The UN Development Decades (1961-2000): Evolution of Appraisal Systems in the Context of Development Theories

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The article explores the review and appraisal systems’ dynamics in the period from the First to the Fourth UN Development Decades in the context of the dominant developmental theories’ evolution. To reveal possible interrelations the author uses the methods of comparative assessment and periodization. The overview draws on analysis on resolutions and documents of the UN General Assembly adopted in 1960-2000, expert materials, academic research and international institutions’ reports. Development concepts which emerged in 1960-2000 had an undoubted influence on cooperation for development and the review and appraisal parameters. Developmental stages theory and modernization theory defined the priorities and parameters of the First Development Decade’s (1961-1970). In 1970s, growing economic interdependence, detente and the outcomes of the First Decade’s which showed that development could not be driven exclusively by modernization, industrialization and economic growth, determined emergence of the dependence theory and the alternative development concept. The new thinking was reflected in the provisions of the Second Development Decade. The Third Development Decade (1981-1990) provisions were built on a compromise between the dependence theory, modernization theory and the alternative development concept. For the first time concrete parameters of social development, eradication of poverty and inequality were specified. The Fourth Development Decade provisions revealed the influence of the neoliberalism in its “post-Washington consensus” reincarnation and the sustainable development concept. In the nineties the human development discourse put equality, wellbeing and freedom at the core of the development, bringing a new focus on the social and human development indicators.

About the authors

Marina Vladimirovna Larionova

Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation

Author for correspondence.

PhD, Dr. of Sc. (Political Science), Director, Center for International Institutions Research

Moscow, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2020 Larionova M.V.

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