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

Jones, A. (1998). Re-theorising the core: a ‘globalized’ business elite in Santiago, Chile. Political Geography, 17(3), pp. 295-318. doi: 10.1016/s0962-6298(96)00088-1


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.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
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