world systems

Dependency theory is the notion that resources flow from a periphery of poor and underdeveloped states to a core of wealthy states, enriching the latter at the expense of the former. It is a central contention of dependency theory that poor states are impoverished and rich ones enriched by the way poor states are integrated into the world system. The theory arose as a reaction to modernization theory, an earlier theory of development which held that all societies progress through similar stages of development, that today’s underdeveloped areas are thus in a similar situation to that of today’s developed areas at some time in the past, and that, therefore, the task of helping the underdeveloped areas out of poverty is to accelerate them along this supposed common path of development, by various means such as investment, technology transfers, and closer integration into the world market

Majority World is an alternative term for Developing World, Global South, or Third World. It describes countries in Africa, Asia, South and Central America and the Caribbean

This term, invented in the early nineteenth century, became very popular in the last decades of the twentieth century. It was used as the antinomy of state. In France at that time one contrasted:
  • le pays légal – the legal country, or the state
  • le pays réel – the reel country, or the civil society
Making this kind of distinction implied that to the degree to which the state institutions did not reflect the society all of us, the state was somehow illegitimate – disenfranchised. In recent years, the term has been used more narrowly to mean the panoply of non-governmental organizations and has carried with it the suggestion that a state cannot be truly democratic unless there is a strong civil society. The term is also used, especially in this book, to refer to all those institutions that are not narrowly economic or political


Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis a John Hope Franklin Center Book p. 91. Duke University Press. Kindle Edition.

Since the existing system can no longer function adequately within its defined parameters, making a choice about the way out, about the future system or systems which are to be constructed, is inevitable. But which choice the participants collectively will make is inherently unpredictable. The process of bifurcating is chaotic, which means that every small action during this period is likely to have significant consequences. We observe that under these conditions, the system tends to oscillate wildly. But eventually it leans in one direction. It normally takes quite some time before the definitive choice is made. We can call this a period of transition, one whose outcome is quite uncertain. At some point, however, there is a clear outcome and then we find ourselves ensconced in a different historical system

Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis a John Hope Franklin Center Book p.76- 77. Duke University Press. Kindle Edition

World-Systems: 14 september 2013 SA – August 2020 UK

Immanuel Wallerstein – World-Systems Analysis 1982, 2004

Immanuel Wallerstein – World-Systems Analysis 1982 – 2004

 In & Out  – t-werki  30 october 2013