Survey of Peace and Conflict
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Dependency theory is a very realistic theory in the modern world. It endears itself on the premise that nowadays, the developing nations and the poor countries are highly oppressed and exploited economically by the developed nations. Dependency theory extends the concept of neo-colonialism. It also explains that despite the fact that many nations, especially the developing countries, gained independence, this was only political independence. In reality, they are far from achieving a total independence, especially the economic one. Actually, this is because there is a lot of exploitation and undue influence from the developed world. The developed countries use privileges and power that is vested in them owing to the economic might and political influence in the major world platforms such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund. There has been a lot of exploitation of resources in the undeveloped countries, especially in Africa, by the western powers, who allegedly destabilize African nations politically. They aim at plundering the resources from the nations richly endowed with the mineral resources and agricultural produce. The main question is what are the sources of power used by these foreign powers?
Power-Command- Obey Theory
Obeying means to submit to somebody’s instruction, especially if the person issuing the rules or instruction is in a position of authority. This theory categorically states that it is an obligation to obey the orders of a person in authority or a person who is privileged in one way or another. Contrasting the developed and developing nations inevitably means that poor nations obey the directives of the developed nations because of their apparent economic and political might. These two theories further the same concept of exploitation of the poor countries by the rich ones. Moreover, the poor nations have no option but to obey because they require help of rich nations from time to time. Some sources of power used by the developed nations over underdeveloped nations are the following.
In the context of coercive power, a superior person, group of people or organization use their power and/or privilege to force others and unduly influence in one way or the other for their own benefit, especially the economic one. Many developed nations use their economic might to benefit from the poor nations at their expense.
This type of power means to appreciate somebody for doing something commendable. However, this is very rare in the context of dependency theory as the developed nations rarely recognize the poor ones.
Legitimate power is derived from one’s position in an organization or government. Apparently, this is very real, because the developed nations use their influence concerning such bodies as World Bank and IMF to exploit poor nations through the sanctions, trade barriers, quotas and strict conditions on loan, forcing them to undertake certain tasks to benefit the developed nations.
Referent power entails the power vested on somebody owing to their status and character rather than position. In the dependency theory, this type of power emanates from the fact that the developed nations are revered by other less developed owing to their position and might in the political and economic circles.
Expert power emanates from one’s ability and skills in a certain field. It means superiority of the skilled person over the person without these skills. Developed nations have superior skills in various fields, especially science and technology, which gives them certain kind of power over the poor and less technologically developed countries.
Information power emanates from one’s ability to have access to the accurate and detailed information. Information is power, and, therefore, the nations that possess full information on science, economic and technology have some form of power over the nation with no access to this information.
Connectional power is derived by associating with other people. Developed nations have control and are associated with powerful bodies like IMF and World Bank. In this respect, they derive some powers through this association. Poor nations, on the contrary, are inadequately represented in these bodies.
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