Attention to economic growth and development springs from a number of different motives. These include the eradication of global poverty, a reduction in inequalities in living standards and a lessening in global disparities of power and influence. A commitment to the pursuit of economic development as a means to eliminate poverty signals an aspiration that has been widely accepted by peoples and their governments worldwide. The World Banks Voices of the Poor (Narayan et al., 2000) provides an excellent introduction to the reality of poverty in its various manifestations as experienced by poor people from many countries. Although some agreement exists on these objectives, there is no consensus on the methods and strategies necessary for the achievement of these goals. This chapter is centrally concerned with the global pursuit of economic development since the end of the Second World War. It provides an introduction to a central issue in the contemporary global political economy through an assessment of the ways in which states and other actors have engaged with the challenge of aspirations for material improvement in the context of persistent global inequality. Despite universal acceptance of, and support for, economic development, it nevertheless remains a profoundly controversial concept.
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- Economic Development
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- Chapter 11