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Lecture 5

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Political Science
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R Rice

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Lecture 5 notes POLC90H3 Prof. Rice February 5, 2013 “To reveal the truth about the world is to lay a foundation for changing it” – Owena Sutclifte (1972), (studies in imperialism) Marxism and theories of Imperialism I. Marxism II. Structuralist explanations III. Theories of imperialism IV. Imperialism today (I). Marxism Assumptions: 1. The forces for social change and development are internal to third world societies, not external to them, focuses on the class structure in societies, similar to modernization theory 2. Capitalism is capable of producing growth in the economies of the global south 3. Imperialism can be an agent of progress by destabilizing traditional societies 4. Capitalism is a necessary stage in the progressive evolution to socialist development Feudalism  Capitalism  Socialism The bourgeoisies own the means of production; the proletariat has to survive in the ways available “The more the worker produces, the less he has to consume” Prescriptions for change: capitalist expansion in the short term, then socialism in the long term Contributions: - It can explain capitalist success in the third world - Critical of normative - Major influence on the social sciences Criticisms: - Few policy suggestions, hints at a timeline - Eurocentric - Deterministic/reductionist (II). Structuralist Explanations - A spin off of institutionalism - Structuralist look at the underlying structures and how they affect policy Structuralism: suggests that structural relationships have a powerful logic that shapes and constrains the identities, aspirations, and actions of the actors Barrington Moore (1966): “The social origins of dictatorship and democracy” Bourgeois Revolution  Liberal Democracy (Britain, France, USA) Revolutions from above  Fascism (Germany + Japan) Peasant Revolution  Communism (Russia + China) Policy Implications: - Contributions: o Address the underlying structure to succeed in bringing about development (land reform, wage inequality) o Theoretically satisfying, compelling logic with few variables (III). Theories of Imperialism Imperialism (empire-ism) refers to a general system of domination by a state (or state) of other states, regions of the whole world Colony  from the Latin “Colonis” – Farmer Imperialism  From the Latin “Imperium”  To command 3 broad schools of thought on the motives on the logic behind Imperialism 1. Sociological and Psychological Theories a. Imperialism as a pattern of learned aggressive behavior based on competition 2. Strategic and Political Theories a. Imperialism as a manifestation of the balance of power, states dominate th
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