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In the modern world, competition and the identification of standards are the common rules of social life. People set goals, identify available resources, and cooperate within different communities to succeed in development. The concept of development is not new but complex, and many researchers focus on the identification of its meaning and other characteristics. In this paper, the work by Dickovick and Eastwood will be evaluated to clarify what the authors mean by “development” and which indicators are useful in measuring development and distinguishing between causes and effects.
Definition of “development”
The idea of development can be interpreted in a variety of ways. For example, Dickovick and Eastwood define development as a process within the frames of which society changes and observes improvements in different areas. It means that a nation achieves positive results in something, and these outcomes influence people and determine their relationships or activities at various levels. Sustainable development turns out to be a serious philosophy for modern individuals and organizations because it touches upon economic and political relationships, as well as human well-being and ecological viability. It is not enough to know its definition to apply it successfully, but it is obligatory to grasp influential outside and inside factors and examples of different countries, either developed or developing.
Indicators of development measurement
In this discussion, attention has to be paid to the indicators that are critical for development measurement. In the majority of cases, development is determined by economic indicators like economic growth (gross domestic product, GDP, per person), living standards (poverty or literacy levels), and economic inequality (employment rates). However, the role of social and cultural indicators cannot be ignored.
For example, changes in the standards of living say about possible shifts in such fields as education or health care. Development may be measured by the levels of happiness, equity, or environmental sustainability (social indicators), as well as by the levels of trust, ethics, and cultural tendencies (cultural indicators). An understanding of these factors supports the examination of the causes and effects of development. Causes of development show the conditions under which a nation succeeds, and effects of development demonstrate how successful or unprofitable a nation or its government is.
Regarding the complexity of the concept of development in comparative politics, many people are not ready to explain the relationships between such factors as wealth, liberty, and development. On the one hand, wealth can be a cause of development because wealthy countries can increase their living standards and use various resources. On the other hand, wealth may be evidence of development because many countries have already crossed the line between developing and developed, meaning their development promotes wealth.
Therefore, it is correct to say that wealth is a neutral characteristic of development with the help of which people understand the worth of development. Liberty, in its turn, has to be identified as an effect (outcome) of development because this state of being in the advanced achievement could be easily lost if development is neglected.
In general, the role of development in the economic and political life of a country should be recognized. This concept is not simple and includes multiple social, cultural, and economic indicators for its measurement. Sometimes, it is not easy to understand what predetermines development and what turns out to be its outcome. However, one must remember that human actions and decisions aim at developing either at personal or national levels.
Dickovick, Tyler J., and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Dickovick, Tyler J., and Jonathan Eastwood. Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases. 3rd. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Gupta, Joyeeta and Courtney Vegelin. “Sustainable Development Goals and Inclusive Development.” International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 16, no. 3 (2016): 433-448.