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Review of Development and Social Change: Philip McMichael By Miha Alam

The Development and Social Change by Philip McMichael and the article called " A new Continuity with Colonial administration: Participation in Development management" by Bill Cooke encompass the main ideology that colonization lead to development. It starts of with explaining that development started in the colonial era and over time became necessary and development is also knows as "white man's burden" because the colonizers (Europeans) used the resources of their colonies to facilitate their own development. McMichael explains how Europeans thought that non-European countries are "backward" societies "and are trapped in stifling cultural traditions". Hence, they felt like they were superior and needed to free these societies from their culture. He also explained how the colonization lead to the demise of the pre-colonial cultures by comparing the economy of the pre-colonial cultures and the economy of colonized countries. He further elaborates on this idea by giving examples of how certain cultures (Decca, Indian and Male, Kenya) degraded due to social reorganization under colonialism. He also explains the negative impacts of colonization are "marginalization of indigenous people, introduction of new tensions around class, gender, race and case", "extraction of labor, cultural tension, and resources to enrich the colonial power", and lastly "elaboration of ideologies justifying colonial rule (racism)". Lastly, the author also explain how due to World war 2, decolonization took place and how the United States of America sat in the driver's seat and lead development. The article by Bill Cooke follows similar ideologies mentioned in the Chapter two of the book Development and Social Change. Cooke suggests that the developed countries call progress management/administration instead of development to provide positive connotations to the act of "helping underdeveloped countries to develop and gain economic growth". Management and administration thus are also effects of colonization. He also explains how due to colonization, the "underdeveloped" countries are now dependent on the developed countries to reach economic growth.

McMichael framed his arguments negatively when he was explaining how certain cultures such as Decca in India and Kenya were significantly impacted due to reorganization under colonialism in a negative way because he drew such generalized conclusions. He concluded that because social re-organization in Decca and Kenya lead to their degradation due to colonization, colonization doesn't actually result in development of the "backward" cultures. The author didn't realize the fact that in some cases, colonization did result in some form of development. For example; it was the British who introduced the railway system in India. Although the British used it for their own benefit (trading and exchanging of goods), the railways have helped India a lot. India has one of the most dense/intricate and developed railway networks. It is one of the main modes of transport the population with such large demographics use, as many cannot afford a plane ticket. The train has really helped India to improve the flow of information, migrate, exchange goods and services, do business and travel. Similarly, the author mentions "The new telegraph systems transmitted prices set by London grain merchants, prying grain reserves from villages along railways networks for export to Britain". Although this undermined the main system of protection against drought and famine, it introduced the telegraph technology, which must have been very useful for trading with other countries and forming bilateral and multilateral trading boundaries as telegraph aids communication. Communication is now especially important for globalization.

The author explicitly states that due to colonization, "there was the introduction of new tensions around class, gender, race and caste". This is another very bold and general statement. I believe that some form of inequality did exist before colonization. For example; in India, the caste system existed before colonization as the caste system was influenced by Hinduism. Secondly, woman's status in society was not lowered after colonization. In fact, the role of woman was determined long before the Mughal Indians colonized and ruled in India.

The author mentions that the non-Europeans were encouraged to develop in the European way without the resources to do so. This is a very vague claim. The author doesn't specify why this was the case. Non- European countries could not develop, as they didn't have the resources to do so because the colonizers had already exhausted the resources or was it because they had the resources but didn't have the technology to use those resources and produce goods to make the money flow in the economy (and achieve economic growth).

Overall McMichael does a good job of giving case studies and explaining how colonization lead to the colonized country's degradation economically, socially and environmentally. For example; the book explains how due to colonialism, the " local farming cultures lost their best land to commercial agriculture supplying European consumers and industries" (34), "marginalization of indigenous people, introduction of new tensions around class, gender, race and case", "extraction of labor, cultural tension, and resources to enrich the colonial power", and lastly "elaboration of ideologies justifying colonial rule (racism)".