Other Names:
Misdevelopment of countries
Dependence on maldevelopment
Imbalance of development
Inappropriate development
Uneven development
Exploitative development

Maldevelopment in the newly liberated, erstwhile colonial, poor and backward countries is the result of many forces. At the base is the appalling problem of poverty, inherited inequality and the lack of equal opportunity as a legacy of the tribal and feudal past. This legacy was prolonged by the colonial system, which not only allowed tribal and feudal hierarchies to survive and perpetuate the unequal social relations that directly contribute to continuing poverty and keep economies at low levels of performance; but also introduced a new form and higher level of exploitation, by transforming the indigenous traditional political and economic elite into an intermediate stratum of collaborators in the colonial design of political domination and economic aggrandisement.


Maldevelopment cannot be simply credited to the errors and misplaced allegiances of these countries' economic managers but have also been the direct result of the activities of TNCs, as well as the policies of multilateral financial and development institutions such as the IMF-WB.

Counter Claim:

Very uneven development is acceptable as a means of initiating and maintaining the development process. Although those who benefit in the short-term are the rich and a small number of middle class and urban workers, it is they who are capable of buying products and services. Only through rapid development of the cities and the export economy can development get underway. National wealth thus grows at the fastest possible rate, providing more to trickle down to all. More goods become available and more poor people are able to get jobs as more factories open up. The new wages generate more demand for more goods and for more factories. Through this process the lower classes and those in rural areas will eventually be drawn more fully into the developing economy.

Broader Problems:
Unsustainable development
Problem Type:
A: Abstract Fundamental Problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Date of last update
15.04.2019 – 16:50 CEST