Topics for Today: Marxism and Dependency Theory

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Plan for Today:
Marxism and Dependency Theory
1.
2.
Highlighting general principles of Marxist
thought.
Applying to international relations:
1.
2.
Marxist theory on imperialist war.
Neo-Marxist explanations for Third World
underdevelopment.
Marxi$m
Introduction to Marxism
Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto (1848).
 Ontology: economic classes main actors.
 Causal argument: Class conflict 
social/ political change.

 System
of economic production 
institutional & ideological structures.
Introduction to Marxism
Impoverishment & growth of proletariat 
proletarian overthrow of bourgeoisie.
 Capitalism = exploitation of workers by
bourgeoisie.

 Pay
subsistence wage and pocket surplus.
Introduction to Marxism

Teleological theory: cycle of change as
inevitable  classless societies and peace.
Marxist IR Approaches:
Theory of Imperialist War

John Hobson:
 Imperialism
from problems in capitalism.
 Bourgeoisie acquires profits & system
produces goods.
 Eventually low-wage working class can’t
afford goods.
 Crisis of overproduction & underconsumption
 Need to invest in overseas production to
maintain profits.
Marxist IR Approaches:
Theory of Imperialist War

Lenin:
 Inter-state
wars caused by imperialist
expansion.
 Expansion to colonies necessary for capitalist
survival (stave off workers’ revolution).
 Eventually all territory grabbed and capitalist
states must fight one another to reallocate.
Critiques of Marxist Theory of
Imperialism
1.
Empirical events:
How to explain Soviet expansionism &
conflicts among Communist states?
2. Most advanced capitalist states should be
most imperialist – but not.
3. Few colonies profitable to colonizers.
4. Most wars in capitalist era not for economic
motives.
1.
Critiques of Marxist Theory of
Imperialism
1.
Theoretical attacks:
Economic drive for imperialism only
ephemeral – real timeless reason is hunger
for power.
2. Business bourgeoisie not main foreign policy
decisionmakers.
1.
Neo-Marxist IR Approaches:
Dependency Theory
1.
2.
Flourished in 1970s.
International system has own class
structure: metropolis (exploiters) and
satellite (exploited).
Marxist IR Approaches:
Dependency Theory


Andre Gunder Frank
Hypotheses:
Metropoles develop; satellites underdevelop.
2. Satellites develop when ties with metropoles
weakest.
3. Most underdeveloped regions today had
closest ties to metropole in past.
1.
Marxist IR Approaches:
Dependency Theory

How metropoles subjugate satellites:
Foreign investment in poor countries limited
to extractive industries.
2. Westernizing domestic elites in poor
countries.
1.
Marxist IR Approaches:
Dependency Theory


Critique of modernization theory.
Modernization theory: 3rd world must
emulate Western societies to develop.
Problem is bad traditions.
 Development = Westernization.

Marxist IR Approaches:
Critiques of Dependency Theory
1.
2.
3.
No direct relationship between states’
reliance on extractive industries and
poverty/ underdevelopment.
States are dependent because
underdeveloped; not vice versa.
Why do some satellite states escape
(NICs)?
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