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The Stratification of the World-Economy: An Exploration of the Semiperipheral Zone


Author(s): Giovanni Arrighi and Jessica Drangel
Source: Review (Fernand Braudel Center), Vol. 10, No. 1, Anniversary Issue: The Work of the
Fernand Braudel Center (Summer, 1986), pp. 9-74
Published by: Research Foundation of SUNY for and on behalf of the Fernand Braudel Center
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40241047
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Review,X, 1,Summer1986,9-74

The Stratification
of theWorld-Economy:
Zone*
An Explorationof theSemiperipheral

GiovanniArrighi
JessicaDrangel

oftheProblem
I. Statement
oftheworld-economy
features
LI. Oneofthemoststriking
ofstatesthatseemtobe
ofa significant
number
istheexistence
stationedin an intermediate
positionbetween
permanently
as
modernization
theorists
and
"backwardness,"
"maturity"
as depenwouldsay,or between"center"and "periphery,"
one may
wouldsay. By wayof illustration,
dencytheorists
suchas Argentina,
ofsomeLatinAmerican
think
Chile,
states,
This articlewas promptedby questionsraised in the Research WorkingGroup
Statesand in a previousprojecton thePoliticalEconomy
(RWG) on Semiperipheral
of SouthernEurope, both at the Fernand Braudel Center.The latterprojectwas
mainlyconcernedwithpoliticalchange in SouthernEurope. Its resultshave been
Stateswas formed
publishedelsewhere(Arrighi,1985a).The RWG on Semiperipheral
threeyearsago and has been concernedwiththe social and politicaleconomyof
developmentalprocessesthroughan examinationof selectedcase studies.Its results
willbe publishedin a book in 1987.At thistimeof writingthisarticle,thecountries
analyzed by and the personsinvolvedin the RWG werethe following:Argentina
(Roberto P. Korzeniewicz),Chile (Miguel Correa), India (James Matson), Israel
(BeverlyJ. Silver),Italy(GiovanniArrighi),Mexico (JessicaDrangel),Poland (Ravi
1986ResearchFoundationof SUN Y

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10

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

Mexico, and Brazil; of South Africa;and of most Southern


and EasternEuropeanstates,includingtheU.S.S.R.
In thecourseof thetwentieth
century,all thesestateshave
social
and economic transforexperienced far-reaching
often
associated
with
mations,
politicalconvulsions.Yet in
important
respectstheyhavefailedto"catchup" withtheselect
groupofstatesthat,at anypointoftime,havesetthestandards
of statusand wealthin theworld-system.
From thispointof
and
taken
a
of
their
as
view,
group states,
positiontoday
as itwas 50 or perhapseven 100
appearsto be as intermediate
yearsago.
The existenceof a relativelystable intermediate
group of
statesis at variancewiththe expectationsof modernization
and dependencytheoriesalike. Accordingto modernization
becausetheyare
theory,intermediate
positionsare temporary
transitional'.
Statescometo occupyintermediate
positionson
their way from backwardnessto modernity.In contrast,
accordingto dependencytheory,intermediatepositons are
becausetheyareresidual:The polarizingtendencies
temporary
of the world-economy
will ultimatelypull statesin intermediate positionstoward the centeror toward the periphery.
indeedoppositepremises,modernizaStartingfromdifferent,
tion and dependencytheoriesthus agree on the essential
of intermediate
instability
positions.1
1.2.Theseviewshavebeenimplicitly
orexplicitly
challenged
in the 1970'sby theories thatcame to emphasizetheimporPalat), Portugal(Carlos Fortuna),SouthAfrica(WilliamG. Martin),Taiwan(Dennis
in the
Engbarth),and Turkey(EyiipOzveren).We are indebtedto all theparticipants
RWG as well as to ImmanuelWallersteinand Brian Van Arkadieforstimulating
at variousstagesof preparationof thearticle.
discussions,comments,and criticisms
Special thanksare due to Bill Martinand BeverlySilverfordetailedcommentson an
earlierdraft,to BillDavis forcomputerassistance,and to RobertoKorzeniewiczand
of data.
TrevorAbrahamsforhelp in theelaborationand presentation
1. Thesetendencies
arestillevidentinmorerecentstudies.Thus,on theone hand,
Rostow (1978: 561, et passim) stressesthe nationaluniquenessof cases of stagnant
economicgrowth.On the otherhand,Amin(1982: 168, 196,etpassim) arguesthat
countriesface a bleak
polarization is immutable,and that semi-industrialized
economicfuture.

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

11

as qualifitanceofintermediate
positions.Mostlypresented
ofdependency
somebeganto
cationsandelaborations
theory,
center
intermediate
between
andperiphpositions
conceptualize
states
(Marini,1969)or "go"subimperial"
eryby defining
nations"
theories
between
1972).Other
(Galtung,
acknowledged
in generaland industrialthatdevelopment
thepossibility
occurwithin
stateswhilestillreproizationinparticular
might
of
a
structure
(Cardoso& Faletto,1979).
ducing
dependence
Theseimportant
andelaborations
ofdepenqualifications
Inthefirst
contain
twomainshortcomings.
dencytheory
place,
too
on
a
are
focused
that
of
the
case,
narrowly
they
special
or
"subordinate"
state
certain
"dependent"
epitomizedby
LatinAmerican
countries.
Thisfocusleavesoutofconsiderationsomeof themostsignificant
instancesof intermediate
- first
theU.S.S.R.,which,
status
andforemost
socio-economic
or subordinate,
farfrombeingdependent
is one ofthetwo
it
worldsuperpowers.
And, conversely, may lead one to
statescountries
includeamongintermediate
(suchas Canada)
thathave in all respectsattainedcore statusbut present
of"structural
features
dependency."
inquestion,
In thesecondplace,thetheories
whilecouched
in a world-systems
focuson individual
statesas
perspective,
oras theyexperitheycometooccupyintermediate
positions
ence"dependent
Thisleavestheanalysisopen
development."
tovariouskindsof"fallacies
ofcomposition"
inthesensethat
whatis foundto be trueforindividual
statesmaynotbe true
forgroupsofstates.
13. Building
Wallerstein's
theorizations,
upontheseprevious
of
was
introduced
to avoid
concept semiperiphery
precisely
theseshortcomings.
Thedetailsoftheconceptwillbecritically
inthesecondpartofthisarticle.Fornow,suffice
examined
it
tosaythatWallerstein
follows
theorists
in
assumdependency
in core-periphery
structured
relations.
inga world-economy
Theserelations,
do not linknationalor regional
however,
but
economies,as in mostversionsof dependency
theory,
economicactivities
in commodity
structured
chainsthatcut
acrossstateboundaries.
Core activities
are thosethatcommanda largeshareof thetotalsurplusproducedwithina

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12

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

commoditychain and peripheralactivitiesare those that


commandlittleor no such surplus.
All statesenclose withintheirboundariesboth core and
peripheralactivities.Some (corestates)enclosepredominantly
core activitiesand some (peripheralstates)enclosepredomitend
nantlyperipheralactivities.As a consequence,theformer
to be thelocus ofworldaccumulationand powerand thelatter
thelocus of exploitationand powerlessness.2
The legitimacyand stabilityof this highlyunequal and
polarizingsystemare buttressedby the existenceof semiperipheralstatesdefinedas those that enclose withintheir
activiboundariesa moreor less evenmix of core-peripheral
ties. Preciselybecause of the relativelyeven mix of coreperipheralactivitiesthat fall withintheirboundaries,semiperipheralstates are assumed to have the power to resist
althoughnotsufficient
powerto overcomeit
peripheralization,
and
move
into
the
core.
altogether
These assumptionshold for groupsof states(core, semiperipheral,peripheral)notforindividualstates:
Over timethe loci of economicactivitieskeep changing.. . . Hence
someareas"progress"and others"regress."Butthefactthatparticular
fromsemiperiphstateschangetheirpositionin theworld-economy,
eryto coresay,orviceversa,does notinitselfchangethenatureofthe
system.These shiftswill be registeredfor individual states as
The keyfactorto noteis thatwithina
"development"or "regression."
all statescannot"develop"simultaneously
capitalistworld-economy,
sincethesystemfunctionsby virtueof havingunequal
by definition,
core and peripheralregions(Wallerstein,1979:60-61;emphasisin the
original).

therelativeimportance
Accordingto thisconceptualization,
of each stratumor group of states remainsmore or less
constant throughoutthe historyof the capitalist worldeconomy (Hopkins & Wallerstein,1977: 129). This stable
is inturnassumed
oftheworld-economy
structure
three-tiered
arescatteredinbooks and articles
2. Wallerstein
's thoughtson thesemiperiphery
published over the last ten years. The most importantarticlescan be found in
in Wallerstein(1985).
Wallerstein(1979 and 1984) and themostrecentformulation

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

13

toplaya keyroleinpromoting
thelegitimacy
of
andstability
thesystem.3
In thisarticlewe shallbe exclusively
concerned
withthe
claimthatintermediate
statesconstitute
a distinct
structural
We shallinvestigate
whether
positionoftheworld-economy.
three
structural
of
the
canbe
distinct
positions
world-economy
and
whether
the
relative
of
identified,
empirically
importance
remained
more
or
eachstratum
hasactually
lessconstant,
not
oftheworld-economy,
overthewholehistory
butoverthelast
45 years.
theproblemhas no easysolution.
1.4.Evenso delimited,
on
Wallerstein's
thesemiperipheral
suggestions howtoidentify
In an earlywriting
zonearenottoo helpful.
on thetopic,he
answersthe question,"How can we tell a semiperipheral
whenweseeone?"byproviding
twocriteria:
one,"[in]
country
a systemof unequalexchange,thesemiperipheral
country
in termsoftheproducts
standsin between
it exportsand in
ofthewagelevelsandprofit
itknows";and,two,
terms
margins
direct
and
of
immediate
interest
the
stateas a political
"[the]
in
the
control
of
the
market
andinternamachinery
(internal
thanineither
thecoreortheperipheral
states"
tional)isgreater
(1979:71,72).
In a laterwriting,
wearetoldthatthesemiperiphery
countriesofLatinAmerica:Brazil,
includestheeconomicallystronger
Mexico, Argentina,Venezuela,possiblyChile and Cuba. It includes
thewholeouterrimof Europe: thesoutherntierof Portugal,Spain,
tier
Italyand Greece;mostof EasternEurope; partsof thenorthern
such as Norway and Finland. It includesa series of Arab states:
Algeria,Egyptand Saudi Arabia; and also Israel.It includesinAfrica
at leastNigeriaand Zaire,and in Asia Turkey,Iran,India,Indonesia,
China, Korea and Vietnam.And it includestheold whiteCommonwealth: Canada, Australia, South Africa,possibly New Zealand
(Wallerstein,1979: 100).

Itisimmediately
clearthatthislonglistofstates(accounting
forsomething
ontheorderoftwo-thirds
ofworldpopulation)
3. This is an additionalassumptionthatconcernsthefunctionofthesemiperipheral zone and thatis neithernecessarynorsufficient
to accountforitsexistence.

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14

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

is notbased on thetwocriteriagivenabove. It includesstates


that (1) export the most diversekind of products,(2) are
characterized
bythemostdiversewage levels(and, in as faras
we can tell,profitmargins),and (3) pursuethe mostdiverse
policiestowardtheinternaland worldmarkets.As a matterof
fact,thelistsimplyincludesall statesthatseemto occupyan
fromthepointof
intermediate
positionin theworld-economy
viewofeithertheirincomelevelsortheirpowerintheinterstate
system.The connection between such positions and the
of theworld-economy,
structure
as spelledout in theconcept
of semiperiphery,
is completelylost, and the listcould have
to such a concept.
been drawnup withoutanyreference
It is no wonderthateven sympathetic
scholarswho have
triedto use theconceptof semiperiphery
complainabout its
Thus, Milkman,who
ambiguitiesand lack of operationality.
over
welcomesthe conceptas "a long overdueimprovement
the two-categoryschemes still prevalentin much of the
theorizingabout internationalrelations,findsit "one of the
weakest and most ambiguous componentsof Wallerstein's
framework"
(1979: 264). And Evans,who uses theconceptto
situatehis "Brazilianmodel,"franklyadmitsthat"[until]the
and
has beenspecifiedtheoretically
idea ofthe'semi-periphery'
countrieshave been
the characteristics
of 'semi-peripheral'
a wayofasserting
betterelaborated,usingthetermis primarily
thatthereis a distinctcategoryof countriesthatcannot be
distinsimplyconsidered'peripheral'and yetare structurally
guishablefromcentercountries"(1979: 291).
which
This is a minimaluse oftheconceptofsemiperiphery
does notdo justiceto itsinnovativethrustand therichnessof
its theoreticaland practicalimplications.We shall therefore
and to
further
takeup Evans'schallengeto specify
theoretically
operationalizetheconceptin question.We shallbegin,in Part
II, by restatingand elaboratingWallerstein'sconceptualizaIn PartIII, we shallderivefromthis
tionofthesemiperiphery.
revisedconceptualization
operationalcriteriafortheempirical
As it
of thethreezones of theworld-economy.
identification
turnsout,theapplicationofthesecriteriato data coveringthe
thethreezonesin
period1938-83allowsus notonlyto identify

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

15

patternsof
question,but also to observesome interesting
ofeachof
of
as
a
whole
and
the
world-economy
development
of
the
article
will
and concluding
itszones.The fourth
part
of
theoretical
these
outline
the
main
implications
briefly
to be done.
andtheworkthatremains
findings
II. The Conceptof Semiperiphery

that
ILL It hasbeenremarked
remainsa prisoneroftheambiguityof
The conceptofsemiperiphery
without
its usages. For it refersus back to two different
definitions,
the
is
is
economic:
them.
One
semiperipherylocated
reallyreconciling
inspace and coversthoseregionswherethesumof"surpluses"coming
in and going out hovers around the zero point. This suggestsan
oftheworld-economy,
situationin thehierarchy
intermediate
linking
a negativebalance withthe"core" and a positiveone withother,less
is political.It emphasizes
advancedcountries The otherdefinition
thevoluntaryactionofstatesto improvetherelativepositionoftheir
countriesby acceptingcompetitionbut by pursuinga policy of
(Aymard,1985:40).
catching-up

is compounded
This ambiguity
by thefactthattheterm
an intermediate
usedtosuggest
is sometimes
"semiperiphery"
A confusion
of
the
in
the
interstate
system.
hierarchy
position
totheworlddivision
thepositionofa stateinrelation
between
forexample,
oflaboranditspositionintheinterstate
system,
countries
Wallerstein's
underlies
longlistof semiperipheral
inChirot's
toinPartI. Itshowsupmorespectacularly
referred
has reducedthe
claimthat,sincecompletedecolonization
coreandperipheral
between
states,formal
powerdifferential
of
haseliminated
theperiphery,
andthecountries
sovereignty
as
Asia,Africa,and LatinAmericacan nowbe categorized
(1977:148,179-81).
semiperipheral
weshallusetheterm"semipeTo avoidtheseambiguities,
to referto a positionin relationto the
exclusively
riphery"
to a positioninthe
worlddivisionoflaborandneverto refer
not
thatcommand
In
we
do
interstate
imply
system. doingthis,
arenas
are
notclosely
the
world
intheeconomicand political

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16

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

interrelated.
On thecontrary,we wantto emphasizethatthe
ofthe
separationofthetwotypesofcommandis a peculiarity
that
(as opposed to world-empires)
capitalistworld-economy
mustbe subjectedto close theoreticaland empiricalscrutiny
ratherthan assumedaway by postulatingtheiridentity(see
II.5, below).
II.2. As we turnto thedichotomycore-periphery,
through
whichworld-systems
oftheworldtheorydefinesthestructure
The dichotomy
economy,we arefacedwithmoreambiguities.
is meant to designatethe unequal distributionof rewards
thatconstitute
thesingleoverarchamongthevariousactivities
ing division of labor definingand bounding the worldeconomy.All theseactivitiesare assumedto be integratedin
commoditychains.4These chainscan be analyzedfromtwo
distinctpoints of view. One is that typical of classical
economicsas wellas ofitsMarxiancritique.It focuseson the
ofthetotalproductamonglabor incomes,propdistribution
to as "pure
ertyincomes,and a residualthatcan be referred
income.The otheris thattypicalof
profit"or entrepreneurial
world-systems
theory.It focuseson the distributionof the
totalproduct,notamongfactorsofproduction,butamongthe
variousnodesofthecommodity
chain("economicactivities")
each consistingof a combinationof differentfactors of
production.
Classicaleconomists(and Marx) purposefully
brushedaside
the
of
(mainly through
assumption pure competition)the
of
unitsof the same
inequality rewardsaccruingto different
in different
factorof productionas theyseek remuneration
at
the
centerofits
kindsofactivity.
World-systems
theoryputs
economists
had
what
classical
conceptualizationsprecisely
brushedaside. In doingthis,however,ithas retainedtheterm
"surplus"(throughwhichclassicaleconomistsdesignatednon4. "Take an ultimateconsummableitemand traceback the set of inputsthat
culminatedin theitem- thepriortransformations,
therawmaterials,thetransportationmechanisms,
thelabor inputintoeach ofthematerialprocesses,thefoodinputs
intothelabor. This linkedset of processeswe call a commoditychain"(Hopkins &
Wallerstein,1977: 128).

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Stratification
of World-Economy

17

itsmeaningin thenew
laborincomes)withoutclearlydefining
theoreticalconstruction.
In ourview,theuse oftheterm"surplus"is neithernecessary
relations.All we needis
norhelpfulin defining
core-periphery
of whetherthey
actors
that
economic
to assume
(irrespective
seek a remunerationfor labor-power,assets, or entrepreneurialenergies),farfromacceptingcompetitionas a datum,
endeavorto shift,and some succeedin shifting,
continuously
the pressureof competitionfrom themselvesonto other
actors.5As a result,thenodes or economicactivitiesof each
and everycommoditychain tend to become polarized into
positionsfromwhichthe pressureof competitionhas been
elsewhere(core-likeactivities)and positionsto
transferred
whichsuchpressurehas beentransferred
(peripheralactivities).
It followsthataggregaterewardsinperipheralactivitieswill
thatare onlymargintendto approachlevelsofremuneration
of
than
what
the
factors
productionengaged in
ally higher
themwould collectivelyfetchoutsidethe overarchingworld
divisionof labor. In contrast,aggregaterewardsin core-like
activitieswilltendto incorporatemostifnotall oftheoverall
benefitsof the worlddivisionof labor.6Whetheror not the
rewardsof each class of factorsof production(wages,rents,
and profits),as opposed to aggregaterewards,are higheror
issue. It
lower in core or peripheralactivitiesis a different
ofthecenter-periphery
5. This was indeedthespiritoftheoriginalformulations
dichotomyby Prebischand his associates(United Nations, 1950; Prebisch,1959).
account the dynamicand
This formulation,however,did not take into sufficient
See Hopkinsand Wallerstein(1977:115-16)and
long-term
aspectsoftherelationship.
II.3. below.
6. We maychoose to use theterm"surplus"as a short-handdesignationof the
betweenthetotalproductofa commoditychainand thetotalrewardsthat
differential
at theratesobtaining
wouldaccrueto factorsofproductioniftheywereremunerated
inperipheralactivities.Ifwedo so, wecan say(as wedid insection1.3.above) thatcore
activitiesare thosethatcommanda largeshareofthetotalsurplusproducedwithina
commoditychain and peripheralactivitiesare thosethatcommandlittleor no such
thisnotionofsurplusis quite
surplus.We must,however,be awarethat,conceptually,
distinctfromthatof surplus-valueused by Marx and the classical economiststo
incomes.
and entrepreneurial
designateproperty

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18

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

depends on how aggregaterewardsare distributedbetween


wages,rents,and profitswithineach activity.
To determinethis, we need additional assumptionsand
hypothesesthat do not pertainto the definitionof coreperipheralactivities.We may assumethatprofitsabsorb the
entiredifferential
betweentherewardsof core and peripheral
in whichcase wagesand/or rentswillbe thesamein
activities,
bothkindsofactivities.Or we mayassumethatwagesand/or
in whichcase profitswillbe the
rentsabsorb thedifferential,
same in core and peripheralactivities.Only under a most
restrictive
setofassumptionscan wetake,as Wallerstein
(1979:
71; 1984: 16), Chase-Dunn(1984: 87), and otherssuggestand
do, the level of wages (or of profit) as a criterionfor
coreand peripheral
set
activities.
Thisrestrictive
distinguishing
coreof assumptionsis neithernecessaryto definerigorously
peripheryrelationsnor useful in capturingthe varietyof
ofrewards)in and
situations(in termsoffactoraldistribution
which
been
relationshavehistorically
through
core-peripheral
take onlythe
reproduced.In whatfollowswe shall therefore
level of aggregate rewards as indicative of the core or
peripheralstatusof an activity.
II.3. We further
assumethatno particularactivity(whether
definedin termsof its output or of the techniqueused) is
can become
core-likeorperiphery-like.
inherently
Anyactivity
but
at a particularpoint in timecore-likeor periphery-like,
each has thatcharacteristic
fora limitedperiod.Nonetheless,
thereare alwayssome productsand techniquesthatare coreat anygiventime.7
likeand othersthatare periphery-like
Thereasonforthisassumption
isthat,following
Schumpeter,
we tracethefundamental
impulsethatgeneratesand sustains
competitivepressuresin a capitalist economy to profit7. This differentiates
our positionfromthat of Prebischand the Economic
has the
to in footnote5. Wallerstein
CommissionforLatinAmerica(ECLA) referred
relationsfrom any
meritof having disentangledthe concept of core-periphery
products)or
particularpair of products(such as raw materialsversusmanufactured
countries.He stillconfounds,however,thecorefromanyparticularpairofregions/
relationwiththeuseofmoreorlessmechanizedtechniques(see,forexample,
periphery
1984: 16).

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ofWorld-Economy
Stratification

19

orientedinnovations
definedas "the settingup of a new
thesetting
function"
(1964:62)or,inourterms,
up,
production
of
and
chains.
widening,
deepening, restructuringcommodity
innovations
includetheintroduction
of
Thusbroadlydefined,
ofproduction,
newcommodities,
newsourcesof
newmethods
and newformsof
supply,new traderoutesand markets,
organization.
oftheseinnovations
revolutionTheintrusion
"incessantly
izestheeconomic
within,
structure/rom
incessantly
destroying
theold one, incessantly
creatinga new one" (Schumpeter,
1954:83). In Schumpeter's
view,thisprocessof "creative
istheessenceofcapitalism.
On theonehand,itis
destruction"
"notonlythemostimportant
immediate
sourceofgains,but
theprocessitsetsgoing,most
alsoindirectly
produces,
through
fromwhichwindfall
ofthosesituations
gainsandlossesarise
andinwhichspeculative
operations
acquiresignificant
scope"
and
(1964: 80). On the otherhand,it causes disequilibria
combiitmakespreexisting
cutthroat
productive
competition;
losses(1964:80).
nationsobsolete;itinflicts
widespread
As a consequence,
[spectacular]prizesmuchgreaterthanwould have been necessaryto
call forththe particulareffortare thrownto a small minorityof
thana moreequal
winners,thuspropellingmuchmoreefficaciously
of
that
the
and more"just"distribution
would, activity
largemajority
of businessmenwho receivein returnverymodestcompensationor
and yetdo theirutmostbecausetheyhave
nothingorlessthannothing,
the big prizesbeforetheireyes and overratetheirchancesof doing
equallywell(Schumpeter,1954:73-74).

toexplicate,
usedthisconceptualization
among
Schumpeter
of long phasesof economic
otherthings,the alternation
orA-andB-phasesas theyare
and"depression,"
"prosperity"
in production
now called. By assumingthat revolutions
from
occurin discrete
functions
rushes,whichareseparated
each otherby spans of comparative
quiet,he dividedthe
into
oftheprocessofcreative
destruction
incessant
working
and
the
twophases- thephaseofrevolution
proper
phaseof
oftherevolution:
oftheresults
absorption

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20

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel
Whilethesethingsare beinginitiatedwe have briskexpenditureand
. . . and while[they]are beingcompleted
predominating
"prosperity"
and theirresultspour forthwe have the eliminationof antiquated
elementsof theindustrialstructure
and predominating
"depression"
(1954: 68).

innovaJustas Schumpeterassumed that profit-oriented


tionsand theireffects(the dampeningof competitionat one
at anotherpole) clusterin time,so
pole and itsintensification
we can assume(irrespective
ofthevalidityofthatotherclaim)
thattheyclusterin space. That is to say, we can substitute
"where"for"while"in the above quotationand read it as a
relationsin space, insteadof a
descriptionof core-periphery
descriptionof A-B phasesin time.8
II.4. Capitalistenterprises
are seldom,ifever,involvedin a
but
different
activitieswithintheirorganisingleactivity pool
zationaldomainsand willtherefore
be characterized
bymixes
ofcore-peripheral
activities.It followsthatin pursuingmaximum/higherprofitseach enterprisewill continuouslyendeavorto upgradethatmixbyentering
newfieldsofoperation
and abandoningothersas wellas transforming
theactivitiesin
whichit is involvedat any giventime.This is tantamountto
besidegenerating
sayingthateachcapitalistenterprise,
competitivepressuresthroughinnovations,is alwaysand simultaneouslyinvolvedin respondingto thepressurescreatedbyother
- that is in movingout of (or transforming)
the
enterprises
activitiesin whichthecompetitivepressureis highor increasactivitiesinwhichthecompetitive
ing,and entering
pressureis
low or decreasing.
Two thingsmustbe noticedabout thisprocess.First,itis a
zero-sumgame.As theriseofan activity
to corestatusimplies
thedeclineofone or moreotheractivitiesto peripheralstatus
(i.e., it impliesthatcompetitivepressureshave been shifted
8. We could,ofcourse,retainbothreadingsand tracethetwotypesofunevenness
to a commonsource.For a tentativestepin thisdirection,see Arrighi,
et al. (1986). It
should also be noticedthatthe previousquotationfromSchumpeter(1954: 73-74)
- unlesswe want
needsno changeto readas a description
ofcore-peripheral
relations
to make it more general by substituting"political and economic actors" for
"businessmen."

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

zi

the successof an
fromone activityto otheractivities),
in
its
mix
of
activities
upgrading
core-peripheral
enterprise
ofthe
more
or
less
a
generalized
downgrading
alwaysimplies
as
the
entermixesof otherenterprises.
Secondly,
capitalist
(of assets,expertise,
prise is a locus of "accumulation"
thepresent
andorganization),
knowledge,
capabilspecialized
toupgrade
itsmixofactivities
willtosome
itiesofanenterprise
extentdependuponitspastsuccessindoingso.
It followsthatcore activitieswill tendto clusterin a
smallgroupofenterprises
that,to borrowanother
relatively
"are
from
by natureand
Schumpeter, aggressor
expression
of
the
effective
wield really
(1954:89).As
weapon competition"
shouldbe clear by now, this"reallyeffective
weaponof
to
the
of
the
shift
is
continuously
ability
pressure
competition"
onto
from
one's
domain
activities
organizational
competition
a continuous
thatfall outsidethatdomain,by generating
withina givendomain,and/or by
streamof innovations
thedomainitselfin responseto otherenterprises'
shifting
tothisgroupofenterprises,
within
Weshallrefer
innovations.
as "corecapital"andtoits
tendtocluster,
whichcoreactivities
on
muchlargergroupofenterprises
obverse(thenecessarily
the pressureof competition
is
whosedomainof activities
as
1968).
shifted) "peripheral
capital"(see Averitt,
intotwo
activities
of core and peripheral
The clustering
in
doesnot andbyitself
different
produce
groupsofenterprises
into
ofthespaceoftheworld-economy
a similarpolarization
of
zones.To be sure,thepolarization
core and peripheral
have
a
at
will, anygiventime,
spatial
capitalistenterprises
dimensionin the obvioussensethatcore capitalmustbe
Wemayalsoassumethatcoreenterprises
locatedsomewhere.
tothesamelocationsbysomeexternal
areattracted
economy
we
And
thatensuesfromtheirsticking
maycallthe
together.
"core
zone."
locations
the
of
these
ensemble
of
anyspatialpolarization
Generally
speaking,however,
inthelongerrunbecausethe
unstable
thissortwouldbehighly
of locationsin the core zone would
"cost disadvantages"
"Thatistosay,the
"revenue
its
advantages.
inevitably
outstrip
ina corezoneis
forcorecapitalofoperating
mainadvantage

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22

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

theproximity
to thelargeand stablemarketsaffordedby the
high rewardsthat accrue to core activities.But these high
rewardsare to some extentalways reflectedin higherrents
and/or higherwagesthanthoseobtainedin peripheralzones.
The morecore capital crowdsinto a specificcore locale, the
more the disadvantagesassociated with these higherrents
and/or wagesare likelyto outstriptheadvantagesassociated
withproximityto highrevenuesand, therefore,
to triggera
relocationof core capital towardwhatpreviouslyweremore
peripherallocations.In the absenceof factorsotherthanthe
thepolaractivitiesofcapitalistenterprises,
profit-maximizing
ization of the space of the world-economyinto core and
volatile:While,at
peripheralzones would thusbe extremely
core
and
activities
wouldclusterin
anygiventime,
peripheral
different
locales,thespecificlocalesthatplaytheroleofcoreor
peripheralzone would be changingall thetime.
II.5. Otherfactors,however,are and historically
have been
at
work.
The
continuously
amongcapitalcompetitive
struggle
istenterprises
has not takenplace in a politicalvoid, but has
beencloselyinterrelated
withtheformationofstates- thatis,
offormally
territorial
sovereign
jurisdictions.
Followingworldwe
that
a
of such
systemstheory, assume, one,
multiplicity
states (each with autonomous responsibilityfor political
decisionswithinitsjurisdiction,and each disposingof armed
forces to sustain its authority)has been integralto the
formationof the world-economy,
and, two, that almost all
commoditychains of any importancehave traversedtheir
boundaries.
As each statehas formaljurisdictionoverthemovementof
enercommodities,assets,labor-power,and entrepreneurial
across
and
within
its
each
can
to
some
frontiers, state affect
gies
degreethe modalitiesby whichthe social divisionof labor
or enhancingthe freedomof underoperates.By restricting
or
taking
enteringspecificeconomic activities,states can
some
activities
to corestatusand downgradeothersto
upgrade
peripheralstatus they can, that is, affectthe very coreof theworld-economy.
peripheralstructure

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ofWorld-Economy
Stratification

23

stateapparahad a singleoverarching
Iftheworld-system
that
trueandcomplete
couldenforce
tus,thelatter
monopolies
of corewould be the main if not the onlydeterminant
relations.The same wouldbe trueof any state
peripheral
world
apparatusamongmany,iftherewereno overarching
divided
divisionoflabor.Butin a capitalist
world-economy
and continuously
of statejurisdictions,
intoa multiplicity
inproduction
of
innovations
shocks
to
the
endogenous
subject
thepowerofeach stateapparatusto shapecorefunctions,
is alwayslimitedbythepowerof other
relations
peripheral
statesto do the same and, above all, by the competitive
generated
byeconomicinnovations.
continuously
pressures
ina
statescanbeassumedtobeinvolved
Inthisconnection,
zero-sumgame analogousto the one playedout among
ends and
but withradicallydifferent
capitalistenterprises
means.The analogyliesin thefactthat,one,statesenclose
domaina mixof core-peripheral
withintheirjurisdictional
toupgrade,
thattheystrive
activities
and,two,thattheactual
mix
enclosed
of
the
byanyonestate(or groupof
upgrading
a
more
or
lessgeneralized
downgrading
states)alwaysimplies
ofthemixenclosedbyotherstates.Giventhefirst
assumption,
of coreof our definition
thesecondfollowsas a corollary
relations.
periphery
units.Nordo
are notprofit-maximizing
States,however,
activities
thatfall
theyorganizeand controltheeconomic
as capitalist
as closelyand directly
undertheirjurisdictions
of
states
is not the
The
function
do.
primary
enterprises
oftheirmonopofwealthbutthereproduction
accumulation
use of violenceovera giventerritory
oly of thelegitimate
againstchallengesfromotherstatesand fromtheirown
and use forcein
pursuelegitimacy
subjects.Statestherefore
- an objectiveand an instrument
that are
such a pursuit
the
alien
to
enterprise.
capitalist
normally
enterbetween
thesedifferences
capitalist
Notwithstanding
that
too
strive
to
we
assume
states
and
states,
upgrade
prises
mixofcore-peripheral
thedowngrading
of)their
(ortoprevent
character
that
Economic
command
hasa cumulative
activities.

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24

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

is wantingin political command because "wealth" can be


accumulatedmoreeasilythan"power."The capacityto bring
(cumulating)economiccommandto bear upon (noncumulating)politicalcommandis thusalwaysan important
ingredient
in the strugglefor legitimacyand power among states and
betweenstatesand theirsubjects.9
In a capitalistworld-economy,
thecapacityofstatesto do so
is always problematic.The main difficulty
is thateconomic
commandis largelydependentupon an innovativeparticipation in the worlddivisionof labor (II. 3), and thatcapitalist
haveprogressively
becomethespecializedagencies
enterprises
ofsuchparticipation
The
(II.4).
problemofupgradinga state's
mix of core-peripheral
activitiesis thuslargelya problemof
being able to attractand develop organic links with"core
capital" (as definedin the previoussection).This capacityis
ofa state'spoliticalpower- thechance
onlyinparta reflection
thatits commandswill be obeyedby otherstatesand by its
subjects.For thereasonsgivenbelow,itdependsequallyifnot
more on the extentto whicha state has alreadydeveloped
organiclinkswithcorecapitaland,therefore,
alreadyencloses
withinitsjurisdictiona predominantly
core mix of activities.
Thisdependenceofthepresentand futurecapacityofa state
to upgradeitsmixofcore-peripheral
activitieson itsprevious
successin doingso, generates,to use Myrdal's(1956) expression, processesof "circularand cumulativecausation" that
have been thebread and butterof dependencytheory.These
processes are most obvious and plausible when they are
to the oppositeends of the spectrumformedby the
referred
variousmixesof core-peripheral
activitiesenclosedby states:
the peripheralend, consistingof statesthatenclosepredom9. It is not, however,the only ingredient.Economic peripherallycan be
compensatedor more than compensatedin the political arena by size, ideology,
organization,and politicalinnovationsofvariouskinds(see Schurmann,1974).This
was demonstratedin a strikingway by the militaryand politicaldefeatof the most
smalland economicallyperipheralstate
powerfulcore state(the U.S.) bya relatively
affectthe relative
(Vietnam). At the same time,the defeatdid not significantly
economiccommandofthetwostates,whichremainedas core(U.S.) and as peripheral
(Vietnam)as theywerebeforetheconfrontation.

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

25

of
and thecoreend,consisting
activities,
inantly
peripheral
coreactivities.
statesthatenclosepredominantly
Giventhelargegap betweenthemixesthatcharacterize
theassumption
thatcorestateshave
thesetwogroupsofstates,
thanperipheral
statesto retain/
ata muchgreater
capability
their
is relatively
tractcorecapitalwithin
jurisdiction
easyto
the
differential
between
For thelarge(and growing)
justify.
activities
andthosethataccrue
thataccruetocore-like
rewards
ina capability
activities10
is necessarily
reflected
toperipheral
ofperipheral
ofcorestates(anda corresponding
incapability
to
the
most
remunerative
outlets
of
to
control
access
states)(1)
to
the
infrastructure
all majorcommodity
chains,(2) provide
and(3) tocreatea
andservices
activities,
required
bycore-like
to capitalist
entrepreneurship.
politicalclimatefavorable
Thismeansthatcorestatescontroltherevenue
advantages
ofcorelocationsand can use thatcontrolbothto developa
relation
withthecorecapitalthatis alreadylocated
symbiotic
morecorecapitalfrom
andtoattract
their
within
jurisdiction,
To
statescontrolthe
locations.
be
sure,
peripheral
peripheral
locations.Generally
ofperipheral
costadvantages
speaking,
however,
theycannotuse thiscontrolto competeeffectively
corecapitalfortwomainreasons.
withcorestatesinattracting
number
ofperipheral
the
muchlarger
Inthefirst
given
place,
tobargainandobtain
itiseasierforthelatter
thancorestates,
thanit
locations
ofperipheral
freeaccesstothecostadvantages
to bargainand obtainfreeaccessto the
is fortheformer
the
ofcorelocations.As a consequence,
revenueadvantages
locations
isfarmore"dependent"
ofperipheral
costadvantage
ofcorelocations
on a freeaccessto therevenueadvantages
on a freeaccessto theformer.
thanthelatteraredependent
In thesecondplace,andcloselyrelatedtotheabove,inthe
environment
by retypicalof thecorezone- characterized
and
infrastructures
and
efficient
munerative
services,
markets,
tocapitalist
climate
favorable
a political
highcosts
enterprisein questioncan be assumed
10. On thecircumstances
underwhichthedifferential
to be not onlylargebutalso growing,see footnote16.

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26

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

arenotan obstaclebutan incentive


to thecontinuousstreamof
innovationsthatis requiredto reproducethezone'scorestatus.
In contrast,
intheenvironment
zonetypicaloftheperipheral
characterized
ineffianddiscontinuous
markets,
byfragmented
cientinfrastructure
and services,and a politicalclimateoften
- high costs are
unfavorableto capitalistentrepreneurship
powerlessin sustaininginnovationswhile low costs simply
providean incentiveto organizeperipheralactivities.11
It followsthat,overtime,corestatesand corecapitaltendto
develop a symbioticrelationshipthat increaseseach other's
capabilityto consolidateand reproducetheirassociationwith
core-likeactivities.The obverseof this tenpredominantly
is
the
endemic
dency
inabilityof peripheralstatesto escape
their association with predominantlyperipheralactivities.
Taken together,the two tendenciesimply a stable if not
intoa
growingpolarizationofthespace oftheworld-economy
core
and
a
zone.
peripheral
II.6. Thisconclusionis plausiblewhenreferred
to statesthat
havejurisdictionovera mix of core-peripheral
activitiesthat
fallseitherbelow a verylow thresholdof core-likeactivities
presentin themix(peripheralstates)or above a muchhigher
threshold(core states). There is no reason, however,for
supposingthatitappliesto all thosestatesthathappento have
jurisdictionover a more or less even mix of core-peripheral
activities(semiperipheral
states).
Thesestateswillbe subjectto thesamepolarizingtendencies
thatcontinuouslyreproducethecore and peripheralzones of
the world-economy.Yet the more or less even mix of coreperipheralactivitiesthatfalls undertheirjurisdictionoffers
11. Anotherreasonlowerwagesintheperipheralzone failto attractcoreactivities
on
is thattheyarenormallyaccompaniedbytendenciesthatoffset
theirpositiveeffects
costsofproduction.Since therewardsin peripheralactivitiesare,bydefinition
(II. 3),
onlymarginally
higherthanwhatfactorsofproductioncould earnoutsidethesocial
in rewardsis largelya wage
divisionoflabor oftheworld-economy,
ifthedifferential
there will be a strongtendencyamong peripheralhouseholdersto
differential,
withdrawperiodicallylabor-powerfromthe circuitsof the world-economy.As a
consequence,labor suppliesand outletsforcapitalistproductionbecomeevenmore
discontinuousand unreliablethantheypreviouslywerewithobviousnegativeeffects
on profitability.

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Stratification
of World-Economy

27

statesthechanceto resistperipheralization
by
semiperipheral
exploitingtheirrevenueadvantagevis--visperipheralstates
and theircostadvantagevis--viscorestates.Theymaydo this
ina numberofways.Theymayattemptto obtainsomekindof
the
isolation fromcompetitivepressuresby strengthening
thatfall
linkagesthatconnectthecoreand peripheralactivities
withintheirboundariesat theexpenseofthelinkagesthatcut
acrossthoseboundaries.Or theymaytryto followtheopposite
one or anothercost advantage of
policy of strengthening
theirjurisdictionin competition
located
within
production
withcore locales. Or theymaytrysome combinationofthese
two strategiesin an attemptto have the best of two worlds:
someprotectionofcore activitieswithintheirboundariesand
of competitionin the core activitieslocated
intensification
stateactionin
outsidetheirboundaries.Whateverthestrategy,
zone does makea difference:
thesemiperipheral
Byselectively
tendenciesof the world-econexploitingthe peripheralizing
stateswillnormallymanageto counteract
omy,semiperipheral
them.
These strategies,
however,willgenerallybe counterproductive fromthe point of view of upgradingthe mix of corezone.To the
ofstatesinthesemiperipheral
peripheralactivities
statessucceedin isolatingthecoreextentthatsemiperipheral
like activitieslocated withintheirjurisdictionfromworld
competitivepressures,theyalso deprivethemof the advantages of operatingin a wider economic space and of the
incentiveto generatethe continuousstreamof innovations
whichalone,in thelongrun,can reproducecorepositions.To
statessucceedin enhancingthe
theextentthatsemiperipheral
cost advantagesof locations withintheirjurisdictions,prozone can effectively
ducersinthesemiperipheral
competewith
in
the
zone.
This
core
competition,however,far
producers
mix
of
activitiesof the
the
fromupgrading
core-peripheral
zone,is one ofthemechanismsthatturnscoresemiperipheral
likeactivitiesintoperipheralactivitiesand keepsthemixofthe
zone moreor lesseven.
that
does notexcludethepossibility
This conceptualization
innoindividualsemiperipheral
states,pursuinga particularly

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28

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

vativecombinationof economicpoliciesand/or blessedby a


world-economicconjuncturethat gives them some strong
competitive
advantage,can upgradetheirmixofcore-peripheralactivities
untiltheybecomecorestates.Nordoes itexclude
thatperipheralstatescan similarlymoveintothesemiperipheral zone. On the contrary,these transitionsmust be considered not only real possibilitiesbut key mechanismsof
reproductionof the threeseparatezones of the world-econstatesto escape
omy.Justas theendemicinabilityofperipheral
theirassociationwithpredominantly
is the
peripheralactivities
obverse of the core state's capabilityto consolidate their
associationwithpredominantly
core-likeactivities(II.5), so
theinabilityofthebulkofsemiperipheral
statesto moveinto
thecore(and ofperipheralstatesto moveintothesemiperiphery)is theobverseofthesuccessofsomestatesto upgradetheir
mixofcore-peripheral
activitiesand moveto a higherposition.
Our conceptualizationdoes imply,however,that these are
and thattherule
exceptionsthroughwhichtheruleis enforced,
is forstatesto remaininthezone inwhichtheyalreadyhappen
to be.
II.7. In sum, statesare not passive recipientsof mixes of
core-peripheralactivities.Although all of them striveto
upgradeor at leastto preventthedowngradingofthemixthat
fallsundertheirjurisdiction,
thecapabilityactuallyto succeed
in theendeavoris notequallydistributed
amongall states.It
variesdiscontinuously
withtheweightofcore-likeactivitiesin
themixthatalreadyfallsundera statejurisdiction.
According to our conceptualization,the interactionof
economicand politicalprocessesof the world-economy
produces a frequency
distribution
ofworldpopulationbythemix
ofcore-peripheral
activitiesofthestateofresidenceofthetype
shownin Figure 1. The distribution
is assumedto be highly
skewedtowardthelowerend of therangeof core-peripheral
farmore
mixesbecauseperipheralactivitiesare,bydefinition,
crowdedthan core activities.Point PC on the x-axis correspondsto thethresholdabove whichstateshavethecapability
to upgradethemixthatfallsundertheirjurisdiction,
so as to

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Stratification
of World-Economy

Figure1:

29

HypotheticalDistributionof WorldPopulation (Percentageof World


Population by Mix of Core-PeripheralActivitiesof the State of
Residence)

theircoreposition;andpointPP corresponds
consolidate
to
thethreshold
belowwhichstateshavelittleor no power,not
thedowngrading
oftheir
onlytoupgradebutevento prevent
mixprovoked
ofcorepositions.
Weshall
bytheconsolidation
refer
to thesethresholds
as "perimeter
ofthecore"(PC) and
oftheperiphery"
thefactthat
(PP) to designate
"perimeter
the
lower
of
the
corezone
theydefine,
respectively,
boundary
oftheperipheral
andtheupperboundary
zone.12
ofthecore"(and, byanalogy,theterm"perimeter
ofthe
12. The term"perimeter
sense(see
is takenfromLange (1985) who,however,uses itin a different
periphery")
Arrighi,1985b:247).

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30

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

Betweenthesetwo thresholdslies thesemiperipheral


zone,
thatis theensembleof all statesthat,because of themoreor
lessevenmixofcore-peripheral
activitiesoverwhichtheyhave
the
to
wield
jurisdiction,
power preventthe downgradingof
theirmixbuthave littlepowerto promoteitsupgrading.This
tri-modaldistributionallows us to give a preciseanalytical
becauseitprovidesus
meaningto theconceptofsemiperiphery
with two obvious cuttingpoints through which we can
unequivocallysingleout threegroupsofstatesor zones ofthe
and a core
world-economy:a peripheral,a semiperipheral,
the three
zone. All we need at thispointin orderto identify
zonesis someoperationalmeasurement
ofthevariousmixesof
activities.
core-peripheral
III. The Stratification
of theWorld-Economy:
An EmpiricalAnalysis
///./.It must be stated at the outset that there is no
betweenperiphoperationalwayofempirically
distinguishing
of classifying
eral and core-likeactivitiesand therefore
states
accordingto the mix of core-peripheralactivitiesthat falls
undertheirjurisdiction.As repeatedlyemphasized(II. 2, II.3),
no lineor techniqueofproductioncan, in and ofitself,define
an activityas core-likeor periphery-like.13
Whethera particular activityis one or the otheralwaysdepends on its everwithall
ofcooperationand competition
changingrelationships
other activitiesof the world-economy.In order to classify
activitiesas core-likeor periphery-like,
we would minimally
need a completemap of all commoditychains of the worldeconomy,as wellas an assessmentof therelativecompetitive
pressureat each of theirnodes. This is in itselfan impossible
task whichwould onlyraise further
problemsof meaningful
and aggregationof thedata collected.
quantification
13. The mostsophisticated
at classifying
statesaccordingto activities
are,
attempts
to our knowledge,Snyderand Kick (1979) and Nemethand Smith(1985). While
thethreezones of theworld-economy,
thesestudiescan be
unhelpfulin identifying
structural
veryvaluable in definingthetradepatternsof statesin different
positions
once thesepositionshave been identified
on some othergrounds(see III.6 below).

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ofWorld-Economy
Stratification

31

wedo notneedtoundertake
suchan exercise.
Fortunately,
activitiesplay in world-systems
Mixes of core-peripheral
in
a roleanalogoustothatplayedby"marginal
utility"
theory
in
or
"labor
neo-classical
embodied"
Ricardian
pricetheory
ofvalue.Allsuch"quantities"
andMarxiantheories
playa key
but cannotbe
role in theirrespective
conceptualizations
Whatmatters
istobeableto
todirect
measurement.
subjected
from
theconceptualization
a setofempirically
verifiable
derive
measurements
of
thatcanprovideus withindirect
hypotheses
variables.
key
is highly
Fromthispointof viewour conceptualization
to
our
core
assumptions, activities
operational.According
thatincorporate
rewards
commandaggregate
most,ifnotall,
oftheworlddivisionoflabor,whereas
oftheoverallbenefits
thatincorrewards
commandaggregate
activities
peripheral
if
those
II.
2.
of
benefits
above).The
(see
poratefew, any,
in themixfalling
activities
greatertheweightof peripheral
theshareof
ofa givenstate,thesmaller
thejurisdiction
within
oflaborcommanded
oftheworlddivision
thetotalbenefits
by
thegreaterthe
of thatstate.And,conversely,
theresidents
thelargertheshareofthosebenefits
ofcoreactivities,
weight
inthe
ofa state.Thedifferences
commanded
bytheresidents
of theworlddivisionof labor
commandovertotalbenefits
in
in commensurate
differences
be reflected
mustnecessarily
theGNP percapitaofthestatesinquestion.
We can therefore
take GNP per capita expressedin a
unit as an indirectand approximate
commonmonetary
thatfall
activities
ofthemixofcore-peripheral
measurement
ofa givenstate.WetakethelogofGNP
thejurisdiction
within
skeweddistribution,
percapita,notonlybecauseofitshighly
than
intherelative
rather
becauseweareinterested
butmainly
take
states.
And
we
GNP
theabsolutedifferences
among
per
ratesbecauseweare
exchange
capitainU.S. dollarsatmarket
in commandoverworldeconomic
in differences
interested
in actualstandardsof
resourcesratherthanin differences
living.14
countriesconverted
14. The problemsofcomparingGNP percapita of different
theuseofmarketexchangeratesarewell-known.
unitthrough
intoa commonmonetary

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32

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

III.2. Usingdata fromthesourcesspecifiedin AppendixI,


populationby state (as percentageof total population)was
plottedby thelog of GNP per capita in 1970U.S. dollars,by
intervalsof one-tenth.The resultingfrequencydistributions,
smoothedby means of a three-intervals
movingaverage,are
in
shown Figure2. As can be seen,fiveoutofninedistributions
(1938, 1950, 1975, 1980, and 1983) are roughlytri-modal,
whereasthe tri-modality
of the distributions
for 1948, 1960,
and
1970
is
more
doubtful.
1965,
especially
In all instances,however,the distributionspresentthe
ofFigure
followinganalogieswiththeideotypicaldistribution
1: (1) All havea maximumin thelowerrangesofloggedGNP
per capita thatstands out as an obvious "peripheralmode"
(PM); (2) at theotherextremeof the range,all turnupward
a local maximumthatcan be identified
as the"core
generating
mode" (CM); (3) all but the 1960distribution
(whichhas two
intermediate
peaks of equal frequencyseparatedby a single
have
one intermediate
interval)
peak (separatedfromthecore
and peripheralmodesbyone ormorelow-frequency
intervals),
whichwe can identify
as the"semiperipheral
mode" (SM). In
thecase of 1960,we have somewhatarbitrarily
chosenas the
the
interval
between
the two
mode
semiperipheral
falling
peaks.
The factthatthethreezonesare inmostinstancesseparated
intervals,ratherthanbysingle
by one or morelow-frequency
in
and
as
PC)
Figure1, does notin anyway
cuttingpoints(PP
contradictour previousconceptualization.On the contrary,
the longerthe low-frequency
stretch,the strongermustwe
and
considerthe evidencethatthe periphery,
semiperiphery,
core zones constituteseparate structuralpositions of the
commandon the
whatcurrencies
Theyderivefromthefactthatexchangeratesreflect
oftherespective
worldmarketratherthanwhattheycommandwithinthejurisdictions
states. Studies are in progressto findconversioncriteriathat will make national
accounts comparable in termsof currencypurchasingpower ratherthan implicit
resources(see Kravis,et al., 1975,1978,1982).From
commandoverworld-economic
our pointofview,however,theproblemdoes notarisebecauseourconceptualization
refersto commandover worldeconomic resourcesand not to actual standardsof
living.

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I
I
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II

Cm

0>
JZ
<*-!

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s
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36

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

stretches,however,do
world-economy.
Long low-frequency
not provide obvious cuttingpoints at which to set the
boundariesbetweenthezones,as theyoftenpresentmorethan
one minimumthatcould be legitimately
chosenas theactual
The
we
have
boundary. codingprocedure
adopted(see Appendix II) represents
a compromisebetweentheneedto definethe
zones in the spiritof our previousconceptualizationand the
needto retainforfurther
analysisas manyfeaturesas possible
oftheactual distributions.
both the discrepancies
Generallyspeaking,in interpreting
and thesimilarities
betweentheactualdistributions
ofFigure2
and theideotypicaldistribution
ofFigure1, itshouldbe borne
in mindthatthelatterrefersto spans of timelong enoughto
allow structural
factorsto counteracttheshort-term
of
effects
randomfactorsand themedium-term
effectsof conjunctural
factors.The varioussmoothingprocedureswe adopted,as well
as those alreadyembodied in our data base, weremeantto
eliminateas many random influencesas possible fromthe
observeddistributions.
The factthat,evenafterthesmoothing,
some of thesedistributions
are stilla verypale reflection
of a
tri-modaldistributionis in part due to the influenceof the
conjuncturalfactorsthatwe shall presentlydiscuss.In part,
however,it is due to thefactthatrandomshocksare notjust
on the"normal"workingofthesystem
influences
"disturbing"
butare integralto it. Innovationsand paritiesamongnational
forexample,are bothkeysystemicfeaturesof the
currencies,
But both are also generallysubjectto some
world-economy.
degree of randomnessin theiroccurrenceand short-term
effects.15
15. In theveryshortrun,theeffects
ofinnovationson thedistribution
ofbenefits
havea strongrandomcomponentinthesensethatbenefits
and lossesinitially
accrueto
states and enterprisesaccordingto the particularcombinationof resourcesthey
happen to "sit on," ratherthan or in addition to theirpast, present,and future
These randomeffects,
capabilitiesto appropriatebenefits.
however,willimmediately
triggeroffactions and reactionswhich,over time,will reshapethe distributionof
benefitsin accordanceto relativecapabilities.
Mutatismutandis,similarconsiderationsapplyto anotherkeyfactorin the
distribution
ofbenefits:
thesystemofparitiesat whichthevariousnationalcurrencies
exchangewitheach other.At any giventime,a moreor less largenumberof such

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

37

of Figure2
Grantedall this,the observeddistributions
of
the
influences
are
More
random
that
only
part
story.
suggest
nine
five
of
distributions
that
out
show
the
fact
specifically,
in
of
clear
features
that, all
tri-modality
suggests
roughbut
influences
ofthekindassumedin our
likelihood,
systematic
In orderto assessthe
at
work.
are
indeed
conceptualization
letus nowturnto an
extentand natureoftheseinfluences,
analysisofourninedistributions.
intertemporal
III.3. The modesofthethreezonesforthevariousyears
havebeenplottedin Figure3, and the
underconsideration
ofworldpopulation
distribution
cumulative
byzoneinFigure
line
1948
and 1950),it
a
not
are
4. Whenpoints
(as
joinedby
Whentheyarejoinedbya
meansthattheyarenotcomparable.
is
brokenline(as 1950and 1960),itmeansthatcomparability
limited
(see AppendixI).
The two chartsbringintoreliefdifferent
aspectsof the
of the world-economy.
stratification
Figure3 showsthe
overtimeofthedistanceorgapbetween
evolution
zones,and
sizeor
of
their
relative
time
over
evolution
4
the
shows
Figure
weight.
sizesof,
andrelative
Whenwefocusonthedistance
between,
from
thecoreandtheperipheral
zones,twomainfactsemerge
thetwozones(as measured
ourcharts.First,thegapbetween
ofthelogs[or bytheratio]oftheirmodal
bythedifference
intheperiodunderconsiderGNP percapita)has increased
ationbuttheentireincreasehas occurredsincethemiddle
1960's.As can be seen fromFigure3, the core and the
in 1938-48,
slow
modesexperienced
rapidgrowth
peripheral
In
these
all
in
1960-65.
growthin 1950-60and zerogrowth
periodsthetworatesof growthwereidentical.After1965,
itsascentin stepthecoremoderesumed
however,
although
so that
modestagnated
theperipheral
likebutsteadyfashion,
paritiesare criespar hasard (as Walras would have said), that is, theyincludea
randomcomponentthat will be reflectedin the observeddistributionof benefits
among states. Only in the longerrun,will the relativecapabilitiesto appropriate
benefitsemergeas the key determinantof both the systemof paritiesand the
of incomes.
distribution

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'S.

eu

z
o

<u
G

i
38

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0)

.so

ci

.52
3
a.

I
O

"S
.
CO

.S

1i
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u.

39

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40

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

in 1983 it stillwas at its 1960 level. Secondly,as can be seen


fromFigure4, therelativesizeoftheperipheralzone increased
sharplyfrom3-4timesthesize ofthecorezone in 1938/1948/
1950to 7-9 timesin 1960/1965/1970.Thereafter,
however,it
in 1980/1983moreorlessits1938/1948/
hasdeclined,attaining
1950level.
as evidencethatoverthelast
Thesetrendscan be interpreted
have
45 yearsthepolarizingtendenciesoftheworld-economy
not lessenedbutchangedin intensity
and mode of operation.
In the 1940'sno polarizingtendenciesare in evidence.From
1950 up to themiddle1960'stheymaterializedin a widening
(i.e., in an increaseintherelativeproportion
peripheralization
of worldpopulationlocatedin theperipheralzone); sincethe
middle1960's,in contrast,theyhave materializedin a deepening peripheralization(i.e., in a wideningof the gap that
separatesthecoreand theperipheralzones). The netoutcome
has beenthefollowing:Whilethesize oftheperiphery
relative
to thatofthecoreis intheearly1980'smoreor lesswhatitwas
in the 1940fs,thegap betweenthemodal rewardsof thetwo
zones has widenedappreciably.16
If we now switchour focusto thesemiperipheral
zone, we
are struckby the fact that the polarizingtendenciesof the
have in the long run failedto affectin any
world-economy
the
size and position of the semiperipheral
significantway
considerableshort-to medium-term
zone. Notwithstanding
fluctuations,
bytheearly1980's,itsmodeoccupiedas intermediate a positionas it did in 1938 or in 1950 (see Figure 3).
to noticethatthesize of thesemiMoreover,it is interesting
itshouldbe borneinmindthata constantdegreeof
thisfinding,
16. In interpreting
positionsoftheworld-economy
polarizationbetweenanytwoofthethreestructural
activitiesas in Figure 1) impliesa
(expressedin termsof mixesof core-peripheral
growingor a narrowinggap expressedin loggedGNPPC accordingto whetherthe
benefitsoftheworlddivisionoflabor can be assumedto be increasingor decreasing
over time. Since the threestructuralpositions are definedin termsof unequal
capabilitiesof statesto appropriatethose benefits,if the inequalityin capabilities
thegap betweentherewardsofthose
remainsthesamebutthebenefitsareincreasing,
whohavelowerand thosewhohavehighercapabilitiesshouldalso increase(and ifthe
benefitsare decreasing,thegap betweenrewardsshouldalso decrease).

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ofWorld-Economy
Stratification

41

constant
zonehas remained
remarkably
throughperipheral
outtheperiod(see Figure4).
The picturethatemergesfromFigure3 is one of two
to thetrajectories
ofthe
rigidlines(corresponding
relatively
core
a
within
and
whicha
zones)enclosing space
peripheral
line(corresponding
tothetrajectory
moreflexible
ofthe
third,
moves
and
down
between
the
zone)
up
"ceiling"
semiperipheral
ofthecorezoneandthe"floor"setbythe
setbythetrajectory
oftheperipheral
zone.Whentheintermediate
line
trajectory
as itdoesinthedecade1960-70
(orthe
getsclosetotheceiling,
thesemiperiphery
between
andthecore
floor),theboundaries
2
in
to
tend
be
the
blurred
and the
(or
periphery) Figure
to
distribution
seem
have
turned
may
frequency
corresponding
bi-modal.
effect
ofthe
This,however,
provesto be onlya temporary
the
the
of
to
which
and
trajectory
semiperipheral
pulls pushes
as
zoneis subject.Thesepullsandpushescan be interpreted
zoneis subjectto
evidenceofthefactthatthesemiperipheral
thatkeepthecoreandperiphtendencies
thesamepolarizing
thesemiperipheral
eralzoneswideapart.Yetinrelative
terms,
and
andagainin 1970-83)
loses(as in 1938-48
zonesometimes
fromthesetendencies,
and
benefits
sometimes
(as in 1950-70)
thesemiperiphery
as a
iswhathasreproduced
thisalternation
of
the
structural
distinct
world-economy.
position
our claimthatsemiseemsto substantiate
This finding
exploitingthe
peripheralstatesare capable of selectively
of the world-economy
so as to
tendencies
peripheralizing
their
mix
of
of
the
core-peripheral
prevent downgrading
to attaincore status(II.6).
activitiesbut not sufficiently
themainreasonfor
to ourassumptions,
However,
according
oftheworld-economy
structure
ofa three-tiered
theexistence
endowed
ofstatejurisdictions
intoa multiplicity
is itsdivision
to enforce
withunequalcapabilities
/resist
peripheralization.
Statesintheuppertierfinditrelatively
easyto remainthere;
to move
difficult
statesin the lowertierfindit extremely
in
the
tier
have
the
middle
and
states
generally
upward;
the
to
but
not
to
resist
capability
peripheralization
capability
of
moveintotheuppertier.Upwardanddownward
mobility

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42

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

individualstatesis thusnot excludedbut consideredexceptional(II.6).


It followsthatin orderto substantiateour hypothesisit is
oftheworldstructure
notenoughto showthata three-tiered
can
be
identified
over
a
relatively
longperiodoftime,
economy
as we have just done. It is also necessaryto show that the
of each zone has not substantially
changed
state-composition
over an equally long period of time.If we findthatthishas
actuallybeen thecase, thenwe have good reasonsto believe
thatthereproductionof thethree-tiered
is no mere
structure
accidentbutprobablytheoutcomeoftheunequalcapabilities
of statesto enforce/
resistperipheralization.
Ill A. In orderto verify
theextentto whichthereproduction
ofthethree-tiered
overthelast
structure
oftheworld-economy
45 yearshas been associated witha highor low mobilityof
states across the boundaries of the three zones, we have
constructeddouble-entry
tablesthatclassifystatesaccording
to theirposition at the beginningand at the end of three
differentperiods: 1938/50-1975/83 (Table 1), 1938/501960/1970(Table 2) and 1960/70-1975/83
(Table 3).17Table 1
is themostimportant,
because itcoversthewholeperiodand
becauseitcomparesyearsinwhichthethree-tiered
of
structure
theworld-economy
was mostclearlyinevidence.We therefore
startwithTable 1 and thendiscussthetwosubperiodscovered
byTables 2 and 3.
TherearetwowaysofreadingTable 1: (1) alongtherowsor
thecolumnsto gauge thegainsand losses ofeach zone, or (2)
along the diagonals to gauge the overall mobility(or lack
thereof)of the system.Reading along the main diagonal
we singleout all the states
(core/core, periphery/
periphery),
thatin 1975-83wereexactlyin thesame structural
positionas
theywerein 1938-50.Ifwe add themup,we obtaina totalof66
statesout of 93 (or 71%) whichaccountfor84% of thetotal
ofwhetherwe takethe
populationofthe93 states,irrespective
1950 or 1983 populationfigures.These percentagesalready
17. The procedurefollowedin classifying
states,as wellas thenamesofthestates
fallingin each slot,are specifiedin AppendixIII.

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Stratification
of World-Economy

43

TABLE 1

PositionofStatesin 1975-83Comparedto Their


Positionin 1938-50
Position

Z
3
g

-,

00
I
m

S
*c

c
S

- -

, S
a ,

in 1938-50

Core

PC

(a) 11
(b) 13.1
(c) 10.4

4
2.6
1.8

3
5.6
4.3

(a)
(b)
(c)

1
.1
.1

4
1.4
1.2

__________ -----

(a)
(b)

'Sit<u (c)
2:

.6

.8

Total

^^^

18

- -

______

23
18.6

5
0.8

1
0.8

17.6

1.0

1.0

(a)
(b)
(c)

2
0.5
0.7

4
0.3
0.5

2
2.7
3.5

>>
S

(a)
(b)

14
0.2

1.2

27
51.6

^
S

(a) 11
(b) 13.1
(c)

33
26.3

13
2.3

30
55.1

t<u

0.3

(c)
6
3.3

(+7)

16.5 (+3.4)

-----

PP

periphery

1.5

55.5

(-1)

1.3

(-2.0)

_______________

30

(-3)

20.4 (-5.9)
8

(-5)

4.7

(+2.4)

32

(+2)

57.3 (+2.2)
93
100.0
100.0

(0)

NOTE: (a) # of states,(b) % of populationin 1950; (c) % of populationin 1970.


See AppendixIII forsourcesand procedure.

ofstatesacrosstheboundaries
of
implya lowoverallmobility
thethreezones.Thestatesalongthemaindiagonal,however,
arenotonlyonesthathavenotcrossedtheboundaries
from
one zone to another.The statesalongthetwo contiguous
ofthecore,periphery/
of
diagonals(core/
perimeter
perimeter
arestatesthathavemovedfroma zoneto its
theperiphery)
toa contiguous
(orfroma boundary
upperorlowerboundary
but
without
the
itself.
zone)
crossing boundary
Altogether
they
for10%oftotalpopulation
are22statesthataccounted
bothin
1950andin 1983.

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44

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

In sum,95% ofthestatesforwhichwe could finddata (and


94% oftotalpopulation)werein 1975/83stillon or withinthe
boundariesofthezone in whichtheywerein 1938/50.Taking
the periodas a whole,upwardor downwardmobilityin the
systemhas beentrulyexceptional.Accordingto Table 1, ithas
froma semiperipheral
beenlimitedto threecases oftransition
to a coreposition(Japan,Italy,and Libya,as can be seenfrom
thecorresponding
tableofAppendixIII); one case ofupward
from
(South Korea, to
mobility
peripheryto semiperiphery
if
we
whichTaiwan wouldprobablybe added
had data forthe
lateryears);and one case of downwardmobilityfromsemito periphery
(Ghana).
periphery
The factthattwo relativelylargestates(Japan and Italy)
to thecore
have succeededin movingfromthesemiperiphery
and thefactthatdemographicgrowthin theperipheralzone
has been higherthanin both thecore and the semiperiphery
accountfortheseemingpolarizationof the systemshownin
the"total"columnofthetable.In thiscolumn,we haveputin
bracketsthelosses(-) or gains(+) of statesand of percentage
pointsoftotalpopulationexperiencedovertheperiodbyeach
position. Taking the three intermediatepositionstogether
(semiperiphery,
perimeterof the core, and perimeterof the
in the45-yearperiodconsideredtheyhave lost 9
periphery),
and 5.6
statesout of 52 (7 to thecore and 2 to theperiphery)
1
core
and
of
to
the
of
out
3
.9
(3.4
percentagepoints population
2.2 to theperiphery).
At this rate, it would take a centuryor more for the
- assumingthatitwould
to lose itssignificance
semiperiphery
do so whenit accountedfor15% or less of worldpopulation.
But of coursewe do not knowwhethertheloss of thelast 45
as itmighthavebeen
yearscan be extrapolatedintothefuture,
influencedby cyclical or conjuncturalfactors.The period
coveredby our data is not long enoughto allow us to isolate
It is longenough,however,to giveus some
anysuchinfluences.
of
their
idea
possibleimpacton thetrend.We havealreadyseen
how the polarizing and peripheralizingtendenciesof the
intensihave been characterizedby different
world-economy

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ofWorld-Economy
Stratification

45

indifferent
tiesandmodesofoperation
ofthetime
subperiods
byourdata(II.3). Tables2 and3 cannowprovide
spancovered
intothischanging
us withfurther
modeofoperation.
insights
Themoststriking
features
ofthesetwotablesare,one,that
overall
thanTable1and,two,
theybothshowa greater
mobility
that the mobilityis exclusively
downwardin the period
and
1938/50-1960/70 exclusivelyupwardin the period
Thecentral
core,periphery/
1960/70-1975/83.
diagonal(core/
ofTable2 accountsfor51%ofthetotalnumber
of
periphery)
TABLE 2

PositionofStatesin 1960-79Comparedto Their


Positionin 1938-50
Position
Core

PC

in 1938-50

periphery

PP

Total

^P'^

(a) 3
<b> 7'3

3
7.3

(a) 7
(b) 5.2

7
5.2

S
c
e

o
H

j2

. '
go.

(a)
0>)

7
5.7

13
17.6

20
23.3

to u

<u

q
- """-~~

- ~~~- '~~ ~~~

.------________________
________________________

_________________

&

(a)
(b)

7
2.6

1
0.4

S
g.

(a)
(b)

12
5.1

12
2.0

30
54.3

54
61.4

-h
2

(a) 10
(b) 12.5

32
25.2

13
2.4

30
54.3

92
100.0

7
5.7

8
2.9

NOTE: (a) # of states; (b) % of population. See Appendix III for sources and
procedure.

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GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

46

TABLE 3

PositionofStatesin 1975-83Comparedto Their


Positionin 1960-70
Position in 1960-70

cS

Core

PC

(a) 3
(b) 6.7

7
4.2

(a)
(b)

periphery

PP

7
7.0

5
1.2

^WW

Total
19
18.3

.22

6
1.35

.11

co

n
10.7

B
, s <a>
(b)
c
-g|

6
3.3

32

i5
7.1

21.0

to m

^
o

pl,

(a)
(b)

8
4.0

8
4.0

iu

(a)
(b)

39
55.3

39
55.3

,h
u

(a) 3
(b) 6.7

62
66.4

104
100.0

7
4.2

23
19.0

9
3.6

NOTE: (a) # of states; (b) % of population. See Appendix III for sourcesand
procedure.

statesand for80% ofthetotalpopulationand thatofTable 3


for5 1% ofthestatesand 73% ofthepopulation(as against71%
ofthestatesand 84% ofthepopulationinTable 1). Most ofthe
differences
betweenTables 2 and 3, on theone hand,and Table
1, on theotherhand,arenotmainlydue to a greatermobility
of
statesacrosstheboundariesofthezones. Rather,theyare due
to greatermobilityto and fromthezones and theircontiguous
are
as witnessedby thefactthatthedifferences
perimeter(s),
if
three
we
the
of
all
reduced
add
considerably
up
squares

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

47

centraldiagonals.Thecorresponding
are87% of
percentages
inTable2 and76%ofstatesand
statesand95%ofpopulation
inTable3 (as against95%ofstatesand94%
86%ofpopulation
inTable 1).
ofpopulation
ofTable2 (whichis
Exceptforthepopulationpercentage
ofTable1),
nowslightly
thanthepopulation
higher
percentage
arereducedbutstillfairly
We
thedifferences
large. can thus
ofstatesinthethree-tier
of
thatthemobility
structure
conclude
hasbeenlowerintheperiod1938-83as a
theworld-economy
As alreadymentioned,
wholethanin eachofitssubperiods.
inoppositedirections.
in
has
been
the
two
mobility
subperiods
into
cumbersome
Without
details,this
entering unnecessarily
is brought
outveryclearly
byTables2 and3,as in
opposition
theformerall the null slotsare above the maindiagonal
whereasin the
downwardmobility),
generalized
(implying
latterall thenullslotsarebelowthemaindiagonal(implying
upwardmobility).
generalized
of thethree-tiered
It followsthatthelong-term
stability
overthelast45yearshasbeen
oftheworld-economy
structure
of
movement
associatedwitha medium-term
pendulum-like
of
in
the
states
extensive
downward
mobility
period1938/50in
moreextensive
70andofa somewhat
1960/
upwardmobility
The netoutcomeis shownin
theperiod1960/70-1975/83.
Table 1,whichwehavealreadydiscussed.It impliesthatthe
moststatesthat
ofthelaterperiodbrought
upwardmovement
intheearlierperiodback
hadexperienced
downward
mobility
somestateswereleft
towheretheywerein 1938/50.
However,
behindanddidnotrecouptheirearlierposition
(Ghanabeing
case),whereasothers(suchas Japan,
onlythemostclear-cut
Italy,Libya,and SouthKorea),whichhad notexperienced
intheearlier
nontheless
movedup,
downward
mobility
period,
in a higher
tier.
thusgaininga foothold
inlight
movement
is easilyinterpreted
Thispendulum-like
intheperiodunder
ofthemajoreventsoftheworld-economy
The centraleventhas undoubtedly
consideration.
beenthe
ofU.S. hegemony,
whichushered
ina cluster
of
establishment
and
innovations
of
world-ecotechnological organizational
nomicsignificance.
relations
wereaccordingly
Core-periphery

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48

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

revolutionized
and a new"standardof coreness"established.
For a while,the U.S. (state and capital) wielded"the really
effective
weapon of competition,"to use the expressionwe
haveborrowedfromSchumpeter
(II.4). Competitive
pressures
to anotherset,
fromonesetofactivities
shifted
discontinuously
and the mix of core-peripheral
activitiesof most stateswas
correspondingly
downgraded.Accordingto ourdata,onlytwo
statesfullystood up to thenewstandardofcoreness:Canada
(structurally
partoftheU.S. economy)and Sweden(see Table
2 and thecorresponding
table of AppendixIII).
Traditionallycore statessuch as West Germanyand the
U.K. werepushedintotheperimeter
ofthecore,and statesthat
wereon theperimeter
ofthecore,suchas Franceand Belgium,
werepushedoverintothesemiperiphery.
Thischaracterization
It also makessense
is notjusttheproductofstatistical
artifacts.
in termsof thehistoricalprocessesof theworld-economy,
as
witnessedbythefactthatinthe1950'sand early1960'sall these
core stateswereengagedin an intensecompetitraditionally
tion withtraditionallysemiperipheral
states to capturethe
technology,organization,know-how,and financeofthenew
hegemonicpower. Moreover, this was done by offering
cheaperlabor suppliesthancould be obtainedin thelatter.
The point is that the establishmentof U.S. hegemony
changedthe rulesof the competitivegame (as any clusterof
innovationsof world-economicsignificanceto some extent
of
alwaysdoes). It forcedcorecountriesintotheperformance
to
with
the
rolesand starteda race "catchup"
semiperipheral
new standardof coreness.To the extentthatthe core zone
becamelesscrowded,thesemiperipheral
zone becamemoreso
and thereforesubject to intensifying
competitivepressures.
These intensifying
competitivepressures,in turn,trickled
down toward the lower reaches of the zone, pushingsemiorright
oftheperiphery
peripheralstatestowardtheperimeter
intotheperiphery.
States suddenlyplunged(or liftedinto) a zone by random
inproductionfunctions,
shocksor revolutions
however,do not
by thatveryfactturninto organicmembersof thatzone. A
state becomes an organic memberof a zone only when its

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ofWorld-Economy
Stratification

49

have beenshapedby a
economicand politicalinstitutions
associationwitha givenmix of core-peripheral
protracted
activities
(see II.5). Thisis whyall thecorestatesthatwere
intosemiperipheral
rolesinthe1950'sand1960's(joined
forced
thecorezoneinthe
managedtoreenter
bya fewnew-comers)
1970's.As thesestatesmovedto thecore,thecompetitive
in thelowertiers,
wereto someextentdiminished
pressures
thathas characterized
the
and thegeneralupwardmobility
1970'sensued.
thesharpdecreaseinthe
III.5. In lightoftheseconclusions,
relative
sizeofthecorezoneinthe1950'sanditssteadyincrease
inthe1960'sand1970's(seeFigure4) cannowbere-interpreted
ofsomeofitsorganic
oftheexitand reentry
as a reflection
inthecourseoftheswings
ofdownward
andupward
members
in
As
for
the
trends
the
between
the
threezones
mobility.
gaps
toassesstheextent
showninFigure3,wearenowina position
towhichtheyreflect
members
of
gainsandlossesoftheorganic
inthemembership
thanshifts
ofthezones.18
thezonesrather
In ordertoisolatetheseinfluences,
wemustidentify
groups
ina given
ofstatesthat,on accountoftheirlongpermanence
itsorganic
members.
Asitturns
zone,canbeconsidered
out,74
theperiodwithin
or on
outof93 statesremained
throughout
ofa givenzone,thusqualifying
theboundaries
as itsorganic
members:
10ofthecore,20ofthesemiperiphery,
and44 ofthe
(seeAppendixIII).
periphery
In Figure5, wehaveplottedtheloggedGNP percapitaof
eachofthesethree
groupstakenas a whole,as wellas therange
oftheGNP percapitaofeachgroup(log[mean+/- standard
thetrends
ofFigure5 withthoseof
Bycomparing
deviation]).
in
18. Take forexample the rapid increasein the mode of the semiperiphery
ofa fusionofthecoreand semiperipheral
zones,
1950-70,whichcreatedtheimpression
and its equally rapid fall in 1970-83,which promptlyreestablishedthe distance
betweenthetwo zones. Was thissharpup-and-downtheexpressionof an improvein thepositionoftheorganicmembersofthesemiperiphery
mentand thenworsening
vis--visthe organic membersof otherzones? Or was it due to the conjunctural
in the positionof some organicmembersof the
worseningand thenimprovement
core zone vis--visothermembersof thesame zone? Or was theupswingsimplythe
highratesofgrowthofa fewmembersofthesemiperiphexpressionofexceptionally
eryand thedownswingthe"statisticaleffect"of theircross-overintothecore zone?

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

S1

Figure3,wecanassesstheextentto whichthelatterreflected
The maindifferthanconjunctural
factors.
rather
structural
tomedium-term
thetwochartsisthattheshortencebetween
of
of
the
mode
Figure3 haslargely
semiperipheral
instability
for
the
of
in
5.
sharpdownturn
disappeared Figure Except
thetrendin theGNP percapitaofthegroupof20
1980-83,
statesis as steadyas (and in 1950-80steadier
semiperipheral
trendsofthe10 corestatesand 44
the
than) corresponding
states.
peripheral
Theimplication
is thatmostoftheshort-to medium-term
of
modeandoftheboundaries
of
the
instability semiperipheral
ofFigure2 derivesfromthefactthatat any
thedistributions
doesnotincludeonlyitsorganic
giventimethesemiperiphery
ourperiod,thelatterhaveconstituted
members.
Throughout
of thestatesthathappenedto be in thesemithemajority
zone,and statistically
theyaccountforthelongperipheral
ofFigure2 evinced
distributions
ofthetrimodal
termstability
bythetrendsofFigures3 and4.
However,althoughthegroupof organicsemiperipheral
theshortto
onthetrend,
influence
statesexertsthestrongest
aremainlydueto thefactthatthe
fluctuations
medium-term
thecoreandthe
zonebetween
is also a buffer
semiperiphery
At any giventime,the semiperiphery
always
periphery.
includessomestatesthathavebeenmoreor lesstemporarily
fromtheperiphery)
demotedfromthecore(or promoted
by
shocksthrough
which
oneofthemanyrandomor systematic
theworld-economy
operates.
In ourperiod,as wehaveseen,therehavebeenno lasting
fromthecorezoneandonlyoneseemingly
demotions
lasting
from
theperiphery
(S. Korea).Yettherehavebeen
promotion
ofstatesonand
shifts
intheposition
butsignificant
temporary
ofthethreezonesthathaveaffected
aroundtheboundaries
themselves
andthemodeofthesemipeboththeboundaries
wasso strong
zone.In 1960,1965,and1970,theeffect
ripheral
between
thecoreandthesemiperiphas to blurtheboundary
look
almostbimodal.19
make
the
and
distributions
ery
oftheboundaryand thesharpincrease,and thendecrease,ofthe
19. This blurring
semiperipheralmode in 1965-70were to some extentdue to anotherfactor:the

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52

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

In sum,a comparisonof Figures3 and 5 suggeststhat,once


we adjust thetrendsto eliminatethe influencethatconjuncturaland transitional
membershave on themode and boundaries of the semiperiphery,
most fluctuationsin the relative
of
the
three
zones
trends
position
disappear,butthelong-term
much
the
remain very
same. Little thereforeneeds to be
changedin our earlierconclusionsconcerningthe polarizing
tendenciesof the world-economyover the last 45 years(see
III.3).
As can be seenfromFigure5, overtheperiodas a whole,the
adjustedtrendsstillshow an increasedpolarizationbetween
the core and the peripheralzones with the semiperiphery
retainingits intermediate
position.They also show thatthis
overalltendencyhas notdevelopeduniformly
the
throughout
period. In 1938-48,there was no increasingpolarization
betweencoreand periphery,
butonlybetweenthecoreand the
which
thus
In
semiperiphery,
convergedtowardtheperiphery.
the
three
zones
at
about
the
same
As
a
rate.
1950-65,
grew
matterof fact,in 1950-60,the gaps betweenthe threezones
narrowedsomewhatas the rate of growthof the periphery
exceeded thatof the semiperiphery,
and thatof the semipeexceeded
that
of
the
core.
we
As
saw,thesewereyears
riphery
ofwideningratherthandeepeningperipheralization.
In 196580, the semiperiphery
keptup withthe rateof growthof the
core,whiletheperiphery
stagnatedand fellbehindbothzones.
The wideningofthegap betweenperiphery
and coreis entirely
concentratedin thisperiod.Finally,in 1980-83,all thezones
to thecore or to
zone ofstatesinvolvedin a transition
presencein thesemiperipheral
to coreposition,itwill
theperiphery.
Whena stateactually"takesoff intoa transition
fora timeexperienceextremely
highratesof growth.If it is a largestatein termsof
population, these high rates of growthwill inflatethe rate of growthof the
mode and/orblurtheboundariesbetweenthezones. As soon as the
semiperipheral
transitionis completed,the rate of growthof the mode will fall back and clear
of Libya and Italy
It is doubtfulwhetherthetransitions
boundariesbe reestablished.
ofFigure2. Libya'spopulation
havehad anysignificant
influenceon thedistributions
and Italy'sascentto thecore
on theaggregatefigures,
is too smallto haveanyinfluence
was ratherflat since it consistedof a movementfromthe upper reaches of the
to thelowerreachesof thecore. Japan,in contrast,certainlyhad an
semiperiphery
mode and boundariesbecause ofbothitssize and its
influenceon thesemiperipheral
extremely
rapidgrowth.

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

S3

a decline,
butthedeclineofthesemiperiphery
was
experienced
thanthatoftheothertwozones.Indeed,itwas
muchsharper
so sharpthatintheshortspanofthreeyearsthesemiperiphery
in theprevious
theperiphery
lostall it had gainedvis--vis
15years.
from
thesefindings,
wedrawsomeconclusions
III.6. Before
one finalpointhas to be made.We startedour empirical
wayof
investigation
by sayingthatthereis no operational
activities
andcore-like
and
between
distinguishing
peripheral
to themixof coreof classifying
statesaccording
therefore
activities
thatfallsundertheirjurisdiction
(II. 1).
peripheral
statesintogroups
a wayofclassifying
found
However,
having
different
mixesof core-peripheral
thatare likelyto reflect
toidentify
theactivities
thatwere
weareina position
activities,
at anygiventime.
core-like
aninvestigation
intothekindofactivities
that
Thisrequires
withorganicmembers
ofthethreezones.
havebeenassociated
of
Ifweweretofindthatatanygiventimetheorganic
members
inparticular
kindsofactivities
thecorezonespecialized
(which
ofthe
werealso lesswidespread
amongtheorganicmembers
othertwozones),we couldsaythatthosekindsofactivities
at thatparticular
werecore-like
pointin time.An investigationofthissortfallsbeyondthescopeofthisarticleexceptin
one particularrespect:the changingstatusof "industrial
activities."
In development
and "developstudies,"industrialization"
The terms"developed
ment"are oftentreatedas synonyms.
countries"
areusedinterchangeably,
countries"
and"industrial
oflessdeveloped
countries
istakenas
andtheindustrialization
of their"catching
a symptom
up" withthemoredeveloped
ones.Warren(1980)and othercriticsofdependency
theory
the
relyheavilyon thefactthat,intermsofindustrialization,
countries
hasbeen
gapbetween
developedandlessdeveloped
canbeusedtobring
somenewlight
on
Ourfindings
narrowing.
thisissue.
In Figure6 parta, wehaveplotted
theaveragepercentage
of
in"industry,"
thelaborforceemployed
andinFigure6 partb
theaverageshareof"manufacturing"
in GDP forthethree

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I
3

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54

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ofWorld-Economy
Stratification

55

as organicmembers
of
groupsofstatesthatwehaveidentified
thecore,periphery,
For theperiodafter
and semiperiphery.
of thegap
1960,bothchartsshowa significant
narrowing
of thecore,on one
betweenthedegreeof industrialization
and periphery,
on the
hand,and thatof thesemiperiphery
otherhand.As a matterof fact,accordingto thechartof
inthelate1970'sthesemiperiphery
Figure6 partb,sometime
notonlycaughtup withbut overtookthecorein termsof
degreeofindustrialization.
As theseindexesreferto thesamegroupsofstatesas the
indexesofFigure5,wecancomparethemperiodbyperiodin
orderto assessthechanging
between
industrialrelationship
economiccommand.In theperiod1938izationand relative
correlation
the
between
48,thereseemstobe a strong
positive
two.As we haveseen(III. 5), thiswas a periodin whichthe
was losingeconomiccommandin relationto
semiperiphery
boththecoreand theperiphery.
Thisrelativeloss is closely
in theindexesof industrialization
mirrored
of Figure6, so
therearegoodreasonsforsupposing
thatinthisperiodcorelikeactivities
werelargelyindustrial
activities.
Interestingly
it
the
of
was
at
end
this
andhis
enough,
periodthatPrebisch
associatesfirstintroducedthe conceptof core-periphery
it in termsof a primary
relationsand formulated
activitiesactivities
industrial
dichotomy.
In the period 1950-60,a positivecorrelationbetween
industrial
activities
andcore-like
activities
is stillinevidence
butina different
ina narrowing
form.
Itmanifests
itself
ofboth
theindustrialization
andtheGNP gapsthatseparatethecore
from
theperiphery
andsemiperiphery.
andtoa
Semiperipheral
lesserextentperipheral
statesbeginto erodethe"monopoly"
ofcorestatesovercore-like
industrial
activities.
Theerosionis
ina relative
reflected
declineoftheeconomic
ofcore
command
states.
1960-65aretransitional
years:Thegap in industrialization
to decrease,butthereis no corresponding
continues
relative
declineincorestates'economic
command.
Thiscanbetakenas
a symptom
ofthefactthatthepositivecorrelation
between
industrial
and core-like
activities
was losingstrength.
In the

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56

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

subsequent twentyyears a weakened positive correlation


turnedinto an increasinglystrongnegativecorrelation.In
continued
and thesemiperiphery
1965-80,whiletheperiphery
to industrialize
as rapidlyas theyhad done intheprevioustwo
decades,thecorebeganto de-industrialize
byboththeshareof
labor forceand theshareofGDP indexes(see Figure6). As a
gap betweenthe core and
consequence,the industrialization
or
thesemiperiphery
almost
disappeared(dependdisappeared
ingon theindexwe choose) and thatbetweenthecoreand the
narrowedconsiderably.Yet in thissame periodthe
periphery
relativeto thecore
economiccommandof thesemiperiphery
remainedconstant,and thatof the peripheryworsened(see
Figure5 and III.5).
The implicationis that industrialactivitieswere being
peripheralized-theywere,thatis, losingtheirpreviouscore
status. Interestingly
enough, it was toward the end of this
that
Wallerstein
suggestedthat the core-periphery
period
activitiesfromtheprimary
dichotomyshouldbe disentangled
industrialactivitiesdichotomy(see footnote7). The importance of thissuggestionis underscoredby trendsin 1980-83,
"advanfurther
increaseditsindustrial
whenthesemiperiphery
a sharp
the
core
and simultaneously
experienced
tage"vis--vis
dropinitseconomiccommandrelativeto boththecoreand the
periphery.
and
In sum, the industrializationof the semiperiphery
but
of
not
a
has
been
subversion,
channel,
periphery ultimately
This
of reproductionof thehierarchyof theworld-economy.
findingillustratesthe process emphasizedin our previous
bypolitical
wherebythegeneralizedattempt
conceptualization
and economicactorsto capturewhatat anygiventimearecore
into
thatturnstheseactivities
activitiesstimulates
competition
at
activities
In
the
industrial
ones
1940's,
(or
(II.6).
peripheral
leastmanyofthem)wereindeedcore activities.In the 1950's,
lured by the "spectacularprizes"thrownat such activities,
political and economic actors of the peripheryand semiAt first,
peripherythrewthemselvesinto"industrialization."
follow
others
to
induced
and
benefits
some
thereby
theyreaped
suit. In the 1960's and 1970's,however,industrialactivities

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ofWorld-Economy
Stratification

57

overcrowded
sothatnotonlythespectacbecameincreasingly
ularprizesdisappeared,
buteventhesmaller
benefits
reapedby
into
the
turned
theearly-late-comers
progressively
widespread
lossesofthe1980's.
At thispointa newquestionarises:In whichparticular
concentrate
economicsectorsdo coreactivities
today,ifthey
in industrial
or manufacturing
activities?
It
no longercluster
thatindustrialization
hasbeendisplacedas
hasbeensuggested
of
the basis of core activitiesby the growingimportance
in
all
branches
transnational
integrated
corporations
vertically
tomanufacandmining
ofeconomic
(fromagriculture
activity
latter
and
These
distribution, banking).
developments
turing,
have servedto dissolveand blur any previously
existing
anddichotcorrelation
between
thecore-periphery
dichotomy
omiesbased on thespecifickindof commodities
produced
or evenon thetechversusagriculture)
(e.g.,manufacturing
versuslow
used(e.g.,highproductivity
niquesofproduction
productivity).
activities
Withintransnational
corporateorganizations,
nationallocalesarepartofintegrated
carriedoutindifferent
if
irrelevant
andjointprocessesthatmakesuchdistinctions
is betweenactivities
distinction
possibleat all. The relevant
control
andadministrathatinvolve
decisionmaking,
strategic
on
on
one
and
activities
of
hand,
tion,R&D,
pureexecution,
theother.The corezone tendsto becomethelocus of the
zone
of corporatecapital,the peripheral
"brain"activities
tendstobecomethelocusofthe"muscleandnerves"
activities,
zone tendsto be characterized
and thesemiperipheral
by a
mix
of
"muscle
and
nerves"
even
"brain"
and
moreor less
1985b:275).
activities
(Arrighi,
can onlybe
ofthisor alternative
The validity
hypotheses
at the
of
the
an
verified
through investigation typesuggested
we
The
evidence
have
of thissection.
presented,
beginning
thatinanyeventa highdegreeofindustrialhowever,
suggests
ofthecapacity
izationas suchcannotprovidean explanation
shownbycorestatesin the1970'sand 1980'sto re-establish
oflabor.
oftheworlddivision
overthebenefits
command
their

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58

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

IV. ConcludingRemarks

inmorethanone
Thishasbeena preliminary
investigation
As
we
have
new
respect.
just seen,
questionsare raisedthat
research
more
extensive
and
detailed
thanwehave
far
require
notonlyto
research
isrequired
yetbeenabletodo. Additional
of
addressthesenewquestions
theanalysis
butalsotoprovide
theworld-economy
withmoresolidempirical
andtheoretical
foundations.
Thelimitedreliability
ofthe
andcomparability
datawehaveusedhavenarrowly
constrained
thepossibilities
ofmanipulating
fromthem,andof
anddrawing
conclusions
coursemorereliable
haveproduced
andcomparable
datamight
somewhat
different
results.
The mainlimitation
of our data, however,is not their
It is theshorttimespanthey
and comparability.
reliability
from
cover.Astheyhardly
coveronelongwave(thetransition
and a
B- to A-phaseof 1938-48,
theA-phaseof 1950-65/70,
wecannotsaymuchconcernB-phasethatisstillinprogress),
and thelonguedureoftheworldingthecyclicalrhythms
Theevidence
wehave
structure.
economyanditsthree-tiered
in
that
the
view
not
does
however,
B-phases
presented,
support
are weaker
thepolarizing
tendencies
of theworld-economy
The
thaninA-phases,
as suggested
byFrank(1969)andothers.
and
of
as
a
A-phaseappears period widening
peripheralization
theB-phaseas a periodofdeepening
and,
peripheralization,
to an upper tier were
while all the genuinetransitions
"take-offs"
completedin the B-phase,the corresponding
occurredin the A-phase(III.3-5). This mightwell be a
of thesinglelongwavethatourdata happento
peculiarity
thiswewouldhaveto extend
cover,butin orderto ascertain
ourinvestigation
muchfurther
backintime.20
wehavepresented
evidence
Lastbutnotleast,thestatistical
has
the
that
over
the
last
45
shows
years world-economy
simply
of
were
accurate
our
as
behaved if hypotheses
representations
thisisactually
Inordertofindoutwhether
historical
processes.
forhistorical
thecase,thereis ofcoursenosubstitute
analysis.
20. A firststepin thisdirectionhas beentakenin Arrighi,et al., 1986.

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ofWorld-Economy
Stratification

59

But whenall is said and done,it seemsto us thatour


has established
investigation
preliminary
strong
primafacie
evidencefortheconclusionthattheworld-economy
shows
of
stratification
and
that
cannot
be
development
patterns
interms
ofeither
"modernization"
or"dependency."
explained
To besure,bothtypesoftheory
couldclaimsomerelevance
to
ofoneor another
an explanation
ofourfindings.
Butneither
can providea comprehensive
explanationof the overall
theyreveal.
pattern
Modernization
(and itsdevelopmentalist
theory
variants),
forexample,
couldclaimthattherehasbeensomecatching
up.
As a matterof fact,if catchingup is definedin termsof
therehas beenquitea lot ofit.Thisclaim
industrialization,
shouldnotbe lightly
Theindustrialization
dismissed.
andthe
evenmoreextensive
deruralization
ofperipheral
andsemipeof the
ripheralstateshavesocial and politicalimplications
have
them
for
the
states
that
experienced
importance
greatest
as wellas forthefutureof theworld-economy
(Arrighi&
canbe easilymishowever,
Silver,1984).Theseimplications,
themoststriking
ifwedo nottakeintoconsideration
construed
thefactthatall thiscatching
ofourinvestigation:
up
finding
in economic
thedifferentials
affected
has not significantly
tiersof the worldcommandthat separatethe different
economy.
In thisrespect,
scoresmuchbetter
than
dependency
theory
modernization
Insupport
oftheformer,
ourinvestigatheory.
tion has shownthatthe world-economy
has indeedbeen
to
tendencies.
toour
subject widespread
polarizing
According
these
tendencies
not
have
beenas strong
as
measurements,
may
assumedbythemoreextreme
versions
ofdependency
theory,
buttheycertainly
havebeenextensive
and strongenoughto
dismissanyclaimof thedevelopmentalist
to a
perspective
holistic
of
the
understanding world-economy.
In one important
thetwotheoriesfail
respect,however,
ofthemcaninfactexplainthepersistence
of
equally.Neither
an intermediate
of
states
that
as
a
is
neither
group
group,
catchingup withthe small groupof statesthatsets the

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60

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

standardsofwealthintheworld-economy
norjoiningthelarge
groupofstatesthatsetsthestandardsofpoverty.Numerically,
thisis a relatively
largegroupofstates- abouttwicethesizeof
thecoregroupand about halfthesize oftheperipheralgroup.
is far
Butitssignificance
forthepoliticsoftheworld-economy
greaterthanthesenumbersindicate.
In the interwaryears,two major politicalinnovationsof
worldsignificance
originatedin thisgroup:communismin the
U.S.S.R. and fascismin Italy. In the postwar years, the
in thisgroupwhilebecoming
U.S.S.R. remainedsteadfastly
one of the two superpowers.In the currentworld-economic
crisis,the group includes most of the major epicentersof
political turmoil(South Africa, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel,
Nicaragua,El Salvador,Poland) and all thegreatdebtorstates
otherthan the U.S. (Argentina,Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela,
Chile,Poland).
The semiperiphery
has thusbeenand continuesto be a zone
of politicalturbulence.In lightof this,it is surprisingthat
semiperipheralstates have been studied fromall different
anglesexceptforwhattheyall haveincommon:thefact,to put
and thattheyhave
it crudely,thattheyare stuckin-between,
to runfastin orderto remainwheretheyare.21After"Eurocentrism"and "Third-Worldism,"thetimeis ripefora closer
zone.
look at thesemiperipheral
AppendixI:
Sourcesand Use of theData
of Figure2, fromwhichFigures3-5 and
The distributions
Tables 1-3 are derived,are based on the followingsources:
(1953) for 1938 and 1948,World
Woytinskyand Woytinsky
stateshaveto runveryfastinorderto remaininan
2 1. The factthatsemiperipheral
zone,the
in-betweenpositionis implicitin our hypothesisthat,in thesemiperipheral
action
state
neutralized
are
the
of
tendencies
(II.
6). The
by
world-economy
polarizing
in the analysesof the
pointis made explicitand subjectedto historicalverification
ofthe
to at thebeginning
ResearchWorkingGroupon Semiperipheral
States,referred
article.

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

61

andWorldBank(variousyears)for
Bank(1984)for1960-83,
1980 and 1983. For 1950, we have used estimatesthat
Morawetz(1977)has derivedfromWorldBankdata. From
thesesourceswe obtainedGNP percapitain U.S. dollars,
intoconstant1970dollarsbyusingthe
whichwe converted
of Commerce
U.S. GNP deflator
givenin U.S. Department
various
and
(1975
years).
TheWoytinsky
andWoytinsky
dataonlycover57 statesin
1938 and 58 statesin 1948.The WorldBank data cover
totheyear.As ourmain
101and105statesaccording
between
theglobaldistribution
concern
wastoidentify
ofincome(and
the positionof statesin relationto such distribution),
at
different
pointsintime,wealwaystookall thestatesincluded
in each source.This procedureconsiderably
reducedthe
of
data.
Moreover,
intertemporal
comparability
giventhe
size
of
some
states
that
were
from
omitted
one
sourceor
large
theother(mainly
theU.S.S.R.,from
theWorldBankdata,and
and Woystinsky
data and
China,fromthe1948Woytinsky
fromtheWorldBankdatapriorto 1980),thedistributions
of
someyearsweregreatly
distorted.
To reducethesedistortions
thedata ofbothsourceswithdata fromother
we integrated
sources(to be specified
below).
these
thecomparability
of
Notwithstanding integrations,
the distributions
acrosstimeremainslimited,particularly
whentheyswitch
fromonesourceto another.
Thus,inall the
thelack of comparability
of
charts,we haveacknowledged
1938-48
with1950,andthelimited
of1950with
comparability
1960-83.However,
theindexesofFigure5 areconstructed
on
thebasisofconstant
"basketsofstates"
II
and
(seeAppendixes
basisforintertempoIII) andtherefore
providea morereliable
thantheindexesofFigures3 and4.
ralcomparisons
As fortheintegration
ofthesourceslistedabovewithdata
from
othersources,
wehavefollowed
twodifferent
procedures.
InthecaseofChina,Romania,andHungary
(forwhichWorld
Banksourcesprovide
dataforthemorerecent
years),wehave
theirpositionin previousyearson thebasisofthe
estimated
ratesofgrowth
ofGNPpercapitainU.S. dollarsimplicit
inthe
seriesprovided
byBanks(n.d.).InthecaseoftheU.S.S.R.,for

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62

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

whichtheWorldBankdoes notprovideanydata,we have


takentheestimates
for1950-80givenin CentralIntelligence
for
(1982),to whichwehaveaddedourownestimate
Agency
1983basedona plausible
rateofgrowth
fortheperiod1980-83.
Inassessing
thereliability
andcomparability
ofthedata,the
purposeforwhichtheyhavebeenusedshouldbe bornein
mind.This was twofold:to see whether
theygenerateda
if
to
trimodal
distribution
and, theydid, singleouttheintervals
oflowfrequency
ofthe
thatcouldbe usedas theboundaries
threezones (see AppendixII). Throughout
the paper no
iseverattached
totheGNPpercapitaofanysingle
significance
stateotherthanin relationto thoseboundaries.
Moreover,
eventhetrends
inthemodaloraverageGNP
andfluctuations
to
percapitaofgroupsofstatesarealwaysanalyzedinrelation
themodaloraverageGNP percapitaofothergroupsofstates.
In otherwords,whatmatters
in assessingthereliability
and
with
of
our
is
their
to
us
data
comparability
capacity provide
an indicationof the distribution
of rewardsin the worldto
andtheapproximate
economy
positionofstatesinrelation
thatdistribution.
AppendixII:
ProcedureFollowed in DefiningtheBoundaries
and Size of theThreeZones

thezones(see Figures2a-2c)and,
Theboundaries
between
sizeofthezonesshowninFigure4
therelative
byimplication,
to thefollowing
havebeendefined
procedure.
according
the
three
maximainthe
out
we
Asa preliminary
step, singled
as thecore,semiperiphthatcouldbe identified
distributions
ofthe
modes.Wehavetakenthemid-point
eral,andperipheral
GNP
of
in
the
low
interval
ofhighest
logged
ranges
frequency
mode
of
the
as
percapita(GNPPC) representative peripheral
at
ofhighest
oftheinterval
frequency
(PM), andthemid-point
ofthecoremode
theopposite
endoftherangeas representative
as thepoint
then
defined
mode
was
The
(CM),
semiperipheral
of
to
theright
intervals
three
in
the
ofhighest
frequency range

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

63

theperipheral
modeandthreeintervals
to theleftofthecore
clause"was introduced
mode.The "three-intervals
to ensure
a
one-interval
that
the
same
not
states
would
(with
margin)
enterintothedetermination
of twodifferent
modesvia the
three-intervals
leftindetermimovingaverage.Thiscriterion
natethesemiperipheral
modeforthe1960distribution,
which
of
hastwointermediate
in
the
intermedipeaks equalfrequency
ate range(see Figure2b). Sincethetwointermediate
peaks
wereseparatedbya singleinterval,
wefeltjustified
intaking
thelatteras representing
thesemiperipheral
mode.Had the
two intermediate
been
more
thanone
separatedby
peaks
we
would
have
considered
the
distribution
as
nontriinterval,
modalanddiscarded
it.
shouldhave beendiscardedfora
The 1970distribution
whatwehavechosenas S M
because
different
reason,namely
and CM are notseparatedbymorethanthreeintervals
(see
theprocedure
defined
above,
Figure2b). Bystrictly
applying
modethemuch
we shouldhavechosenas thesemiperipheral
PP1 andPP2. Thisseemed
maximum
flatter
enclosedbetween
We havetherefore
chosenthe
formalistic.
to us excessively
marked
as SM as thesemiperiphinterval
ofhigher
frequency
eral mode.However,we madesurethatnoneof our main
on thischoice,andmadeclear
inferences
dependedcrucially
the
of
the
datathatthetrimodality
of
discussion
throughout
the1970distribution
is questionable.
thethree
between
modes,theboundaries
Havingdetermined
as follows:
thezonesweredefined
had onlyone local minimum
(1) If the distribution
that
betweentwo modes,theintervalrepresenting
the
minimum
wastakenas theboundary
separating
two zones,providedthatthestatesfallingin that
intervalhad not entered(via the three-intervals
ofoneorboth
moving
average)inthedetermination
inthis
ofthetwomodes.Theboundaries
determined
of
the
the
were
(PP1-PP2)
periphery
way
perimeter
ofthecore(PC1for1950and1965andtheperimeter
PC2) for1950.

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64

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel
(2) If the distributionhad only one local minimum
betweentwo modes, but the states fallingin the
intervalhad enteredin thedeterminacorresponding
tionofbothmodes,thedistribution
wouldhavebeen
considerednon-trimodal
and discarded.Thiscase did
not arisein anyof thedistributions
considered.
(3) If the distributionhad only one local minimum
between two modes and the states fallingin the
intervalhad enteredin thedeterminacorresponding
tion of one of the two modes, the intervalwas
includedin thezone, and theboundarywas defined
ofthe
bya lineratherthanan interval.The perimeters
core forthe years 1960, 1965,and 1970 weredeterminedin thisway.
had morethanone local minimum
(4) Ifthedistribution
betweentwomodes(as happenedin mostinstances),
we discardedtheminimathathad frequencies
higher
thaneitherofthetwomodes.Ifwe wereleftwithonly
one minimum,we set the boundariesfollowingthe
oftheperiphproceduresetoutabove.The perimeters
eryfor1938and 1948weresetin thisway.Ifwe were
stillleftwithmorethan one minimum,we took the
twominimawiththelowestfrequency
and definedthe
of
the
zones
as
perimeters
consistingof all the
intervalsenclosed by (but excluding)the intervals
of
to thetwo minima.The perimeters
corresponding
theperiphery
for1960,1970,1975,1980,and 1983as
wellas theperimeters
ofthecorefor1938,1948,1975,
in thisway.
1980,and 1983weredetermined

theboundariesbetweenthezones,states
Havingdetermined
wereclassifiedaccordingto whethertheirloggedGNPPC fell
in one of thethreezones or in one of thetwo perimeters.
By
ofworldpopulationaccountedforby
addingup thepercentage
the statesin each zone and in each perimeter,
we determined
the relativesize of the threezones shown in Figure 4. In
addition,thisclassificationwas used to analyze the upward
and downwardmobilityof statesdiscussedin AppendixIII.

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Stratification
of World-Economy

65

AppendixIII:
ProcedureFollowed in Classifying
States
in Tables 1, 2, and 3 and in Determining
the
Members
of
Each
Zone
"Organic"

II wehaveseenhowstateswereclassified
InAppendix
infive
oftheperiphery
(P), perimeter
groupsor"classes":periphery
ofthecore(PC), andcore
(S), perimeter
(PP), semiperiphery
the
weusedand
(C). Notwithstandingsmoothing
procedures
alreadyembodiedin ourdata base,thepositionofa statein
and
anyparticular
yearis stillsubjectto strongconjunctural
influences
III.
Tables
1
1a,
random
and
3
Tables
,2,
(see 2).
(and
were
constructed
with
the
2a, 3a, below)
purpose,one, of
out"theseinfluences
overthreeobservations
"averaging
(1938,
1948,and 1950;1960,1965,and 1970;1975,1980,and 1983),
the"average"positionin oneperiod
and,two,ofcomparing
withthe"average"positionina subsequent
period.
wedidnothavenineobservations
forallthe
Unfortunately,
As showninTablesla, 2a, and3a below,formany
countries.
countries
weonlyhadoneortwoobservations
for
peripheral
theearlierperiod,and in someinstanceswe onlyhad two
forthelaterperiod.Fortunately,
we
observations
however,
forall thestatesthatmostconsistently
hadnineobservations
fellinthecoreclassanditsneighborhood;
formostsemiperiphstates.The
eralstates;andformostofthelargerperipheral
oftheoverallpicture
thatemerges
fromthetables
reliability
morethan
and discussedin thetextcan thusbe considered
satisfactory.
The positionofstatesin eachperiodhas beendetermined
to thefollowing
according
procedure:
wereavailable,a statewas
(1) Whenthreeobservations
classified:
- inthecore,ifthethreeobservations
wereC, C, C;
or C, C, Pc;
- in thesemiperiphery,
if thethreeobservations
wereS, S, S; or S, S, Pc; or S, S, Pp;
- intheperiphery,
ifthethreeobservations
wereP,
P, P; or P, P, Pp;

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66

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel
TABLE la

Position
ofStatesin1975-83Compared
toTheir
Position
in 1938-50
Position

00

PC

PP

<^
PL,
T-H ___

c
o
II

in 1938-50

___

-__

__

co

pl,

p,

NOTE: Countriesin Table la:


A: Australia,Canada, Denmark, Germany,Netherlands,New Zealand,
Norway,Sweden, Switzerland,UnitedKingdom,UnitedStates
B: Austria,Belgium,Finland,France
C: Italy,Japan,Libya (1)
D:
E:
F:
G: Ireland
H: Hong Kong (1), Israel (2), Spain, Trinidad/Tobago
I:
J:
K:
L: South Africa
M: Algeria (1), Argentina,Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Congo (1), Costa
Rica (1), Greece, Hungary (2), Iran (1)(3), Jamaica,Malaysia (1),
Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Romania, Syria (1), Turkey,Uruguay
(2), U.S.S.R., Venezuela, Yugoslavia(2)
N: DominicanRepublic,Equador, Guatemala (2), Paraguay,Peru
O: South Korea (1)
P:
Q:
R: IvoryCoast, Morocco (1)
S: El Salvador,Papua New Guinea (1), Zambia, Zimbabwe (2)

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Stratification
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67

T: Nigeria(1), Philippines
U:
V:
W: Ghana (1)
X: Angola (1)(3), Egypt,Honduras(2), Senegal (1)
Y: Afghanistan(1), Bolivia, Burma (2), Burundi(1), Cameroun,China,
Central African Republic (1), Ethiopia (1), India, Indonesia (2),
Kenya (2), Madagascar (1), Malawi (1), Mali (1), Mauritania (1),
Mozambique (1), Nepal (1), Pakistan (1), Rwanda (1), Somalia (1),
Sri Lanka, Sudan (1), Tanzania (1), Thailand (2), Togo (1), Uganda
(1), Upper Volta(l)
(1) One observationonly for1938-50.
(2) Two observationsonly for 1938-50.
(3) Two observationsonly for1975-83.

-in theperimeter
ofthecore,ifthethreeobservationswereoneofthefollowing
Pc,Pc,Pc; Pc,Pc,C;
Pc, Pc, S; C, C, S; C, S, S;
-in theperimeter
of theperiphery,
if thethree
observations
wereoneofthefollowing:
Pp,Pp,Pp;
Pp, Pp, P; Pp, Pp, S; S, S, P; P, P, S.
wereavailable,a statewas
(2) Whentwoobservations
classified:
- inthecore,ifthetwoobservations
wereC, C;
- inthesemiperiphery,
ifthetwoobservations
were
S,S;
- intheperiphery,
ifthetwoobservations
wereP, P;
- in theperimeter
ofthecore,ifthetwoobservationswereoneofthefollowing:
C, Pc; Pc,Pc; S, Pc;
- in the perimeter
of the periphery,
if the two
wereone ofthefollowing
observations
Pp, Pp; S,
P,
Pp; Pp.
wasavailable,
stateswere
(3) Whenonlyoneobservation
to thatobservation.
classified
according
On thebasis of thesetables,we proceededto definethe
ofthethreezonesas follows:
"organicmembers"
( 1) Organicmembersofthecorezone: Statesthatappear

in all threetablesin one of theupperleftblocks

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GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel

68

TABLE 2a

ofStatesin 1960-70
toTheir
Position
Compared
in 1938-50
Position
in 1933-50

Position

PC

PP

cj

r^
I

vo
ON

tH

P*

__

_____ __

__

__

__

pu

pm

II

H
W

P*

NOTE: CountriesforTable 2a:


A: Canada, Sweden, UnitedStates
B:
C:
D:
E:
F: Australia, Denmark, Germany,New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland,
UnitedKingdom
G:
H:
I:
J:
K:
L: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, South
Africa
M: Argentina,Chile, Hungary (2), Israel (2), Italy, Jamaica, Japan,
Panama, Spain, Trinidad/Tobago(1), U.S.S.R., Venezuela, Yugoslavia (2)
N:
O:
P:
Q:
R: Costa Rica (1), Greece, Hong Kong (1), Libya (1), Mexico, Turkey,
Uruguay(2)

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Stratification
ofWorld-Economy

69

S: Peru
T:
U:
V:
W: Algeria (1), Brazil, Colombia, Congo (1), Ghana, Iran (1), Iraq (1),
IvoryCoast (1), Malaysia(1), Morocco (1), Nicaragua(1), Syria(1)
X: Angola (1), DominicanRepublic,Egypt,El Salvador,Equador, Guatemala, Honduras (2), Papua New Guinea (1), Paraguay,Senegal (1),
Zambia, Zimbabwe (2)
Y: Afghanistan(1), Bolivia, Burma (2), Burundi (1), Cameroun (1),
Central AfricanRepublic (1), China, Ethiopia (1), India, Indonesia
(2), Kenya (2), Madagascar(1), Malawi (1), Mali (1), Mauritania(1),
Mozambique (1), Nepal (1), Nigeria (1), Pakistan (1), Philippines,
Rwanda (1), Somalia (1), South Korea (1), Sri Lanka, Sudan (1),
Tanzania, Thailand (2), Togo (1), Uganda (1), Upper Volta (1)
(1) One observationonly for1938-50.
(2) Two observationsonly for1938-50.

(A,B,F,G). Therewere 10 such states:Australia,


NewZealand,Norway,
Sweden,
Canada,Denmark,
Switzerland,
U.K., U.S.A.,WestGermany.
zone:States
ofthesemiperipheral
(2) Organicmembers
tablesinoneoftheninecentral
thatappearinallthree
Therewere20 such
blocks(G,H,I,L,M,N,Q,R,S).
states:Argentina,
Chile,(CostaRica),Greece,
(Hong
Ireland,(Israel),Jamaica,Mexico,
Kong),Hungary,
Panama, (Portugal),Romania,S. Africa,Spain,
U.S.S.R., Venezuela,
Yugoslavia.
Uruguay,
Turkey,
zone:Statesthat
oftheperipheral
(3) Organicmembers
in
one
of
the
fourlowerright
three
tables
in
all
appear
blocks(S, T, X, Y). Therewere44 such states:
(Benin),Boliv(Angola),Bangladesh,
(Afghanistan),
ia, Burma,(Burundi),
(CentralAfrican
(Cameroun),
El
Salvador,(EthiChina,
(Chad),
Egypt,
Republic),
India,Indonesia,
opia),(Guinea),(Haiti),Honduras,
Kenya,(Liberia),(Madagascar),Malawi, (Mali),
(Nige(Nepal),(Niger),
(Mozambique),
(Mauritania),
ria), Pakistan,(Papua New Guinea),Philippines,
(Rwanda),(Senegal),(Somalia),SriLanka,(Sudan),
(Tanzania), Thailand,(Togo), (Uganda), (Upper
Volta),Zambia,Zimbabwe.

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70

GiovanniArrighi& JessicaDrangel
TABLE 3a

PositionofStatesin 1975-83Comparedto Their


Positionin 1960-70
Position

in 1960-70
S

PP

A
B
C
o
oo ___ ____ _ _ __
G
F
H
!C o

ON
rH

co

G
o -

H
CO

PC

----

_ _ __
I
J

PL4
._.._.___.,___.._______,__

NOTE: Countriesin Table 3a:


A: Canada, Sweden,UnitedStates
B: Australia, Denmark, Germany,New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland,
UnitedKingdom
C: Austria,Belgium,Finland,France,Italy,Japan,Netherlands
D: Libya, Saudi Arabia
E:
F:
G:
H: Ireland,Israel,Singapore,Spain, Trinidad/
Tobago
I: Hong Kong
J:
K:
L:
M: Argentina, Chile, Greece, Hungary, Jamaica, Panama, Romania,
U.S.S.R., South Africa,Venezuela, Yugoslavia
N: Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru,Portugal,Turkey,Uruguay
O: Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, Congo, Dominican Republic, Equador,
Guatemala, Iran (1), Iraq (1), Malaysia, Nicaragua,Paraguay,South
Korea, Syria,Tunisia
P:
Q:
R:
S:

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Stratification
of World-Economy

71

T: El Salvador, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea,


Philippines,Zambia, Zimbabwe
U:
V:
W:
X:
Y: Afghanistan(1), Angola (1), Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Burma,
Burundi,Cameroun,Central AfricanRepublic, Chad, China, Egypt,
Ethiopia, Ghana (1), Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia,
Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar,Malawi, Mali, Mauritania,Mozambique
(1), Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka,
Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand,Togo, Uganda,Upper Volta (1)
(1) Two observationsonly for1975-83.

the constant"basketsof
These threegroupsconstitute
5 and6 have
states"onthebasisofwhichtheindexesofFigures
In Figure5 we haveplottedthelog ofthe
beenconstructed.
GNPPC ofeachgroupas a whole,as wellas therange(meanof
loggedGNPPC of the statesin each group+/- standard
to all thestateslisted
The plotsfor1950-83refer
deviation).
excludethestatesshownin
above,whiletheplotsfor1938-48
and
bracketswhichare not coveredby the Woytinsky
in
are
6
The
data
data.
simple
plotted Figure
Woytinsky
ofthelaborforceinindustry
Thepercentages
(Figure
averages.
6 parta) havebeentakenfromBanks(n.d.) fortheperiod
1938-60andfromWorldBank(1984)fortheperiod1960-80.
thelatter
sourcecovermostofthestateslisted
Whiledatafrom
ofthecoreandsemiperipheral
cover
most
Bank's
data
above,
of
a
statesbut only minority the peripheralstates.The
aretakenfromWorld
ofGDP in manufacturing
percentages
seriesfor9 ofthe
whichprovide
Bank(1984,1978-85)
complete
for12ofthe20semiperipheral
10corestates,
states,andfor35
states.
ofthe44 peripheral
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