Underdevelopment in two norths: the Brazilian Amazon and the Canadian Arctic

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The developmental scholar Andre Gunder Frank has constructed a model to explain regional underdevelopment within developed nations. Underdevelopment is defined as the inability to control the rents from local resources and limited input into political decision making. Frank applies this concept to the Brazilian Amazon as a satellite of southeastern Brazil and concludes that the Amazon region has underdeveloped due to the abrupt entry and withdrawal of capitalist investment. This article applies the Frank model to the Canadian North as a satellite of southern Canada and, using the historical examples of the fur trade, the Klondike gold rush, and the whaling and petroleum booms, concludes by noting that the entry and collapse of capitalist investment in the Canadian Arctic has led to a similar form of underdevelopment or dependency in that region. Underdevelopment and dependency in both regions are seen as a result of the collapse of economic, and primarily resource extraction, booms. -from Author

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