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Home Theories of Under Development International Structuralist Models

International Structuralist Models:


Definition and Explanation:


There is an other approach regarding the study of international underdevelopment which came into being as a result of dissatisfaction against the 'Stages approach'. Such approach is given the name of "International Structuralist Model". According to this approach:


"The international poverty of UDCs is due to a variety of institutional and structural economic rigidities. As a result, the UDCs are caught up in a dependence and dominance relationship to rich countries".


The structuralist model is divided into two streams of thoughts which are discussed below:


Neo-Colonial (Neo-Marxist) Dependence Model:


This model is the result of Marxian thinking. This approach is of the view that underdevelopment of UDCs is due to the historical evolution of a highly unequal international capitalist system of rich and poor countries relationship. According to this model, the capitalistic system is furnished with exploitation. As a result, some people get rich while majority of the people suffer from backwardness due to dependencies.


In the same way, the international capitalistic system operates in such a way that the benefits are accrued by the rich nations of the world. Moreover, the development efforts on the part of UDCs do not become fruitful because of exploitive international economic system. Paul Baran explains this theory as:


The certain groups in UDCs like landlords, entrepreneurs, merchants, public officials and trade union leaders who enjoy high incomes, social status and political power constitute a small elite ruling class are desirous to perpetuate the international capitalistic system of inequality, perhaps for their self-interest.


These people of UDCs serve, as well as are rewarded by the special interest power groups in the rich nations which comprise of MNCs, multi-lateral aid agencies, IMF and IBRD etc. Their activities and view points often check the reform efforts which can be beneficial for the majority of the population. Thus, according to

Neo-Marxist theory:


"The poverty of UDCs is attributed to the policies pursued by industrial countries and their extensions in the form of small, but powerful 'comprador' groups in UDCs".


In this respect Dos Santos Writes:


"Under-development is a consequence and particular form of capitalist development known as dependent capitalism. The dependence causes the poor countries to be both backward and exploited. Dominant countries are endowed with technological, commercial capital and socio-political pre-dominance over dependent countries. Dependence is based upon an international division of labor which allows industrial development to take place in some countries while restricting it in others, whose growth is conditioned by and subjected to the power centers of the world".


False Paradigm Model:


This approach attributes the underdevelopment of 3rd world countries to inappropriate advice which is so often given by uniformed international 'experts' and advisors from both DCs assistance agencies and multi-lateral donor organizations such as; World Bank, IMF, UNDP, ILO, UNCIEF and FAO etc. These experts offer sophisticated concepts, elegant models and complex technical methods of Economics and other social sciences which can lead to inappropriate policies. Because of institutional and structural factors such as the highly unequal ownership of land, disproportionate control over domestic and international financial assets and very unequal access to credit etc., these policies often serve the vested interests of existing power structures, both domestic and global.


Moreover, according to this argument, leading university intellectuals, trade unionists, future high level govt., economists and other civil servants all get their training in developed-country institutions where they arc injected with the foreign ideas, concepts and models which have least relevance for their own countries. As in Pakistan like countries at university level the Western econometric models are taught which are of least use to solve the problems of the people living in 'Interior Sindh'. Again at govt., level in Pakistan Planning Commission most of the discussion is made on the concept of COR, saving and investment ratios, H-D Model and growth rates of GNP etc. In such state of affairs, the prestigious planning is made which could safeguard the interests of the elites, whereas the desirable institutional and structural reforms are neglected, or they are given the least and traditional attention.


Both the streams of 'International Structuralist Model' are of the view that it is the capitalism, its policies and its followers which have promoted the international poverty. Therefore, the supporters of this model reject the philosophy of accelerating the growth of GNP as an index of development. On the contrary, they emphasize upon the structural and institutional reforms both at domestic and at international level. Such reforms will be helpful in eradicating absolute poverty, increasing job opportunities, removing the income inequalities, and raising the general life standard of the masses by providing them necessary food, health care and clean water. Thus, the structuralists are of the view that the growth does not matter, it is the character of the growth process itself which counts much so that the wider segments of 3rd world countries could benefit from growth.


Relevant Articles:


Nurkse's Model of Vicious Circle of Poverty (VCP)
Nelson's Low Level Equilibrium Trap
Leibenstein's Critical Minimum Effort
Big Push Theory By Rosenstein Rodan
Linear Stages Theory and Rostow's Stages of Economic Growth
Harrod-Domar (H-D) Growth Model
Adelman and Morris Stage Theory
International Structuralist Models
Dualism and the Concept of Dual Societies
Dualistic Theories
Rural-Urban Migration Model
Neo-Classical Counter Revolution Theory
Traditional and Modern Growth Theories
Romer's Model of Endogenous Growth Theory



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