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Why have the 1980s been described as a lost decade in terms of development - Essay Example

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Internationally, from the beginning of 1960s during the post-war reconstruction, social development was on top of the agenda along with economic agenda for most countries. The state, in particular, shouldered much of the criticism along with state officials, as well as welfare…
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Why have the 1980s been described as a lost decade in terms of development
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Download file to see previous pages In light of the halt in third world economic growth immediately after the beginning of the debt crisis, especially in Latin America, almost everyone agreed that the tag “lost decade of development” describing the 1980s was accurate (Santiso 2003, p. 297).
The end of the 2nd World War can be regarded as having a hand in starting of a distinct form of world conflict-the cold war. The two superpowers (the U.S. and USSR) became hyper-suspicious of each other’s motives, creating a hostility that lasted till late 1980s. Truman’s Point Four Program addressed the foreign policy of the country and established a modern era for engagement in international politics. One of the outstanding themes in the four point plan was to help more nations in post World War II and assist the countries restore their economies, besides protecting them from communist control (Santiso 2003, p. 297).
The Keynesian approach details economic growth, requiring government guidance and activist policies that circumvent the cyclical instabilities, which plagued the pre-war economies. The present international institutions (the UN, IMF, and World Bank) remain strongly rooted in a definite historic era shaped by emerging Keynesian consensus and embody an attempt to institutionalize this policy framework at an international platform. Development schools of thought incorporated during the post-war era include modernization theories (1950s, early 1960s); dependency theories (late 1960s, early 1970s); world economy view (late 1970s, early 1980s) and basic needs approaches (late 1970s). Other schools include alternative modes of production perspective (1980s) and sustainable livelihood approach. Modernization theory was a strong element in the increasing Third World critique of western ideas and practices on development and reinforced the notion that underdevelopment could be created (through colonialism and/or exploitation) instead of being an outright natural state (Katie 2005, p. 32).
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