Different theorists and practitioners of development differed in their emphasis, but they all agreed that rapid economic growth is the strategy of modernization. Moore argued, "what is involved in modernization is a 'total' transformation of a traditional or pre-modern society into the types of technology and associated social organization that characterize the 'advanced' economically prosperous, and relatively politically stable nations of the western world" (89).
The leaders of new states in the Third World objected to how the existing international order had seemingly neglected their interests. Thus, they formed pressure groups, such as the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961 and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 1964, to promote an independent path between the interests of the communist and capitalist world and to win some reforms in the international economy, respectively. From the 1950s to 1970s, the major strategy used in the Third World was import-substitution, which involved the development of a domestic industrial sector, with the long-term aim of capturing lucrative export markets. The state had to protect new producers from competition from cheaper foreign imports, through high tariffs or import controls, and initial investments were poured into consumer goods industries. (Kiely 29; ch. 1).
State planning became the basis for post-war development in order to raise productivity and output of both the industrial, and the agricultural sectors. In this regard, many Third World countries, such as Mexico, the Philippines and India actively implemented the strategy of introducing a technological package starting in the 1950s and onward, with the support of American pro-development institutions, like the Rockefeller Foundation.
By the late 1960s, however, the Third World's dream of a better life was shattered. Official measures of development, such as Gross National Product (GNP), failed to show the distribution of such income within a country or whether people's basic needs are provided (Kiely 29: ch. 1).
A revised development strategy based on the ideas of 'redistribution and growth' and 'basic needs' was introduced by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1972 and the World Bank in 1973, respectively. The World Bank focused on increasing the productivity of the small farmer to stimulate economic growth and eliminate rural poverty, while the ILO concentrated on developing "appropriate labour-intensive technologies" (Kiely 30: ch. 1).
However, these strategies failed because only a few states in the Third World had been concerned about alleviating the sufferings of the poor. Also, transnational companies/local capitalist enterprises that had invested their money in the Third World were more concerned about getting high rates of returns on investments (ROI) than in providing more employment opportunities.
The debt crisis in the early 1980s ushered the neo-liberal 'counter revolution', "The Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates was effectively abandoned between 1971 and 1973," (Kiely 30: ch. 1; Brett 111-25) and had no successful replacement, with the