In the introduction I advanced two principal hypotheses. First that significant dissimilarity existed in the developmental experiences of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to devalue generalised explanations for their economic success. Second, that while generalised explanations of dependency have been shown to be logically and theoretically flawed; situations of dependency exist throughout the developing world including its more dynamic areas. Consequently, analysis of those areas of an economy where situations of dependency exist provides a valuable tool for an investigation of economic development. Dependency, it was suggested, may be a useful concept providing that we differentiate the idea clearly.
As I argued in Chapter 1, although the inequitable nature of North- South relations has always been of concern in Development Studies, such issues first emerged within IR and IPE during the 1970s. Despite this, the continuing dominance of realism and the imposition of the Cold War dynamic ensured that such issues remained largely on the periphery of the discipline. Pivotal in the re-emergence of such issues was the development of a critical approach to the dominant realist and liberal perspectives. Drawing inspiration from the critical theory of the Frankfurt school, historical-sociology and a variety of (neo)Marxian approaches that 'brought historical materialism back in', the discursive space of IR/IPE was widened to allow discussion of a whole variety of issues and agendas that were once largely ignored.
In addition to opening a discursive space for a reconsideration of developmental issues in IR and IPE, the emergence of a critical 'school' stressed the need to focus on the relationship between the local and the global, between domestic state-society relations and their interaction with the global and regional political economy. What emerged from this discussion in Chapter 1 was the need to ensure that any study of development is grounded in the historical-specificity of the states or region under investigation. Not only was the importance of the work of the neo-Gramscians noted, but also the influence of historical-sociology and the work of scholars such as Braudel,