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Wallerstein’s Contribution to Development Theory

Immanuel Wallerstein maintains that the world-system should be used as a primary unit in social analysis rather than nation-states. The world system contributes to development theory because it is dynamic and over time, different countries constitute core countries. He highlights some of the benefits of globalization. Globalization is the only panacea to the many problems affected the world. Globalization to them intended to increase competition among nations, improve relations among nations, and ensures a fair price of goods. Free trade resulted in increased employment and economic performance of developed nations.

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Through the comparative advantage that results from globalization, countries can specialize in the production of those commodities that they can cheaply produce and import those commodities that can be produced cheaply in other nations. These have lead to the economic growth of developing nations. With globalization, many of the developing nations have encountered better technologies and knowledge used to control and prevent diseases that have eventually lowered the mortality rate, improved life expectancy rate, reduced child labor, low levels of illiteracy, and increased food availability.

The theory further maintains that economies in the semi-peripheries are oppressed by the core countries. However, other countries like Russia maintained their economic system and as such, domestic trade and business were strengthened; thus boosting the development of the economy, as well as limiting external influences. Core countries improved their world economic system; hence the production of a product of high quality.

As a result, the core countries engaged in international trade hence benefiting from the trade, as well as an advanced economic system. The system has all the available resources under the control of the public, as in the case of Russia. The government owns all the available resources. The system works well in the achievement of the set objectives of equal distribution of wealth, and the elimination of inequalities. The theory maintains that when individuals have the opportunity to exercise their rational judgments, the economy can perfectly utilize their resources (Wallerstein 65).

Furthermore, Immanuel Wallerstein asserts that the overall pattern of the economic system has changed due to a change in some trends, in the economy. Some of these trends include; democratization, a significant shift to market economies as well as the revival of cultural and ethnic politics. Democracy is taking the center stage in the political arena of many countries, with economies engaging in free, regular, and fair elections.

Democracy has nurtured civil liberties like freedom of speech, assembly, and belief, neutrality in legal aspects, civilian control of the military, presence of civil societies that provide individuals with opportunities to own and operate their property as well as a rule of law that ensures equal opportunities for all the citizens in an economy.

Wallerstein, Immanuel Maurice. The essential Wallerstein. New York: New Press, 2000. Print.

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