Exploring the City of London

London is an international city, accommodating many international trade and financial centres such as the Bank of England.

We visited various financial and national landmarks of London which reflect the effects of industrialisation and globalisation on forging the current economic, trade and cultural hub that is London.

When England experienced economic prosperity during the late 1900s, the Bank of England was established (1964) and helped reinforce England’s position in the world against the competition, namely France.

The Bank of England is the manifestation of a healthy national central banking system that allows economic and financial stability in the United Kingdom.

Correspondingly, trade intensified with the creation of the Stock Exchange in 1688 in a context of industrialisation. An international system of financial communications was then made possible. Economic development is causally linked to changes in a country’s economic system. Hence, the economic prosperity that the UK is experiencing today is partly due to an increase in London’s trade, its investments and international connections.

London is home to various institutions that influence both regional and global trade, finance and economy. This enables London to have an influential position in the international decision-making scene.


Group Presentation

        My group and I decided to explore the validity of the concept of the Third World today. So we asked ourselves whether or not the notion Third World should’ve ended following the end of the Cold War.

We then chose to study the role of Globalization on the end of the Third World.

      Because most of the members come from Third World countries like India, Nigeria or Egypt we felt the urge to have a better understanding of the evolution and fate of our countries. We also found that this question could make a relevant debate because many countries such as China and India are escaping the stereotypes that we associate them with, by experiencing tremendous economic growth.

     We’ll be focusing on key ideas that are directly linked to the Third World, such as the Dependency Theory, Industrialisation and The Global North-South division. We plan on gathering our knowledge from the suggested and personal readings among other sources.

Each member has different skills and interests, like theorizing and case studies for example.

I’m assigned the role of researching the alternatives (theories and suggestions) to the notion of Third World.

     Organizing such an assignment proved to be a complex task because many different countries have evolved in their own unique ways and thus a general rule cannot apply to all.

Colonialism and its consequences

          Colonialism is the political-economic practice of invading and fully (or partially) acquiring control of an external territory. The occupation is accompanied by exploitation of resources such as raw materials and labour, as well as an invasion of the colony’s culture, institutions and interests by the colonizer’s own. Declared motivations behind colonization consist of a ‘civilizing mission’ that involves bringing the colonies’ populations to a certain intellectual, social and economic standard to enable them to catch up to western advancements and ‘modernize them’. Less manifested justifications include growing western industrial and military needs, therefore the mostly indigenous, ‘primitive’, weaponless populations were accessible exploits. Modern colonialism began in the 1500s and was mainly lead by Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and English empires. Over-exploitation, imposed civilization, slavery and genocide are undeniably horrific and shameful acts of barbarism, however colonialism did provide fundamental grounds for the long-term development of many colonies. The current economic and social prosperity of nations such as India or South Africa suggest that the productive (railways, roads and factories), social (‘western’ norms and values) and political bases (democracy or liberalism) that the colonisers provided were fundamental to these achievements. Growing ties from cooperative alliances like the Commonwealth reinforce this development. However, other countries from Sub-Saharan Africa or Central and Southeast Asia experience high levels of poverty, economic insufficiency and general under-development.


Key Concepts and Issues of Development

Development is an event or state of change, composed of cumulative processes of economic, political and societal structural reforms. These can include productive, demographic, social and institutional changes. It is a concept that enables us to produce a long-term outlook on the effects of these domains in a given context. It is a qualitative notion that studies the long-term evolution of nations and people and seeks to improve the general well-being of people. Economic growth is not synonym of improvement of the well-being of populations, thus the notion of development was created to address this issue. The United Nations Development Program states that «human development aims at increasing human capacities and widening choices and opportunities so that each individual may live, in every respect, a life worthy of its name» (Human Development Report 2000). Several deviations were created from this concept including Human Development and Durable Development. Several indicators claim to measure development including the Gross Domestic Product per Capita, the Human Development Index (combining life expectancy, level of education and the standard of living) and the Human Poverty Index. These indicators are however limited in accuracy because of their statistical approach to evaluating a qualitative subject, the quality of life.