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Category: World History

Date Submitted: 09/05/2011 05:50 PM

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During the 16 and 17 centaury; two rival schools of thoughts came by means of elucidating underdevelopment in Latin America. These two rival schools are the modernisation theorists and the dependency theorists. The dependency theorist link Latin Americas underdevelopment with its ‘cultural values’. Their reason why underdeveloped countries perpetually fail to modernise is because these countries are inadequately modern, both socially and psychologically. Underdevelopment is thus attributed to the local problems that are subject to local explanation.

The issue that face modern day economic development schools—is how then do you transform preindustrial countries into industrialised countries? Majority of these underdeveloped states are non European, therefore one needs to look at their cultural development and their industrialization priorities. This paper seeks to compare and contrast two major economic theories that critic each other and see which school of thought is move viable for economic growth. The first party of this paper will highlight the principles advanced by the theory of dependency and the second part of the paper will layout the theory of modernisation and how is it similar to the theory of dependency.

The theory of dependency discards the above mention view which they see as narrowly focused on internal variables. This is not to say that they don’t think that internal variables do not play a significant part in the development process. Theory of modernisation suggests and favour neo-Marxist tool of analyses and formulation which places the fault of underdevelopment on “the process of world capitalist integration under the control of monopoly capital” they suggest that the crises of underdevelopment can only be solved in the context of the international system. They focus on the external relations—relations between countries which they explain as the :

“Historical research demonstrates contemporary under development, is in large part the...