Modernization theory focuses on the main idea that the processes which the currently developed countries went through are vital to achieving development in the underdeveloped and developing countries. Modernization is thought to take place in five stages according to the Rostow’s stage theory (Rostow 1960), namely; • The traditional society • Take-off preconditions • Take-off • Drive to maturity • High mass consumption age
The modernization theory is based on the idea of human progress according to Carneiro (2003) although according to Jones (1985) and McNeill (1990), the idea of human progress seemed unrealistic so long as man did not significantly influence the natural environment and as long as there was no perceptible change in the agrarian economies from one generation to the next. The developed countries are to serve an important role in helping the developing countries to achieve their level of development and serve as examples.
Modernization traces its origin in the enlightenment era with the focus that progress in technology would help man overcome the challenges that the nature posed and man would have control over nature. Condorcet (1979) argued that moral values of people would change through economic development and technological progress, and therefore linked cultural change to economic development. Rostow (1961) argued that the economic effectiveness in the countries of low incomes is hampered by their social institutions and traditional cultural values.
In these countries large population do not allow the individuals to save, as does the lack of strong work ethic (Giddens, & Griffiths2006). According to the Marxist version of the modernization theory, early industrial society was characterized by exploitation. Growth of the developing countries would result from the use of education and technology. Allocation of resources in the developing countries in an irrational way was linked to the drawback in the industrialization of these countries.
In order for a country to develop, it was necessary to remove the cultural, institutional and organizational roadblocks on its way to modernization and allocate resources rationally. Modernization is, according to Inglehart & Welzel (2005), a process of the development of human where development of the economy triggers cultural changes which make democracy, gender equality, and individual autonomy increasingly possible.
In addition to bringing out the root causes of the problems existing in the underdeveloped or developing countries, the theory also can help countries focus on means and ways of alleviating poverty by emulating the already developed countries. The theory puts strength to the fact that development is reachable, even by the underdeveloped and the developing nations and therefore can help the latter to put efforts to reach the developed world.
The theory explains an important point why the developing countries cannot wake up one day and expect to see themselves developed, but that to achieve development, a particular process is followed-building the sub-processes in this process is of paramount importance to the countries of low economy. Dependency theory can be defined as an explanation of the development of the economy of a country’s or state’s development policy as influenced by the outside forces of cultural, economical, and political aspects (Sunkel, 1969).
It is a system through which the developmental possibilities of the subordinate countries are disadvantaged and conditioned by the economic expansion and development of another country (Dos Santos, 1971). Dependency theory emanated in the 1950s with Raul Prebisch who was the director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and together with his colleagues was not comfortable with the way the developed economy in the developed nations failed to lead to growth in the poorer countries.
According to him, the poorer countries exported the raw materials to the developed countries and yet received the same goods as processed goods and the earnings from the exports was not enough to fund the imports. Prebisch offered a solution for the poor countries to substitute imports and avoid use of their foreign reserves to purchase for imports of manufactured goods. Import substitution was hard to follow because of obstacles that were facing the poorer countries.
These included: the possibility or ability of controlling their exports of primary products; political will as concerning desire or possibility to shifting from producing primary goods; and the inability of the small internal markets of the poorer countries which made them unable to support the economies of scale used by the richer countries to keep their prices low. International capitalism has been mentioned as the force causing dependency relationship According to Gunder (1972), contemporary underdevelopment is as a result of continued relationships-economic or others-between the developed and the poorer countries.
Unlike imperialism which explains dominant state expansion, dependency explains underdevelopment-the result of imperialism. Dependency theory was developed as a result of combination of economic doctrine called structuralism, and Marxist sociology. It blamed the US intervention and the role of the Latin America in the world economy as failing to achieve development and its political authoritarianism as a result of its role in exporting raw materials in the world economy.
America was said to suffer deterioration in the terms of trade by experiencing cheaper exports due to low wage resulting from surplus labor, and more expensive imports because, instead of the productivity gains being passed on as lower prices, they were going to the increasingly monopolistic industrial firms. Latin America would therefore, because of this free trade, not be able to accumulate surplus capital required to industrialize.
The difference between developed and underdeveloped economies was said not only to be on state of the system of production, or simple difference of stage, but also to be of position or function within a single international economic structure of production and distribution. Poverty of the countries was blamed for the richness of some others, not because of any failure (Reid, 2007). Social exclusion of masses as a result of domination of the economy through industrial monopolies yielded to urbanization void of industrialization (Reid, 2007).
As a payment to investments, the foreign investors required that the state discipline those demanding high wages leading to military dictatorship. Although their diverging points on the theory, there is an agreement in issues like the influence of external forces that developed world use to extend their interests abroad which includes foreign aids, communications, multinational corporations and other tools. In all the definitions there is an agreement that there exist two sets of states; the dominant and the dependent, centre and the periphery, the metropolitan and the satellite.
All of the definitions point to dynamism of the relationship between the dominant and the dynamic country since the interactions between them tend to reinforce and intensify the unfair patterns (Ferraro, 1996). Like the Modernization theory which can be considered to be developed by different people, the dependency theory also is said to have arisen in three principle formulations. According to Reid (2007) the first principal formulation of the dependency theory focused on formal and institutional relationships such as trade relations and foreign trade, as factors which were sources to dependency.
The second formulation treated the theory as a subfield of the refined imperialism theory of the Leninist and the analysis of capitalism by Marxist. The third formulation dealt with the two previous definitions. The theory has assisted in shedding light as concerns the exploitation existing in the monopolistic world market where countries with strong economies try to dominate over those with weak economies and create a monopolistic effect of trade.
Continued use of foreign aid to the poor nations, which has seen countries being over-reliance to donors, has left poor countries with no solid alternatives than to pledge loyalty to the developing nations. The theory has helped in enumerating the disadvantages that can be acquired from capitalism especially where the capitalism is the influence to the establishment of relations between countries. The theory was criticized as eroding Latin American’s belief in selves, according to Lawrence Harrison, in addition to patronizing and paralyzing Latin America.
The formulations were attacked as ignoring or undermining the other causes of underdevelopment such as internal social and cultural factors and were neglect of culture, race, gender and ethnicity. Besides, there were some countries like Asian countries which developed purely on a capitalistic system, and countries like Taiwan and South Korea developed through the ideas that have been propelled in the development theory (‘Dependency verses Dependency theory’). The theory has been blamed as indicating that for a country to succeed, it should join others who have succeeded in the exploitation of some, even if it does this on a regional level.
It has been termed to be a strategy left only for the smaller third world countries with no real alternative market, and is no strategy at all. The dependency theory work has been blamed also for criticizing development in the third world, indicating that such development builds a society different from that at the core (developed world) and that there is no way the resulting society can be as that at the core. Development in the third world can be best described, as the dependency theory points out, development of underdeveloped and not as the advertised development.
The similarities between the two theories can summarized as follows: • Both theories concern themselves with the relationship between the underdeveloped and the developing with the developed countries. While the modernization theory is concerned with the view that the developed countries should serve as an example to the developing or underdeveloped countries for development purposes, the dependency theory explains the development of the country in relation to the outside forces or influences which may be as a result of the activities of the developed countries.
Both therefore deal with and recognize that there exist the relationship between thee two types of countries. • Both theories are consent to the idea that the developed countries have a superior hand in terms of the economy, over the developing or the underdeveloped world. The difference in this area is that the dependency theory seems to indicate an unfair dominance of the developed economies over the developing or underdeveloped ones, whereas the modernization theory views the relationship as health-that the developed economies can assist the underdeveloped or the developing ones
• Both theories do not give a one-sided explanation as concerns the causes of the low economic status in the developing or underdeveloped countries. While the modernization theory gives a critical look at the reason for the poor economic status of the developing or underdeveloped nations as being a result of the problems already existing such as overpopulation and lack of work ethics, it may be seen as neglecting the role of the developed economies in the resulting economic problems of the third word countries.
In its explanation to the resulting economic difficulties in the third world, dependency theory has leaned unfairly away from the role played by the third world countries in resulting to their own economic problems. It has been blamed, as seen earlier, as neglecting the social economic factors that contribute to economic problems in third world countries. It can be seen to be unfairly explaining the problem as a result to exploitation and external forces. • There are a range of modifications or disagreements arising among scholars in the development of the two theories
Other differences • While the modernization theory seems to explain the causes of poor economy in the third world as the result of the activities of the countries themselves for example through poor allocation of resources, and with a view to solving it, the dependency theory can largely be described as a criticism to the developed countries as being the cause to the problems of the economy in the third world. The modernization theory focuses on the internal causes of the poor economy in the third world, but the dependency theory focuses on the external influences
• The dependency theory is devoid of a clean sheet and proper strategy of solving the economic problem of the third world in a non fair market, to the event that it has been described as a ‘no strategy at all’. The modernization theory presents a way of solving the problems of economy affecting the third world such as substitution of imports, advance in use of technology and further education to improve economy.
References Andre Gunder Frank, “The Development of Underdevelopment,” in James D. Cockcroft, Andre Gunder Frank, and Dale Johnson, eds., Dependence and Underdevelopment. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1972, p. 3. ‘Development verses Dependency theory’ Retrieved November 13, 2008 from http://www. revision-notes. co. uk/revision/619. html Dos Santos Theotonio. “The Structure of Dependence,” in K. T. Fann and Donald C. Hodges, eds. , Readings in U. S. Imperialism. Boston: Porter Sargent, 1971, p. 226 Ferraro Vincent. Dependency Theory: An Introduction. July 1996. Retrieved November 13, 2008 from http://www. mtholyoke. edu/acad/intrel/depend. htm Giddens Anthony & Simon Griffiths. (2006).
Sociology. Polity Hogan Michael, Thomas Paterson. (2004). Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press Inglehart Ronald & Christian Welzel. (2005). Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy: The Human Development Sequence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reid Michael. Forgotten Continent: The Battle for Latin America’s Soul. Yale: Yale University Press Sunkel Svaldo. “National Development Policy and External Dependence in Latin America,” The Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 6, no. 1, October 1969, p. 23