Social Scientist. v 2, no. 24 (July 1974) p. 24.


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PARTHA CHATTER JEE

Modern American Political Theory with Reference to Underdeveloped rations

THE most modern bourgeois political theories relating to underdeveloped countries have two primary concerns: one, the establishment of a "developed^ polity on the liberal democratic model, and two, the maintenance of political stability in the process of this development. Both flow from the material and ideological interests of world monopoly capitalism. Yet, these twin concerns lead to certain inevitable contradictions which no bourgeois theory is able to resolve. Curiously, the course of development of this theoretical literature in the United States in the last twenty-five years has a striking resemblance to British colonial theories in the nineteenth century. Both run against the same basic contradiction, namely the structural impossibility of normal capitalist development, economic, political and social, in a colonial or post-colonial society. I

The concept of political development is a relatively recent innovation in political theory. The reasons are not difficult to trace. The idea of the development of a polky according to a certain pattern or direction —development, not merely change—implies a prior concept of social progress, that is, a notion of social change in a desirable direction. And the history of the idea of progress, we know, is only a little more than two hundred years old.



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