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Greener Journal of  Biological Sciences Vol. 2 (3), pp. 052-065November 2012

 © 2012 Authors

Research Paper

Manuscript Number:102712158


A Discourse on Andre Gunder Frank’s Contribution to the Theory and Study of Development and Underdevelopment; its Implication on Nigeria’s development situation


Emeh, Ikechukwu Eke Jeffrey  


Department of Public Administration, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.


Email: eljeff4u @


This paper is a discourse on Andre Gunder Frank’s contribution to the theory and study of development and underdevelopment with emphasis on its implication on Nigeria’s development situation. The study exposes the inequality in the pace of socio-economic wellbeing of the people of various societies of the world which led the social scientists to call those societies whose socio-economic development is considerably low “backward nations” even though they later abandoned this expression as it was considered derogatory, and adopted instead, the expressions “underdeveloped societies,” “less-developed societies,” or “developing nations.” To explain the reason for the underdevelopment of these nations, W.W. Rostow in1960 developed his Modernization theory which conceived underdevelopment as an “original state,” something characteristic of a “traditional society”, something that has internal origin. In response to this theory, Andre Gunder Frank in 1966 propounded his “dependency theory which saw the world's nations as divided into a core of wealthy nations which dominate the poor nations whose main function in the system is to provide cheap labour and raw materials to the core. It held also that the benefits of this system of relationship accrue almost entirely to the rich nations, which become progressively richer and more developed, while the poor nations, which continually have their surpluses drained away to the core, do not advance rather, they are impoverished; he therefore asserts that for the underdeveloped nations to develop, they must break (radically) their ties with the developed nations and pursue internal growth. In addressing this thesis, the puzzle is “can Nigeria break her ties with the core wealthy nations of the West which have advanced their economies at the detriment of Nigeria and pursue meticulously, internally generated growth?” 

Keywords: Development, Underdevelopment, Dependency, Modernization Theory, Leadership Problems.

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