Economic-political interaction in the core/periphery hierarchy

Authored by: Mikhail Balaev

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


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In World-Systems Theory (WST), economic exchange over the centuries is viewed as the central mechanism of the capitalist world-system (Wallerstein 1974). Throughout history, more powerful countries (the core) created various political arrangements to facilitate the economic exploitation of the weaker states (the periphery) through the extraction of resources, division of labor, and trade. From the position of a neo-Marxist argument elevated onto a global scale, WST considers the accumulation of capital in the core as the primary goal of the interstate exploitative mechanism. This unequal nature of trade not only reproduces, but also reinforces the hierarchical structure of the interstate system: the core states remain at the top of the hierarchy and benefit by exploiting the peripheral states. By means of international trade, the rich countries become richer and the poor become poorer.

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