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Dependency theory is a popular theory within the social sciences to explain economic development of states. The theory developed during the late 1950s and over the following two decades, principally under liberal reformer Raúl Prebisch, director of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (UNECLA), and development economist Hans Singer. Dependency theory is also associated with prominent Marxist scholars, such as Andre Gunder Frank, Paul A. Baran, and Paul Sweezy, and world systems theorists, such as Immanuel Wallerstein.

Dependency theory is the result of an extensive search to find a theoretical framework to sufficiently analyze and explain both development and underdevelopment within the international system. It does so by allowing scholars and practitioners to look to external matters, such as politics, economics, and culture, and ...

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