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World-systems theorists originally conceptualized global power relations in terms of core (metropolitan) capitalist states and their weaker underdeveloped dependants in the periphery. The concept of the semi-periphery was subsequently devised in recognition of the inadequacy of the bipolarity of the original formulation. It referred to those nation-states which were neither core nor peripheral but somewhere in between. These societies remained dependent, and to some extent underdeveloped, despite having achieved significant levels of industrialization.

Subjects: Sociology.

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