From Colonial Past to Global Reality
Chapter 4: Colonial monopoly and underdevelopment
This section (Part 2, Chapters 4 and 5) has clear purposes and assumed ambitions. It seeks to identify key characteristics of the economies of underdeveloped countries based on the study of their economic history and certain constitutive structures that have been historically established there. The idea is to identify in this economic history hallmarks that demonstrate the little use of existing economic theories on economic development, whether or not based on economic history, but that have (so-called) developed countries as the model for analysis and observation. What is being said here is simple and not new. The transplant and especially the modelling of developmental processes from the experience of (once) developed economies are not only theoretically erroneous but also lack empirical support. As we intend to demonstrate with theoretical reflections and empirical data, the economic history of these countries presents particular challenges and creates specific structures that require different understanding and treatment. Not only that. As mentioned above,the concept of ‘developed countries’ can also be challenged nowadays based on economic history and the analysis of economic and social structures. The term structure must be made clear. It is intuitive to relate it to the famous structuralist movements of the 1950s and 1960s, especially in Latin America. The methodological connection undoubtedly exists, but is rather limited, as it must co-exist with fundamental differences in substance and content.
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