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Dependency Theory

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

Week 25: Latin American Consolidation IDs


Dependency Theory: Wealth Overpowers All



Dependency theory is a body of social science theories, both from developed and developing nations, that create a worldview which suggests that poor underdeveloped states of the periphery are exploited by wealthy developed nations of the centre, in order to sustain economic growth and remain wealthy.  It states that the poverty of the countries in the periphery results from how they are integrated into the world system, where "free market" economists say they are not fully integrated.


The premises of the dependency theory are:

  • Poor nations provide a destination for obsolete technology, and markets to the wealthy nations, without which the latter could not have the standard of living they enjoy.
  • First World nations actively, but not necessarily consciously, perpetuate a state of dependence through various policies and initiatives. This is multifaceted, involving economics, media control, politics, banking and finance, education, sport, politics and all aspects of human resource development.
  • Attempts by the dependent nations to resist the influences of dependency often result in economic sanctions and/or military invasion and control. Many dependency theorists advocate social revolution to effect change in economic disparity.


This theory first emerged in the 1950s and was advocated by Raul Prebisch.  This theory has also been adapted and taken into Marxism and Galtung's Structural Theory of Imperialism.



This is an elaborate model of the dependency theory that shows specific effects of the dependency theory.




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