Acta Politica Polonica

Previously: Zeszyty Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego. Acta Politica

ISSN: 2451-0432    OAI    DOI: 10.18276/ap.2020.49-05
CC BY-SA   Open Access   DOAJ  ERIH PLUS

Issue archive / 1/2020 (49)
Development, what does it really mean?

Authors: Wanninayaka M. Semasinghe
Department of Economics, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
Keywords: capabilities economic growth entire human society individual income modern development ideologies
Year of publication:2020
Page range:9 (51-59)
Cited-by (Crossref) ?:


“Development” is the most commonly used single word by economists, policymakers, inter- national financial institutions and politicians. Although, as a polysemic word, “development” has different meanings - it is used largely to describe an improvement in the quality of life of people. Initially, development was perceived as the growth of domestic, national or individ- ual income. Over time, the perception of development was broadened, and now it encompasses various dimensions in defining development. In addition to the traditional economic elements, it includes many socioeconomic and political dimensions such as poverty, inequality, unem- ployment, freedom, democracy, dignity, self-respect and self-esteem. UNDP defines develop- ment as a process of enlarging people’s choices, while Sen defines it as a process of expansion of freedoms. These choices or freedoms lead to an improvement in the quality of life of people and there is no argument about that. However, as I perceive it, development is not a process as considered in terms of traditional and modern development ideologies, but a superior status that human beings strive to capture or reach. Expansion of choices or freedoms and the elimi- nation of poverty, inequality, etc. are the processes that convey people to the development. The policies and programs drawn up to achieve the improvement of so-called choices or free- doms are the instruments that expand the processes. These processes will end when the entire human society reaches the so-called pinnacle of development.
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