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Radical Development: Dependency Theories in the 1960s and 1970s Lecture for Tuesday 3 rd October Geog270.

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Presentation on theme: "Radical Development: Dependency Theories in the 1960s and 1970s Lecture for Tuesday 3 rd October Geog270."— Presentation transcript:

1 Radical Development: Dependency Theories in the 1960s and 1970s Lecture for Tuesday 3 rd October Geog270

2 Aims of the Lecture introduce key critiques of modernisation theory introduce dependency theories reflect critically on the work of dependency theorists note the continued relevance of dependency ideas

3 Structure of Lecture 1. Summary of modernisation theory and critique 2. Rise of dependency theory 3. Nature of dependency theory 4. Critically evaluating dependency arguments

4 Relationship of lecture to course textbook 1.Course textbook introduces a broader range of Marxian theories 2.We concentrate on dependency theories (most influential in the West) 3.But please read background to Marx’s ideas 4. Also see non-western Marxian theories of development discussed in Willis (e.g. Soviet and Maoist theories) – remember GRIP

5 Development as modernization: Summary 1. Development = economic growth 2. Industrialisation through investment of capital 3. Ignored history 4. Believed in being objective 5. Written mainly by men in the West

6 1960s - new uncertainty about modernization War in Vietnam met with moral outrage in the US. New Left critics in UK such as EP Thompson argued that gap between rich and poor had widened by a factor of three between 1945 and 1965

7 Origins of Dependency Theory I Marxist scholars Prebisch and Furtado argued that Latin American countries were poor because of their relationship to richer countries in 1960s and 1970s Caribbean school of scholars sought to identify indigenous paths for the region’s development

8 Origins of Dependency Theory II Model of development proposed by Rostow and Lewis challenged from within economics by Paul Baran in his book The Political Economy of Growth (1957) Baran: economic devt of poor countries is against interests of rich countries Rich countries have exploited poor

9 Gunder Frank I Economist Argued that rich colonial (‘metropolitan’) powers acquired wealth through exploiting weaker ‘satellite’ countries Frank’s model drew heavily on a reading of world history

10 Gunder Frank II: The satellite countries supply cheap primary commodities to rich countries The rich countries use raw materials to produce relatively expensive manufactured goods, which are sold back to the peripheral countries Frank: this is a form of theft

11 Continued dependency Frank argued that this theft is continuing through the policies of World Bank and IMF and through the activities of multinational corporations MNCs accused of introducing inappropriate new consumption patterns + out-competing local firms

12 Implications of Frank’s arguments Poverty not a result of misfortune Frank (1969): ‘poorer countries experience their greatest economic development…if and when their ties to the metropolis are weakest.’ Poorer countries face a choice between poverty or socialist revolution

13 Dependency theorists key points: 1. Underdevelopment is a historical process, not a condition necessarily intrinsic to poorer countries 2. The dominant and dependent countries together form a capitalist system. 3. Underdevelopment is an inherent consequence of the functioning of the world system.

14 Critique of dependency theory Narrow focus on exchange relations as basis for domination Doesn’t look at local processes of exploitation and exclusion Frank’s model undermined by changing economic condition of some formerly poor countries: e.g. ‘Asian Tigers’

15 Wallerstein Wallerstein believed that the periphery was being exploited by richer countries (core countries) Between core and periphery there are semi-peripheral countries that import raw materials from the periphery and hi- tech goods from the core and export semi-manufactured goods to the core and industrial products to the periphery.


17 Inadequacy of dependency theories Overlook social and cultural variation within ‘core’ and ‘periphery’ Focus too much on the economy Socialist revolution not a workable aim ? Not possible to ‘de-link’ countries from world capitalist system

18 Conclusion: key points variety of ways in which development is defined and studied not one theory replacing another but overlapping accounts of how development should be promoted dependency theory provides a provocative set of ideas that we need to think about critically

19 Conclusions: Getting a GRIP on Dependency Theories GEOGRAPHY: How is dependency reflected in the landscape of poorer countries? REGION: How does ‘your’ region reflect a history of dependency/exploitation? INTERACT: What do others in the class think of the whole ‘dependency’ idea? POSITION: Where have you encountered notions like dependency before and what do you think of these ideas?

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