Rostow Modernization Theory

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Research Question: Does the current Economic Globalization and Interdependence process help or hinder the development of all nations?
Theory/Hypothesis/Abstract: Economic globalization is reinforced by the idea that states which integrate with the international economic exchange system will become a more progressive and modernized as a consequence. However this paper will argue that this general perception about development does not take into account that globalization may in fact keep poorer nations weak for the purpose of exploitation. There is a need for the current approach to be adjusted. The international division of labour, class distinction, and the domination of liberal economic theory under the current approach to globalization all
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One of the most prominent authors of modernization theory was Walt Rostow, who identified the different components in what makes states economically developed or undeveloped (Rostow, 1960, p. 2). Through Rostow’s ‘stages of economic growth’ theory, some theorists believe that all societies, regardless of the scope of their economies can be found to fit into one of the five stages of growth. These are known as: the traditional society, the preconditions for take-off, the take-off, the drive to maturity, and finally the age of mass consumption (Rostow, 1960, p. 4). This is the one and only path towards development under Rostow’s thinking, as the goal is for every state to liberalise and industrialise to a state of high mass consumption. In this sense, Rostow sees a developed state as one where the majority of the population can afford to spend freely on consumer products and where the economy is mainly urban-based rather than one that is predominantly based on agriculture (Willis, 2005, p.…show more content…
While commentators like Petersmann proclaim that all comprehensive human rights cannot be held if market freedoms are suppressed others like Robert Howse argue that this interrelationship is far more complex than Petersmann and others understand it to be, evidenced by horrific human rights abuses that result from. The relationship between markets and trade (Howse, 2002, p. 651). Howse’s critique of Petersmann approaches the relationship between market freedom and human rights through acknowledging its complexity and unique and specific contexts. Petersmann’s view of the relationship is seen as rather too general, unable to be understood in terms of linear and technological progression toward the constitutional integration of human rights and international economic law (Howse, 2002, p. 652). For Petersmann the legitimacy of the WTO as a juridical system is dependent upon the transformation of market freedoms into fundamental rights, but this is seen by human rights activists as incredibly problematic (Howse, 2002, p. 654). The rights of property and the freedom of contract have not been properly recognized as human rights within this system. From a human rights activist perspective, this is proof of a system that separates and violates human rights by
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