The US and the World-Systems Theory

Immanuel Wallerstein emphasizes world systems more than nation-states in several issues such as politics, history, sociology, and others. He discusses the world system as a social reality having nations, households, firms, social classes, and others interconnected. He also explains the critical moments in developing the modern world system through the French revolution of 1789, the global revolts of 1968, the development of capitalism in the 16th century, and others (Stallkamp et al., 2016). Therefore, the United States might relate economically with other countries within the context of global stratification by applying the concepts of core, semi-peripheral and peripheral countries in several ways.

First, core countries are the nations with high levels of development. Peripheral countries are less developed, while Semi-peripheral has made significant strides towards development. The United States, as a core country, might get the supply of human resources, raw materials, and others from semi-peripheral and peripheral countries. The US has high advancement in manufacturing, innovation, and almost all sectors of the economy but sometimes lacks labor to work in the corporations (Kostoska et al., 2020). It, therefore, gets supply from countries such as Mexico and others that are considered peripheral.

Peripheral and semi-peripheral countries provide the market for most of the finished products produced in the US. The market is for products in healthcare, automobile, electronics, textile and apparel, and others. The US also offers services to peripheral countries in different sectors of the economy. It is also imperative to note that peripheral and semi-peripheral countries supply the US with components for making electronics (Kojaku et al., 2019). They also supply it with coffee beans for making world-famous coffee and cotton for textiles and apparel, among others.

In conclusion, the core and peripheral countries depend on each other for survival. The US needs labor for its developed industries. It also needs raw materials and other essentials such as oil. Peripheral countries, on the other hand, need the finished products and technical know-how from the US. This behavior, in turn, creates a mutually symbiotic relationship between the two systems.


Kojaku, S., Xu, M., Xia, H., & Masuda, N. (2019). Multiscale core-periphery structure in a global liner shipping network. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 78-82. Web.

Kostoska, O., Mitikj, S., Jovanovski, P., & Kocarev, L. (2020). Core-periphery structure in sectoral international trade networks: A new approach to an old theory. PLOS ONE, 15(4), e0229547. Web.

Stallkamp, M., Pinkham, B. C., Schotter, A. P., & Buchel, O. (2017). Core or periphery? The effects of country-of-origin agglomerations on the within-country expansion of MNEs. Journal of International Business Studies, 49(8), 942-966. Web.

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DemoEssays. "The US and the World-Systems Theory." September 18, 2022.