THE RELEVANCE OF THE WORLD‐SYSTEM APPROACH IN THE ERA OF GLOBALIZATION OF ECONOMIC FLOWS AND NETWORKS

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

Is world‐systems analysis of any relevance to present‐day economic flows? By using methods in line with the world‐system and dependence theories, we show that economic flows – trade and foreign direct investment – still deeply separate core and peripheries. On the one hand, through the analysis of the trade by products, we show that core countries hold on to a higher position in the international division of labour. On the other hand, by using network method, we highlight that core countries are still characterized by the intensity of their reciprocal relations while peripheral countries have few economic relations with a limited number of core countries. Moreover, the article demonstrates that this core–periphery division of the world has not lost its pertinence; it is as relevant as at the end of the sixties. In the current era of globalization, economic flows are still deeply structured by basic power relations between core and peripheries. However, the article also develops a theoretical framework to understand dynamics of the world‐system and insists on the emergence of Eastern Asia as a new core area, notably by showing the rising position of some East Asian countries in the international division of labour. We conclude by underlying the necessity to integrate world‐system and global network theoretical frameworks.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0467.2012.00396.x

Affiliations: Institut de Gestion de l'Environnement et, d'Aménagement du Territoire – Université Libre de Bruxelles, Boulevard du triomphe, Bâtiment S, accès 5 – CP246, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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