Theories of development propose paths to development based on presumptions about the causes of poverty. For classical modernization theorists, tradition is the cause, and therefore, the Westernization of cultural, social, economic and political structures is the solution. The new modernization perspective does not necessarily view tradition as a barrier to...
development. Instead, tradition is a factor that shapes the multiple paths poor countries take to develop, and international dynamics and conflicts may negatively affect development. Both the classical and new modernization perspectives view development aid, trade, and transfers of capital and technology as essential to modernizing.
According to dependency theorists, settler colonialism and subsequent financial colonialism created an unequal relationship between the poor underdeveloped "periphery" and the dominant Western "core." Therefore, their solution is utilizing local capital to develop national economies and weaken ties with the West. The influence of neo-Marxism is evident in dependency theory’s emphasis on the role of national governments in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Over the past 40+ years, as the international political economy witnessed changes that could not be explained by modernization nor dependency theories, world systems and globalization theories emerged. World systems theory focused on international actors such as multinational groups, information technology, and the social systems of the developing country. These factors offer an explanation for development in some parts of the world like southeast Asia, which cannot be explained by an exploitative relationship with the West.
Globalization theory emphasizes cultural links in a technology-driven world and the disappearance of boundaries (such as north vs. south, tradition vs. modern) as societies become interconnected and development more complex. Some critics of globalization theory note that it is highly systemic and downplays social diversity, and other critics argue that the socially diverse global domain is not adequately explained.
Four Main Theories of Development: Modernization, Dependency, World System and Globalization. 4/2001. Revistas.ucm.es
Globalizing Time and Space: Temporal and Spatial considerations in Discourses of Globalization. International Political Sociology, vol. 3, Issue 3, Sept 2009, Page 310-326. doi.org.
Is there a Global Society? International Political Sociology, vol. 3, Issue 1, March 2009, Pages 112-115. doi.org