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Imperialism and Dependency

Political Science
Course Code
Sophia Moreau

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Politics of Development: Week 6 t October 18th, 2010
Imperialism and Dependency
- Lenin argues that the division of the world is complete, there is no part of the world left
o Imperialism represents a special stage of capitalism, monopoly capitalism
Monopoly capitalism is a distortion of capitalism as monopoly is the opposite of
free competition
Aim of colonialism is not only to extract resources from the global south, but to
control the extraction of resources, to eliminate competition among
industrialized countries for raw materials
Countries reluctant to compete because capitalism was already on the decline
Source of raw materials has to be cheap and the way to keep it cheap is to have
a monopoly on them
- Resource extraction primary driving force behind colonial expansion
o In first half of 1900s, prominent politicians opposed to colonialism until it became
economically beneficial
- Fundamental critique of modernization theory
o Resource extraction can
-Modernization theory:
- Built on division of the world into traditional and modern societies
- Establish what counts as modernity from observing the characteristics of those countries they already
consider to be modern (e.g. The United States or Britain)
- Problem as no independent standard from which to judge modernity
- Category of tradition is everything that is not modern, hierarchical rigidity, rural, irrational people
- vs. Social mobility, urban, rational people (modern society)
- Tradition is used as both an expression and a cause of underdevelopment
- hvZ}v]]}vU][v}µ]]vPZZÇ(]vÁZZÇ[o}}l]vP(}
- Problem of people in Balgat in Turkey dispute modernization theory
- Look at political motivation vs hearts and minds of the population
- Modernization theory because all nations and societies will undergo all same processes
Impetus to develop is internal movements/changes that set off chain of events that lead to
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- Late developers, industrialization will occur as a result of external stimulus
o Will learn from early developers, learn and copy modern institutions
o Modernization theorists are focused on the channels for the diffusion of modernity
- Modernization theorists argue that modern human beings are rational and traditional human
]vPv[U}hings on the basis of tradition, cultural beliefs, religious beliefs
- Unit of analysis for modernization theorists is the country, society, and even the individual
o What values people hold can tell us whether a society is modern or traditional
Dependency Theory (Valenzuela & Valenzuela):
- Development and underdevelopment emerge simultaneously
- Development of the core produces the underdevelopment of the periphery
- Why? Unequal terms of trade
- Variations in Development are structural
o The periphery and semi-periphery (underdeveloped countries) supply low-value raw
materials and resources to the core (developed) countries, who add value through
manufacturing and export high-value goods back to the periphery
- P}]}(]]}vovu}v}v[ulvat any given time, all countries in the
world are modern, might take different forms, but depends on whether country is situated n the
core or in the periphery
- Differences in countries depend on the way countries are inserted in the world system
- Fundamental mechanism for the simultaneous immersion of development and
underdevelopment is unequal terms of trade between exporters of raw materials (primary
goods) and exporters of manufactured goods (secondary goods)
o Primary goods tend to be cheaper than secondary goods
o Most of the cost in secondary goods come from the manufacturing process itself
o Countries that tend to produce primary goods and import secondary goods are victims
of uneven terms of trade
Trade imbalance can be traced to the 16th century, Dutch East India Company
Colonization extends exploitation-
- Dependency theorists argue that the development of some countries depended on the
underdevelopment of other countries
o E.g. Industrial Revolution depended on cheap resources from Africa
Dependency Theory: differences from modernization theory
1. Level of analysis
o For modernization theorists it is the individual society
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