The multitude of approaches1 combined under the heading 'Depen-dencia' like imperialism theories are based on the assumption of an external dependency of developing countries which makes exploitation possible. However, while imperialism theories hold the dependence relation to be directly responsible for the exploitation of developing countries, the dependencia theories develop this concept further. They postulate that external dependencies lead to an internal structural deformation which perpetuates the external dependency. The process started with the political and military dependency of colonies which have been exploited through the destruction of the indigenous life style and culture, economic extraction, and forced integration into the international division of labour. This asymmetric integration caused structural changes in the peripheral societies: an economy oriented towards the requirements of he industrial countries and a functional dependency of the traditional sector on this export-oriented sector. The dynamics of reproduction of the modern sector in developing countries are similar to those of industrialized countries, thus leading to an extreme stratification, i.e., externally oriented elites and marginalized masses. Elites accept the norms and values of the industrialized countries and cooperate in maintaining a status quo.

The deformation of the economic and social system leads to structural heterogeneity: rich elites and marginal masses, the destruction of traditional economy oriented towards fulfilling the internal needs. Thus, the centre-periphery relationship reproduces itself within developing countries. Between metropolis and rural hinterland, relations are similar to those existing between industrial and developing countries.

Underdevelopment, from this point of view, is not a phase on the way to industrialization but rather a consequence of capitalism. In its concentration on external factors, possible internal conditions are neglected or considered irrelevant. Examples of countries with limited external contacts, like Nepal, Thailand, and Ethiopia, cast doubt on the general applicability of this partial explanation. Dependencia theories do not concentrate on strategies for development beyond the demand for structural changes, independence, and participation.

In recent times, however, the strategy of autocentric development has been aiming to overcome this shortage (SENGHAAS 29). Development should take place on the basis of local resources. In order to make this possible, a temporary dissociation from the world market controlled by capitalists is considered necessary. This dissociation should not be understood as autarkic. It allows for a certain degree of cooperation, a selective relation to industrialized countries. The goal is a reformation of the internal social and economic structure and, afterwards, re-entry in the international relations under conditions of equal rights. The way to reach this goal is via a self-reliance policy, i.e., a development according to the felt needs of the population based on local resources, increase of agricultural production to satisfy basic needs, concentration of decentralization with the participation of the masses. While this line of thinking is obviously based on the Chinese and Tanzanian experiences, it is on a high level of abstraction with pre-conditions which are difficult to fulfil and rather weak for concrete application. It has more the character of a goal vision that of a strategy for implementation.

1. See WOHLKE, M., WOGAU, P.V., MARTENS, W., Die neuere entwicklungstheoretische Bibliographic (Edition der Iberomaerikana Reihe II, Bibliographische Reihe 2), Frankfurt 1977.