In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

On the Way to S elf-Reliance? PASOK*s Government Policy in Greece Heinz-Jürgen Axt 1. SELF-RELIANCE: THE CONCEPT AND SOME OPEN QUESTIONS The concept of self-reliance has been transplanted from its roots in Latin America ("TeorÃ-a de la dependencia") and Africa (Samir Amin's Le Développement inégal) to Europe.1 Local communities, regions , nations, and supranational organizations (e.g., the EEC) follow a strategy of self-reliance—that, at least, is the suggestion of theorists and intellectuals, and of some political parties. Among these parties the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), in Greece, may be the one which formulated a program closest to the concept of self-reliance. Everyone speaks about self-reliance, but the understanding of this idea is quite different. The attempt to transplant the concept of self-reliance to Europe has left many questions open. Which level is meant to enforce a strategy of self-reliance? Is it the rural village, the subregion, or region, the nation as a whole, the communities "above" the nation-state, or a mix of different levels? What is the concrete meaning of the term self-reliance? One often gets the impression that the concept of self-reliance is used as a synonym for other terms: in the one case, self-reliance is a substitute for general development (or for overcoming special backlogs); in the other case, it is understood as a substitute for participation and democratization. This vagueness, deriving from the theory's origins and its development in peripheral countries of the Third World (cf. below), may be the main explanation for the fact that the concept of self-reliance was so successful when it was taken over by European countries. In this way it was possible to bring together different, and sometimes even contrary, approaches and theories and to create something like a new 'The following is based on Axt, Voraussetzungen. 189 190 Heinz-Jürgen Axt self-consciousness for a Europe confronted with new and increasing challenges. 2. SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF THE STRATEGY OF SELF-RELIANCE Taking into account the fact that the concept of self-reliance lacks theoretical sharpness, there can only be a definition of some elements of this concept in a more heuristic way. Samir Amin characterizes peripheral countries and societies according to the following elements : the dominance of agrarian capitalism, the development of a local bourgeoisie dependent on dominant foreign capital, the tendency to create a special type of bureaucracy, and the unfinished development of a proletarian class. The main reason for this special type of development is seen in the structural dependence of the peripheral on the core countries. "Développement inégal" is the result of the peripheral countries' integration in the capitalist world market (Amin, Développement). As an alternative to traditional strategies of development the concept of self-reliance concentrates on the following : confidence in one's own forces and own resources in order to satisfy basic needs via mobilization of the masses, broader participation, and concentration on the domestic market. This means that the concept of (selected) self-reliance is not compatible with a concentration on external resources or external demand, with the existence of class structures or social inequality , or the dependence on external decisions and outside culture . Insofar as the strategies of self-reliance are transferred to Europe , one has to be aware of a special contradiction. This results from the fact that the strategy has moved to Europe from countries which differ greatly from the European ones. That such a transplantation of theoretical approach was possible and also attractive makes evident the still existing lack of theoretical exactness within the concept of self-reliance. Until now the concept of self-reliance has more or less concentrated on economic aspects and has affected external trade, capital penetration, local resources, technological dependence, etc. This implies that social, political, and ideological aspects have been neglected or even ignored. That is why in this study socio-political and cultural implications of a strategy of self-reliance will be examined in more detail. The analysis will focus on a consideration of who can be the executor of such a strategy, or under what circumstances given...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 189-208
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.