Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology and Anthropology


It is argued that traditional theories of development and social change in sociology are not appropriate in understanding and explaining processes of change in underdeveloped countries. However, theories of world-system/dependency may offer a better explanation to the structural change experienced by underdeveloped countries because this approach recognizes the specific historical process that characterized these countries;Among world system/dependency theories, Amin's theoretical model has been utilized as a framework to analyze a concrete case;Even though Saudi Arabia shares with other developing countries many characteristics of underdevelopment, Saudi Arabia is unique in the sense that it is at odds with many prevailing developmental theories. Rather than reflecting the poverty and instability of other Third World countries, Saudi Arabia is a capital-surplus society;If capital shortage per se is not the origin of dependency and underdevelopment, can Saudi Arabia be characterized as an underdeveloped dependent nation?;This question and others present a challenge to dependency perspective. The evidence presented in this case study of Saudi Arabia suggests that its uniqueness as a capital-rich country does not prevent it from reflecting the same syndrome of underdevelopment presented in other dependent nations which generally are capital-shortage countries;The evidence also suggests that Amin is correct in almost all aspects of his approach regarding the structure of development in all underdeveloped countries.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Ahmed H. Senani



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195 pages

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Sociology Commons