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World Systems Theory by Immanuel Wallerstein Essay

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Updated: Jun 21st, 2021

All the countries in the world can be divided into two major groups that are core and periphery. Core countries are typically characterized by wealth and power in the world, whereas the periphery countries are the states that are not as independent financially (Steif par. 1).

As a result, there is a relationship between core and periphery countries where the former provides support and resources so that the latter allows them to exploit the remaining benefits they may possess.

Observing this tendency, it is easy to notice that in the contemporary globalizing society the core countries are those who benefit from the impact of globalization while the periphery states are those who struggle with it and need to seek help and protectorate from their wealthier neighbors giving up some of their independence for that.

The system with the core and periphery characteristics was developed by Immanuel Wallerstein and is called World Systems Theory, and it includes the third group of states recognized as semi-peripheral that possess the qualities of both dependent and dominant countries (“World-Systems Theory” par. 1).

The core and periphery areas develop due to the influences of various factors such as geographical position (climate, natural resources, access to water bodies), political development (conflict-free inner dynamics, connections with the other countries, successful trades), and scientific progress (high-quality education, medicine, and science) (“Global core and periphery” par. 5).

The relationships between core and periphery countries feed the capitalist and imperialist powers providing territory and labor force resources for the dominant states that they acquire using political and military powers and also by establishing trade relations that are more beneficial for the dominant countries (Marshall par. 3-4).

The Statecraft simulation presents a model of the world that can be described using the world systems theory of Wallerstein. In the simulation, there are six countries differ in their geographical locations, resources, political courses, and power. The core or periphery characteristics of these states can be determined by means of analysis for their territorial resources, leading political forces, and the overall development.

According to the provided support from the surrounding states and the industrial activity (visible from the labor and industrial expenses), the dominant states in the given model of a world are Jap-N, Panam, Mordor, and Boomerang Island. At the same time, Rordudordu and Jupiter represent the periphery and are dependent on their core neighbors in terms of resources and military support.

One may notice that the further development of the two states is slowed down due to their poor resources, and this creates an advantage for the core states. That way, such a situation is beneficial for the powerful regions of the world and maybe artificially maintained by means of deliberate limiting of the opportunities for the development of the weaker states.

The rules of Statecraft assume that the dominance of a few powers in the world allows establishing global peace, and this tendency makes it tempting for the core states to take over Sapphire Island that represents a convenient territory for military expansion and additional labor force as some of the main resources. The same rules are applicable to real-world politics.

Historically, the period of colonization was an example of the core powers to obtain as many resources as possible by invading smaller and weaker states. Today, the colonization looks differently and has a form of unions established by the core countries and forcing the periphery states to join and share their resources.

This tendency fits in the Marxist view of political economy that states that the capitalist states are inclined to accumulate power and wealth-creating imbalance and limiting the dependent states that are doomed to be exploited for their resources and labor power (“Marxist Theory of Political Economy” par. 19; Joshua par, 17).

Works Cited

Global core and periphery. 2015. Web.

Joshua, P. . Web.

Marshall, Gordon. . 2015. Web.

. 2006. Web.

Steif, Colin. . n. d. Web.

World-Systems Theory. 2015. Web.

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