Home > Uncategorized > Vaccines and underdevelopment as dependency

Vaccines and underdevelopment as dependency

from Maria Alejandra Madi

The current vaccination scenario calls for a reflection on the conceptualization of underdevelopment as a process of dependency. Nowadays, to understand the big picture of the production and trade of vaccines, for instance, it is necessary to consider the analysis of the dynamics of the world-wide capitalist system.

Indeed, the access to vaccines has put in question the modernization process in Latin America. Regarding the global South, the Brazilian Celso Furtado was undoubtedly an intellectual who aimed to achieve economic transformation social change. Strong influence on him had the interpretation of the Argentinian Raúl Prebish, particularly the center-periphery approach to the understanding of the Latin American underdevelopment based on a deep critique to the competitive advantages approach to growth in the international economy. As a matter of fact, Furtados´s main contribution turned out to be known as the “structural and historical approach” to underdevelopment.

In his view, throughout the 20th century, the modernization presented further land, wealth and income concentration in Latin America.  Indeed, it was a false modernization process as it did benefit only a minority and reinforced the structural heterogeneityread more

  1. May 7, 2021 at 2:17 am

    Thank you. I reea the full version.

  2. May 7, 2021 at 10:04 am

    The “full version” ends “This amendment in the theoretical and geographical perspectives of the book also acknowledges the displacement of the concept of “system” as well as its theoretical pertinence. Indeed, power asymmetries and their conditions of existence are crucial to the understanding of the historical diversity and heterogeneities of the Southern economies”.

    While I understand very well how “power asymmetries and their conditions of existence” are relevant to the actual history of the Southern economies and justifications of the status quo, I don’t see how that displaces the concept of “system” from the theory of what those economies ought to be.

    • Maria Alejandra Madi
      May 10, 2021 at 4:10 pm

      Many thanks for you comment

      You can read the book author´s answer.

      “In short, what I mean by “displacement”, is the narrative change, which can be seen in the book between it’s first chapters with respect of the last two. With a sort of a Freudian turn, the term signals the replacement and dominance of the previous and different theoretical strategy: the impertinence of the term and functionalism which the term “system” encloses, implies making central the contingent character of the social relations and their conditions of existence, and therefore agents and economic formations cannot be seen as self enclosed entities and least of all “totalities”.
      Since the book tried to emphasize and question much of what is understood in western centric discourses as Latin American structuralism and/or interpretations of Prebisch and Furtado, I did not concentrate on critizing the basis and presentation of my OWN point of view, which is “displaced”, distinct, in the last part of the book. This theoretical turn as it were, is emphasized in the last two chapters. Obviously the move has consequences, since it implies, a critique of both Prebisch and Furtado, aspects of which I am now in the process of writing. But the pedagogical nature of the book to try and set “right’ Anglo-Saxon, or eurocentric interpretations of those theorists in Latin America is central, by the way not only western centric languages have those limitations. Unfortunately Spanish and Portuguese readers should also take notice, and I am well aware that my re-reading is problematic to some exponents of the theorists in the region.
      So above, I moved from a discussion of the term “displacement” in reference to the use and consequences of the use of “system” and the turn to emphasize a different reading AND, “supersede” in hegelian fashion those very same theorists I am expounding.
      An aspect of the book which I mention in a foot note at the end of the introduction also has to be underlined: the book comprised a chapter on the “autochthonous” Southern perspective developed by E. Leff on the discourse on sustainable development, which could not be included since the review in which it originally appeared did not give me permission. So even if I had the money to pay for the permission in question, I reject the mercantile practice which that event would have entailed.
      I hope my answer helped, I live in México, so who ever visits the City and wants to take back home a the hard copy ( or various copies) I am willing to supply them for free, so just send me details.”
      by Carlos Mallorquin

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