What Are Semi-Periphery Countries?

Semi-periphery countries are neither in the periphery or the core.
Semi-periphery countries are neither in the periphery or the core.

What Are Semi-periphery Countries?

The semi-periphery are the industrializing capitalist nations located between the core and periphery countries. These nations have organization features of both periphery and core countries plus geographically they are between two core areas or periphery and core regions. These regions play a significant role when it comes to mediating the social, political, and economic activities linking periphery core places. They allow the possibility of various innovative technologies and dominance over periphery region, plus the changes can result in the promotion of a semi-peripheral area to a core region.

The world-systems analysis defines semi-periphery regions as the primary structural elements in the economy of the world. Currently, all semi-periphery areas are industrialized, and they contribute to the manufacture and export of various commodities. These nations are characterized by extensive lands as demonstrated by Indonesia, Mexico, Iran, Brazil, India, China, and Argentina. Although more land means an increased market share and size, there are other semi-peripheral regions smaller in sizes like Greece, Poland, and Israel.

These countries provide diverse economic opportunities, but the gap between the poor and the rich is quite significant. Previously the world-systems analysts used two categories, the core, and periphery nations, but this resulted in a need for another division between the two, and thus semi-periphery was established. The third category was for the regions which have developed past the periphery level but are not yet core. These areas are still dependent and underdeveloped despite achieving significant industrialization levels. These countries are tied on the dependency theory which focuses on the reliance of impoverished regions on the wealthy areas.

What Is The Function Of The Semi-periphery Level?

The semi-periphery level plays a significant role when it comes to stabilizing world systems since it facilitates interactions and connections between the high-income states to the low-income nations by introducing a different level in the hierarchy of the world systems. These lands were once peripheral, or core countries and they have advanced in the global economy. These regions are essential elements in the global trade system since they alleviate the pressure which the core regions exert on the periphery areas and vice versa. These nations can find themselves excluded from the global politics since they are outside core nation’s political arena.

Also referred to as the middle-class, they exist to divide the economic power between the periphery and core areas. Without these states, change will not reach the developing nations. When it comes to industrialization, these countries are semi-industrialized. Therefore they are the primary exporters of agricultural produce and minerals. While this separates them from the periphery areas, they do not have the economic dominance or power which the core regions have, plus they have unmanaged poverty which places them below the core.

In the current global hierarchy, many nations are transitioning downwards while others are moving upwards regarding influence and status. Previous colonial powers are not exercising control over the worldwide domain; they are relegated to their core level. The new leaders are non-European nations, and other semi-periphery countries are dominant within the social, political and economic realm. Semi-periphery can also be described as semi-industrial or semi-imperial.

How Can A Country Move From Periphery To Semi-periphery?

According to Immanuel Wallerstein, nations with valuable energy sources like Saudi Arabia and the ones with room for industrial expansion and large markets like Mexico and Brazil can utilize the policy of seizing the opportunity. Promotion by invitation can be used by nations open to regional and foreign governmental centers which include numerous African capitalists like Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya. Another strategy is the self-reliance principle which stipulates that as some regions decline other will grow in fact, some nations in South America and Africa have qualities of sub-industrial countries.


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