Sunday, July 21, 2024

Relevance Of The Dependency Theory In The 21st century

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Relevance of the dependency theory in the 21st century is essential to understand the nuances of how neo-colonialism still operates today

The end of the Second World War brought about a paradigm shift in global politics. One of the defining changes that this epochal event brought about was the decolonization and the emergence of several nation-states in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The phenomenon of ‘empire’ which defined the political landscape of Europe for more than two centuries was finally eviscerated. However, its remnants continued to remain.

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The newly independent nation-states of Asia, Africa and Latin America were extremely poor, economically fragile, socially backward after centuries of colonial rule and had little or no human capital let alone any technological or economic capital.

This gave rise to unhealthy yet uncomfortable dependence on the erstwhile colonial masters for technological, capital and other resources to help the developing countries grow and prosper.

This process which set in motion the exploitation of the under developed countries by the Western countries who were both economically and technologically far advanced for their own ulterior motives is known as neo-colonialism.

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Nature Of Theory

This theory states that the persistent poverty of the third world countries is a reflection of their dependency on the western industrialised countries due to colonialism and neo-colonialism. This theory divided the various nation-states into two categories- the core or the wealthy capitalist countries and periphery or underdeveloped countries of the former colony owning countries of the West which were interdependent for their growth and development.


Dependency theory despite being a theory developed in the 1970s is still relevant today, while the nature of exploitation has changed, globalisation still has proven to be asymmetric with the global financial institutions like IMF and World Bank calling the shots when it comes to providing aid and restoring the balance of payment stability of countries.

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Hence the relevance of the dependency theory in the 21st century must be highlighted for a more equitable and inclusive world order.

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