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

1016 Words Dec 13th, 2013 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 Dependency Theory can be applied to this situation, as most resources were going to Britain from colonies under their control, such as India.
After World War 2 the British Empire fell apart due to decolonization. The British Empire could no longer afford to guard all of its borders as the war left it essentially bankrupt, and many countries, India the first, pushed for their own independence.
The pattern then shifted, with the USA and USSR emerging in a bi-polar system where they each had massive power and distinct political differences which led to them fighting each-other indirectly in the Cold War. A system of neo-colonialism also emerged, where the USA and USSR indirectly controlled developing countries, most of which had only recently gained independence. This system is best understood through the dependency theory. The USA and USSR were the core states, and were trying to gain influence and control over as many periphery states as possible to gain both allies and to fight their opponent through proxy war. A notable example is the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when the USA tried to invade Cuba and failed. After the USA’s failure, the Soviet Union supplied Cuba with nuclear missiles, allowing them to target almost the entirety of the USA. In response, the USA sent military ships around Cuba to prevent the Soviet Union from delivering nuclear weaponry. An agreement was eventually reached that the Soviet Union would stop giving Cuba