Development in El Salvador 1980-2000

Essay by laplandiaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, July 2006

download word file, 19 pages 4.7

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Perspectives of Development

a. Modernization

b. Dependency Perspective

c. Modernization Revisionism

3. Analysis of El Salvador from the Different Perspectives

a. Modernization

b. Modernization Revisionism

c. Dependency Perspective

4. Conclusion

5. Appendix

6. Works Cited


The saga of El Salvador for the past twenty years has been one of cycles: war and peace, devastation and hope, stagnation and growth. The 12-year civil war, which took place here, had a devastating effect on the country but its peaceful resolution has led to hopes of a peaceful future. In addition, the 1990s showed vast strides in key economic indicators such as GDP growth as the government embarked on a aggressive campaign of neo-liberal reforms. However, El Salvador is truly a nation where one's perspective on what constitutes development would frame whether or not one truly believed development has occurred.

From the modernization perspective one would look at the annual growth rates, relatively low inflation, WTO membership, and continued foreign direct investment and see a country well on its way to economic competition in the international political economy.

A recent World Bank country memorandum extolled praise on the Salvadoran economy saying, "El Salvador has decided to take a dramatic leap forward by rising above this relative success and rapidly catching up with high performing economies. El Salvador is currently undertaking bold economic reforms to become a more open economy with a dynamic export oriented private sector keyed into international markets" (Leon E3). Many, however, are critical of the strictly economic picture that modernization perspective paints, saying it veils other important factors.

There are a number of socio-economic factors such as vast disparity in wealth and a continued prevalence of poverty which theorists from other development perspectives would argue show that sweeping development is not occurring.