Global Inequality Theories

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Theories of Global Inequality A close look at the UN Sustainable Development Goals will reveal that global inequality is a serious problem that is manifested in various forms. To tackle global inequality, it is important to understand why and how it exists, and various theoretical perspectives can provide different insights into this complex problem. Modernization theory, Dependency theory, and Globalization theory all try to understand global inequality from different angles. While each has its own strengths, weaknesses, and biases, globalization theory seems to be the most suitable for understanding global inequality. The three theories focus on different areas in explaining global inequality. Modernization theory views industrialization…show more content…
Modernization theory assumes that all countries could follow the same path to development and that the kind development that industrialized Western countries have is desirable (Little et al., 2014). Despite its Eurocentric nature, the modernization theory offers some objective measures regarding the benefits of following a development pathway, such as better standards of living and improved life expectancy (Little et al., 2014). Dependency theory, on the other hand, assumes that low-income countries are passively letting themselves exploited (Little et al., 2014). The rise of the garment industry in Bangladesh after the initial Daewoo investment illustrates that economic imperialism has many unintended consequences; knowledge leaks and spillover effects mean that the hinterland may kickstart its own economic growth using the knowledge, skills, and assets provided by the metropolis (Easterly, 2002). However, it provides important insights regarding power relationships between countries as they engage in trade. Globalization theory also has its own biases; it focuses too much on the competitive advantage of regions and ignores the role that politics and governments play. For instance, the Malaysian government managed to attract foreign investors in the 1970s through free trade zones and the new economic policy (Rasiah, 2013). Similarly, heavy subsidies have managed to provide the Texas cotton farmers…show more content…
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