CSS International Relations 2019 Question: Critically discuss the idea of ‘Dependence and Interdependence’. Explain the advantages and disadvantages for the poor countries.
Dependence is a state of relying on or being controlled by something else. The idea of dependence is the perception that resources flow from poor states to a ‘core’ of wealthy states and create connections with other nations to enrich their output. Interdependence is the relationship between dependents and developed countries, a situation which conditions the ability of underdeveloped to develop.
Idea of Dependence
The main idea of dependence is to upgrade the condition of poor states as a result rich ones enriched by the way poor states are integrated into the “world system”. Dependency theory was formulated by Raul Prebisch for helping the poor countries out of poverty and accelerate along the path of development by investments, technology transfers, and closer integration into the world market.
Advantages of Idea of Dependence
- It analyses the inequity existing between poor and rich states.
- It breaks political bonds and explains the reasons why wealthy countries are taking advantage of poor states.
- Theory dismisses the neoclassical theory’s claim that existing global inequity is caused by poor countries’ laziness. It argues in favor of underdeveloped countries and blames the imperialists.
Disadvantages of Dependence
On the contrary, dependency has some disadvantages:
- It does not explain other factors that lead to underdevelopment other than the role played by wealthy nations.
- It wrongly depends upon the Marxian concept of Surplus Value for defining the underdevelopment of poor states in terms of capitalistic exploitation.
- The underdevelopment of the Third World has been due to partial industrialization and the failure of the under-developed countries to formulate and coordinate industrial policies. Poor countries have failed to exploit their resources, both material, and manpower.
- Failure of the socialist system of development in the Soviet Union and the Eastern European states demonstrates that dependency cannot be overthrown by socialism.
Idea of Interdependence
Interdependence is a mutual dependence between things and is considered a valuable asset in connecting elements and creating a discussion for the relationship of states. Optimal growth leads individuals to self-actualization where they understand their strength in numbers. Interdependence provides support to individuals allowing them to support others and focus on their personal growth.
Advantages of Idea of Interdependence
- As a result of interdependence, countries will choose to resolve disputes as early as possible. Political issues are resolved quickly when counties are dependant upon one another.
- It produces exchanges of culture, ideas, and information enabling a better understanding of common matters. Interdependence means countries will guard one another if other countries invade, a collective defense can prevent military conquests.
- If two countries are benefiting each other they are likely to overlook a problem between them, as opposed to taking actions against each other that cause mutual harm.
- Division of labor gives another advantage. The more people can specialize and trade, the more efficient production becomes, and goods we want to become less expensive.
Disadvantages of Interdependence
- The main disadvantage is that global decisions are “democratic” and take longer to reach and likely to be a compromise for poor countries.
- As interdependence moves away from equality, the decisions become influenced by the more independent partner. The relationship has less commitment in both directions and is likely temporary.
- Developed nations somehow still interfere in the domestic affairs of poor countries.
- Political and economic interactions associated with the membership of organizations. eg. I.M.F, U.N.O can bring about control of sovereignty of poor countries.
Ideas associated with dependence are problematic and do not explain the origins of the capitalist world economy and mechanisms that sustain inequality and hierarchy within the international order. Explanations for the impact of economic interdependence on political conﬂict between poor countries have focused on factors that limited the ability of liberal dyads to pursue their goals.
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