Dependence Theory: Comparing Latin America and Africa - Miroslav Jurásek
Dependence Theory: Comparing Latin America and Africa Miroslav Jurásek Introduction In the 1960s, dependence1 theory seemed to be a perfect explanation for why Third World countries had fallen behind in comparison with highly industrial- ised countries. Dependency is a theory of underdevelopment which claims, in general, that poor countries exiled to the periphery of the world economy can- not develop as long as they remain enslaved by the rich countries of the center. It is considered to be a legacy of colonialism. Dependence theory, which was later fully integrated into more complex theoretical approaches (such as, for example, capitalist world system theory) and very closely related to the theory of capital accumulation (and others) within the huge topic of globalisation, presents a broad platform for discussion to this day. Dependence has been defined by many authors, but the definition of The- otônio dos Santos is probably the most well-known. According to this defini- tion, posited in 1970, dependence means “a situation in which the economy of certain countries is conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy to which the former is subjected” (Perez, 1990: 135). Dependence theory was born due to the vacuum of appropriate theoretical constructs of development after modernisation schemes, the “desarrollista” approaches (as, for example, import-substitution industrialisation) and previ- ous theories such as structural dualism and functionalism had been proven false. Moreover, in Latin America there has been an obvious repudiation of the bourgeoisie, whose behaviour was generally perceived as that of a...
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