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Social Change, Development and Dependency: Modernity, Colonialism and the Development of the West

Social Change, Development and Dependency: Modernity, Colonialism and the Development of the West

Tony Spybey

ISBN: 978-0-745-60730-6 August 1992 Polity 220 Pages


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This book takes the study of development and social change out of the confines of the Modernization Theory - Dependency Theory debate. The author examines social change against a background of the rise of the West and the global spread of its institutions. Spybey analyzes the development of the nation-state system in the modern world, emphasizing its Western origins. He also traces out the emergence of colonialism, the capitalist world-economy and Western dominance over other parts of the world.

The author goes on to examine these developments after the Second World War, against the background of the Cold War and the end of European colonialism, the reaffirmed of the existence of nation-state system by new global institutions, global military order and capitalist world economy. The First, Second and Third Worlds are placed in their social, political and economic contexts and traced through to the post-Bretton Woods period of oil crises, global recession and new international division of labour.


Part I. Concepts of Social Change.

1. Opposing Influences in Sociology:.

Historical Materialism and Structural-Functionalism.

2. Development and its Denial:.

Modernization Theory versus Dependency Theory.

3. Social Interaction and the Reproduction of Institutions through Time and Space: The Theory of Structuration and the Concept of Inter-Societal Systems.

Part II. The Rise of Western Civilization.

4. The Development of European Institutions as Western Culture.

5. Western Societies as a State System:.

The Development of the Nation-State.

6. Colonial Episodes:.

The Implanting of Western Institutions around the World.

Part III. The Definition of Three 'Worlds' after the Second World War.

7. Post-War Reconstruction and New Global Organizations:.

The Confirmation of an Inter-Societal System.

8. The Formation of the Soviet Union and the Second World:.

State Socialism as an Alternative Pathway of Development.

9. The Identification of the Third World and the Recognition of Dependency.

Part IV. The World Towards the End of the Twentieth Century.

10. Contemporary Western Development:.

Liberal Democratic Capitalism through Crises but Re-Affirmed.

11. Development in the East:.

Japan and the Newly Industrializing Countries of East Asia.

12. The Resurgence of Islamism:.

An Alternative to Western Capitalism or State Socialism?.


'This is a brave attempt at a new kind of textbook on the sociology of development.' Political Studies
* Represents a radical departure in the sociology of development incorporating much more historical and geographical material to the development/dependency debate. * Spybey uses Gidden's Structuration Theory as a conceptual framework. * Includes discussion of the implications of East Asian success and Islamic resurgence. * The text is supported by a number of tables.