What is dependency? Compare the theory of dependency with other developmental theories in the context of Latin America

 What is dependency? Compare the theory of dependency with other developmental theories in the context of Latin America

What is dependency? Compare the theory of dependency with other developmental theories in the context of Latin America , Latin American dependency theory may be a strand of political-economic thought that developed out of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and therefore the Caribbean  shortly after war II. Dependency theorists sought to elucidate persistent levels of under-development in Latin America by situating national economies within their global economic context. Notable scholars during this intellectual tradition include Raúl Prebisch, Fernando Cardoso, and Andre Gunder Frank, and dependency theory as articulated by Latin Americanists came to later influence the world-systems analysis promoted by Immanuel Wallerstein, Giovanni Arrighi, and Christopher Chase-Dunn.

Dependency theory argues that under-development as experienced in Latin America et al. is that the direct results of capital intervention, instead of a condition of “lacking” development or investment. Prebisch, Gunder Frank, et al. What is dependency? Compare the theory of dependency with other developmental theories in the context of Latin America put forth that the exact same processes that generate high-incomes in Western Europe and therefore the us are people who maintain the remainder of the planet during a state of dependency vis-à-vis wealth extraction. instead of looking towards country-level characteristics to elucidate development, as per earlier theorizations, dependency theory asks that social scientists reorient their analyses to attend to the worldwide economic forces that dictate development disparities both between and within nation-states. within the neoliberal era, dependency theory’s key theoretical insight — that global capital flows structure development and under-development — remains highly relevant. This essay traces the intellectual lineage of dependency theory as articulated in Latin America , several competing strands of thought from scholars working during this tradition, and a few consequences of dependency theory for policy praxis and science research.


Dependency theory as an intellectual movement emerged as a response to modernization theory, a quasi-evolutionary model of economic development that posited that nations move linearly through successive stages of growth (Gunder Frank 1969; Rostow 1959). Economist William Rostow, one among modernization theory’s chief architects, proposed five distinct stages of economic development, beginning with “traditional,” agrarian societies, moving upward through greater investment in manufacturing, before culminating in an urbanized economy oriented towards the production of commodity (Ibid.). In response, ECLAC economist Raúl Prebisch and Andre Gunder Frank argued that Rostow’s model assumes a false dichotomy between “traditional” and “modern” societies, and disputed Rostow’s presumption of a worldwide economic structure that might leave all nations to undergo these stages successfully .


Prior to joining ECLAC, Prebisch served as Argentina’s chief trade diplomat during the 1930s, when a British market crash heavily affected demand for Argentina’s primary exports, beef and grains . What is dependency? Compare the theory of dependency with other developmental theories in the context of Latin America Attuned to how closely Argentina’s economic fortunes trusted the health of northern markets, Prebisch worked with UN economist Hans Singer to develop the Prebisch-Singer thesis, which formalized one among dependency theory’s primary tenets. Prebisch and Singer used trade data between wealthier, northern countries and Latin America to research the mixture terms of trade of those interactions, ultimately concluding that an imbalance inherent to the present exchange resulted during a constant flow of capital out of Latin America (Prebisch 1959). While Latin American countries exported primary goods like food products, lumber and minerals to the worldwide North, they attended re-import manufactured products from these same countries. the worth added to those manufactured commodities — typically constructed from the first inputs imported earlier — generated profit for northern countries while maintaining Latin American countries during a perpetual deficit . This wealthy global core exists during a semi-permanent extractive relationship with a low-income periphery.


Dependency theorists typically fall within two intellectual camps: liberal reformers like Prebisch, who ultimately believed that a better standard of living might be achieved through targeted policy intervention, and neo-Marxists, who advocated for a socialist, command-centered economy. This split hinges upon a key theoretical distinction. Prebisch et al. thought that economic development might be achieved through a series of policy prescriptions that might encourage domestic industry. As Ramón Grosfoguel argues, this statist approach to development predates dependency theory by approximately a century in Latin America . Fernando Cardoso and Enrique Faletto (1979) concurred, arguing that the organization of internal national markets and national political arrangements can impact the degree of dependence. Accordingly, Prebisch, Cardoso and Faletto advocated for protectionist economic policies that might allow internal markets to develop (Ibid). Import-substitution industrialization would achieve this goal by adding heavy tariffs to made goods imported from the worldwide North, effectively subsidizing domestic industry.


In contrast, neo-Marxist dependency theorists argued that escaping an exploitative dependent relationship with core countries would only be achievable through socialism. consistent with this attitude , because Latin American nations occupy a selected niche within a worldwide division of labor; the economic hegemony of the worldwide North could only be truly upset by challenging the capitalist mode of production. While an orthodox Marxist perspective posits that imperialism will eventually advance societies towards communism, Gunder Frank and neo-Marxist dependency theorists viewed the core/periphery relationship as a constraining structure that might maintain Latin American nations in an indefinite state of dependency (1966). What is dependency? Compare the theory of dependency with other developmental theories in the context of Latin America One further intellectual offshoot of the neo-Marxist camp of Latin American dependency theory is world-systems analysis, as pioneered by Immanuel Wallerstein, Samir Amin, and Andre Gunder Frank. These theorists extend the most theoretical insight of dependency theory — that a worldwide economics structures inequality within and between contemporary nation-states — to develop a macrosociological perspective that seeks to elucidate global economic change across centuries, including the increase and fall of hegemonic polities and therefore the process of incorporation within the capitalist world-system .


Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, governments in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile adopted ISI policies in an effort to maneuver their economies faraway from the assembly of primary goods for export and to encourage the event of domestic manufacturing. Nonetheless, policy-related and analytical criticisms of dependency theory mounted. Policymakers challenged Prebisch’s central findings, arguing that the unequal terms of trade hypothesis rested on theoretical assumptions that didn't function as anticipated on the bottom. Theorists subsequently became unsatisfied with a number of the central tenets of dependency theory, which proved unable to elucidate movement from peripheral to core status and like Rostow’s modernization theory, reified “stages” of development. Prebisch himself watched with growing concern as Latin American governments accrued greater levels of foreign debt to support subsidies for domestic industry (Dosman 2008). After a series of debt crises throughout the 1980s, the planet Bank and International fund (IMF) cut these protections, demanding instead the implementation of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) that slashed state services and encouraged privatization more generally. thanks to the present hegemony of deregulation as a policy best practice backed by international finance institutions, dependency theory is not any longer widely applied as a policy prescription in Latin America .

What is dependency? Compare the theory of dependency with other developmental theories in the context of Latin America , Nonetheless, the most theoretical insights of dependency theory remain valuable for contemporary social scientists studying persistent economic inequalities in Latin America and other nations across the worldwide South. By drawing attention to the economic processes that extract wealth from Latin America to the worldwide North, dependency theorists challenged the elemental assumptions that previously structured development policy discourse: that Latin America’s export-oriented economies are feudal and backwards, that modernity is to be equated with industrialization, which all nations are equally ready to move through ascribed “stages” of development.


Dependency theorists also laid the groundwork for a few of the main research agendas of world-system analysis, including studies of the international division of labor, commodity chains, and global cities . within the twenty-first century, as national borders appear to lose relevance within the face of multi-national corporations and an entrenched transnational capitalist class, world-systems analysis must now attend to the role the inter-state system does or doesn't play in structuring the worldwide economics .


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