How Did Britain Develop? Adaptive Social Systems and the Development of Nations

The economic development of the West is under examined in terms of lessons there may be for development strategies employed in the global South today. This article examines the emergence of sustained change in economic growth in Britain in the 19th century, in light of the normative poverty eradicat...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Transformation
Main Author: Myers, Bryant L.
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2016]
In:Transformation
Year: 2016, Volume: 33, Issue: 2, Pages: 136-147
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:The economic development of the West is under examined in terms of lessons there may be for development strategies employed in the global South today. This article examines the emergence of sustained change in economic growth in Britain in the 19th century, in light of the normative poverty eradication strategies of today. The article focuses not so much on what happened in Britain and why, as on what did not happen during this period of rapid economic development. The purpose of this anachronistic examination is to search for helpful correctives to current poverty eradication thinking and practice. There are two major lessons. First, Britain’s experience of rapid economic growth suggests that social change is unpredictable and thus immune to today’s linear planning models. Second, Britain’s development is a story of changes in the individual and social identity of the British people themselves - the British people changed. A set of proposals in response to these findings is then described.
ISSN:1759-8931
Contains:Enthalten in: Transformation
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1177/0265378815595249