The study of development and underdevelopment is not new. Since the capitalist development of Europe and the United States of America, beginning with England in the seventeenth century and subsequently the development of Japan beginning in the nineteenth century, there has been a fascination with the phenomenon of national development. Furthermore, the beginning of the twentieth century witnessed the emergence of a different approach to national development in the former Soviet socialist experience starting with the revolution of 1917 in Russia and followed by the rest of Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam. The experiences of this latter group enhanced the debate on development, subsuming the debate under an East-West ideological confrontation. The events of the last five years, which have witnessed the collapse of the former Soviet empire, will further provide fruitful reflections on the debate. A major fact in both experiences (that has been overshadowed by the ideological conflict and which has been missing in the debate on development in the Third World) is the common factor of fundamental social transformation that has preceded each of the development paths taken.
KeywordsNational Development Capitalist Development Social Surplus Ideological Conflict National Ideology
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