Global Core and Periphery
The concept of a developed core surrounded by an undeveloped periphery. The concept can be applied at various scales.
- Economic core: The global economic core consists of the most advanced countries in the world which exhibit very high levels of investment in infrastructure and other economic and social activities. The populations of these countries enjoy the highest living standards in the world.
- Economic perophery: The global economic periphery is made up of countries with a much lower level of infrastructure and economic activity than the core. Per capita incomes is these countries are considerably lower than in the core countries.
- North-South divide: The simple division set out in 1980 between developed countries (mainly in the North) and developing countries (mainly in the South).
- Tiger economy: An economy that grows very rapidly in a short period of time.
World-Systems Theory: Wallerstein
Capitalism incorporated a growing number of previously more or less isolated and self-sufficient countries into a complex system of functional relationships. Within a system a division of labour operated, with the core countries as industrial producers and the peripheral areas as agricultural and other raw materials producers. The terms of trade were heavily skewed in favour of the core. The process of underdevelopment started with the incorporation of a particular external area into the world system. As the system expanded, first Eastern Europe, then Latin America, Asia and Africa, in that order, were peripherised. The semi-peripheral countries/regions form the most dynamic part of the system characterised by an increase in the relative importance of industrial production. The NICs are competing to varying degrees for core status. This theory recognises that some countries can brake out of the state of underdevelopment. The rise and fall of major economic powers forms part of the cyclical movements of the world system influenced by economic long waves. The criticism on Wallerstein's approach include:
- An approach based on the history of the capitalist world economy since its formation in the 16th century. Centuries fall into three economic levels - core, semi-periphery and periphery - and can move from one level to another if their contribution to the world economy changes.
- Too high level of eurocentricity by underrating the sophistication of other early trading systems (with regard to China, Japan and elsewhere in Asia)
- Too great a degree of simplicity in assuming a universal one-way flow of resources from the periphery to the core
- Failing to recognise the high level of competition between core nations by suggesting that they organise the world economy in order to maintain a core club
The Clark-Fisher model