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"Compare and contrast modernisation theory and dependency theory as explanations of development and under-development"

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Introduction

"Compare and contrast modernisation theory and dependency theory as explanations of development and under-development" The two theories, modernisation and dependency both give valid and just explanations for development and underdevelopment. There is a notable likeness in them both but there are also many differences and neither escape criticisms. Modernisation theory was before dependency theory and was developed in the 1950/60s; the theory is based on 4 main assumptions. Western societies are the most advanced in terms of technological, social and political terms, countries go through a series of stages on their route to becoming advanced, this path is a 'natural' form of development and there must be something preventing them from doing this and finally, these underdeveloped nations can advance without an changes taking place in the finance and trading patterns of the capitalist world. The modernisation theory is politically conservative as it sees nations being undeveloped because they lack the qualities that developed nations have, this is compared with the dependency theory who see this underdevelopment due to the exploitation of advanced nations.

Middle

Theorists like Rostow also accounted internal factors as lack of development e.g. investment, science and technology, unlike dependency theory which concerns itself with external factors, to the less developed societies being considered. As well as passing through the above five stages Rostow believes that all countries need to concentrate on industrialisation and the use of advanced technology to develop. Its concern with technology has led to one criticism, that the modernisation is too technologically deterministic, it believes that changes in technology will lead to changes in the rest of society. A critic of the Modernisation theory Kiely criticised the theory in a few ways, it's assumption that developing from a traditional into a modern society escapes all problems and only requires more investment, that modern societies do not have problems e.g. America was seen as a meritocracy which is untrue in the case of black Americans and that modernity does not just solves problems but also creates them.

Conclusion

There are normally operated via local agents in capitals of the third world, these capitals are the satellites. This means that they are national metropolises and they, like the international metropolises, exploit the other local satellites and this process keeps on going until the poor peasant is finally exploited by their local landlord. For true development Frank believes that this chain must be broken, unlike we have seen in the Modernisation theory links with international metropolis aren't at all beneficial but harmful and that supporters of the Modernisation theory tend to be the Western governments and companies themselves. This theory gives us a great contrast to that of the modernisation theory and does explain much of the interlocking in world economy. However, his solution of under-development, isolation, does not seem to produce any better results as seen from a number of countries like Brazil and Nicaragua. A second criticism is from modernization theorists, who point out that countries like South Korea and Taiwan who have been industrialized have in fact become developed and affluent within the world economy.

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