North South Relations Theory

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Edward Chien
April 5, 2013
North-South Relation
Research question: What is the cause and effect of North-South divide? And why is the South experiencing such slow economic growths? What are some solutions to resolving the North-South relation problem?

North South relation theory is defined as a socio-economic and political divide between two hemispheres. The North consists of North American, Western Europe, Australia, Japan, and East Asian countries; whereas the south is made up of Africa, Latin America, and South East Asia. The North is considered to be much more economically developed and modernized compared to the South, where there is widespread poverty and slow economic growth. In this paper I will examine the causes and effects of North-South divide.

There are many causes to the North-South divide, but I think it is strongly related to colonialism. I am talking about modern colonialism, whereby rich nations are now scrambling to get the best bargains from the poor countries. Rich countries have relaxed their immigration policies to attract wealth and human capital from poorer countries. This is considered as robbing talents and it is a new form of colonialism that seems to be legitimate. If we look back in history, colonialism is done through coercion and threats, which is outlawed in today’s world. During the colonial era, British trading companies drained wealth from its colonies in Africa by extraction of natural resources and refused to develop social infrastructures. In today’s world, we have a new form of colonialism, which is equally devastating, but is much more subtle and less violent. We see a large number of young and skilled professionals of underdeveloped countries moving to rich countries because they are attracted by new possibilities in more developed countries. “People are eager to migrate to countries in the South in attempts to better their life standards and get their share in the perceived prosperity of the North…South and Central Americans want to live and work in North America. Africans and Southwest Asians want to live and work in Europe. Southeast Asians want to live and work in North America and Europe” (Rafael, 2007, 556). Migration of skilled workers from the South is a serious concern for undeveloped countries. When skilled workers leave the South, they bring with them knowledge, capital, and economic productivity with them to the North. This facilitates an uneven distribution of technological innovation. For instance, if an structural engineer from the South leaves his country, the country loses human capital and essentially both economic productivity of this individual as well as income tax revenue. Now, when skilled labors are migrating in a large proportion, then it the effects are even more detrimental. “Though the proponents of globalization argue that it ushers in an unprecedented flow and circulation of people which has never been witnessed before in history, the critics of globalization have shown us that the scale and complexity of human movement that is currently occurring has solely benefited the rich nations” (Timsina, 2011). The loss of skilled labor due to migration is a main cause to why undeveloped countries are not experiencing economic growth. In order to solve the problem of migration and help undeveloped countries generate higher economic growth, I would propose that rich countries adjust their immigration policies. Policies should not be geared toward excessive importation of highly skilled and production young people because these people are the future of their country and without them, there will be little economic growth. But simply changing immigration policies of rich countries are not enough; I think there should also be strong monetary incentives on part of undeveloped countries to retain their skilled workers. For instance, I think doctors, nurses, engineers, and technicians from poor countries should be given an income equal to income given in rich...
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