Guide World Development and Economic Systems: Theory and Applications

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Systems theory - Wikipedia

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Abstract The changes in exchange rates, interest rates, and commodity prices during the past decades have had large impacts on developing countries. Issue Section:. You do not currently have access to this article. Download all figures. Sign in. You could not be signed in.

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Systems theory

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Article activity alert. JEL classification alert. Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. They felt that such inequalities were unjust, and sought to explain inequalities in order to change them and achieve their goal of increased equality among nations and peoples. Dependency theory has always been quite controversial: it incorporates some Marxist concepts; it addresses the sensitive issue of inequality, blaming inequality on the developed nations; and it originates in the Third World.

Some aspects of liberation theology and world systems theory are related to dependency theory.

Third World countries do not exist in isolation. They can only be understood in the context of the world economic and political system. Political events in Third World countries are directly related to events in First World countries. However, relations between First and Third World countries are asymmetrical. T he flow of power and control is from the First World center or core to the Third World periphery. Political and economic events in the First World have a huge impact on the politics and economics of Third World countries, but Third World political and economic events usually have little impact on the First World.

Within the world political and economic system there is a tremendous amount of interaction among core countries and peoples, and between the core and the periphery. There is very little interaction just among periphery countries. The consequences of this are great, resulting in an isolated and weak periphery country having an unequal relationship with the united and strong core. Politics and economics are related. They can not be understood apart from each other.

Economic ties and relationships between core and periphery countries are particularly important. These are advantageous for the core, and disadvantageous for the periphery.

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Core-periphery trading patterns result in continuous growth of political and economic power for the core at the expense of the periphery. Economic trade causes a widening of the gap between developed and developing countries, rather than a narrowing of that gap. Historically, lower priced raw materials have been exchanged for higher priced finished goods. It follows from 3 that underdevelopment is not a natural state, but rather a condition that is caused. The fact is that developed nations are actively underdeveloping Third World countries as a result of the systems of interactions between them.

Put another way, the underdevelopment of weak Third World countries is directly related to, and makes possible, the "development" of the powerful countries of the industrialized core. Both the center and the periphery are part of the world political-economic system, and neither would exist without the other. Furthermore, so long as capitalism remains the dominant world economic system, there is no reason for the situation of developed and underdeveloped countries to change. Underdevelopment is not a temporary condition, as had been thought in the past, but is a permanent condition. In fact, if the present world system does not change we can expect the core to become more powerful and the periphery weaker in the future.

Rather than "catching up" to the developed countries, most currently underdeveloped countries will fall farther behind. In a limited number of cases, where exceptional circumstances exist, it may be possible for an underdeveloped country to move from the periphery to the core. The worldwide system of relationships is duplicated within individual Third World countries.

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There is a core area usually the capital which dominates and exploits the periphery interior of the country. The nation's centers of economic, political, cultural, and military power are found in the national core, and the core's power and wealth grows more rapidly than that of the interior as a result of contacts and interactions between the two areas. The urban sector becomes increasingly powerful, while the rural sector becomes increasingly weaker. Resources flow from the periphery to the center.

The core profits at the expense of the periphery as a result of the movement of products and resources.

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The passage of time does not bring a growing equality within the country, but rather brings about an increasing gap between life in the capital and that in the countryside. In a sense, national leaders in the capital exploit the people for their own personal benefit and power. Consequently, these "national" leaders could really be conceptualized as agents of the international system.

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