Guatebean Modernization Theory Essay

1383 Words 6 Pages
In analysing the usefulness of these theories in explaining the case of Guatemala, history and socioeconomic contexts prior to and during the development process is worth observing. The United States’ political and economic interests on the Latin American region was officially expressed with the articulation of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 (Gilderhus, 2008: 5). The doctrine mainly served as a declaration of political independence of the American Continent from European colonial powers, yet the US-Latin American relations did not experience any notable change as the US merely pursued “to defend its own basic interests.” (Gilderhus, 2008: 8) Significant to their relations was the subsequent US foreign policy agenda based on Pan-Americanism, and later the Cold War, during the 20th century, which …show more content…
On the one hand, contexts prior to the democratic revolution and developments correspond to assumptions of modernisation theory. The Guatemalan economy and society exhibited general transitions which resembled what modernisation theory assumes to be natural. While the European colonisation of the region left behind traditional features such as social hierarchy among different ethnicities and feudal economic practices, Guatemala increasingly experienced capitalism with the commencement of the UFCO’s activities (Grosfoguel, 2000: 349-354). This can be seen as the shift from the traditional society to the next stage, in which the economy experienced foreign intrusions which the theory justifies as a means of enabling the society to prepare for preconditions to take-off by making adopt modern values and practices. The theory, however, does not account for the entirety of the process in that the societal adoption of modern values did not lead to fundamental changes in Guatemalan social structure, as autocracy and socioeconomic inequality persisted (Batres,

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