Two basic methodological conceptions derived from the Latin American Dependency School are taken as the starting-point of our work. First of all, it is conceived that the question of the historical origins of international economic inequalities should be primarily posed as the question of the historical origin of different socio-economic structures, and not as a question of the divergent quantitative growth of the same underlying economic variables. It is only by understanding how these different structures arose that we can hope to understand the specific laws of motion that tend to produce what are commonly conceived as ‘international economic inequalities’. Secondly, it is conceived that the historical origins of the socio-economic formations which are usually called ‘underdeveloped’, ‘dependent’ or ‘peripheral’ capitalist formations are not independent of the historical process by which the advanced capitalist nations have reached maturity. Rather, one must conceptualise advanced and dependent capitalism as arising out of the same historical process. From the point of view of the study of dependent capitalist formations, this implies that one must search for a basic dependence of their laws of motion on their articulation within the world capitalist economy.
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