African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Africa: Beyond the “new” dependency: A political economy

Luke Amadi
Women Initiative for Economic and Social Empowerment, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 30 November 2012
  •  Published: 31 December 2012


Scholars seek to articulate plausible explanations for the current world situation where the vast majority of countries are underdeveloped while a relatively small portion- the Western countries, are   rich. From the classical Marxist analysis emerged the neo-Marxists, encompassing the Third World scholars theorizing on the persistence of this division and development alternatives. Their central argument is ‘development of underdevelopment’ which forms the main strand of the dependency theory. However with the emergence of Brazil and China as global giants and the pervasive economic in-roads to Africa, a shift on Africa’s dependency on the global north seems inevitable. Is a “new dependency” emerging or is Africa developing and catching up to rise beyond a new dependency? This paper seeks to engage in the ongoing perennial debate on Africa’s dependency. It presents a critique of the dependency theory and argues that an inevitable economic growth of China will not only upturn the regional presence of America in Africa but will create a “new” relationship through Chinese soft technology-the new media and globalization. However the crux of the argument is whether this will in turn develop Africa or foster a new dependency within the global South. To interrogate these assumptions, this paper adopts international political economy (IPE) approach as a methodology to examine China/Africa relationship using post colonial tools of analysis.  


Key words: Dependency, development, globalization, underdevelopment, modernization, poverty, Africa.