Modernization and Dependency Theory

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  • Topic: Development, Developing country, Country classifications
  • Pages : 5 (1553 words )
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  • Published : May 5, 2011
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Modernization and Dependency theory

Nowadays the rapid development of the word and the growing integration of countries can hardly fail to affect the development of new theories which attempt to explain the relationship between countries and the existing inequality between developed countries and countries of the third world. In this respect, it is possible to refer to Modernization theory and Dependency theory which, being quite different, still have certain similarities in their views on the modern world and relationships between developed and developing countries. It is worthy of mention that the comparison of these theories will help better understand the current trends in international relations and the future perspectives of the world. At the same time, this theories help assess the current situation and relationships between developed and undeveloped countries more objectively due to existing differences between the two theories.

First of all, it should be said that Dependency theory was developed in response to Modernization theory out of sheer criticism of the latter theory by the supporters of Dependency theory. Naturally, this fact determined the principal difference between these theories, but, nevertheless, there are still certain similarities between Modernization and Dependency theories. Speaking about the similarities, it is primarily necessary to point out that both theories pay a lot of attention to the gap existing between developed countries and undeveloped ones belonging to the third world. To put it more precisely, Modernization and Dependency theory stand on the ground that Western countries are the world leaders due to their higher level of development, which affects practically all spheres of life, including economic, political, social, and even cultural life (Leys, 210). As a result, there exist a strong link between developed and developing countries. Furthermore both theories state that the experience of developed countries is followed by developing and undeveloped countries, which basically develop in the same direction as developed countries but still they cannot catch the latter up and remain in the rearguard of the world development. In stark contrast, developed countries play the key role in the development of the entire world and the integration of all countries of the world in the global economy is one of the major ways of interaction between developed and developing countries and both theories agrees that this interaction constantly increases. At the same time, both Modernization and Dependency theories underline that the relationships between developed and developing countries is unequal and there exist a kind of dependence of developing countries on developed ones, though the views on this dependence vary considerably. Nevertheless, both theories underline the dominant position of Western countries in the modern world and leave little room for the alternative ways of the development but the western one, which is viewed as the only way of the development of the future world in the context of the global economy. It is worthy of mention that both theories are ethnocentric in a way because they practically ignore the possibility of the alternative development of developing countries but, instead they insist that the development of western countries will be the example developing countries, willingly or not, will follow, while, at the same time, they do not really admit the alternative ways of development of countries of the Third world (Preston, 137). However, it is worthy of mention the example of China which economy is progressing rapidly but its way of development differs considerably from the dominant western way, but this country does not meet to the basic assumptions of either of the theories. In spite of existing similarities between Modernization theory and Dependency theory, differences between them...
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