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Development and Underdevelopment

  • A. P. Thirlwall
Chapter

Abstract

Current academic interest in development economics is a relatively recent phenomenon. For the student today it must be difficult to realise that twenty years ago a course in development economics was a rare feature of an undergraduate programme in economics, and that textbooks on development were few and far between. Similarly, active public concern with the poorer nations of the world is of equally recent origin. The majority of the national and international agencies to promote development that we are familiar with today have been established since the Second World War. Before the war the poor countries of the world were categorised as undeveloped and relatively neglected. Today the situation is very different. The blunt title of ‘undeveloped’ has been dropped from use, to be replaced by a string of euphemistic labels ranging from ‘underdeveloped’ to ‘emerging’, expressing faith in the development potential of these countries. The development of the so-called Third World is now regarded as one of the greatest social and economic challenges facing mankind. What accounts for this apparent sudden change in interest and attitude? Three major stimuli can be pin-pointed. Firstly, there has been a renewed interest among professional economists in the process of growth and the theory of planning.

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Copyright information

© A. P. Thirlwall 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. P. Thirlwall
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KentCanterburyUK

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