Biography[ edit ] Frank was born in Germany to Jewish  parents, pacifist writer Leonhard Frank and his second wife Elena Maqenne Penswehr, but his family fled the country when Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor. Frank received schooling in several places in Switzerland , where his family settled, until they emigrated to the United States in He earned his Ph. His doctorate was a study of Soviet agriculture entitled Growth and Productivity in Ukrainian Agriculture from to Ironically, his dissertation supervisor was Milton Friedman , a man whose laissez faire approach to economics Frank would later harshly criticize. Throughout the s and early s Frank taught at American universities.
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It is, broadly speaking, a Marxist theory of development. The World Capitalist System Frank argued that a world capitalist system emerged in the 16th century which progressively locked Latin America, Asia and Africa into an unequal and exploitative relationship with the more powerful European nations.
The core nations are able to exploit the peripheral nations because of their superior economic and military power. According to Frank, developed nations actually fear the development of poorer countries because their development threatens the dominance and prosperity of the West.
Colonialism, Slavery and Dependency Colonialism is a process through which a more powerful nation takes control of another territory, settles it, takes political control of that territory and exploits its resources for its own benefit.
Under colonial rule, colonies are effectively seen as part of the mother country and are not viewed as independent entities in their own right. According to Frank the main period of colonial expansion was from to when European powers, with Britain to the fore, used their superior naval and military technology to conquer and colonise most of the rest of the world.
In some regions extraction took the simple form of mining precious metals or resources — in the early days of colonialism, for example, the Portuguese and Spanish extracted huge volumes of gold and silver from colonies in South America, and later on, as the industrial revolution took off in Europe, Belgium profited hugely from extracting rubber for car tyres from its colony in DRC, and the United Kingdom profited from oil reserves in what is now Saudi Arabia.
As colonialism evolved, different colonies came to specialise in the production of different raw materials dependent on climate — Bananas and Sugar Cane from the Caribbean, Cocoa and of course slaves from West Africa, Coffee from East Africa, Tea from India, and spices such as Nutmeg from Indonesia. All of this resulted in huge social changes in the colonial regions: in order to set up their plantations and extract resources the colonial powers had to establish local systems of government in order to organise labour and keep social order — sometimes brute force was used to do this, but a more efficient tactic was to employ willing natives to run local government on behalf of the colonial powers, rewarding them with money and status for keeping the peace and the resources flowing out of the colonial territory and back to the mother country.
Dependency Theorists argue that such policies enhanced divisions between ethnic groups and sowed the seeds of ethnic conflict in years to come, following independence from colonial rule. In Rwanda for example, the Belgians made the minority Tutsis into the ruling elite, giving them power over the majority Hutus. Before colonial rule there was very little tension between these two groups, but tensions progressively increased once the Belgians defined the Tutsis as politically superior.
Following independence it was this ethnic division which went on to fuel the Rwandan Genocide of the s. An unequal and dependent relationship What is often forgotten in world history is the fact that before colonialism started, there were a number of well-functioning political and economic systems around the globe, most of them based on small-scale subsistence farming. Colonialism destroyed local economies which were self-sufficient and independent and replaced them with plantation mono-crop economies which were geared up to export one product to the mother country.
This meant that whole populations had effectively gone from growing their own food and producing their own goods, to earning wages from growing and harvesting sugar, tea, or coffee for export back to Europe. As a result of this some colonies actually became dependent on their colonial masters for food imports, which of course resulted in even more profit for the colonial powers as this food had to be purchased with the scant wages earnt by the colonies.
The wealth which flowed from Latin America, Asia and Africa into the European countries provided the funds to kick start the industrial revolution, which enabled European countries to start producing higher value, manufactured goods for export which further accelerated the wealth generating capacity of the colonial powers, and lead to increasing inequality between Europe and the rest of the world.
The products manufactured through industrialisation eventually made their way into the markets of developing countries, which further undermined local economies, as well as the capacity for these countries to develop on their own terms. A good example of this is in India in the ss where cheap imports of textiles manufactured in Britain undermined local hand-weaving industries.
It was precisely this process that Ghandi resisted as the leading figure of the Indian Independence movement. Exploitation continued via neo-colonialism — which describes a situation where European powers no longer have direct political control over countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, but they continue to exploit them economically in more subtle ways.
Frank identities three main types of neo-colonialism: Firstly, the terms of trade continue to benefit Western interests. Finally, Frank argues that Western aid money is another means whereby rich countries continue to exploit poor countries and keep them dependent on them — aid is, in fact, often in the term of loans, which come with conditions attached, such as requiring that poor countries open up their markets to Western corporations.
Strategies for Development Associate or dependent development Breaking away from dependency This view argues that dependency is not just a phase, but rather a permanent position. The only way developing countries can escape dependency is to escape from the whole capitalist system.
Under this category, there are different paths to development: Isolation, as in the example of China from about to , which is now successfully emerging as a global economic superpower having isolated itself from the West for the past 4 decades. A second solution is to break away at a time when the metropolis country is weak, as India did in Britain in the s, following world war 2.
India is now a rising economic power. Thirdly, there is socialist revolution as in the case of Cuba. This, however, resulted in sanctions being applies by America which limited trade with the country, holding its development back.
Many leaders in African countries adopted dependency theory, arguing that and developing political movements that aimed to liberate Africa from western exploitation, stressing nationalism rather than neo-colonialism. Associate or dependent development. Here, one can be part of the system, and adopt national economic policies to being about economic growth such as Import substitution industrialisation where industrialisation produces consumer goods that would normally be imported from abroad, as successfully adopted by many South American countries.
The biggest failure of this, however, was that it did not address inequalities within the countries. ISI was controlled by elites, and these policies lead to economic growth while increasing inequality. Criticisms of Dependency Theory 1. Some countries appear to have benefited from Colonialism — Goldethorpe pointed out that those countries that had been colonised at least have the benefits of good transport and communication networks, such as India, whereas many countries that were never colonised, such as Ethiopia, are much less developed.
Modernisation theorists would argue against the view that Isolation and communist revolution is an effective path to development, given the well-known failings of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. They would also point out that many developing countries have benefitted from Aid-for Development programmes run by western governments, and that those countries which have adopted Capitalist models of development since World War Two have developed at a faster rate than those that pursued communism.
Neoliberalists would argue that it is mainly internal factors that lead to underdevelopment, not exploitation — They argue that it is corruption within governments poor governance that is mainly to blame for the lack of development in many African countries.
According to Neoliberals what Africa needs is less isolation and more Capitalism. He argues that the causes of underdevelopment cannot be reduced to a history of exploitation.
He argues that factors such as civil wars, ethnic tensions and being land-locked with poor neighbours are correlated with underdevelopment. The video focuses especially on their role in underdevelopment in Indonesia.
Andre Gunder Frank
This idea is known as the Prebisch—Singer thesis. Prebisch, an Argentine economist at the United Nations Commission for Latin America UNCLA , went on to conclude that the underdeveloped nations must employ some degree of protectionism in trade if they were to enter a self-sustaining development path. He argued that import-substitution industrialisation ISI , not a trade-and-export orientation , was the best strategy for underdeveloped countries. Baran in with the publication of his The Political Economy of Growth. Using the Latin American dependency model, the Guyanese Marxist historian Walter Rodney , in his book How Europe Underdeveloped Africa , described in an Africa that had been consciously exploited by European imperialists, leading directly to the modern underdevelopment of most of the continent. At that time the assumptions of liberal theories of development were under attack. Technology — the Promethean force unleashed by the Industrial Revolution — is at the center of stage.
André Gunder Frank: Biography, Theory of Dependence, Contributions to the Economy and Main Works
It is, broadly speaking, a Marxist theory of development. The World Capitalist System Frank argued that a world capitalist system emerged in the 16th century which progressively locked Latin America, Asia and Africa into an unequal and exploitative relationship with the more powerful European nations. The core nations are able to exploit the peripheral nations because of their superior economic and military power. According to Frank, developed nations actually fear the development of poorer countries because their development threatens the dominance and prosperity of the West. Colonialism, Slavery and Dependency Colonialism is a process through which a more powerful nation takes control of another territory, settles it, takes political control of that territory and exploits its resources for its own benefit.
Frank’s Theory of Underdevelopment: Overview
The Stages of Economic Growth published in and popularized the views of Baran. Hoselitz has used the Parsonian modernization pattern variables to explain the process of development in any country. Frank is convinced that neither developed nor undeveloped societies reveal the characteristics suggested by Hoselitz or, for that matter, by Parsons. Frank also rejects the theory of diffusion, which suggests that the less developed societies cannot be developed because they are not able to be influenced by the changes in the developed world due to obstacles to development. Economic diffusions, according to Frank, do not bring about changes in the Third World.