Dependency Theory vs Modernization Theory

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While the explanations of underdevelopment differed, experts such as Brooks and Hallward viewed the natural disaster in Haiti to be so destructive mainly due to its poverty. By diminishing the level of poverty in countries such as Haiti, it is possible to make them less vulnerable to many of the problems they face. To reduce poverty it is important for societies to accept development strategies. What exactly is development and how can it be achieved? Development is a process in which we attempt to bridge the gap between developed and underdeveloped nations by means of an imitative process through which less developed countries gradually assume the quality of industrialized nations (Canel). It occurs from our ability to imagine, theorize, conceptualize, experiment, invent, articulate, organize, manage, solve problems, and do a hundred other things with our minds and hands that contribute to the progress of the individual and of human-kind (Harrison 228). This process of development can be achieved through either the Modernization Theory, a view from the Global North, or the Dependency Theory, a view from the Global South. These two approaches are diverse from each other; however there are notable similarities between them too. Both the theories lack in certain places thus fail to escape criticism, however the Dependency Theory looks at development in a broader aspect.

To begin with, one of the main similarities between the theories is that they both give much attention to the gap existing between the developed and underdeveloped world. The Dependency and Modernization Theory both agree that the Western countries are more advanced in all social and economic areas due to which they are considered world leaders. According to Harrison the gap between the North and South is increased due to religion as it influences the ethical system in place, which in effect, becomes a limitation for development. Moreover, both approaches consider the relation of dependency to...
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