Globalisation and Global Development

Links to posts on defining globalisation, theories of globalisation; defining and measuring development, theories of development (modernisation, dependency, world-systems theory, neoliberalism, post-development); aid, trade and development; industrialisation and urbanisation, education, employment, gender and health as aspects of development; and the relationship between war and conflict, population, consumption and the environment and development.

Global development (2)

In A-Level Sociology, this module deals with some of the following questions…

Why are some countries rich and others poor, and how can it be that so many people in the world are suffering from poverty, lack of education, lack of clean water, disease and war and conflict, while at the same time others in the world lives live of relative ease and comfort?

What if anything should and can rich and poor countries do to help the plight of the poorest, and is it actually possible for global humanity to manage and control the various global challenges we face – not only the immediate problems of poverty, hunger and disease, war and conflict, but human rights abuses and international migration, terrorism and other global crimes, and the environmental crisis?

Page under construction and it probs won’t be completed until some time in September 2017….

Introductory Posts

Globalisation and Global Development – Good Resources – some good ‘hub sites’ which I recommend for exploring global development further – including links to agencies which monitor global development, such as the United Nations and the World Bank, as well as a whole range of Non Government Organisations and independent development thinkers. Very much a work in progress (as of August 2017) and being updated constantly.

Trends in global wealth inequality and povertyinequalities in global wealth have been increasing in recent years – this post explores some of the statistics on global wealth and poverty and introduces some possible explanations and solutions. 

Defining Globalisation and Theories of Globalisation

Globalisation – Key Concepts and Definitions

Factors Contributing to Globalisation (Giddens)

What is Cultural Globalisation?

What is Economic Globalisation?

What is Political Globalisation?

The Optimist View of Globalisation

Kenichi Ohmae – Radical Hyper-Globalism

The Pessimist View of Globalisation

The Transformationalist View of Globalisation

The Traditionalist View of Globalisation

Does Globalisation Mean the Decline of the Nation State?

Defining and Measuring Development

Defining Development – detailed class notes covering an introduction to the concepts of ‘development’ and ‘underdevelopment, exploring commonly used categorisations of countries such as more developed, newly industrialised and the least developed countries. This post also explores the cold-war origins of the concepts of first, second and third worlds and Eduardo Galeano’s criticisms of the supposed superiority of western capitalist-industrialist models of ‘development’.

Economic indicators of development

The United States – an underdeveloped country?

The Human Development Index

The Millennium Development Goals – what were the Millennium Development Goals, how did they measure development, and how much progress was made up to 2015?

The Global Peace Index – What is it, and How Useful is it?

Theories of development 

Theories of development ask two basic questions: why are poor countries poor, and what strategies should they adopt to develop. For A level sociology you need to know about four basic theories: Modernization theory, Dependency (and World Systems) theory, Neoliberalism and People Centred Development, aka Post-Development. It would also be useful to have an understanding of Paul Collier’s Bottom Billion Theory and Jeffrey Sach’s work on the End of Poverty, as these build on and critique these previous four theories. 

Modernization Theory – detailed class notes –  Modernization theory emerged in America in the 1940s, and argued that the ‘third world’ was poor because of a number of internal barriers to development. They needed assistance from Western business and governments in order to provide the fuel for industrialization and to kick start the process of economic growth. 

Modernisation Theory – revision Notes – a much briefer version of the post above. 

Dependency Theory – detailed class notes –  popular in the 1970s Dependency Theory is basically a Marxist theory of development which holds that the poverty in the developing world is due to a 400 year history of slavery, colonialism and neocolonialism imposed on the rest of the world by European powers: the last 400 years of history has been a process through which Europe got rich by exploiting the rest of the world, keeping them poor. It follows that Dependency Theory holds that poor countries need to break away from the exploitative relations with the west and find their own revolutionary pathways to development – through socialism or nationalism for example. 

Evaluate explanations of development and underdevelopment put forward by dependency theoristsan essay plan designed for A-level Sociology which covers both dependency and world systems theory, with evaluations from other theories of development

World Systems Theory


The consequences of neoliberalism in India – a summary of aspects of Arundhati Roy’s ‘Capitalism: A Ghost Story’

Post-Development Perspectives

People Centred Development

Why Nations Fail – A summary of a recent book which gives an alernative explanation to the above ‘standard’ theories of underdevelopment.

Sustainable Development

The role of international organisations in development

What are Transnational Corporations?

Arguments and evidence that transnational corporations promote development

Arguments and evidence that transnational corporations harm developing countries

Historical Evidence of the negative impacts Transnational Corporations have on development 

Glencore – the world’s worst Transnational Corporation?

The role of the World Trade Organisation in Development

The World Bank – a brief overview of how it aims to promote development 

Criticisms of the role of the World Bank in development

The New Rulers of the World – summary of the documentary by John Pilger, which seems to be a pretty unambiguous dependency theory perspective on the role of the World Bank, the IMF, and Transnational Corporations in globalisation. The video focuses especially on their role in underdevelopment in Indonesia.

Aid, Trade and Development

Arguments for Trade as a Strategy for Development

Arguments against Trade as a Strategy for Development

A Summary of This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein (first five chapters) – Naomi Klein provides some very clear evidence that neoliberal free-trade policies promoted by the World Trade Organisation are causing global warming. She further argues that governments (at the national and local level) need to regulate Transnational Corporations in order to protect the environment. Basically she argues against ‘Free Trade’ policies. 

Arguments for Official Development Aid

Criticisms of Official Development Aid

Education, Employment, Health and Development

Education as a Strategy for International Development

Gender and Development

Statistics on gender inequality in the UKaccording to international statistics on gender equality in the UK, we’re the 18th most gender equal country in the world, but is this actually true? This post looks at some limitations with international statistics on gender and development

Modernisation Theory Applied to Gender and Development

Dependency Theory Applied to Gender and Development

Radical Feminism Applied to Gender and Development 

Country Case Studies

America as a Less Developed Country?

War, Conflict and Development

The United States Military – Some Recent Examples of Their War Crimes

Global Development Revision Notes

If you like this sort of thing, then you might like my Global Development Revision Notes

 Global Development Notes Cover53 Pages of revision notes covering the following topics within global development:

  1. Globalisation
  2. Defining and measuring development
  3. Theories of development (Modernisation Theory etc)
  4. Aid, trade and development
  5. The role of organisations in development (TNCs etc)
  6. Industrialisation, urbanisation and development
  7. Employment, education and health as aspects of development
  8. Gender and development
  9. War, conflict and development
  10. Population growth and consumption
  11. The environment and sustainable development


Country Case Studies 

Education in America


As a final word to teachers of A Level Sociology – I’m gonna put this out there – Global Development offers you the only chance on the whole syllabus to actually teach proper, contemporary sociology, rather than A-Levelled sociology. You should give it a go.