Dependency theory

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Dependency Theory and Modern World System Theory,
Divergent and Contacting Points.

Juan Diego Arango
International Political Economy
INTL 3100
Instructor: Daniel J. ScholtenJuan Diego Arango
October 14, 2008
Final paper


Executive summary 3

Introduction 3

Dependency as a concept 3

From A concept to a theory 4

Dependency Theory 5

Marxist influence in the Dependency Theory7

Marxist Dependency Theory (MDT) 9

The Modern World System Theory 10

Divergent and contacting points between the
Marxist Dependency Theory and the Modern World System 12

Conclusion 14

Works cited 16

Juan Diego Arango.
Executive Summary

Taking into account the Today’s World Order Theory and the falling of the Marxist’s system which arethe basis of the Dependency Theory, this essay attempts to explore the Dependency Theory and the Modern World System Theory. It will focus particularly from its pure, original Marxist aspect of the Dependency Theory or Marxist Dependency Theory (MDT) to conclude with a better understanding of what Dependency Theory is and from where it originated. The idea is to analyze how useful and beneficialthis expressions of the Latin American thought could be for today’s global economy. To do so, valuable theoretical elements are used to enhance understanding of the present Latin American reality on the international stage.


The present essay considers and debates the use of the Dependency Theory, particularly in its Marxist slope (MDT), in the explanation and overcoming ofthe capitalist way of production in the 21st century. On this matter, central theses are placed that oppose to those who sustain the feasibility of the fusion between the Dependency Theory and the Modern World System Theory. On the contrary, it raises that the MDT contains the theoretical, methodological and analytical potentials to internally develop without necessarily merging with other currentsof thought as it can be the Modern World System Theory elaborated by the Braudelians (Followers of the French historian Fernand Braudel 1902-1985) and, particularly, by Wallerstein or any other current of the contemporary social Latin American thought (Braudel)

Dependency as a concept

According to Marini, the dependency concept refers to a subordinated relation between two nationsofficially independent, in which the production relations of the subordinated nations are modified in order to assure the extended reproduction of dependency, (Marini “Dialéctica” 18). One can conclude that the fruit of this relation between states is then a stronger dependency.
Dos Santos argues that the dependency is a situation where the economy of a certain group of countries isconditioned by the development and expansion of other economy, to which it is subordinated. The relation of interdependency established by two or more economies, and connected to world trade, adopts the form of dependency when some countries (the dominants) can expand and independently generate. At the same time, some other countries (the dependants) react to the expansion, which can influence its immediatedevelopment positively or negatively (Dos Santos 42). In other words, this basic dependency situation brings the dependent countries to a global situation that keeps them underdeveloped and exploited by the dominant countries.
Frank goes directly to a specific area by saying that “the dependency can not be considered as a generally external relation imposed to all Latin Americans from...
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