Developing Countries in the Turbulence of the World Economy: A Difficult Quest to Find a Theory

  • Jaroslav Foltýn
  • Jiří Fárek
Keywords: Economic science, subdiscipline, development economics, world economy, interdisciplinarity


The essay deals with the development of theory in development economics as a subdiscipline of international economics, within the context of general economic theory. Although some authors believe that it started to develop during the 19th century (as some Latin American countries gained their independence at this time), most authors connect its origin with the decolonization process of the 1950s. The first part describes its rather "naďve" beginnings, when it was believed that it is possible to discover a universal theory applicable to the whole "third world" - such as theories of vicious circles of poverty, the best ways and tools for breaking them, etc. The second phase of development economics, spanning approximately 1970-1990, was characterized by disillusionment and produced a lot of mostly analytical works dealing with partial problems. The third stage (1990 - present) has been characterized by a growing demand for the so-called new synthesis. As the authors believe, such a goal would be very difficult to achieve, but in essence, it is achievable by means of joint efforts based on the Millennium Development Goals, changes of international economic and political relations systems and changes in a wide range of global issues.

Author Biographies

Jaroslav Foltýn



Jiří Fárek