The semi-periphery functions as a go-between: it imports high technology from the core and in return exports semi-manufactured goods to the core. Second, socioeconomic development generates social changes that can potentially facilitate democratization.
By the late s opposition developed because the theory was too general and did not fit all societies in quite the same way. First, they argue that economic growth is more important for democracy than given levels of socioeconomic development. In the s, some critics argued that the link between modernization and democracy was based too much on the example of European history and neglected the Third World.
The dominant, neoliberal model of globalization often increases disparities between a society's rich and its poor. Naturally, such a policy leads to the growing dependence of developing countries on developed ones and, therefore, makes the socio-economic breakthrough impossible.
Historical materialism states that the colonized countries were bought into the global capitalist system as dependencies of their former colonial masters therefore cannot enter the global capitalist system such as modernization theory suggests.