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The world system theory stresses the fact that world systems should basically be the unit for social analysis. The theory points to the international division of labor. This in turn divides the world into periphery, semi-periphery and core countries. Dependency and world system theory suggest that the backwardness of countries is brought about by their peripheral position in the international division of labor. The North-South divide is named the development continuum gap. The gap between the richer and poorer nation is continuously widening. The nature of capitalism has led to creation of inequality between the countries supporting the idea as countries with a comparative advantage have accumulated capital from their less advantaged counterparts.


People have argued that the lack of equal trade and free capital flow is causing the stagnation in development and economic activity in developing countries. This trend is responsible for the extreme poverty levels and hunger that are persistent in the underdeveloped nations. The trend has further facilitated rampant spread of deadly diseases; unsustainable environment and illiteracy among their people. Other theories have suggested that the only way to curb this divide is to help all societies undergo similar stages of development to those that were experience in the developed nation. Realizing this, however, will require a great deal of investment, transfer of technology, and a close integration in the world market. On the other hand, the dependence theory has argued otherwise, it says that underdeveloped countries should reduce their connection to the world market. This argument is based on the fact that the developing countries their own unique structures (Wallerstein, 1974).

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The theory perpetuates that poorer nation give out natural resources, cheap labor, and market to the richer nations. The natural resources sometimes lead to the environment of poorer nations being degraded. These resources benefit the rich countries and provide them the luxuries they do enjoy now. There is an imbalanced immigration where people do migrate from poorer nations to enjoy the better life in the developed nations. On the other hand, some wealthy nations have refuted attempts by the underdeveloped nations to resist their influence. They use economic sanctions or military power. Their influence over them involves economics, banking, finance, education and recruitment and training of workers. The fact that some developed countries employ the use of force to make sure they continue their domination has led to infringement of human rights and many people have suffered or lost their lives as a result of resultant duels.

According to Bornschier (1996), most developed countries have established economic independence through inflow of capital. The inflow comes in various forms: loans being granted to the underdeveloped countries, investments which tie the countries to depend on them, controlling foreign trade by using big international monopolies. Some underdeveloped governments have had to take measures to remove these effects of the world systems. They forbade foreign investment which will stop foreigners from drawing resources from the country. Foreign owned companies being owned by the government so as to keep profits within the country. Lastly, the government limits imports which in turn reduce loss of capital and resources.

In sum, the less developed countries need develop too and reach the development status achieved by the western world. However, as the above theories point out, the third world country should find a proper way of conducting their own development without involving the developed ones. This does not mean that the developing nation should avoid developed one, this would be catastrophic as it would curtail the transfer of information and new technologies necessary for development.

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