Dependency Theory and World Systems Theory Can Contribute to an Understanding of Changing Patterns of Global Power

1001 words 5 pages
Explain how theories, such as Dependency Theory and World Systems Theory can contribute to an understanding of changing patterns of global power.

To understand changing patterns of global power is no easy feat, but several theories may give us an insight to the shift of power in our modern world, I wish to talk about these theories and how we can use them to better understand our past and present global power situations.

The first of these theories is Andre Gunder Frank’s Dependency Theory, which revolves around the idea of resources from poor, underdeveloped states (the periphery) going to the wealthy states (core), giving the wealthy states most of the benefits.
The second theory, Wallerstein’s World Systems Theory, divides the
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The world systems theory helps us understand the change in global power here. The USA and several wealthy, highly industrialized countries in Europe made up the core, while post-colonial, long independent states such as India made up the semi-periphery, being somewhat richer than the periphery countries (a large proportion of which were in Africa) but still not developed to the same level as Western countries.
In the 21st Century we have a multi-polar system, and there is no clear one theory that can help us to understand all of the changes of global power, but some theories may help us understand the rise and fall of individual countries. The USA and Western EU are still powerful from previous periods, and some countries still fit into categories like the semi-periphery. But some countries have broken free from their place in theories. The best example of this is the BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India and China.
These countries have managed to advance from the periphery to the semi-periphery by using their huge population and resources to compete with other countries, bringing in money to their own countries, where they subsidise their own industries and put taxes on imports to encourage trading within their own countries only. This has allowed the BRICs to take advantage of the periphery and advance to higher


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