Dependency: Economics and World

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Assignment of International Relations

Topic: Dependency theory

Definitions:
Dependency theory is a theory of how developing and developed nations interact. It can be seen as an opposition theory to the popular free market theory of interaction. Dependency theory was first formulated in the 1950s, drawing on a Marxian analysis of the global economy, and as a direct challenge to the free market economic policies of the post-War era.

Modernization Theory according to Mouton (2001;27) refers to the transformation which takes place when a traditional or pre-modern society changes to such an extent that new forms of technological organizational or social characteristics of advanced society appears. It encompassing many different disciplines as it seeks to explain how society progresses, what variables affect that progress, and how societies can react to that progress. The theory of modernization normally consists of three parts: (1) identification of types of societies, and explanation of how those designated as modernized or relatively modernized differ from others; (2) specification of how societies become modernized, comparing factors that are more or less conducive to transformation; and (3) generalizations about how the parts of a modernized society fit together, involving comparisons of stages of modernization and types of modernized societies with clarity about prospects for further modernization. Mouton (2001;28) elaborates that the theory’s assumption modernization is a liner progress he further postulates that the theory was an attempt to provide the theoretical framework to describe the road that newly decolonized countries of the 1960s in Africa, Asia and Latin America lead to take in order to reach their development destination. Modernization theory encompasses the world of globalization, where cultural mores and ideas are easily spread throughout the world, leading to a sort of universal culture that serves as a baseline for all cultures Dependency theory propounded by Frank Grunder, Griffiths (2005;168) states that it is the body of social science theories which suggests that the wealthy nations of the world need a peripheral group of poorer states in order to remain wealthy. Dependency theory states that the poverty of the countries in the periphery is not because they are not integrated into the world system, but because of how they are integrated into the world system. According to Griffiths (2005;169) it challenged the dominance of the modernization strategies in the mid 20th century as the integration of the peripheral countries into the world system led to neo-colonialism not liberalization, underdevelopment not development due to continued dependency and unequal exchange. Whilst the modernization theory implies that development occurs when separate modern sector is established with a particular society and gradually integrates the traditional sector itself the dependency theory is against this initiative as it leads to exploitation and dependency. World systems Theory propounded by Immanuel Wallerstein according to Mouton (2001;13) is strategy for explaining institutional change that focuses on whole intersoceital systems rather than single societies. Wallerstein proposed that the nations states exists in a within a broad political, economic and legal framework which he calls the “world system”. The World Systems theory is driven primarily by capitalist accumulation and geopolitics in which the business institutions fought for power and wealth. The world system proposes international division of labor, which divides the world into core countries, semi-periphery countries and the periphery countries. According to Robertson and Scholte (2007;1306) World Systems theory can be understood as stratification system composed of dominant core societies and dependent peripheral and semi- peripheral regions. The semi- periphery is composed of large and powerful states in the third world for example Mexico,...
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