RESTRUCTURING MARKETS, REORGANIZING NATURE: AN EXAMINATION OF JAPANESE STRATEGIES FOR ACCESS TO RAW MATERIALS

Stephen Bunker, Paul S. Ciccantell

Abstract


Theorists of hegemony combine a concern with the causes of war and peace with questions of dominant trade regimes. While this combination addresses issues of central importance for studies of international relations, it may somewhat confound the role of hegemony studies within a world systems perspective. The power of the world systems perspective lies in the consideration of entire worlds, not simply as the appropriate unit of analysis, but as integrated units of production and exchange. Hierarchy within this system reflects not simply politically enforced relations of unequal exchange, but the subordination of production in different parts of the world to regimes constructed and manipulated by core powers to their own economic and political advantage. The processes that create the power of the core and the processes by which the core subordinates the periphery constitute the critical questions within this perspective. Part, but only part, of the answer lies in the superior productive capacity and efficiency of the core, and resulting ability to dominate trade. Another part, and we believe this is primary, lies in the ways that, in order to become so productive and so efficient, economies rising to core status must organize other economies and international transport systems to assure the increasing, secure, cheap supplies of the raw materials that support productive efficiency and economic growth.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.1995.44

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