socialfoundations

February 26, 2011 at 11:31 am

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  1. 1. As modernization comes into effect within a country that is undeveloped, the economy should change for the better. Economic progress promotes national dignity, private profit, the general welfare, or a better life for children. Education becomes prioritized and helps broaden the minds of the people, and there is a shift in the needs of modern economic activity. As countries and societies modernize, more investors and entrepreneurs come to exist. They enlarge the flow of investment in the private sector and help exploit the unused natural resources and methods of production. With this, new industries should accelerate, and older industries will level off. Their economy then finds a place in the international sphere where there is a wider range of resources available. There is also a shift in productivity. A country who was once focused on natural resources and agriculture, can change its focus to machinery, chemicals, or technological advances. As the economy changes, so should society and their choices upon things that affect their country, such as welfare. Modernization in the economic sphere meant specialization of economic activities and occupational roles and growth of markets.

    2. Modernization is an internal and external process. In our textbook, Peet and Hartwick write that societies wishing to develop should open their borders and let change in, welcome and indeed encourage multinational corporations, advance their export-oriented economic activities. New technology can be introduced with trade, and an increase of investment within transport, communications, and raw materials in which other nations may have an economic interest will also help undeveloped countries progress externally. Internally, the people living in these undeveloped countries must want change. They must hope for a far better life of their own making. The output of trade depends on the people. In a traditional society, there is a limitation on productivity. The people devote a very high proportion of their resources to agriculture. Without their agriculture and natural resources, there is nothing to trade, and no interest in change. Political power also plays a huge role with the internal process of modernization. As societies accept new techniques and methods that change the way that they can make money, they grow economically and move towards modernization. Growth becomes a normal condition, resistance for it is gone, and an interest becomes built into habits and institutional structure. If a country fails to modernize, the possible explanations for it would be a governance failure, or lack of innovation.

    3. The impetus for Asia, Africa, and Latin America’s take-off was the rise of Europe and how they wanted to rob any resources from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Europe colonized these countries to take their natural resources. Europe thought of these countries as a “Utopian paradise” that was not being utilized properly by these societies. So the Europeans thought that they would use it for their own because they were innately superior to people from elsewhere. This implies that modernization can be another word for imperialism. According to the textbook, Peet and Hartwick write that the modernization theory sees societies as competing for the control of space and resources, and competing for survival. This is an idea that can be used internally to impose social order, and externally to legitimatize expansion and the control of other societies. The idea of “changing the typical personality” in the Third world -westernizing it, modernizing it- is full of Euro-centric and imperialistic connotation.

    Jessica Tong

    February 28, 2011 at 8:06 pm

  2. According to W.W. Rostow, economic modernization is achievable through five categorized steps and each society on earth falls into one of the following categories: traditional society, the preconditions for take-off, the take-off, the drive to maturity, and the age of high mass consumption. Modernization is reliant on industrial change and economic prosperity. The traditional society refers to an agricultural one that lacks vertical mobility and whose social structure is formed by familial ties. The process of modernization begins with an external stimulus and what Rostow calls “pre-conditions.”
    Essentially, this means colonialism is the only catalyst that will trigger economic evolution. idea of progress is planted in the colonized country, which allows for “take-off.” In the modernization process, the take-off stage is where the economic system of the country really begins to change. The combined forces of internal resource and colonial power allow for formerly limited activity to expand and grow. About the region, Rostow states, “Growth becomes its normal condition.” This growth sprouts rise in investments and savings as well as rapid increase in industry. The last stages, “drive to maturity,” and “high mass-consumption” are the products of this economic change.

    Modernization and development are internal processes, despite alternate surface indicators. Rostow’s model emphasizes the importance of foreign powers in a country’s economic evolution, but also that it would not be possible without “domestic forces.” Some elements that are not particularly addressed that may contribute to the failure of a country to modernize are political and social aspects of development. Rostow states the following concerning Take-off: “ In a decade or two both the basic structure of the economy and the social and political structure of the society are transformed in such a way that a steady rate of growth can be, thereafter, regularly sustained.” Rostow does not address how these three sectors will work in tandem to achieve modernization, and if they don’t, it will certainly not be achieved.

    Many nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America were colonized by foreign powers at one point, but their economic and government systems did not completely evolve together. European colonizers wanted to claim their resources as opposed to work with them and develop the nations. Therefore, many nations are stuck somewhere between “preconditions” and “high mass-consumption” today. In LDCs, it is apparent that economic change has to come with social and political change as well as good intentions from the outsider help.

    Katie O'Donnell

    March 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm

  3. Rostows economic process of modernization is a five-step progressive system that gradually evolves over time. The economics of a nation according to Rostow starts out in a traditional form, one of local trade and bartering with typical hierarchal systems and ends when the economy is at a stage of mass consumption . The stages in between “ pre take off”, “ take off” and “maturity” are stages in which the nations economy goes from one that is dependent to one that is self-sufficient. In pre-take -off , foreign ideals and economic practices are incorporated into the society an technology spurs it forward economically. Then most significantly the economy is in “Take off “ position .Here society overcomes its deficiencies and deficits from its old system of economics and becomes stimulated due to its new system and productivity increases. During its maturity period an economy is sustained on its own and becomes internationally involved. It also has the ability to produce on its own but still relies on foreign trade, which increases. This goes on until the economy reaches its peak, where the nations inhabitants are able to consumer beyond basic needs, spurring them into mass consumptions. At this point the nation has full control over its economy and is not at all dependent, and can use its wealth for social reform.

    The economic process is proposed as an internal process that is catalyzed from outside reform. Rostow implies that outside ideals gained which oppose the traditional economic and societal practices are necessary to push the economy towards improvement. After this the nation and society must work to sustain its economy and modernize themselves. Rostow that economy must evolve in his five steps in order to be ideal, and that this is a natural progression, and he disregards various political, environmental, and historical factors that inhibit his ideal model.

    In its essence, the pre conditions for take off are which Rostow proposes are Western ideals, primarily those of Europe and America, being instilled in a nations economy. Historically in places such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America this is basically justification for colonialism. The traditional societies of the people were deemed unsatisfactory for progression, and needed to be instilled with the western economic and social practices to move into modernization. Clearly however the colonialism which Rostow deemed necessary for the modernization of these nations actually inhibited the nations .It made any type of natural progression all the more difficult inherently keeping the nations inferior to their Western colonizers. This also contradicts Rostows theory as it can never be applicable to the real world as it always will cause economic inconsistencies within nations yet Rostow still implies that instilling Western ideals are the only way nations will become modernized

    Aber kawas

    March 1, 2011 at 11:44 pm

  4. 1. The process of economic modernization is linear meaning it goes in one direction, which is up. Rostows “ Stages of Economic Growth” reflect this model of modernization in the five stages. These five stages include “ The Traditional Society, to The Preconditions for take-off” to ‘The Take-off” to “ The Drive to Maturity” to finally “The Age of High Mass- Consumption.” These 5 stages should reflect how the economic system of a country changes through its development. The development should be based off of increased technology, and the utilization of it globally and locally.

    2. The process of modernization is both internal and external. If a country fails to modernize it could be because of political repression. For example, in the Soviet Union
    “communist leaders face difficult political and social problems of adjustment if this stage is launched [The Age of High Mass-Consumption]. As a result of communism in the Soviet Union politics got in the way of their society modernizing, even though the technology was there. For modernization all factors have to be aligned. Modernization is internal because the society has to be ready for it, but is also external because that is where modernization is taking place. During the early 1900’s the United States was modernizing as a result of technology and although the Soviet Union’s citizens wanted to, it was unattainable due to their internal circumstance.

    3. According to Rostow “The more general case in modern history, however, saw the stage of preconditions arise not endogenously but from some external intrusion b more advanced societies.” In Rostow’s stage of “pre-conditions to take-off” it states how Britain was able to develop rapidly due to geography, natural resources, trading possibilities, and due to its social and political structure. However, countries such as Asia, Africa and Latin America these conditions were not as stable. What created these pre-conditions for take off in these countries had been due to the external forces and already modernized countries such as Britain. What this says about modernization is it is necessary for all countries to modernize in order for it to benefit everyone. Although Britain had plenty of natural resources they still needed these other countries in order to advance even further.

    Rachel Lawlor

    March 2, 2011 at 10:53 am

  5. Modernization of the certain country can be viewed through the comparison to what modern model is. Modernization usually means urbanization, democratization, spread of education and specialization of economic activities. It is a shift from traditional (agricultural) to modern society with technological advances. Rostow introduced a universal pattern of development with 5 stages, going through which every country will achieve economic growth, modernization and an actual development. In the today’s world, Rostow theory, which viewed capitalism as a necessity in order to modernize, has failed. His idea of progress was probably meant for a colonized country, where colonialism was the outside stimulus as a “precondition for take-off”. Hartwick states, “The policy implications of Rostow’s stage theory were clear: traditional societies wishing to develop had to copy the already proven example of the West.” According to Rostow’s theory, development is an internal process. “Domestic political power” plays a major role in country’s internal development. However, it is important to understand that a country in order to modernize “has to open its borders” and international organizations also have an impact on country’s development and economic growth. Some countries never achieve that Rostow’s stage of “take-off”, they fail to develop. Partially, I think it is a fault of the political leaders, who lack in desire for innovations and just want to be in power for as long as possible (Kazakhstan, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Libya, and etc. ). Economic institutions and their protection of people’s rights, and low levels of education, all these internal circumstances have an influence on countries modernization or its failure. As I have mentioned earlier the desire for new land, resources and hegemony were the major goals of colonialism. Countries in Asia, Latin America or Africa failed to modernize, because of the Western imperialism. West didn’t help those poor countries to develop, that is the reason why sub-Saharan Africa is stuck in the take –off stage for the past 60 years, as all other colonized by foreign power countries.

    Dasha Kuznetsova

    March 2, 2011 at 11:42 am

  6. According to W.W.Rostow is achieved through five steps and every society falls into one of the following categories: preconditions for take-off, take-off, drive to maturity, and the age of high ,ass-consumption. Modernization is dependent on industrial change as well as economic stability and prosperity. In order for the economic system of a country to modernize and develop in a positive manner, the country must have regular growth in its politics, social structure, and common values. As an economy changes it is also necessary that their society and choices change as well. Without falling into one or all of Rostow’s “take-off’s” he believes achieving successful development is not possible. The process of modernization is both an internal and external process. It is external because in order for a country to grow they must open their borders to others ideas, allowing a better means of trade, as well as learning new possibly more advanced ideas of technology. It is also in internal process for the reason that if a country is faced with political repression development is not possible. The people of a county also hold weight because they provide means of exports to other countries helping to create relationships through trade and making money to prosper. For countries such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America the “preconditions for take-off” were stable when looking at geography, natural resources, and trading possibilities because of external forces such as Britain. This was proof that external forces were necessary. Countries such as these are stuck between “preconditions” and “mass-consumption” proving that economic change must come from internal and external forces.

    rachel lapidus

    March 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm

  7. In order for a country to economically modernize it must take time to transition itself to the stage of “take off.” Here a country transitions itself from a traditional to a modern society through its attainment of modern science, then starts implementing these findings into agriculture and whatever industry it has. People start becoming aware of what is happening and start believing that economic progress is not only possible but necessary in order to achieve what they want, which they usually see modeled in already modernized countries. A new breed of men comes forward, that mobilize their savings and take risks to attain profit, in addition to the help from banks. From these men investment increases in transportation, communication, and in the raw materials that other nations need and their nation has. One cannot firmly label modernization either external or internal. Rostow mentions how many countries got a boost by getting colonized by more ‘advanced societies’. Yet nations like Britain that Rostow states is geographically endowed relied heavily on the technological advances from France and Sweden to be able to take part in the Industrial Revolution which could be considered the “take off” phase of Britain. Even though I believe modernization lies more towards external force, one cannot deny the role of internal forces. A perfect example mentioned by Rostow is of the Soviet Union and how they are ready for modernization, its people hunger for it, yet the government faces many political and social difficulties by implementing it. The undoubtable factor that protrudes when mentioning the “impeding” of the countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America was imperialism. They were coerced into political, social, and economic bondage. Their resources were robbed, and at times abused in a way that prevents their regrowth. When nations attained their independence, the former colonizers still lingered in the mentality and politics of the formerly colonized. This deep wounding of these societies is what has caused all the political and social aspects that have prevented their “take off.” Yet this only applies to the nations that haven’t fully cut off the invisible meddling hand of their former colonizers such as China in contrast to nations like Morocco.

    Karim Eissawi

    March 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm

  8. As a country modernizes, the development of the economic system is unidirectional and linear. Rostow determined 5 stages of development including traditional society, pre-take off conditions, take-off, the drive to maturity, and the age of high mass consumption. It is in the “take-off” stage where the development is realized. The economic system develops basically through technological advances, expansion of industries and profit, new techniques, commercialized agriculture and so on.
    The process of modernization is mainly internal but is stimulated by external sources or powers. Other countries persuade or influence another country and set an impetus for change, but it is ultimately up to that country and its people to develop and sustain their efforts. If a country fails to modernize then the only truthful explanation would be that the internal or domestic forces did not work because the external countries had differences or they did not put the proper effort into developing and maintaining. The external powers or countries give another country a push towards development.
    For the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America the impetus for their take-off or their pre-conditions were colonialism. Rostow writes, “…the stage of preconditions arise not endogenously but from some external intrusion by more advanced societies” (102). So for modernization in less-developed countries, it can be assumed that in order for them to work towards development there must be some influence or motivation. Not necessarily a country forcing their views upon the less-developed country but just providing that motivation force. People are entitled to their own opinions so they do not have to take up another countries policies, techniques, government etc.

    Paulina Sayegh

    March 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm

  9. 1. Ideally, as a country develops so should its economy. In today’s world that means “keeping up with the Joneses” or pursuing an economy that the more modernized nations have. Nowadays most developed nations’ economies thrive on international trade. If a country is still stuck in the ways of relying upon itself then (when compared to an international economy) most likely little change/modernization can be had. It will need to open its doors to other nations since no one country can absolutley supply itself (and if it can, that country will most likely try to find other countries with similar resources to at least see if it would be cheaper to just import whatever they need from a lesser nation).

    2. I think the process of modernization is both an internal and external one. Internal because it restructures the way its own economy works (and possibly it’s gov’t. if imperialism is involved). It will also determine the type of products that the country will export (and import) and shape how they use their land/resources. External because it involves public relations, and seeking out other countries to trade with, thereby possibly changing the way others see the modernizing nation through interactions. Perhaps this country starts talking deals with some other country on the other side of the world whom it would have never interacted with before, and in some cases it may lead to more than just trade relationships, but treaties, etc.

    3. The countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America all had vast amounts of resources (not to mention a lot of land mass just waiting to be claimed/reclaimed). What all of these continents have in common is that at some point in time, Europe had made attempts to claim land from their countries as well as the resources they had. So what was the catalyst for change/modernization in these countries? Colonialism/Imperialism played a major role in why these countries (at least in some parts, the wealthier parts) have had a taste of modernization, but at the same time some of these same countries have been stuck in between stages, never really reaching the stage of high mass consumtion. We can attribute this to the fact that the Eurpoean colonialist countries (for the most part) weren’t completely altruismtic in colonizing their new lands, they didn’t totally do it for the benefit of the lesser nation but just for their own personal gain. Which can explain why there are only a few areas in any given colonized nation where wealth exists (what profits are made by the lesser nation aren’t enough to be spread around). What this says about an unmodernized nation waiting to be colonized? If you have resources then watch out because others will want what you have.

    Kenneth Velez

    March 2, 2011 at 8:07 pm

  10. Economic modernization changes the face of society. Various elements such as national interest, small businesses grow at a much higher rate. It attracts foreign businesses and Multi-National Corporations to invest in their growth and land. Once sustainable domestically, the country strives to compete internationally. This competition leads to more resources available and for the quality of goods produced to improve. The range of possibilities for production can also vary from an economy that focused agriculturally to now producing and developing cars and machinery. This supply-and-demand change in society portrays the overall shift of interests of a particular society.

    Modernization is an internal and external process and is not solely either. As mentioned in the previous point, there needs to be an opportunity and comfortability for Multi-National Corporations to stretch out their businesses to a particular society. This ensures the external process. The entry of these foreign companies also challenges domestic companies to compete in the quality of goods producing. Of course this competition presents the local consumer with the best product choices, but it also works internally. Fueled by the desire to compete and develop, local companies improve the economy to be more independently sustainable. But it cannot be a mere economic cooperation that brings about modernization; politics and foreign policy have to be aligned in a way that helps the economy. Generating this interest might be an initial concern, but it will soon become a concern of yesterday. If a country fails to modernize, the lack of this interest and pioneers will be blamed.

    The Asian, African and Latin American countries were the colonized countries and were open-baskets for colonizing countries. Modernization in less-developed countries is much more difficult that Rostow makes it to be. The starting point for many of these resource-depleted, colonized countries is much farther than resource-deriving, former colonizers. Many of the colonies of yesterday find themselves between “preconditions” and “high mass-consumption” today. Modernization is unilateral and unidirectional and since different countries are at different points in their history with varying interests, “modernization” is extremely difficult to impose.

    Ashish Mathew

    March 2, 2011 at 9:34 pm

  11. According to WW Rostow and the chapter in Peet and Hartwick, the process of economic modernization happen through the process in which a country goes becomes industrialized. This also means that the country have to go from being rural to urban, traditional to modern, and from low consumption of goods to high. In other words, what they mean by modernization is being like the “west” and living their styles of life. As Rostow described in order for societies to be modern, they have to go from being a traditional society to preconditions for take-off, to take-off, to drive to maturity, and last to being a society of high mass consumption. He described each of these stages as being very important and the changes that occur directly leads to the next. Rostow’s model of economic development when applied to some countries. For instance Rostow wrote that the stage between take-off and drive to maturity takes about 60 years, but in the case of China it was a different story.
    According to Rostow, development is an internal process, though, it can be argued to development is both an internal and external process. The process is external because there are always other forces or countries that are contributing to another country’s development. If a country fails to modernize, then a possible explanation is that the country isn’t allowed to do so by the forces surrounding them. When a country’s natural resources are being exploited also contributes to its development process.
    For the countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, decolonization and the push for independence created the preconditions to take-off. The process of moving away from traditional society also was faster in these places and can be related to the fast growth and access to technology. This means that modernization in less developed countries can be attained faster in some countries (like China) and very slow to countries in sub saharan africa.

    Hawa Kebe

    March 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm

  12. The process of economic modernization was based on the relocation of norms from traditional to modern. That is a country’s economy has to open its market to free trade and to private economy, the organization of this country would be based on urbanization and traditions will be replace with education. All these changes are connected through an expansion of media communications. All of a sudden those without a computer with internet were falling behind, even if it was impossible to afford one. Peet and Hartwick describe this process to be internal, meaning that these changes will take place within a society not because an external force was driving nations to undergo modernization but because the nation thought that was the best possible option for them. If a country fails to modernize, it was their blame to take for not being able to “westernize” as everyone else (there was definitely something wrong within the nation), when in fact it was all the way around. Rostow’s second linear stage of growth model is a clear example of how modernization or the path to development, since its beginning, stared with the presence of a “developed” force in an “undeveloped” nation. According to Rostow what created the “pre-condition” for countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America was colonialism which will “introduce” science, knowledge and civilization to these barbarian countries. After colonialism, especially after the Enlightenment era in where most of the colonized countries rebelled against colonialism, the process of modernization and eventually development became the justification of inequality in race and gender which technically means that in less-developed countries, the process to modernization and development is another way to get colonized.

    Crisne Lebron

    March 3, 2011 at 6:01 am

  13. Economic modernization essentially means a shift toward the economic models of the Global North, particularly that of the Unites States. It is characterized by the ideal of free markets, increased consumerism, and a transition from smaller-scale traditional economic systems based in agriculture and handicrafts to participation in the global capitalist economy through industrialization and a focus on manufacturing. Rostow categorized the process of development and economic modernization into sequential stages: traditional society, Preconditions for Take-off, Take-off, The Drive to Maturity, High Mass Consumption, and Beyond Consumption. In order for a society to modernize (which in Rostow’s model meant constant economic growth and productivity increases), it must change its political, economic and social structures.

    According to Rostow, the process of modernization is an internal process. His stages of growth were intended to apply across the board to describe the changes that occur within a nation as it moves from traditional society to a country with similar economic and political structures as the United States. In Rostow’s model, a country’s failure to modernize, could be explained by a lack of access to technology, insufficient natural resources, or an ineffective economic and political system (i.e. not open-market democracy).

    The push towards take-off in Asia, Africa and Latin America was almost uniformly a result of colonialism. This implies that modernization and development are not internal processes as Rostow’s stages of growth propose. Like the underlying theory of the Development Project, the idea is that the spark/pressures are introduced by the U.S. and/or Europe, and from there the society can start the process of modernization.

    Elizabeth Kelman

    March 3, 2011 at 1:04 pm

  14. The economy of a country has to move from its previous traditional to a more western idea of a modern economy. This means changing key aspects of their society to make room for increased industrial production and consumption. They must become open to new ideas and technologies. They also have to make changes in their social structures, allowing more room for mobility and growth. The process of modernization is both an internal and external process. Some nations began exploiting the resources found in their land because of their innate curiosities. Many, however, were forced into modernization due to colonization. Colonization forced changes in the social and economic structures of the nations they colonized. If a country fails to modernize, it can be because they refused to accept the western theory of modernization. It can also be that their resources have been destroyed by their colonizers, making their progress to modernization more difficult. Colonization created the pre-conditions for many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This implies that many undeveloped countries will only become developed with the direct interference of developed nations. Colonization does not take place today in the same way as it did in the past but many aspects of it still exists. It has taken the form of aide programs such as the development project.

    Violet Amata

    March 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm

  15. According to Rostow, the process to modernization happens in a five stage, linear, unidirectional process: the traditional society, the preconditions for take-off, the take-off, the drive to maturity and the age of high mass-consumption. A traditional society has it’s structure developed within limited production functions and is based on pre-Newtonian science and technology. The preconditions for take-off stage is when the preconditions are developed leading to the take-off when “the old blocks and resistances to steady growth are finally overcome.” The next step is the drive to maturity where the now steadily growing economy drives to extend modern technology over the whole front of its economic activity.” The last step, the age of high mass-consumption is a result of all of this change. In order to move countries along this path to “modernization technology, savings, entrepreneurialism and the correct political systems” are all very important. Capitalism is also a necessary step within this process to become developed.
    The process of modernization is both an external and internal process. It is necessary within the country to adapt to these changes and external stimulus is necessary for these changes to take place. If a country fails to modernize, a possible explanation could be internal turmoil such as political upheaval.
    External forces and countries that were already modernized were what created the pre-conditions Asia, Africa and Latin America. This only further shows that for modernization to occur in an underdeveloped country, it will need the help of external, developed countries.

    Nicole Allemant

    March 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm

  16. 1) What does a process of economic modernization look like? In other words, how should the economic system of a county change as it modernizes/develops?

    Ans – As countries modernized they will change and should. In Rostow’s 5 stages of economic growth he list how the economic system changes from traditional (not production) to the age of mass high consumption. The traditional society believes that god facilitates goods and as it moved through stages countries are driven by economic rather than tradition this is the take off stage. Then it moves to the drive to maturity where the economic begins to diversify and finally to the age of high mass consumption where the economy doesn’t have to concentrate on just one issue. Countries have the ability to choose and balance.

    2) Is the process of modernization an internal or external process? If a country fails to modernize, what are the possible explanations?

    Ans – Rostow’s view is that the process of modernization is an internal process in that all economic modernized from the inside. Rostow’s also said that for a country to grow and modernized it has to grow its economy and sustain it, also increased productivity. He also argues that technology saving, entrepreneurialism, and strong political system were all essential actors in moving countries towards this path. A country that fails to develop has only its internal factors to blame. But Rostow is critized for making all poor countries seem the same.

    3.Stage 2 of Rostow’s linear stages of growth model is called “pre-conditions to take-off”. For the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, what was the impetus for their take-off (what created the pre-conditions)? What does this imply about modernization and development in less-developed countries?

    Ans – This is where Rostow is critized. As I mentioned before, made all poor countries seems the same and has blamed only internal conditioned for their failure to develop. For example, there are non western economies such as China that are modernized. This proves that modernization can be achieved in different ways, through free and controlled markets and still fit in the model. Also, his models consider large population; large economies where there is large land mass like some Latin America countries. Not must is said of small countries or for their economies to develop. If they don’t have recourses, political will or external factors to help they are doomed.

    Aston Gibson

    March 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm

  17. 1. For any developing nation or “traditional society” to modernize its economic system and achieve sustainable growth, changes in its socio-political structure and some of its values have to be made. Key investments in sectors like education also have to be made. W.W. Rostow sees this as a five-stage process where a given developing nation is first considered a “traditional society”. The next four stages are: preconditions for take-off, take-off, the drive to maturity and the age of high-mass consumption (the ultimate goal).

    2.Economic modernization is both an internal and external process insofar as outside forces have to play there roles in creating conditions necessary to include the given “traditional society” in the dynamics of the global economy.
    This nation then has to be implement these rules in its internal system make the appropriate policy changes

    3.Rostow states that the impetus for the take off of pre-conditions was colonialism.

    Lionel Fundira

    March 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm

  18. The economic system of a country should change as it modernizes or develops in the way that it helps out the country, simply stated. As the economy of a particular country changes so does the benefits that come along with it which are the opportunity of jobs, education, welfare, and so on. As the people in this economic society are changing, so should the economy; As people in a society grow and expand their knowledge, the economy should grow with him. The process of what it looks like is not quite certain, but the way that Rostow looks at economic growth could be used to asses what economic modernization is. The process of modernization can be thought of as an internal process that expands to an external process. When people have the need to change or modernize, it is an internal issue, but this issue expands and grows into helping out the society and making it a better or modernized place. If a country fails to modernize they are stuck in their economic level and do not have the capability to be a more moderized or developed country. They are left behind and unable to make changes to their economic system and become the countries than are poor and have not hade their “take-off” moment yet. They have developed and perhaps modernized, but they just haven’t had that “aha” moment yet. For the countries within Asia, Africa, and Latin America their take-off was stimulated by Europeans and their desire to educate those that were inferior or savage to them. Asia, Africa, and Latin America were places of interest to the white men who thought of themselves as well educated and thought that they needed to invade the countries with these continents. With this invasion there came the “erasing” of what a particular country had been at the time, and in it’s shock came stagnation. These countries were no longer able to change or modernize and were stuck waiting for “take-off”. This implies that even though when there is modernization, doesn’t mean there will be development, or rather that there will, but it won’t be as devloped as another country. In the less-developed countries they may not have devoped due to the inability to change in a large way and their economic sytem, as well as many other factors.

    Farah Viqar

    March 4, 2011 at 12:00 am


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