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Re-theorising the core: a ‘globalized’ business elite in Santiago, Chile

Jones, Andrew M. (1998) Re-theorising the core: a ‘globalized’ business elite in Santiago, Chile. Political Geography 17 (3), pp. 295-318. ISSN 0962-6298.


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World systems theory continues to be a widely adopted approach in theorisations of the contemporary world economy. An important epistemological component to world systems theory is the metaphor of core-periphery. Recent work within the approach has sought to transcend earlier criticisms of regional conceptions of cores, peripheries and semi-peripheries by an increasing sensitivity to local differences and an increasing emphasis on Wallerstein's original idea of core-periphery as process, operating at all scales in the contemporary world system. However, this paper argues that the core-periphery metaphor currently used by world systems theorists is founded around a restrictively narrow spatial epistemology. Such a narrow epistemology implements the core-periphery metaphor only as something which produces territorial outcomes in the physical world. This paper contends that recent work within the social services, concerned with the globalization debate and issues of spatial epistemology, should inform world systems theory in producing a reformulated spatial understanding of the core-periphery metaphor, embodying a wider conception of space to include abstract social spaces. This argument is developed in the notion that the world economy must also be understood as having a ‘social core’: a transnational diasporic business elite exercising decision-making power over the capitalist world system. The contention is grounded in the presentation of research into a case study of such a ‘globalized’ business elite in the capital city of Chile, Santiago.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The author is currently (2006) Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Birkbeck.
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Geography, Environment and Development Studies
Depositing User: Sandra Plummer
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2006
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:32

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