Challenging Global Inequality

Development theory and practice in the 21st century

by Alastair Greig, David Hulme, and Mark Turner


Browse the list below for terms used in the book.

Jump to >> A-K | L-S | T-Z

Absolute poverty– inability to command sufficient resources to meet minimum physical needs

Accountability where officials are given responsibilities in the public interest and must report, justify and be judged on their actions

Adaptive preferencesthe changes in aspirations and values as one’s social or economic circumstances change

Affluenzaa term used by Clive Hamilton and Richard Dennis (2005) to describe the disease of western affluence where more consumption is never adequate enough to satisfy desire

African socialismforms of socialism practiced in many early post-independent African countries, characterised by Tanzania under Julius Nyerere. They tended towards non-alignment and rejected the large-scale industrialization associated with the Soviet model

Agencythe actions of human beings, individually or collectively, to shape their surrounding social world

Agribusiness large-scale corporate agricultural firms

Allocative efficiencyoptimum means of distributing resources

Alms bazaara phrase used to suggest that non-government organizations are in a competitive market for gaining government largesse and attracting funding

American century, Thea triumphalist phrase used during the 1990s associated with the ‘end of history’ suggesting that the end of the Cold War presented the USA with the might or authority to reshape the world as it so desired

Anarchisma political philosophy and social movement that eschews hierarchical organization and treats any form of state power with deep suspicion

Annihilation of space through timea phrase used to describe the process whereby the world becomes a smaller place due to technological change, better communication and more rapid transportation systems. It is also labelled’ time-space compression’

Anti-dam movementssocial movements centred on protests against the damming of rivers for hydroelectric power. These projects have displaced millions of poor farmers, most of whom receive inadequate or no compensation (for India, see Roy 2002)

Anti-globalization movementa broad coalition of groups around the world that reject corporate global capitalist expansion and demand more grass-roots control over social relations. It is associated with the World Social Forum

Ascribed characteristicsendowments that a person is born with or which one has no control over. Contrasted as a pattern variable with ‘achieved’ characteristics

Asymmetrical wars forms of conflict between opponents of unequal strength, such as between an ethnic separatist movement and the state's armed forces, which are usually fought outside the boundaries of conventional warfare

Atomisticphilosophical approach based on discovering and analysing the components of systems and then examining their interactions

Autarchya development strategy based on closing off a national economy from the rest of the world economy

Authoritarianism the centralization of power and authority in the hands of a small elite who severely limit the political rights and freedoms of citizens

Autocentric developmentdevelopment that focuses on the resources within the nation-state

Basic Christian Communitiescooperative communities set up by lay preachers and church groups to improve the conditions of the poor. They are associated with the concept of conscientization

Basic Needs Approachapproach to poverty reduction that focuses of delivering essential services (food, water, education, health) usually through state mechanisms

Blowbackaccording to Johnson (2002), ‘the unintended and unexpected negative consequences of covert special operations that have been keep secret from the American people and, in most cases, from their elected representatives’

Brain drainthe transfer of valuable human resources, usually from poor countries to wealthier countries

Capabilitiesa term employed by Sen to describe the substantive freedoms people need to live the lives they value

Capital flightthe withdrawal of money resources from a country, usually due to a perception that profit opportunities are declining due to a deteriorating economic climate or political unrest

Capitalist world– the regions of the world where market forces dominate the production, distribution and consumption of goods

Cartelizationthe banding together of nations that produce specific goods in order to secure the best possible price for that commodity

Chains of productiona metaphor for the supply route from raw materials through to the production and distribution of products. Over the past few decades, supply chains have become longer, or more global, as more and more aspects of production have been subcontracted or farmed out to specialist firms

Chilean model, Thethe form of socialism associated with late Salvador Allende, whose coalition government was elected to power in 1970 and overthrown in a military coup in 1973. It was democratic and linked to dependency perspectives

Chinese model, Thethe form of socialism associated with the late Chairman Mao, characterised by autarchic economic development and political authoritarianism

Citizenship participation – the combination and integration of the social and political elements of development policy by recognizing the value of popular involvement in improving one’s conditions as a constituent element of the process of development

Civil society defined by Gill (2000) as a society in which there are autonomous groups which aggregate the views and activities of individuals and which act to promote and defend the interests of those people, including against the state

Civilizational identitya term employed by US political scientist Samuel Huntington to describe emerging forms of ‘imagined community’ associated with different and competing world cultures and religions

Clash of civilizations– a phrase associated with US political scientist Samuel Huntington which suggests a darker presentiment of the future than 1990s triumphalism surrounding Francis Fukuyama’s ‘end of history’ thesis. Huntington warned that the future would be dominated not by a clash of ideologies but by a struggle between competing worldviews based on fundamental religious/cultural differences that transcended national borders

Class analysis large-scale groupings of people generally identified according to economic criteria

Cold War– the global geopolitical climate that emerged after the Second World War where the two Allied victors (USA and Soviet Union) became nuclear superpower adversaries. Their contrasting socio-economic systems became competing development models.

Colonialism- The annexation and direct government of one country by another

Combined and uneven developmenta structuralist term indicating that developments in one part of the world economy are linked to developments in other parts and that some parts grow at the expense of other parts

Communism - according to Marx, the highest stage of human civilisation where people will give according to their abilities and receive according to their needs, and where the state will ‘wither away’ due to the end of class society. In the twentieth century, communism came to be associated with the authoritarian socio-economic system developed in the Soviet Union under Stalin, where all production, distribution and consumption was organised by the one party-state and civil society was closely monitored for dissent.

Community developmentdevelopment from the grass-roots level involving local participation in decision-making

Comparative advantage The ability to produce goods at a lower cost, relative to other goods, compared to another country. With perfect competition and undistorted markets, countries tend to export goods in which they have such comparative advantage

Competitive advantage advantage gained over competitors by offering consumers greater perceived value, either through lower prices or greater benefits

Comprador classa term employed by dependency theorists to denote a social group whose elevated domestic status is dependent on facilitating control by external powers

Conditionalitya condition whereby loans are approved on the agreement by the debtor to the lender that they take specific policy measures to reform their economic behaviour or political practices

Conscientizationa concept associated with the Brazilian educationalist Paolo Freire that describes the process whereby the actions of the poor to improve their conditions results in a greater understanding of the dominant power structures and therefore find themselves in a better position to challenge inequalities

Cooperatives an association of persons who join together voluntarily to achieve common economic ends through the formation of a democratically controlled business organization

Co-option the process whereby a person or groups outside of an organization are incorporated into the structure of decision-making of that organization

Counterhegemonic consciousnessany framework of analysis that rejects the dominant ideology, currently neoliberalism, and which posits a radically different alternative

Creative destructiona term associated with the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter to define the dynamic nature of capitalism. The search for profits and competitiveness cause goods and processes to be destroyed in order to make way for more efficient forms even though the old ones might still be functional

Cuban model, Thethe form of socialism associated with President Castro since 1959, strongly linked to the Soviet Union until the early 1990s although with higher levels of welfare spending than most other Latin American capitalist countries

Cultural homogenizationthe process whereby the variety of the world’s cultures disappear and are subsumed under a dominant culture

Cultural hybridization/creolizationthe process whereby different cultures borrow from each other. Where different cultures intermix, this is sometimes called ‘multiculturalism’

Cultural imperialismthe imposition of one set of cultural values upon another country’s culture

Cultural polarizationthe process whereby different cultures become more differentiated

Culture of povertya phrase associated with the US anthropologist Oscar Lewis that focuses on the tendency for the poor to reproduce norms, values and habits that reinforce poverty over generations

Debt moratorium postponement of debt repayments pending their renegotiation

Debt peonagea term used to describe the relationship between poor countries that borrow funds from international financial institutions that suggests that the borrower becomes a slave to the borrower, or dependent on the borrower

Decentralization the delegation of authority to lower levels of an organization, to subnational levels of government or from state control to the market

Decline of the statean approach to contemporary global analysis that argues that the power of nation states has been eroded through neoliberalism or through the growing power of transnational corporations or through the rise of multilateral global institutions.

Democratic deficitThere is no agreed definition of this term but it implies that political structures, organizations and decision-making processes are lacking in some aspects of democracy. For example, the term is defined by Murray Goot as ‘ the gap between the democratic ideal and the daily reality of democratic life’.

Democratizationthe process whereby an increasing number of people gain greater control over decision-making procedures

Demonstration effectthe impact of an ideal, or a particular case, or events on other actors or institutions often with the purpose of persuading them to change their behaviour

Dependencya power relationship whereby the development of a country is reliant on the actions of an external force

Dependency theory– a perspective founded on the premise that the problem of underdevelopment is related to the exploitation of poorer countries by wealthier countries

Development projecta term used by writers such as McMichael (2004) to define the sum total of effort expended by the world community since 1945 to overcome poverty and help the poorer countries catch up with wealthier ones

Developmental statean interventionist state that actively plans to shape the direction of the economy and the activities of key industry sectors to maximize national economic growth

Distributional coalitionsspecial interest groups that lobby governments for favourable policy decisions

Distributional regimeterm used by John Rapley to describe the broad means that governments use to allocate the fruits of growth and whether these means promote equality or inequality (i.e., Keynesian and neoliberal distributional regimes)

Double burden/double binda term used to describe the situation of women who are in the paid labour force while also carrying the main burden of domestic duties

Downward levellingthe pressure created by globally mobile capital to reduce the level of wages and working conditions through heightened competition. Also known as ‘the race to the bottom’

Drop the debt campaignthe on-going campaign by social movements to cancel or reschedule the debt owed by poorer countries to international financial institutions

Ecofeminismfeminist perspective that links gender inequalities and patriarchy to male domination of nature

Ecological footprinta term used to express the effect that human productive activity has upon the biosphere and local environments (i.e., these can range from light or heavy footprints). Industrialization, especially post –Second World War industrialization has been associated with increasingly heavier footprints

Ecological thresholdthe limit at which human activity draws from the planet, leaving less than before. ‘Overshooting’ that threshold means drawing more than the earth is capable of reproducing

Economic isolationismthe closing off of a country from external trade and information. It is associated with autarchic policies but also with external actions such as boycotts and sanctions

Economic reductionismperspectives that relate social, cultural and political phenomena to underlying economic forces

Economies of scale cost advantages gained through increased scale of production, expressed in lower unit costs for outputs

Electoralisman approach that emphasizes elections as the key indicator of the health of a democracy

Embourgeoisement the process of adopting middle-class values

Empire-litea term associated with the Canadian writer Michael Ignatieff suggesting that imperialist intervention remains an effective means of ensuring world order in the twenty-first century where state failure threatens global security, even if that imperialism is conducted in a softer and more humane manner than earlier forms of European imperialism

Emulators countries that use the developmental experience of earlier developers as a model for their own aspirations for development

End of historya phrase associated with the US political scientist Francis Fukuyama who argued at the end of the Cold War that now the USA – the embodiment of liberalism – had defeated its main adversary the USSR – the embodiment of totalitarianism – humanity’s historical search for a workable and peaceful social order had reached a conclusion

Endogenous forces – factors that have their origin within, or are germane to, a social system

Endowment factorsthe physical, human and social capital of a specified territory

Enlightened self-interest – the idea that one’s own personal or group will benefit from also taking into account the needs and interests of some outsiders

Enlightenmenteighteenth century period in France and beyond during which absolutism was attacked and both liberty and the power of rationality were promoted

Environmental apartheida term used by the Indian writer Vandana Shiva to indicate that environmental degradation is paid for mostly by the poorest inhabitants of the earth while the wealthiest are able to displace the effects of their environmentally degrading activities to the poorest parts of the world

Environmentalismgeneric term for social movements dedicated to issues surrounding ecosystem sustainability, heritage, biodiversity and wildlife preservation

Environmental determinismthe belief that social behaviour is principally shaped by the surrounding physical landscape or ecosystem

Environmental sustainabilitydefined by the Brundtland Commission as ‘ development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs’

Epistemic communitya group of like-minded experts that share and identify with a particular intellectual position

Equality of opportunity – condition where, or idea that, everyone should have an equal chance to achieve the benefits and rewards a society can offer

Equality of outcome– condition where, or belief that, everyone should possess the same set of goods, services and assets

Essentialismany philosophical or political position that argues that human beings have a core essence underlying appearances that explains behaviour or action

Ethnocentricismto examine the world from one’s own cultural viewpoint, failing to consider that other cultures order and understand the world from different perspectives

Ethnographythe direct study and observation of particular groups and cultures and the interpretation of their behaviour

Exogenous forces– factors that have their origin outside, or external to, a social system

Export processing zonesdesignated areas, usually within poorer countries, dedicated to the production activities of multinational corporations that take advantage of relatively cheaper labour and/or attractive taxation regimes. It is associated with the ‘new international division of labour’

Externalitiespositive or negative consequences of activities that are not accounted for in market prices

Extreme poor– term employed in the Millennium Development Goals and by Jeffrey Sachs to describe households that are unable to meet their survival needs. Often measured as per capita income of under US$1 per day

False progress– the misuse of indicators and statistics to suggest that equitable development is taking place when in reality these statistics hide regional or social disparities that would reveal lack of progress for sections of a community

Feedback loopat its most simple involving reciprocal interaction between variables but also referring to mechanisms which distinguish deviation in system behaviour and trigger efforts to return to equilibrium

Feminismpolitical stance and social movements that stands for gender equality

Feminization of work/housewifizationthe tendency for some forms of work to become associated with women workers and to be accompanied by falling wages or poorer conditions

Financial deregulationthe opening up of national economies from the 1980s onwards through the liberalization of financial markets and floating exchange rates

Financing gapthe difference between a country’s financial development needs and the country’s savings for development purposes. Official Development Assistance (ODA) is often used to close the gap

Fiscal pump-primingthe use of supply-led growth using state spending to promote high levels of employment and adequate demand - associated with the economist John Maynard Keynes

Food commodity chainsthe process involved in bringing food to the table from the imputs into production to actual production, distribution and consumption

Foreign direct investment- investment by individuals and firms from one country in the productive capacity of another country

Gender mainstreaming according to the ILO, it is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in any area and at all levels

Glass ceilinga metaphor to describe the situation where gender equity has been legally achieved although other social forces perpetuate male dominance and restrict upward social mobility by women

Global compacta 1999 UN initiative that called upon transnational corporations to promote socially responsible and environmentally-sustaining business. By 2006 it included over 2,500 companies

Global financial architecturethe institutional structure governing the world economy

Global hegemonythe ideological domination of the world’s nations by a specific power in pursuit of its interests

Global imperative– the idea that global market forces dictate or influence every move that agents consider making

Global radicalsterm used by British sociologist Anthony Giddens to describe commentators who argue that the process of globalization is a fundamentally new phenomenon

Global scepticsterm used by British sociologist Anthony Giddens to describe those who argue that globalization is merely a continuation of existing trends and has exacerbated inequality

Globalizationaccording to Robertson, the ‘compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole’ or ‘the processes rendering the world as a whole as a single place’

Globalization from abovethe existing structure of global political economy which is controlled by a small elite group of powerful corporations and influential political leaders

Globalization from belowthe counterhegemonic approach to global power which works towards placing power in the hands of small-scale organizations and local agents

Governancethe means whereby power and authority flow through a community

Grand narrativesbig-pictureunderstandings of the workings of reality or history that seek an underlying theme or a motive force that explains events and causation

Greenhouse gasesthe gaseous component of the atmosphere made from naturally occurring process and human activity. Many scientists posit that the human productive activities are producing a harmful mix of these gases, resulting in the warming of the earth’s atmosphere and the creation of a greenhouse effect that will threaten life as we know it

Greenwasha term used by some critics of corporate capitalism to suggest that firms often paint themselves with a veneer of environmentally-friendly rhetoric while continuing to act in an environmentally unfriendly manner

Gross Domestic Product per capita - the money value of all goods and services produced in a country over a year divided by the mid-year population

Growth regimeterm used by John Rapley to describe the broad micro- and macro-economic policy setting used by governments to increase production (i.e., Keynesianism and neoliberal growth regimes)

Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC)term adopted in the 1990s by the International Monetary Fund to identify the world’s poorest nations in order to reschedule or cancel part of their debt and case manage their transition to more sustainable levels of debt

Holisticphilosophical approach based on understanding the totality of a system and then explaining how components relate within that system

Human capitalhuman skills and capabilities generated by investments in education and health

Human Development Approach the process of enlarging people’s choices by expanding their capabilities to lead long and healthy lives, to be knowledgeable, to have a decent standard of living and to participate actively in community life

Hypermodernity –the intensification of modernity’s characteristics based on accelerated technological change, the penetration of commodification into more areas of social existence and greater reflexivity in social relations

Ideal typesa 'unified analytical construct' (Weber, 1949), serving to define the most significant features of a social phenomenon for the purpose of explication. The ideal type is an intellectual creation, not the description of empirical reality

Ideological apparatusesthe institutions associated with the production and dissemination of knowledge, such as the education system and the media. The phrase suggests that these apparatuses tend to promote a specific worldview that maintains the status quo

Imagined communitiesterm used by Benedict Anderson to convey the idea that nations contain more people than any individual can know personally and that their sense of shared identity is constructed from myths and stories about the past

Imperialismaccording to B.J. Cohen, ‘any relationship of effective domination or control, political or economic, direct or indirect, of one nation over another’

Import substitutionstrategy used by nations to protect local industries through tariffs and quotas on more competitive imports and through subsidies and other incentives to produce locally

Individualistic perspectivesapproaches to poverty and inequality that focus on the individual person or country to identify the attributes they lack

Inequalities across countriesinequalities measured using countries as the units of analysis

Inequalities across the world’s peopleinequalities measured taking into account all the six billion people in the world

Inequalities within countriesinequalities between people residing in a specific country

Integrated developmenta term used to emphasize that development is a multifaceted process and so requires transformations on many fronts, from health through to education and from social equity to political participation and that these changes often have a multiplier effect

Intergenerational inequalitythe inequalities that occur between generations, such as leaving the planet in a worse state than the present generation found it, or leaving less capital than the present generation inherited

International circuits of capitalthe cycle of investment, production, distribution, profit-making and reinvestment that crosses national boundaries

International division of labourthe distribution of production among the world’s countries

International financial institutionsa collective term for the principal global entities involved in governing and managing trade and development, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and regional banks such as the Asian Development Bank

Inverted U-Curvea term first used by Kuznets to indicate that the process of modern growth is initially accompanied by growing levels of inequality before gradually narrowing

Invisible continentterm employed by the Japanese writer Kenichi Ohmae to describe how the modern global economy and global financial flows escape the monitoring capacity of the nation state. It is associated with the ‘decline of the state’ thesis

Invisible handterm coined by Scottish classical political economist Adam Smith as a metaphor to explain the positive effects of untrammelled market forces

Jubilee campaigna movement organized by church groups leading up to the 50 th anniversary of the Bretton Woods Agreement that campaigned to drop the debt of poorer nations

Just-in-time management systemswork scheduling aimed at inventory free production and distribution through ensuring that goods are produced at the moment they are required. It is associated with ‘flexible specialization’ and attempts to remove the rigidities of mass production or ‘fordism’. Consequently, also known as ‘post-fordism’

Keynesianthe use of supply-led growth using state spending to promote high levels of employment and adequate demand. Named after the British economist J.M. Keynes

Khruschchev’s denunciation of Stalin– in 1956, the leader of the USSR, Nikita Khruschchev delivered a speech at the end of the 20 th Communist Party Congress in which he denounced the crimes of his predecessor Joseph Stalin as a distortion from the socialist path

Layered governancethe notion that power has become more diffuse as nation states coexist and interact with sub-national and multinational forms of governance

Level playing field– a phrase associated with neoliberalism that described an ideal economic climate where each actor is able to negotiate and choose their options free of socially-imposed distortions

Limits to growtha phrase associated with the ‘Club of Rome’ report (1972) that warned that industrial productive activity was unsustainable and that humans had to develop alternative means of production. The report rejected the fetish for economic growth and heavy reliance on non-renewable resources

Linearismthe belief that history moves in a specific direction along a particular path according to some motive force

Ludditesearly nineteenth century English workers who set about wrecking innovative machinery that dispensed with their skills and therefore their livelihoods

Make poverty history campaigna campaign associated with various social movements publicizing and supporting the alleviation of global poverty

Make trade fair campaigna campaign associated with various non-government organizations aimed at reshaping global trade to assist poorer countries and improving the conditions of exploited workers throughout the world

Marginalizationthe process whereby individuals, groups or regions become peripheral to the needs of a system

McDonaldizationa phrase associated with the US sociologist George Ritzer than sees the multinational corporation McDonalds as the epitome of the Weberian process of rationalization and standardization

Methodological territorialismapproach to global politics that is based on nation-states as bounded physical entities that interact with other such entities

Micro-electronic innovationsa series of technological innovations based on information technologies and computer-assisted design and manufacturing that sped up information flows and production processes from the mid-1970s onwards

Millennium Development Goalsa set of measurable targets agreed upon by the world’s leaders in 2000 that aims to halve global poverty by 2015

Modernitythe period of human history after the Middle Ages, built on the foundations of the Renaissance, the discovery of the New World and the rise of science, the Enlightenment and rationality

Modernization theorya perspective on development that assumes that all societies move in a linear direction from tradition to modernity and which attempts to understand the dynamics and problems of this transition

Monocultural equalityan equality based on cultural sameness

Movement fatiguethe tendency for some organizations to lose direction or momentum over time either through changing circumstances or crises of leadership

Multinational corporation a large company that has significant operations in many countries but which is generally coordinated globally from a centralized head office

Neo-classical economicsapproach to economics and the social sciences that emphasizes the ideas of rational actors, informed choice and unimpeded markets

Neocolonialism a relationship in which 'supposedly independent societies and their sovereign governments were found to be lacking in control of their economies' (Smith, B., 2003, p. 76)

Neoconservatisma political movement based in the USA that gathered strength from the late 1970s onwards arguing for American exceptionalism and the promotion of American ideals of political and economic liberty. It adopted a bellicose approach to the USSR and after the Cold War supported the export of American ideals to other countries. Supporters are also known as ‘neo-cons’

Neo-liberalismcontemporary resurgence of neo-classical economics, defined by Kay (2003, 308) as ‘self-interest rules, market fundamentalism, the minimal state, low taxation’

New international division of labour– the reorganization of global production from the 1970s onwards occasioned by the development of newly industrializing countries which resulted in a shift of some manufacturing operations away from the advanced capitalist countries towards East Asia and other developing nations such as Mexico and Brazil

New International Economic Ordera demand by poorer countries during the 1970s within the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development [UNCTAD] to secure a more favourable and fairer international trading system

New social movementspolitical groups – often loosely organized - that exist outside the structure of party or institutional politics and aim to reshape an aspect or aspects of contemporary social relations

Newly Industrializing Countriesdefined by Hettne (1995) as ‘ the most recent wave of industrialization which has taken place in a limited number of countries in different regions: Latin America, South East Asia and Southern Europe’

Non-Aligned Movementa group of newly independent countries that was formally established in the 1950s after a conference in Bandung, Indonesia, based on a perception that the interests of neither Cold War superpower coincided with those of the poorer countries of the world and that the poorer nations should remain aloof from the superpowers’ global political posturing and develop an independent road to development

Non-government organizationany formal organization within civil society that operates to further a specific cause or causes and is not beholden to governmental authorities, even though it might receive some governmental grants

Nutritional insecuritythe loss of capacity of a person or group to feed themselves resulting the reliance on other groups’ food supplies

OECD countriesthe Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development represents 30 of the world’s wealthier countries who claim to be committed to democratic practice and free trade

Official development assistance (ODA)- grants and concessional loans for the promotion of economic development and welfare for poorer countries from governments of richer countries. A UN declaration in 1970 called upon the richer countries to devote 0.7 per cent of GNP to ODA.

Orientalismthe study by western academics of Eastern cultures. The Palestian writer Edward Said uses the term to explain how western writers used orientalism to define and position the west as superior to the traditional and exotic cultures they were studying

Participation – active involvement of citizens in decision-making that is distinguishable from passive representation

Participative Rural Appraisal – a more experiential, empowering version of Rapid Rural Appraisal which incorporates the voices of the poor themselves allowing them to participate according to their definition of their situation

Patrimonial leaders a leader who wins allegiance of key supporters by the distribution of favours such as contracts, monopolies, and offices. The capacity to distribute such benefits is derived from the leader's dominant position in the state

Pattern variablesa set of ideal-type choices that people face when confronted with the need to act. These choices are divided between traditional actions and modern actions

Pax Americanaliterally, the American peace, the period of US global hegemony of the western world after the Second World War. Some commentators use it to describe the post-Cold War era of global US dominance. It hints at the idea of the USA as an imperial power

Peace dividendthe bonus that the global community expected after the Cold War where new resources and opportunities would be reoriented towards meeting the needs of development and increasing well-being

People power movementsgenerally non-violent broad-based movements from below aimed at overthrowing authoritarian political structures and leaders

Pink-collar jobswork tasks, often socially devalued and poorly paid, that come to be dominated by women workers

Postdevelopmentperspectives discussed in detail in Chapter 9 that reject the philosophical, methodological and political basis of the ‘development project’, viewing it as a means of maintaining rich country control over poorer countries

Post-industrial societya term associated with the US sociologist Daniel Bell who argued in the 1970s that modern societies were entering a new phase characterised by the declining importance of manufacturing and the rise of a service and information economy. Under these conditions, power would gravitate towards technocrats and other experts who controlled information

Post-materialisma term associated with the US psychologist Ronald Inglehart that described a worldview that looks beyond the satisfaction of physical needs towards issues surrounding the quality of life. Inglehart linked younger members of western society and the more affluent with post-materialist views

Postmodernismphilosophical perspectives that either reject or have moved beyond modernism. They reject the grand narratives associated with modernism and tend towards a more subjective appreciation of the world, and celebrate difference and identity politics

Poverty linesstatistical measure, usually set at one half of median family income, below which households are defined as being in poverty

Poverty Reduction Strategiesdetailed commitments that poorer countries prepare in order to access development assistance funds from international financial institutions

Power the ability to impose one’s will upon another, with or without their consent

Precautionary principlean axiom based on the belief that it is better to be safe than sorry when dealing with global environmental issues. Even though full scientific evidence might not be available, it is sensible to ‘forecare’ for the biosphere by limiting actions that have the possibility of degrading the environment further

Progressan understanding of history that suggests improvement through learning from experience and the gaining of greater understanding

Protectionismthe use of import taxes or import quotas and other state-decreed measures that artificially raise the price of foreign goods, usually with the view of ensuring the profitability of locally-produced goods. Protectionism can either affect specific industry sectors, or can be applied ‘across the board’

Prototype country whose developmental experience is later used as a guide for the development path of other countries

Purchasing Power Parity – ‘ rate of exchange that accounts for price differences across countries allowing international comparisons of real output and incomes' (UNDP 2004, p. 274)

Purposeless change - a term used by John Gray to contrast with the dominant understanding of change-as-progress or change-as-meaningful. Opposing modern arrogance, it suggests that modern societies drift rather being directed by rational action.

Rapid Rural Appraisal – a method of participatory enquiry into rural economy and society involving, according to Chambers (1993) ‘semi-structured interviewing, methods for team interactions, transects, sketch mapping, and flow, decision-tree and causal diagramming’

Rational choice analysis– an alternative term for neo-classical economic analysis, focusing on the rational behaviour of fully-informed individuals as the building blocks of social life

Really-existing socialisma term used to describe the USSR and its eastern European satellites, distinguishing their actual relations from the socialism described by Marx and Lenin

Regimes of trutha term associated with the French philosopher Michel Foucault to describe the process whereby certain ways of understanding the world come to be seen as the correct or natural way to appropriate reality. It suggests that the concept of truth needs to be historicized

Relative poverty– inability to maintain the standard of living that is considered appropriate for life in a specific cultural setting

Romanticismnineteenth century artistic and literary movement that rejected industrialization and looked to seek the essence of humanity in closer bonds with nature

Sandinista modelthe form of socialism associated with the Nicaraguan government between 1979 and 1990. While it claimed broad-based support, held elections and encouraged mass participation, successive US governments sponsored a covert war against the regime that finally wore out its reserves

Scheduled tribesmarginalized Indian communities or castes that were determined through heredity and traditionally labelled ‘outcasts’ and who undertook the most menial labour tasks

Secularizationthe process of disenchantment with religious values and/or the separation of powers between the church and state

  • Traditionalthe condition of being pre-modern, characterized intellectually by the sacred nature of texts as a guide for action

Self-critical epistemological awarenessa consciousness of the need to reflect upon one’s underlying assumptions in the light of one’s actions and observations. Associated with the concept of ‘reflexivity’

Social capitalthe sum total of relationships and networks with their corresponding degrees of trust and cooperation that a community possesses

Social equilibriumterm used mainly by structural functionalists (and modernization theorists) to describe a social system in which each of the component parts operate in a mutually-supportive manner

Social norms– the values and behaviours considered appropriate within a specific cultural setting

Social polarizationthe process whereby a society becomes increasingly divided by a growing gap between the wealthy and the poor

Socialization– the processes through which members learn the norms appropriate to that society

Soft states – nation-states whose power and authority are contested by societal and/or external sources of power and authority

Statismthe use of state power rather than market power to effect developmental goals

Stigmatizationthe demeaning or devaluing of a person or social group through labelling or negative stereotyping

Structural adjustment programmea series of reforms or conditions demanded of borrowers by the International Monetary Fund designed to liberalize the economy of the borrower, open the economy to the world market and cut public expenditure

Structural functionalismsociological theory popular after the Second World War and associated with Talcott Parsons that stresses social equilibrium and value consensus as defining characteristics of a social order. All social institutions exist to fulfil some need for social reproduction

Structural irrelevancea term used to describe people, or groups or areas than have become marginal to the global economy

Structuralist perspectivesapproaches to poverty and inequality that focus on the relations between people or countries to determine how power is maintained and distributed

Subaltern studies term first used by Indian postcolonial writers to define the study of those marginalised or exploited by the process of European imperialism. Subaltern studies focus on rewriting history ‘from below’, using the voices of those who have been silenced by western discourses

Take-off – a term popularized by W.W. Rostow and used subsequently in development theories to describe the developmental period where traditional values and forces no longer hold and where the dynamics of modern economic growth becomes self-sustaining. Economic growth rates during this period are usually high

Teleological planninggoal-oriented programmes that begin with imagining the desired end and shaping action accordingly

Terms of trade the relative price of a country's exports compared to its imports

Three waves of democratizationphrase associated with Samuel Huntington to describe the bumpy road of democratization during the twentieth century, accounting for its ebbs and flows

TINA principlean acronym for ‘There is no alternative’ attributed to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that suggests that the liberalization of the market and social relations is the only way to effectively achieve social objectives

Traditional societyany pre-modern society, or society before modern European contact

Transfer pricingschemes used by companies that produce goods and services across countries in order to minimize taxation through exaggerating the value added at points where taxation is lowest.

Transnational capitalcapital that crosses national boundaries

Transnational capitalist classa term used by Lesley Sklair and W.I. Robinson to describe a new multicultural ruling class based not on the control of locally-based capital, but on mobile global capital and influential multilateral organizations

Transnational corporation - firms that organise their strategic, design, productive, technological, marketing and distributive functions across the globe, rather than in separate countries

Trickle-down theory - the idea that the benefits of economic growth will be passed down through the economy from the wealthy to the poor thus raising the overall welfare of the population

Triumphalisma sentiment which pervaded liberal and conservative circles within the west that optimistically looked forward to a New World Order led by the USA unimpeded by the threat of communism

UN Millennium Projectthe body set up by the UN and directed by the US economist Jeffrey Sachs to support and promote the Millennium Development Goals

Underground economy– economic activity that takes place outside the formal economy. It includes illicit drug production, distribution and consumption, illegal sweatshops and ‘under-the-counter’ payments for goods and services. Also known as ‘off-the-books’ due to its association with tax avoidance

Unequal exchangea concept associated with dependency theory used to explain the nature of exploitation of the periphery by the core through trading relationships, in particular the undervaluing of peripheral products compared to core products

Uruguay Roundthe decade-long series of negotiations associated with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade that ended with the establishment of the World Trade Organization in 1995

Vicious circle of underdevelopmenta negative multiplier effect from lack of integrated development

Virtuous circle of developmenta positive multiplier effect of integrated development

Washington Consensusa collective term used to suggest that international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization have a unified underlying ideological position that promoted neoliberalism

World-Systems Analysisa perspective closely associated with dependency theory that examines the history of the global economy from a holistic perspective focusing on the shifting power relations within an evolving international division of labour