Relevance of Modernization Theory Essay

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INTRODUCTION
With the notable exception of Latin American countries which gained independence in the 19th Century, the notion of economic development in developing countries such as Zambia is a post World War 2 phenomenon. The strategy which promoted economic development and transformation was formalized in the body of the Modernisation Theory. As such therefore, this paper will seek to explain what the Modernisation Theory is, briefly discuss the weaknesses identified in this theory and then critically analyse the relevance of this theory to development prospects of developing countries. Based on the discussion, a summary will be made and a conclusion drawn.

MODERNISATION THEORY
Modernisation theory has been defined as a socio economic theory which seeks to highlight the positive role played by developed countries in modernising or facilitating sustainable development in developing countries. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Development Theory’ and is often contrasted with the Dependency Theory. Modernisation theory was the historical product of three main events in the post World War II era. The first was the rise of the United States of America as a superpower to contain the growth of the international communist movement. The second was the growth of a united world wide communist movement led from Moscow and later on from Beijing in China. The third was the process of decolonisation in Africa and Asia as an outcome of the disintegration of the former European colonial empires.
By and large the advocates of the Modernisation Theory assumed the new nation states were in search of a model of development. During the 1950’s, the focus of Modernisation Theory was on the mass media as a modernising force in the developing countries. It was assumed that the mass media was integral to the diffusion of modern forms of social organisation and technology over traditional economies with literacy playing a notable cultural role in this. Modernisation theory was...

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