Dependency theory and urbanisation in Southern Africa : a conceptual critique

Graaff, J. F. de V. (Johann Frederick de Villiers),1946- (1990-03)

Dissertation (D. Phil.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1990.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Marxist development theory has been in trouble recently. As it has been applied in Southern. Africa, this theoretical stream originated in the theories of Arrlre Gunder Frank and Imnanuel Wallerstein. From the critique against these theories, most notably by Ernesto Laclau and Robert Brenner, a new theoretical direction arose. This was called modes of production theory. However, today this theory is also in crisis as a result of EP Thampson' s withering attack on Althusser. Amid the debris of such old theories, same writers feel that Marxist development theory is at an impasse. New directions are being sought in Weber and various micro-theories. These writers are being unnecessarily pessimistic. New theories are already emerging from the ruins of the old, as one would expect them to. The central concern of this thesis, then, is the new direction in which Marxist development theory might move in order to go beyond its present dilemma's in its consideration of the Southern African context. There are three main elements necessary for viable renewal. All of these draw on Anthony Giddens' structuration theory. The first is a theory of the postcolonial or peripheral state which avoids instrumentalist and functionalist notions. These latter see the state as subjected to the interests of the ruling class or to the logic of capitalist development. But state incumbents in peripheral countries have distinct enough interests and anxieties, on the one hand, and sufficient resources, on the other hand, to make them a separate class with a significant measure of independence over and against both national and international bourgeoisies. The second innovation in Marxist development theory concerns the relationship between core and periphery. Core-periphery interaction is conceptually worth retaining on condition that it jettisons the stagnationist, quantitative, unidimensional and uninodal assumptions introduced by Frank and Wallerstein. Core and periphery thus interact at international, national, regional and intra-urban levels. Such levels are superimposed 'on to' each other and operate simultaneously. In addition, cores exercise their dominance over peripheries in multifarious ways which include both trade am class mechanisms. Exploitation is therefore not a quantative, zero-sum game, but a qualitative relational one. Finally, once one moves beyond neat notions of discrete systems each with a single core, it becomes possible to think of multiple systems, not only superimposed 'on top of' each other, but also existing 'next to' each other. The interaction between defies neat boundaries. The final innovation in Marxist development theory concerns the notion of structure. Earlier Marxist writers, following Althusser and Poulantzas, were strongly structuralist positivist. Later Marxists, particularly among social historians in South African, by contrast, have been influenced by subjectivist and relativist theories. Structuration theory rejects both of these polarities. Giddens proposes that social analysis must start with subjective meaning, as subjectivist theories would say. Unlike subjectivist theories, structure must be seen as constitutive of subjective meaning. At the epistemological level Giddens also rejects relativism. In this view a form of critical theory which applies to both the object and the subject of theory can replace vicious with virtuous cycles of knowledge.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Marxistiese ontwikkelingsteorie was in die laaste tyd in die moeilikheid. Soos in Suider-Afrika toegepas, het hierdie teoretiese stroom sy oorsprong gevind in die werk van Andre Gunder Frank en Immanuel Wallerstein. uit die kritiek teen hulle teoriee, veral deur Ernesto Iaclau en Robert Brermer, het 'n nuwe teoretiese rigting ontstaan. Dit was modes van produksie teorie. Maar vandag is hierdie toerie ook in krisis as gevolg van EP Thompson se skryende aanval op Althusser. Tussen die oorblyfsels van sulke ou teoriee voel sommige sktywers dat Marxistiese ontwikkelilingsteorie in 'n doodloopstraat is. Nuwe rigtings word nou in Weber en verskeie mikro-teoriee gesoek. Hierdie skrywers is onnodiglik pessimisties. Nuwe teoriee is reeds besig om te verskyn uit die splinters van die oue, soos mens ook sou verwag. Die hooftema van hierdie proefskrif gaan dan oor die vernwings wat in Marxistiese ontwikkelingsteorie nodig is om in sy analise van die Suider-Afrika konteks sy huidige dilemma's vry te spring. Daar is drie hoofelemente nodig vir lewensvatbare vernuwing. Hulle kan almal uit Anthony Giddens se struktureringsteorie. Die eerste is 'n teorie van die na-koloniale of periferale staat wat instrumentalistiese en funksionalistiese idees vermy. Sulke idees sien die staat as onderworpe aan die belange van die heersersklas of aan die logika van die kapitalisties sisteem. Staatsakteurs in periferale lande het, aan die een kant, noemenswaardige belange en spanninge, en aan die ander kant, voldoende magsbrorme am van hulle 'n aparte klas te maak teenoor beide nasionale eninternasionale bourgeoisies. Die tweede vernuwing in Marxistiese ontwikkelingsteorie gaan oor die verhouding tussen kern en periferie. Kern-periferie interaksie kan as konsep behou word mits die stagnasionistiese, kwantitatiewe, eendimensionele en enkelkern idees van Frank en Wallerstein verwerp word. Kern en periferie is, naamlik, op internasionale, nasionale, streeks- en intrastedelike vlakke in interaksie. Sulke vlakke word 'op' mekaar geplaas en fungeer gelyktydig. Kerne oefen daarbewenens hulle dominasie oor periferie uit op verskeie maniere wat beide handels- en klassemeganismes insluit. Uitbuiting is derhalwe nie 'n kwantitatiewe, zero-somspel nie, maar 'n kwantitatiewe relasionele een. Iaastens, wanneer mens wegbeweeg van netjiese konsepte van aparte sisteme elk met 'n enkele kern, word dit moontlik om veelvoudige sisteme nie net 'bo op' mekaar geplaas, maar ook 'langs' mekaar te bedink. Die interaksie tussens sisteme pas nie binne netjies grense nie. Die laaste vernuwing in Marxistiese ontwikkelingsteorie gaan oor die idee van struktuur. vroeere Marxisties skrywers, in navolging van Althusser en Poulantzas, was sterk strukturalisties en positiwisties. Iatere Marxiste, veral onder sosiale historici, daarteenoor, is deur subjektiwistiese en relatiwistiese teoriee beinvloed. Struktureringsteorie verwerp albei hierdie polariteite. Giddens stel voor dat sosiale analise met subjektiewe betekenis moet begin, soos subjektiwistiese teoriee sou se. Maar, anders as in subjektiwistiese -teoriee, is subjektiewe betekenis en struktuur onderling konstituerend. Op die epistemologiese vlak verwerp Giddens ook die relatiwisme. Met 'n soort kritiese teorie wat beide op die objek van sosiale analise as op die sosiaalwetenskaplike self van toepassing is, kan, volgens hom, 'n bose met 'n deugsame kringloop van kennis vervang word. Sodoende kan probleme van relatiwisme vermy word.

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