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Dependency theory

Migration A–Z


  1. Ayokunle Olumuyiwa Omobowale

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm165

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Omobowale, A. O. 2013. Dependency theory. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


In response to modernization theory, which proffered a two-dimensional explanation for world development within the modern–traditional continuum – with Western countries depicted as modern (rational) and the bulk of the developing countries as traditional and thus underdeveloped – Latin American social scientists, including Ander Gunder Frank, Paul Baran, and Theot&onio Dos Santos 2005 developed dependency theory between 1963 and 1964. According to dependency theory, developing nations are underdeveloped not because of their so-called primitive or traditional culture but because of their entanglement in unequal and exploitative economic relations in the world capitalist system, which is dominated by the Western world. Describing the world imperialist structure, Ander Gunder Frank explored the “sociology of development” 1971, the “Lumpenbourgeoisie” and “Lumpendevelopment” 1972 in developing countries, and the “centrality of Central Asia” 1992 in early development, especially along the ancient Silk Road (Pieterse 2005).


  • capitalism;
  • class;
  • empire;
  • imperialism;
  • labor;
  • imperialism;
  • political economy