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Immanuel Wallerstein’s account of the rise of capitalism describes the world system as a unit of analysis. Wallerstein asserts that on a global scale, some countries will always be dependent on others and that the relationship of dependence has long been established by a cycle of colonization and subsequent neocolonization. World systems theory criticizes theories of modernization, which assert a single, positive direction of economic development for all participating nations. By viewing the world as one system, with a small, powerful group of wealthy core nations dominating other nation-states, Wallerstein overcomes some of the criticisms associated with modernization, especially its unwarranted optimism.

The Processes of Colonization and Neocolonization

Colonialism—the process of foreign powers assuming and maintaining political, social, economic, and cultural rule over other countries or groups ...

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