UNIVERSITY OF GHANA DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE DEVELOPMENT STUDIES (POLI 211)
1. Critically assess the dependency theory’s explanation of the lack of development in less developed countries. 2. Critically discuss the different conceptions of development. Does the basic needs theory (which adheres to a broader conception of development) have what it takes to propel the LDCs to development?
According to the Encarta Dictionary development is the process of changing and becoming larger, stronger or more impressive, successful or advanced, or of causing somebody or something to change in this way. In the light of this that Dennis Goulet defines development as liberation from poverty and from a stunted view of self. The dependency theory prevailed in the 1960’s and came to reject the central assumptions of the modernization theory, which emphasizes that industrialization, the introduction to mass media and the diffusion of western ideas would transform traditional economies and societies. These impart would place poor countries on a path of development similar to that experience by western industrialized nations. Therefore the theory addresses the problem of poverty and economic underdevelopment throughout the world. Dependency theorists argue that dependence upon foreign aid impedes economic development in developing countries. The less developed countries depend on developed nations and foreign lending institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and these countries must often agree on to rigorous conditions such as budget cuts and interest rate increases and deviate from the purpose of which they came for the loan in order to obtain the loan from international agencies and this makes the debt of many less developed countries sore which adversely increase the rate of unemployment. Furthermore, the dependency theory argue that less developed countries were adversely affected by unequal trade especially in the exchange of cheap raw materials from developing nation for the expensive, finished products manufactured by advanced industrial nations. Since the developing nations do not have what it takes to change their raw materials into finished goods, it is difficult for them to demand for better prices for their primary exports. The advanced countries dictates the prices they wish to give them and these prices are not enough to be able to even help the farmers to develop not to talk about the growth of the nation. At this stage, the role of unequal exchange in the entire relationship of dependency cannot be underestimated. Unequal exchange is given if double factorial terms of trade of the respective country are greater than one (Raffer, 1987, Amin, 1975). Also, dependency theorist argue that wealthy countries are able to use their wealth to further influence developing nations into adopting policies that increase the wealth of the wealthy nations even at their own expense. The policies that the advanced countries propose to these less developed countries makes it possible for the advanced countries to always be advance since the less develop countries will always go to them for help and they will give help with a string attached to it, that is why a less developed country like Zimbabwe economically independent. For instance a less developed country will go for a loan from a developed country for construction of roads but instead of the developed country giving them the aid they in tend add their workers so that the less developed country will even pay these workers out of the loan they went for and at the end of the day the purpose for the loan was not achieved. Another aspect the dependency theory talks about is the fact that the less developed are still not developing due to the fact that...
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Hunter, Wendy. "Dependency Theory." Microsoft Student 2009 [DVD]. Redmond.
Microsoft Encarta 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Cardoso, Fernando H. 1975. Dependency and Development in Latin America. CA: University of California Press.
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