chapter  Chapter 8
26 Pages

Development of the Underdevelopment

WithWilfred L. David

A significant challenge to the theoretical, empirical, and policy foundations of the orthodox development paradigm was mounted by scholars from the developing world itself, and in particular by Latin American structuralists. Structuralist interpretations of development are grounded in the realist-existentialist conception of scientific knowledge. The structuralist theoretical perspective posits that the underlying structures have causally produced underdevelopment. In identifying the limitations of neo-classical analysis, for example, Hla Myint attributes superior development performance to improvements in the organizational framework of the economic system. The basic inflationary pressures represent points in the economic structure that typically provide the most resistance to the changes required for development. Structuralists recognized that monetary expansion is a motive force in the production process, and therefore becomes a primary mechanism whereby the surplus is appropriated by owners of the means of production. The structuralist or dependency theorist has been described as a person who “sees the world as inflexible.