International Relations

Dependency critique
Chilcote, Smith, Evans
Back to Weber & Marx
Marx: state monolithic
Weber: plurality & legitimate state coercion
Marx theory dynamic
Weber: focus on bureaucratic order
Political economy
• Back to Smith, Ricardo, Marx
• Study comparative politics
– state & class at national level
– imperialism & dependency international
• Economic base and political superstructure
Economic base
• Mode of production (mix of productive
• Relations of production (division of labour)
• Forces of production (productive
• Means of production (tools, land, buildings
Political superstructure
• State (legal forms and instruments
maintaining class rule)
• class (groups of people classified according
to relation to means of prod)
• ideology (false consciousness – legal,
political, religious and philosophical)
Theory of state and class
– View system as capitalist
Pluralist conception of state
challenged (Mosca, Pareto, Dahl,
Dahl extended pluralism to socialist
Raised issue of socialist democracy
Theory of state and class 2
– Domhof and Miliband see capitalist
class using state as instrument of
rule of unified corporate elite
– Structuralist view (Poulantzas) sees
state serving capitalism best when
members do not participate actively
in state apparatus
• Gunder Frank et al challenged the
possibility of development.
• Paul Baran focused on extraction of surplus
• Prebisch divided centre-periphery
Underdevelopment 2
• Dos Santos on need for change in internal
structure and external relations
• Emmanuel stressed inequities in
international exchange
• Amin uneven development because unable
to challenge foreign “monopolies”
– No unified theory
– Emphasis on underconsumption [externalising
– Few practical solutions
– Incompatibility with Marxist theory
Smith: Dependency Approach
[not a theory!]
Marxist roots, but many debates
Latin American origins
global division of labour chief force shaping
history of the South
• global economy
• dependency a subset
Dependency premise
• “one must see [change] as a function of the
power of economic imperialism generated
by the capitalist “core” of world affairs…”
• Studies effects of imperialism
• Focus is on the part not the whole
• explaining “logic of capitalist expansion on
the periphery”
Tools of analysis
• dual economy
• export oriented modern sector
– econ & politically part of international
– dependent
• traditional sector
– disintegrates
– marginalized land
Class formation
• modern sector symbiotic with international
• intermediaries
• “compradors”
• parasites!!
Division of labour prime social reality
political activity class based
bias against ethnicity
problems of 3W arise from form of growth
pursued in the North
• Dual economy not rigid
– some genuine industrial base
– dependent development possible (Evans)
• Role of the state
– more than auxiliary
– backward and forward links
• diversity
Fight with developmentalism
• easy to criticise
• no economic perspective (even in Political
• dual economy seen as transitional
• task of pol dev to back up diffusion
– speed up disappearance of traditional
Future of dependency
• Rivalry
• Focus on DFI
– ignore aggregate data
• leave periphery but can’t join core
• [takes care of Taiwan/Brazil arguments]
• “Piddling criticism is a waste of time” !!
Effective criticism
• Challenge economic determinism
• Challenge imperialist theory
• Merely a corrective to the developmentalist
– Marxism does have its own assumed
development path
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