Annals of Humanities and Development Studies

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Underdevelopment theory: a conceptual clarification

Umar Dantani


This paper examines the theoretical exposition of underdevelopment based on content analysis and qualitative techniques. The paper argues that underdevelopment in the third world nations resulted from the negative effects of colonialism and neocolonialism i.e., exploitation of mineral resources of colonies, unequal terms of trade, imposition of foreign rule and dubious activities of multinational corporations. The adoption of adjustment programmes by the third world nations has contributed immensely to their underdevelopment. However, there are internal dimensions to development of underdevelopment in the third world nations such as widespread corruption, prebendalism, personalization of power, poor leadership and lack of good institutions to discharge social responsibilities efficiently and effectively. Thus, unless corruption is controlled to the barest minimum, good leadership installed and exploitative tendencies of international capitalist system controlled through a regulated capitalism, the third world nations would continue to be underdeveloped.

Keywords: Underdevelopment, development, third world nations, dependency

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