Evaluation of the Development Theories and Practices and their Relevance to Disaster Risk Reduction

In an international environment, to accelerate economic and national growth, the development theories emerged as a way for ex-colonial and colonial states. Neoliberalism, dependency, structuralism, modernisation, Marxism, Keynes and Adam Smith forwarded certain approaches to and theories of development.

Later in the year 1960, a model of economic development was forwarded by Rastow that involved 5 stages of economic development, i.e., high mass consumption, drive to maturity, and take off, transitional stage and traditional society. Further, a dual-sector theory was forwarded by Lewis, in which he proposed that dual economies are maintained by developing countries. These dual economies are based on the modern sector and the traditional sector.

According to his theory, investment coming from savings is required by development. Later, dependency theory emerged which perceived modernisation theories as non-beneficent and maleficent. The neo-classical theory focused on the increase in labour quantity, underdevelopment related to corruption encouraged by the inefficiency of the government, technological improvements, increase in capital, education and training and increase in labour quantity. 

One of the theories of development that were deployed in terms of the tsunami was Rastow’s five stages of economic development. The debt was forgiven to twelve affected countries by the G7 countries, after the Indian Ocean tsunami 2004. Moreover, the tourism sector of Thailand was affected largely by the tsunami. International development trends and theory have been paralleled by tourism trends during the past century. The model of stages of economic growth by Rostow was largely drawn by modernisation theory, based on the assumed division between the ‘developed’ Western World and the ‘undeveloped’ 3rd World.

For economic development, a significant tool and mode for modernization identified by this theory was tourism. In the formal economy, therefore, for job creation, tourism was perceived as a vehicle. In developing countries, tourism has been championed as a development strategy through the framework of modernization to promote a Western way of life, to attract development capital, to increase GDP, to generate foreign exchange and to transfer technology.   

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