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The rebirth of dependence – offering an alternative understanding of financial crisis

Ciara Hackett (School of Law, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK)

International Journal of Law and Management

ISSN: 1754-243X

Article publication date: 4 March 2014




This article aims to contribute to the re-evaluation of the global market system using a Marxist inspired theory of development, dependency.


This article draws on dependency theory as an alternative means of understanding global relationships. Building on existing literature, it modifies dependency to encapsulate technological developments and trends in the global market.


Re-evaluating the global market and the relationships that underpin it, through an alternative theory, highlights the fragility of markets and associated relationships. Increasingly, nation states are becoming irrelevant. This presents a problem as the main actors in the global market today are “above” inter-state relations, yet the organs that regulate their behaviour still are grounded in inter-state rhetoric. The relationship between development and underdevelopment remains.

Research limitations/implications

The financial crisis has propagated a wealth of interest in the relationships between states, between multi-national corporations (MNCs) and between MNCs and state. Using this broad theory of modified dependency, it can be applied to a range of different relationships. In the wake of financial crisis, there is the opportunity to raise awareness of these ingrained issues and initiate discussions at national, regional and international levels to alleviate some of the conditions of dependence.

Practical implications

Regardless of the work of national governments and NGOs to instigate development in lesser-developed regions through policy and regulations, unless there is a conscientious commitment from MNCs operating in that region to contribute to development, the result will be the development of underdevelopment and the underdevelopment of development. CSR can help alleviate the conditions of the dependence on capital generated by MNCs, but this is not a solution to an ingrained problem, capitalism.


This article introduces a modified theory of dependency for the first time. It applies the theory to the financial crisis and to the continent of Africa. It considers the role that CSR can play in alleviating the conditions of dependence.



Hackett, C. (2014), "The rebirth of dependence – offering an alternative understanding of financial crisis", International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 56 No. 2, pp. 121-135.



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