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Modernization and Dependency Theories: The Evolution of Development Illustrate your essay with specific examples.


Issues surrounding development have accelerated in recent years with the growth of technologies and global economies that have made countries not only more accessible, but more dependent on one another.  The economies of wealthier nations have seen the economic potential in the development of larger nations, and these nations have also felt the benefit from being included in this expanding global environment.  As a result, the world is changing faster than it ever has before.  Countries like China and India are growing rapidly, both from innovation and confidence from within the countries and with economic and strategic resources and assistance from developed nations.  As the world changes, so do theories of development.  Two key theories that helped shape the future but have since been discarded for competing theories shed light on the course of development in the 20th century and helps to understand where development stands in the first decade of the 21st century. 

Dependency Theory is in a sense more honest to not only what fuels many development motives in general, but the dynamics of the globe generally.  Whether on a micro scale or macro, the allocation of great wealth by one party is often based on the lack of wealth by other parties. Dependency succeeded in pointing out the inequalities in the world and also the advantages and disadvantages that both sides have. That wealthy nations are dependent upon poor nations to remain poor, thus not having to share some of the pie, seems valid in a state of fear of the unknown.  Development may never be truly achieved unless underdeveloped nations are able to share the global wealth without the major powers being drastically affected by such change.  This is an important impact of Dependency Theory, that it opened minds to broader definitions of development and to taking into account local cultures and different historical contexts.  Such thinking can lead to better, more effective and more ethical development practices.

Ultimately the factors that shape development today are a tighter global economy and senses of shared national security.  Since 9/11 the safety and security of one nation is dependent upon, at the least, the absence of desperation and extreme poverty that fuels the extremism and thus terrorism.  And ultimately new development theories will surely include the same interests of those nations controlling global wealth and resources unless a theory can be devised to create a rising tide that lifts all states.  The importance of understanding both the theories laid out in the essay are not only to gain a grasp of where development theory has come from, but also to understand the positive and negative factors of development with the goal of reaching toward a development theory that will increase the standard of living for all nations and create a political and economic climate that promotes peace.  This can only be achieved by understanding the underlying factors that fuel development theory, which can be understood more clearly upon examination of two of history's prevailing development theories.

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