Challenging Global Inequality

Development theory and practice in the 21st century

by Alastair Greig, David Hulme, and Mark Turner

Chapter by chapter resources - Chapter 5

Review Questions

  • What elements of classical sociology did post-war modernization theorists draw on?
  • From a modernization theory perspective, what roles did endogenous and exogenous forces perform in the development process?
  • Apply Rostow’s stages of growth model to a specific historical case study?
  • Can pattern variables be used to accurately describe forms of behaviour in pre-modern an modern societies?
  • What forces propel the take-off stage of economic growth?
  • List any differences that emulators face compared with prototypes.
  • Was modernization theory ethnocentric?
  • Was modernization theory merely an ideological tool of US imperialism?
  • What similarities and differences are there between classical Marxism and modernization theory?
  • Drawing on the theoretical distinctions made in Chapter 2, is Baran’s analysis individualistic or structuralist?
  • According to post-war structuralist theorists, why did the ‘law of comparative advantage’ fail to operate in global trade?
  • From a dependency perspective, what exogenous forces perpetuated global inequalities?
  • Extrapolate Wallerstein’s historical model of the world capitalist system (see Box 5.5) into the twenty-first century. What changes have occurred since Stage 4?
  • What are the political and economic consequences of Frank’s hypothesis that the weaker the ties between the core and the periphery, the stronger the autonomous forces of development?
  • What are some of the criticisms that have been levelled against dependency theory, from liberals through to Marxists?
  • Why have Marxists traditionally argued that socialism can only be successfully established in societies with relatively advanced productive capacity?
  • Is it possible to simultaneously generate high levels of economic growth and offer greater social equality?
  • How did dependency theory account for peripheral success stories, such as the NICs?
  • How much weight should be attached to the criticism that dependency theory denies the periphery any agency?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Etzioni-Halevy’s synthetic model of development?

Further Reading

Engerman, David C. ed. (2003), Staging Growth: Modernization, Development, and the Global Cold War, Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press.

Etzioni-Halevy, E. (1980), Social Change: The Advent and Maturity of Modernity, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Larrain, J. (1989), Theories of Development: Capitalism, Colonialism and Dependency, Cambridge, Polity Press.

So, A. (1990), Social Change and Development: Modernization, Dependency, and World-Systems Analysis, London, Sage.

Wallerstein, I. (1974), ‘The rise and future demise of the world capitalist system’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 16 (4), September.


The work of the late-Andre Gunder Frank has been categorized and can be accessed at this site:

The Journal of World-Systems Research is available on the internet: