To him, economic explanations for privatization in developing countries can be divided into two types, proximate and enduring causes. From the viewpoint of prediction, it is useful to know to what extent privatization is driven on the one hand by expediency and on the other by enduring factors. For instance, are governments privatising largely because it is an easy way to raise cash to finance budget deficits? Are they being forced into it by powerful
international donors on whom they became very independent in the 1980s? Or are they doing so because it is likely to improve the long- term performance of their economies? 2.1.6 The Concept of Development The concept of development is almost as old as civilization. Its extensive use in western societies from Greco-Roman civilizations to the late 19th century as a generic constructs that designates the most varied aspects related to humanity’s well-being, however, made the concept come closer to that of a doctrine. Although development has been a constant concern of government policymakers, economists, and other social scientists, and has touched the lives of more people than ever before, there has been little agreement on what constitutes development, how it is best measured and how it is best achieved. One reason for this lack of agreement is that dissatisfaction with the pace and character of economic and social change has instilled a desire to redefine the aims and measures of development (UNDP, 1990:104). In general terms, “development” means an “event constituting a new stage in a changing situation” or the process of change per se. If not qualified, development is implicitly intended as something positive or desirable. When referring to a society or to a socio-economic system, development usually means improvement, either in the general situation of the system, or in some of its constituent elements. Development may occur due to some deliberate actions carried out by single agents or by some authority, to achieve improvement in favourable circumstances, in both development policies and private investment in all forms. Given this broad definition, “development” is a multi-dimensional concept because any improvement of complex systems, as indeed actual socio-economic systems are, can occur in different parts or ways, at different speeds and driven by different forces. Additionally, the development of one part of the system, may be detrimental to the development of other parts, giving rise to conflicting objectives (trade-offs) and conflicts. Consequently measuring, i.e. determining whether and to what extent a system is developing, is an intrinsically multidimensional exercise (Lorenzo, 2011). Rostow’s (1971) seminal work reclaims Social Darwinism to explain development as a process of evolutional succession in stages, where human societies have a rudimentary model until they arrive at a western industrialized civilization consumption model, which is considered unique and universal.
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- Spring '17