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Introduction: Dependency as a Research Program: From Situations to Mechanisms of Dependency

Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

Abstract

This theoretical introduction presents the core assumptions of the dependency research program (DRP), the main classic works in this tradition, and its differences. It also defines the two main concepts that cross through the entire volume: “situations” and “mechanisms” of dependency. Situations of dependency refer to concrete empirical manifestations of dependent capitalism (e.g. dependency within the EU; dependency within China–Latin America relations). Mechanisms of dependency refer to the specific causal mechanisms through which dependency comes about. Finally, the introduction provides an overview of the different chapters.

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Fig. 1.1

(Source Palestini [2021])

Notes

  1. 1.

    We will mainly make reference to and take inspiration from the Latin American dependentistas, who were among the most read authors in this tradition. Other strands emerged in different places of the globe, for example, the works of Samir Amin in Africa, Atul Kohli in India, and Giovanni Arrighi in Europe.

  2. 2.

    Another problem of dos Santos’ definition is that reduces the global political economy (or global capitalism) to world trade (dos Santos, 1970: 231).

  3. 3.

    Kvangraven (2020: 6) who has a slightly softer inclusion/exclusion criteria includes Raúl Prebisch and Hans Singer as part of the research program.

  4. 4.

    Interview with Peter Evans in Kvangraven et al., (2017).

  5. 5.

    Bresser-Pereira (2011) identifies yet a third variant putting emphasis on the possibility of a national-popular development within dependent structures, as opposed to the associated-development variant of Cardoso and colleagues negating the possibility of a progressive national bourgeoisie, and pointing at the role of foreign capital to think possibilities of dependent development.

  6. 6.

    For the contribution of brazilian economists and social theorists, see Bresser-Pereira (2011). For the global diffusion of dependency ideas see Kvangraven et al. (2017).

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Palestini, S., Madariaga, A. (2021). Introduction: Dependency as a Research Program: From Situations to Mechanisms of Dependency. In: Madariaga, A., Palestini, S. (eds) Dependent Capitalisms in Contemporary Latin America and Europe. International Political Economy Series. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-71315-7_1

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