In the dominions of debt : historical perspectives on dependent development /

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Main Author: Schwartz, Herman M., 1958-
Format: Book
Language:English
Published:Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1989.
Series:Cornell studies in political economy.
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Review by Choice Review

An original historical study revealing the similarity between the development of modern NICs and 19th-century British dominions--formal or informal, some of which borrowed abroad to attain high rates of economic growth and development. The study contains empirical case studies of Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina between 1880 and 1914 and also modern South Korea. Schwartz attempts a reformulation of the presently accepted dependency theory in terms of a more inclusive and relevant heuristic structure. He replaces the conventional one-dimensional view of the world, split into its core and periphery, with a bipolar view that depicts dependency and development as two strategic variables. The result is a two-by-two matrix of four pure types: (1) core (developed/autonomous); (2) dominion (developed/dependent); (3) Periphery (underdeveloped/dependent); and (4) "socialist" (underdeveloped/autonomous). Changes in dependency emerge from the conflicts among capitalist groups, while changes in development are affected by conflicts between labor and capital. At the heart of these political conflicts lies the question of who would pay the cost of resolving the debt crisis, the answer to which depends on the relative power and objectives of the dominant elites. Schwartz deserves full credit for the first comparative study of the relationship between indebtedness and internal politics in the countries covered. This well-documented and clearly written volume is highly recommended for academic and public libraries. -O. Zinam, University of Cincinnati

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.

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