Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 January 2018
Dependency Theory has become a major paradigm for understanding Latin American politics. Based on the premises that the study of politics must begin with analysis of underlying socio-economic structures, and that these structures cannot be understood without considering a country's role in the world economy, dependency theory provides a cogent analytical framework that has been upheld in numerous empirical studies. The model of politics presented by dependency theorists is a bleak one: because economic dependence polarizes society between a small class of wealthy elites and a large mass of impoverished workers and peasants, politics in dependent societies is reduced, essentially, to class struggle between these highly mismatched forces. Except under unusual circumstances, authoritarianism is the inevitable result.
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