The development of countries is vulnerable to the impact of multiple factors. At the same time, the development of different countries has multiple theoretical explanations. In this regard, it is possible to distinguish the modernization and dependency theories. These theories are quite different but they give insight toward understanding the essence of the development of different countries.In fact, the modernization theory and the dependency theory focus on different aspects of the development of countries. To put it more precisely, the dependency theory is oriented on the international relations, whereas the modernization theory focuses on the internal development of the country. In such a way, the dependency theory is externally-oriented, whereas the modernization theory is internally-oriented.
To put it more precisely, the modernization theory holds the premise that countries have different level of development but less developed countries can improve their position through modernization. In fact, the modernization allows less developed countries to follow the lead of more developed ones that results in the overall improvement of their socioeconomic development.
In contrast, the dependency theory focuses on the international relations and competition between countries. The dependency theory holds the premise that developed countries exploit less developed countries and exploit their resources. In such a way, more developed countries accumulate resources, while developing countries fail to catch up with them. In this regard, the modernization theory stands on the ground that less developed countries can catch up with developed ones, if they have resources and conduct modernization.
Thus, the modernization theory focuses on the internal development of countries and holds the premise that internal resources of each country are important because they allow accelerating its development through modernization. In contrast, the dependency theory holds the premise that international trade and relations lead to the redistribution of resources from developing countries to developed ones.