To my Understanding, Development is a Broad Concept

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To my understanding, development comes from a broader perspective, touching on social, political, equality, and economic changes and advancements. A general conception is that development aims at instituting changes in the social systems that would help people to execute and achieve their goals effectively. I have also had an understanding that development is more of a process than a single outcome considering the gradual events that contribute to the entire concept. The above perception then alludes that development is dynamic and occurs in stages, involving the continuous evolution from one state to another. Thus, the idea of development-though diverse and seemingly ambiguous among many scholars- is still a subject of discussion although many intellectuals have selflessly contributed their efforts to broaden the understanding of the general concept of development.

            The description of development by Uma Kothari in the view of colonialism and the subsequent advancements has significantly expounded on my understanding of the entire idea of development. The work brings into focus the important aspects colonialism and the historical events that culminate into the significant social, economic, and political changes that are observable in the present times. The disparities that have been evident between the rich and the poor, the developed and the developing countries outline the important factors that best define the concept of development as discussed by Kothari. Additionally, the historical understanding of colonialism and its progression into today’s manifestations impacts on the current perspectives of development. For instance, people would hold that the third world countries lack a social status and the ability to govern themselves, thus bringing about the notion of being “under-developed,” as outlined by Kothari.

            Reflecting on the lecture by Professor Adelman, there is another perception of the general concept of development that is created, expanding my understanding of the same. Adelman’s attribution of development to the aspect of global justice has revolutionized my pre-conception and broadened my view towards its broader meaning. For instance, Adelman expounds on the events of the twentieth century such as the Cold War, which constitutes the significant part of world history, and the demonstration of their contribution to the struggle for global justice. This explanation brings into view the beliefs of other American theorists that the modern urbanization and industrialization is because of such efforts and are likely to be repeated. Thus, the comprehension of the craving for development through global justice is made more apparent.

            Adelman also raised various declarations that are pertinent to the entire concept of development. For instance, the advocacy for changes in the global distribution of resources and power is listed among the critical steps that should be taken to avert social injustices and build a foundation for global equalities in development. He also discusses the matters of climate change and the contribution of global warming as contingent in the current debates on development. Thus, they require special attention. These sentiments are supported by Sengupta (2016) who illustrates that international development should be viewed regarding global justice in social, political, economic, and moral dimensions. However, further elaborations should have been made by Adelman on the issue of “economic independence” as raised by David Engerman.

            In conclusion, the central concept learned from the writing the exercise is that the whole idea of development should be viewed from diversified perceptions to further its understanding. Additional knowledge has been created from the lecture, especially the contribution of global justice to development.


Sengupta, M. (2016). Global Justice and Development. By Julian Culp. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2014. 215 pp. ISBN 978-1-137-38992-3. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, (4), 1065.

November 13, 2023
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