Sociological Theories of Global Development and the Resurgence of the Role of the State

By Jonathan H. Westover.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Many development theorists have argued for a global world system approach to looking at development (e.g. Wallerstein 1974, 2000) and some research has even indicated a decline in the role and importance of the nation-state in any increasingly global economy (e.g. Kentor 2005). However, more and more scholars have shown a renewed interest in exploring the role of the state in development (see Hirschman 1980; Evans, Rueschemeyer, and Skocpol 1985; Tilly 1990; Mann 1993; Evans 1994; Evans 1995; Meyer et al. 1997; Gilpin 2001; Kohli 2004, etc.). So, what is all the fuss about “bringing the state back in”? Which developmental theories have ignored the role of the state? According to state-centered approaches to “development”, what is it that states do that research needs to take into account. Additionally, what are the key findings of this body of literature, and how have these findings been demonstrated in specific research efforts? This paper will attempt to answer these questions, as well as briefly explore and suggest future directions.

Keywords: Role of the State, Development Theories

Global Studies Journal, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.35-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.123MB).

Dr. Jonathan H. Westover

Assistant Professor of Business, Woodbury School of Business, Utah Valley University, Lehi, Utah, USA

Jonathan H. Westover is an Assistant Professor of Business at Utah Valley University. He received a Master's of Public Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior. As a doctoral student, his research interests combined Comparative International Sociology and Organizational Sociology. His ongoing research examines issues of global development, work-quality characteristics, and the determinants of job satisfaction cross-nationally.


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