Cores, Peripheries, and Globalization: Essays in Honor of Ivan T. Berend

Cores, Peripheries, and Globalization: Essays in Honor of Ivan T. Berend

Cores, Peripheries, and Globalization: Essays in Honor of Ivan T. Berend

Cores, Peripheries, and Globalization: Essays in Honor of Ivan T. Berend

Excerpt

Over the past few years, globalization has become an extremely contentious concept, capable of fomenting violent discussion and even political action as the protests and riots at meetings of the World Trade Organization and the European Union have demonstrated. Though generating much heat, the concept itself is vague, with often contradictory meanings. What is globalization? When did it begin? What governs the relations between economic and social units within a globalized system and how can these relations be determined? To what extent is globalization a product of unchecked capitalism? Can globalization's negative effects be alleviated by modifications within capitalism or not? If not, then by whom will needed modifications be introduced and what form will they take? These are just some of the questions that perplex those who seek an understanding of the phenomenon, an understanding which obviously has direct policy and political implications. The essays in this volume cannot give direct answers to these questions. They do, however, place the debate in a broader and more vital context that locates globalization within an analysis of its essential dynamics—economic, social, political, and cultural—between metropolitan areas and their peripheries. As Herman van der Wee remarks in his essay: ['Core' and 'periphery,' considered in economic terms, are more complex than 'globalization.' They are linked with the concepts of 'dependence' and 'interdependence,' 'equality' and 'inequality.']

Research on cores and peripheries has centered on the central question of the nature of relations between developed areas and nations, underdeveloped ones, and others that sometimes are called emerging. The possible answers have been bracketed and influenced by two contrasting [master] narratives of societal and economic development, one derived from contemporary interpretations of Adam Smith's economic philosophy, usually labeled neo-liberalism, the other inspired by concepts drawn from Marxist philosophy and called dependency theory.

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