To what extent is the west to blame for the failure of the global south to achieve economic growth?

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International Relations A

To what extent is the west to blame for the failure of the global south to achieve economic growth?

Economic growth is something that every country throughout the globe aims to achieve to the highest of their capability. For some countries there are many problems that can occur from trying to get a high economic growth. The problem that has occurred for many years is that the whole globe isn’t as equal in terms of development with one another when it comes to how far they have economically grown. The issue being raised is the fact that the global south is far more under developed than the west. However the argument is, to what extent is the west to blame for the under development of the South’s economy, if any blame at all. In this essay I will look at all the relevant sections such as international trade, international finance, aid given to countries etc and determine how far the west is to blame for the poor development of the global south. During the essay I will refer to the western countries as the global North or just North at times.

        When the issue of international trade arises, it is somewhat evident that the west seemingly takes advantage of the poor state in the global south. Many if not all products produced in the third world need to go to the Northern (Western) markets in order to make any substantial profit, which in turn means that they will not get as much profit as the western countries do, even though the labour and resources are from the countries themselves. Along with products, the third world countries also export raw materials to the west aswell. The fact that this occurs can be seen as the west using the south just for their own benefit to reduce costs and help the development of their own economies and leaving the south in the poor state that they are still in.

Also when it comes to agriculture the western markets will put up tariff barriers and subsidies will be given to domestic farmers with the EU being an example with (CAP). With regards to agriculture, there is a belief that the south could maybe compete with the north to some degree. “The existence of tariffs, administrative barriers, quota restrictions, etc on the imports of agricultural commodities, required as a consequence of subsidies and high prices granted to local farmers”. This gives us reason to believe that the western states know that the south could maybe compete with them with the agricultural aspect of the economy and therefore, the subsidies and tariffs are imposed to stop the poorer countries economy from stabilising and even growing.

So far with international trade it seems as though the south is getting some kind of rough deal from the west however this is not completely the case. The fact that the third world countries have connections and trade with the west enables the southern states to have a market that otherwise they might not have. Also “there are exceptions, where the poor countries command a strategic material or strategic bases, or where they effectively co-operate with each other; the oil producing countries are a recent example”. This gives evidence to suggest that the southern states are now trying to be somewhat more independent and also, some of the south or at least segments of them benefit from the current trade position.

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International Finance is an issue that has sometimes come under scrutiny and has been pointed as the main reason for why the global south is so far behind in terms of development than the northern states. Banks can dominate Southern countries by removing investment and huge amounts can cripple the country. If the huge amounts of investment are taken back then sometimes the country will lose control of the economy and the economy could simply collapse. Therefore banks have a very big say in the global south countries economies and sometimes the economies in these countries are used for the ...

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