Sociology 300 Week 3 Question

Social Science
Tutor: None Selected Time limit: 1 Day

Discuss substantive ways in which armed conflict can contribute to or distract a developing economy and infrastructure. Analyze specific reasons why developed nations do not experience the same kinds of social upheaval.

Jan 21st, 2015

This university is home to a great deal of academic research on the relationship between conflict and development –including that of Paul Collier on the economic causes of civil wars, and Frances Stewart on the link between horizontal inequalities and conflict.

Alas, one does not need to look for long for examples of conflict impacting on development. Take the case of Mali: almost a year ago, conflict in the north of the country and a military coup derailed two decades spent building democracy and pursuing development there. Elections were scheduled to be held in Mali a month after that coup took place – and the President, adhering to the Constitution, had clearly stated that he would not be a candidate. 

Mali’s experience is not atypical or unique – it is an example of the types of conflicts the world is increasingly witnessing.  The conflict there is not a war between states, but, rather, within a state.  It has regional dimensions – in this case the upheaval in Libya had spillover effects for the north of Mali, and Mali’s regional neigbours in ECOWAS have been very engaged in the debate about what to do. The battle lines of the conflict were not clearly drawn, either territorially or in terms of issues, suggesting more complex dynamics at play.   

Mali’s road back from this combination of violent conflict and constitutional crisis is not an easy one.  It will require international support for some time, including for resuming development progress.  A question addressed in this lecture is what form such support might take in countries like Mali which are working their way back from conflict and instability.

Social revolutions have been prevalent in the Third World.. ' Unlike Western countries, states in developing societies have played an active role in the allocation and accumulation of capital.. . Due to the complex social and political factors, internal as well as external, that gave rise to the colonial experience, a strong commercial industrial class required for modernization did not develop in these societies. 

Deprived of the advantages of colonial exploitation, confronted with powerful international competition and rising costs of international capital in the twentieth century, the commercial-industrial class remained weak in third World nations. As a consequence, the state in these societies played an interventionist role in capital formation designed to hasten the industrialization process.

More important than the standard of living is the way in which resources, power, and privileges, are distributed throughout society. According Lester Thu row, with the exception of France prior to the 1980, the U.S. has had the most inegalitarian distribution of wealth and .income among Western nations in the twentieth century. Not surprisingly the U.S. has also experienced one of the highest rates of unemployment. A considerable portion of the American population has lived in poverty throughout much of the twentieth century.. Yet none of these problems has generated a revolutionary condition.. 


Jan 21st, 2015

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