Extraction and the world-system

Authored by: Paul K. Gellert

Routledge Handbook of World-Systems Analysis

Print publication date:  May  2012
Online publication date:  May  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415563642
eBook ISBN: 9780203863428
Adobe ISBN: 9781135179151

10.4324/9780203863428.ch12_5

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Abstract

Extraction is fundamental to the structure and history of the world-system. As early world-systems analysts explained, extraction provides the basic raw materials for production and consumption, and in the capitalist world-system these raw materials are transformed into commodities with exchange values. Declining terms of trade and persistent unequal exchange renders extractive peripheries underdeveloped and ecologically impoverished. Far from an ephemeral period in the evolution of human societies, extraction in the peripheral regions endures and is thus vital to consideration of possible world-system futures.

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