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Timeline Events / Furtado ‘Development and Underdevelopment’

Furtado, C. (1964) ‘Development and Underdevelopment’, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press

Furtado was one of the ‘structuralist’ dependency theorists, along with Osvaldo Sunkel and Pedro Paz.  Francisco Sagasti summarises these authors’ argument that “underdevelopment, particularly in Latin America, was a consequence of the historical process of industrialisation in Europe and later in North America, and that development and underdevelopment were actually two facets of the same process of expansion of western capitalism beginning in the nineteenth century.”  (Sagasti, 1973:48) 

This process is described as “involving the creation and spread of modern technology and the establishment of an international division of labour with a small number of more advanced countries producing manufactured goods and a large number of backward countries supplying raw materials and primary commodities.  The key factor differentiating development and underdevelopment is that the developed, by virtue of its endogenous capacity for growth, became dominant, and the underdeveloped, because of its incapacity for growth, became passive, dependent, and dominated.” (Sagasti, 1973:48) 

Sagasti also cites Bresani suggesting that “the main characteristics of an underdeveloped country are that it is dominated, disarticulated, and incapable of providing an adequate standard of living for the majority of its population.” (Sagasti, 1973:48) 


Furtado, C. (1964) Development and Underdevelopment, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press

Sagasti, F. (1973) ‘Underdevelopment, Science and Technology: The Point of View of the Underdeveloped Countries’, Science Studies

See also:

Herrera, A. (1972) ‘Social Determinants of Science Policy in Latin America’, Journal of Development Studies 9.1: 19 — 37

Bresani, J. B. (1966) Desarrollo y Subdesarrollo, Lima: Moncloa Editores

Prebisch, R. (1964) Towards a New Trade Policy for Development, New York: United Nations

Sunkel, O. (1969) ‘National Development Policy and External Dependence in Latin America’, Journal of Development Studies, 6.1: 23-48

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