Income Inequality in Marxism, Structuralism, Neoliberalism, and Dependency Theory Essay

October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer

The peculiar features of every country’s development should be discussed from the point of the character of the economic relations within the country and from the point of the country’s position within the global economic environment. Thus, one of the main criteria according to which it is possible to analyze international relations theories in their connection with the sphere of economy is the notion of income inequality.

Such theories as Marxism, Structuralism, Neoliberalism, and Dependency Theory discuss the notion of economic inequality according to their specific concepts which differ from each other and have a lot of variations. That is why inequality in the sphere of economy is a multidimensional concept which can be analyzed in various contexts with references to different international relations theories.

The Institutionalisation of Inequality in the Context of Marxism

Examining the economic inequality as the main criterion to determine the major aspects of Marxism, it is important to pay attention to the fact that in the case of Marxism the inequality is discussed at the country’s level. The distribution of the necessary means among the population in the Marxist’s society is based on the individuals’ needs1.

This principle of distribution makes people be rather equal in their economic status within the society. However, the opposite approach to the distribution of means is the base of the Capitalist’s society where class relations function. Thus, the economic inequality is the main condition for the development of the class relations. The ideas of Marxists were further developed by Structuralists with determining the additional categories.

Structuralism and the Aspects of Economy

Basing on the Marxist’s ideas on the class relations as the key factor of the domestic economic development, Structuralists focus on the global economic progress and make accents on the position of the country within the world context. From this point, the world is divided into the developed and developing countries, and there are definite relations of dependency among them which are connected with the issue of class relations2.

The developed countries have the fundament of their economic progress in following the principles of capitalism which is based on the economic inequality of classes and individuals. The income inequality as the economic injustice is the main characteristic feature of the Capitalistic society.

The distribution of the world resources between the developed and developing countries is unequal and contributes to the progress of the economic polarization within the global market. That is why it is possible to state that according to the principles of Structuralism the world relations are based on the rather unjust rules provided by the Capitalistic countries which impose the relations of inequality at the global arena. Such relations provoke the dependency of the developing countries on the economic state of the developed countries. This aspect becomes the key one for working out the Dependency Theory.

Dependency Theory and the Factor of the Economic Inequality

Dependency Theory operates the notion of the economic inequality at the world level and discusses it as the global inequality which is realized in the unequal relations between the developed and developing countries3. According to the Dependency Theory, it is almost impossible to speak about the notion of justice in the relations between the classes within states and between the definite countries because there are always dominant countries and the dependent ones.

In this situation the relations of dependency are based on the fact that the developed countries are inclined to enrich their potentials using the developing countries with the high level of poverty which emphasizes the notion of global inequality4.

Neoliberalism as the New Approach to the Economic Inequality

The principles of Neoliberalism are often discussed as the possible measures to restrict the level of the poverty in the developing countries5. Thus, Neoliberalism argues any governmental restrictions and barriers between the countries as the ways to limit the economic possibilities of the individuals and states6.

That is why the only way to the economic progress is the establishment of the free markets and free trade between the countries. It is the first step to the globalization when the low income of the societies of the developing countries can be explained by the fact of the existing barriers which separate these countries from the global market7.

Economic inequality is the category which determines the peculiarities of the development of the countries as an independent state and the part of the global market. In spite of the fact the notion is characteristic for all the international relations theories in connection with the sphere of economy the approaches to its discussion are rather different.

Reference List

Devetak, R, J George & M Weber, ‘Marxism and critical theory’ in R Devetak, A Burke & J George (eds.), An introduction to international relations, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012, pp. 62-75.

Gill, S, ‘Globalisation, market civilisation and disciplinary neoliberalism’ Millennium: Journal of International Studies, vol. 24, no. 3, 1995, pp.399-423.

Pasha, MK, ‘How can we end poverty?’ in J Edkins & M Zehfuss (eds.), Global politics: A new introduction, Routledge, London, 2008, pp. 320-344.

Peck, J, & A Tickell, ‘Neoliberalising space’, Antipode, vol. 34, no. 3, 2002, pp.380-404.

Steans, J, L Pettiford & T Diez, ‘Structuralism’ in International relations: Perspectives and themes, Longman, London, 2005, pp. 75-102.

Wade, RH ‘What strategies are viable for developing countries today? The World Trade Organization and the shrinking of development space’, Review of International Political Economy, vol. 10, no.4, 2003, pp. 621-644.

Williams, M ‘Global economic institutions’ in R Devetak, A Burke & J George (eds.), An introduction to international relations, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012, pp. 336-347.

Footnotes

1 R Devetak, J George & M Weber, ‘Marxism and critical theory’ in R Devetak, A Burke & J George (eds.), An introduction to international relations, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012, pp. 62-75.

2 J Steans, L Pettiford & T Diez, ‘Structuralism’ in International relations: Perspectives and themes, Longman, London, 2005, pp. 75-102.

3 RH Wade, ‘What strategies are viable for developing countries today? The World Trade Organization and the shrinking of development space’, Review of International Political Economy, vol. 10, no.4, 2003, pp. 621-644.

4 MK Pasha, ‘How can we end poverty?’ in J Edkins & M Zehfuss (eds.), Global politics: A new introduction, Routledge, London, 2008, pp. 320-344.

5 S Gill, ‘Globalisation, market civilisation and disciplinary neoliberalism’ Millennium: Journal of International Studies, vol. 24, no. 3, 1995, pp.399-423.

6 J Peck, & A Tickell, ‘Neoliberalising space’, Antipode, vol. 34, no. 3, 2002, pp.380-404.

7 M Williams, ‘Global economic institutions’ in R Devetak, A Burke & J George (eds.), An introduction to international relations, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2012, pp. 336-347.

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