modernization theory, which views development as relatively apoliticized
The modernization model oversimplifies the process of development by viewing it as a series of progressions culminating in an essentially Western-style economy with a Western-style liberal democracy.
dependency theory views development as intensely political and rife with power dynamics
dependency model assumes that law is not independent of the social, political, and religious spheres
Inspired by Marxist theory, the dependency model maintains that the neutral front offered by liberal law in fact masks the intensely political power expressions that produce systemic inequalities
dependency theorists do not claim that law is independent of society. On the contrary, because law is already a reflection of the ruling interests, they see no inconsistency in utilizing law for the instrumentalist objective of furthering the interests of the nonruling class. Instead of viewing development in ahistorical terms, the dependency model views dependency and underdevelopment in stark historical terms, without any claims that the process of development is neutral or sequential. At the same time, however, the model overestimates the barriers that prevent or retard development.
Indeed, the record shows that developing countries that have adopted an export-promotion strategy (that is, a strategy emphasizing linkages with the international economy and integration with the liberal trading norms of the GATI) have had a more enviable record of economic growth than developing countries that have adopted the import-substitution, delinking policies advocated by the dependency model.