World-System An interdependent system of countries linked by economic and political competition World-system processes • CORE – Industrialized capitalist countries or regions. • PERIPHERY – Exploited countries and regions (“poor”) • SEMI-PERIPHERY – Countries or regions with mixed processes. – Both exploited and exploiters. Results of World-System • The growth and strength of the Core is made possible by the exploitation of the rest of the world. • The “poverty” in the Periphery is made possible by the exploitation by the rest of the world. • Recent globalization has widened, not narrowed, the gap between Core and Periphery countries. Globalization is nothing new (Flows of goods, capital, information) World-System History • European colonialism/ slave trade, 1500s-1800s • Industrial Revolution/ wage labor, 1800s/ early 1900s • World War II/ Cold War/ decolonization, mid-1900s • Neocolonialism/ multinational corporations, late 1900s Why Europe? • Early technical innovations – Armor, gunnery from wars among many small states – Shipbuilding and navigation • Evangelical zeal – Crusades in Middle East – Missionaries in Americas • Law of Diminishing Returns – Drive for gold/ money reached limits at home —Land divided by inheritance Wars among small states Elements of a map Hegemony • Domination over a region or the world • Not just political or military control • Most pervasive is economic and cultural control Leadership cycles (competitive struggles) • Netherlands and Portugal, 1400s-1500s • United States and Soviet Union, 1945-1980s • Spain and Portugal, 1500s-1600s • United States and ……? 1990s-2000s • England and France, 1600s-early 1900s • European Union and East Asian bloc, 2010s ? • Germany and Japan, 1937-45 Industrial Revolution • Early-1800s – Britain (Hearth) --from slave cotton – Textiles, steam power, iron, canals • Mid-1800s – Diffusion to Germany, France, Belgium – Steel, railroads, steamships, telegraph • Late-1800s/ early-1900s – Spread to much of Europe, US, Japan – Electricity, oil, engines, roads, radio International Division of Labor • Core (colonial powers) need resources, labor • Periphery (colonies) has labor, resources • Colonies had “comparative advantages” in natural resources • The Core “underdeveloped” the Periphery, which was not “poor” of its own accord Imperialism, 1914 • • • • Britain France Spain Portugal • • • • • Netherlands Germany Russia U.S. Japan • Italy Geography Implicated • Ethnocentrism and racism • Imperialism and colonialism • Environmental determinism Imperialism: Formal Colonialism • Colonies under direct control • Core controls labor, resources, land • Often indirect political rule through local leaders Imperialism: Spheres of Influence Core dominated, but not controlled, trade and resources British opium war in China World War II Begins contemporary globalization Sudden shifts in economic hegemony, political power Sudden technological innovations Sudden growth of transportation, communications networks Nagasaki Late 1940s: U.S. dominant • Sole possession of atomic bomb to 1949 Frankfurt • War destroyed industries of Europe, Russia and Japan • U.S. finances reconstruction Anticolonial revolts • Colonial flags come down – Asia, 1940s-1950s, Africa 1960s-1970s • “Neocolonialism” continues – Ex-colonial powers still dominate economies, resources, cultures Cold War, 1949-1989 • US-USSR “hot wars” fought in Periphery • Periphery states competed for aid • Arms race depleted global social resources Multinational corporations • Investments, activities transcend borders • Subsidiaries in many Periphery/S-P countries Cartoon on Standard Oil, 1904 • Core domination, centralization outside state structure World divisions, late 20th century • First World - Industrialized capitalist countries of Western Europe, North America. • Second World - Centrally-planned “socialist” countries such as former Soviet Union. • Third World - Ex-colonial nations such as India, Malaysia, Iran, Brazil, etc. • Fourth World - Poorest nations (and indigenous communities) “North/South” Divisions • Poor countries tend to be located in Southern Hemisphere. • World Bank estimates more than 1.3 billion people (1/5 world population) live in acute poverty of < $1 (U.S.) per day. – 70% women and children – Self-Sustaining Regions of the “World Village” East Asians South Asians Africans European Latin Amer. North Amer. Oceania In a world village of 1,000: • 333 East Asians • 274 South Asians • 132 Africans • 120 Europeans • 86 Latin Americans • 50 North Americans • 5 from Oceania Household income • Average annual income $4,890 Less than $650 $650$35,000 Over $35,000 • 600 poor • 300 marginal • 100 well-off Ownership/consumption • 200 richest villagers own and consume 80% of goods 200 richest 800 others • Other villagers own and consume remaining 20% Material World: A Global Family Portrait Iceland Guatemala Japan Philadelphia Infant Mortality Red area high than at least 28 “Third World” countries, including: Jamaica Cuba Costa Rica Malaysia Panama Sri Lanka South Korea Taiwan Uruguay Argentina Chile The Core • Industrialized capitalist countries, led by former colonial powers • Centers of trade, technology, productivity. • Examples: Western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia • Exploit the Periphery and Semi-periphery. The Periphery Poor, ex-colonial nations. Tend to export resources and labor. Examples: Kenya, Bolivia, Pakistan, etc. Exploited by Core and by Semi-periphery The Semi-periphery • Partially industrialized ex-colonial countries. • Both exporters and importers of goods. • Examples: South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea, etc. (parts of India, China?) • Exploited by Core, but also exploit Periphery. New International Division of Labor • Industrial growth of Europe and Japan • Internationalization of economic networks • New global consumer markets • New global technologies Industrial growth of Europe, Japan • European economic bloc – Expanding to east, will it include western Russia? • Japan, other East Asian states – Four Tigers (Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong) – China as possible partner in new economic bloc? • Relative decline of U.S. in “Tripolar Economy” Internationalization of economics • TRADE – “Free trade” agreements – Standards “race to bottom” • FINANCES – 24/7 stock markets – Mobile investments • PRODUCTION – Overseas “sweatshops” – Core automating, losing industrial jobs New consumer markets • World products – Core luxury goods • Media diffusion – CNN, MTV, Hollywood • Semi-periphery consumers – Four Tigers, Oil states New technological innovations • • • • • • • • Microelectronics Personal computers Internet Satellites Aircraft Robotics (automation) Biotechnology Container ships/rail Digital Divide • Unequal access to telecommunications and information technology • 80% of websites in North America • 20% of population has 74% of phone lines “Fast” vs. “Slow” worlds • “Fast” (20%) has access to telecommunications, consumer goods, arts & entertainment. • “Slow” (80%) has limited access, more resentment of elites. • Search for “sense of place” in both areas to lessen alientation.