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Measuring global interactions (4 hours)

Global participation – Describe and evaluate one of the following two globalization indices: the AT Kearney index or the KOF index, as a measure of global interaction. Describe how the globalization index may be represented spatially.


Global core and periphery – Discuss the spatial pattern of global interactions through the mapping of core areas at the focus of interaction (network hubs/nodes), the peripheries and areas relatively unaffected by these interactions.

The idea of core and periphery is very simple. All it states is that some areas develop faster because of human and physical advantages and turn into the core and other areas that lack human and physical advantages become the less important periphery. Core areas are likely to experience greater growth, investment and net migration gain, while the peripheries may well be exploited and suffer from lack of investment. Below are three models that attempt to explain the development of core and periphery areas.

core 1

Core and Periphery Model

This is a simple idea that core cities, regions or countries will develop leaving peripheral areas outside. The idea is that core areas will develop because they possess physical or human advantages e.g. resources, good transport links, etc.
The model then states that as core regions develop it is necessary for them to exploit the peripheries. This might be in terms of net migration gain or exploitation of resources.
During the colonial period, Western Europe developed as a core region and exploited many of its colonies in Africa, Asia and South America.

core 2


Friedmann’s Stages of Growth Model

The stages of growth model was developed by John Friedmann in 1966. The model attempted to show what happens within regions during a sustained period of growth. The model has four stages.

STAGE 1: When towns/regions are developing independently with very minimal contact between them – possibly some basic trading of goods.
STAGE 2: One town or region becomes dominant, probably because it has more physical or human resources. The core starts attracting people and investment from other regions.
STAGE 3: New smaller cores (semi-periphery) start to develop and there is an increase in flows between the core and the semi-periphery (two ways flows e.g. FDI)
STAGE 4: All areas are now developed and fully dependent upon each other with flows of capital and people in both directions.

core 3


Wallerstein’s World Systems Theory

The World Systems Theory was developed by Immanuel Wallerstein in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The model assumes that a capitalist world system has existed from as early as the 16th century and that an international division of labour has been created. Wallertsein divides the world and labour into three areas. Those areas are:

CORE: Assumes that the core focuses on high skilled capital intensive jobs and industries.
SEMI-PERIPHERY and PERIPHERY: Assumes that these areas focus on more low skilled labour intensive industries and jobs. Although Wallerstein believes that the division of labour perpetuates regions position in the world, he also believes that the system is fluid and that core countries may slip back into the semi-periphery and periphery countries move into the semi-periphery. This might be because of the discovery of new resources or old resources running out.

change 3

Characteristics of Core Characteristics of Periphery
  • High foreign direct investment (FDI)
  • High employment and high wages
  • High levels of communications and technology e.g. internet and mobile network
  • High literacy and skills rates
  • Net migration gain
  • Larger secondary and tertiary economy
  • Good electricity, water and gas supplies
  • Good quality housing
  • Wide variety of entertainment e.g. cinemas, museums, etc.
  • Cultural diversity (sport, music, religion, language, food, dress, etc.)
  • Large racial mix
  • Disinvestment
  • Net migration loss
  • Unemployment
  • Low levels of literacy and small skills base
  • Large primary sector economy – maybe a large number of subsistence farmers
  • Water and electricity shortages – possible reliance on fuelwood
  • Poor levels of communications
  • poor housing – often informal settlements
  • Traditional lifestyle/culture (lack of cultural mix)
  • Little international cultural or sporting facilities
Core Area Periphery Area
Physical Factors
  • Coastline
  • Available resources e.g. coal in Australia
  • Close to other developed countries e.g. Europe and North America
  • Stable climate (not to hot or too cold) e.g. Western Europe
  • Areas of flat land that make construction easy e.g. East coast of US and SE of England


  • Landlocked (no coastline) e.g. Rwanda and Uganda
  • Mountainous e.g. Bolivia and Nepal
  • Very hot (arid desert environment) e.g. Mali
  • Very cold (permafrost)
  • Infertile land e.g. The Sahel
  • No resources
  • Regular suffer from devastating natural disasters e.g. Bangladesh and flooding or famine in East Africa


Human Factors
  • Good transport links e.g. International airport (London Heathrow)
  • Good education system. Renowned academic and research universities e.g. Cambridge and Oxford in the UK and the Ivy League universities in the US
  • Good medical care so that there are low death rates and high life expectancy – free from major diseases
  • Good international relations e.g. member of international organisations like NATO and OECD
  • Stable democracy free from conflict
  • Government policy e.g the development on enterprise zones or export processing zones that encourage FDI


  • Poor education system often resulting in high levels of illiteracy.
  • Poor healthcare leading to high death rates and low life expectancy. Possibly high rates of diseases like HIV and malaria.
  • Lack of democracy and kleptocratic government. No accountability for government officials
  • Large levels of debt
  • Frequent conflicts e.g. Somalia
  • Possible exploitation from previous colonial power


Within countries sometimes urban areas develop as the core and rural areas as the periphery. Urban areas may experience urbanisation and urban growth because of rural-urban migration and rural areas may experience rural depopulation and service decline.

World Cities (Global Cities or Alpha Cities)

core 4

As well as core regions developing, there has also been the development of core global cities. These cities have become known as world cities or global cities or alpha cities. London and New York are generally regarded to be the two most important global cities, followed by cities like Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney and Singapore. Although world cities control a disproportionate amount of world trade, there classification can vary, but may include some of the following:

  • Economic: Stock exchanges, corporate headquarters, high cost of living, financial transactions
  • Political: World influence, expatriate communities, headquarters of international organisations, capital cities
  • Cultural: Familiarity, host of sporting and cultural events, centre of education and tourism, variety of religions
  • Infrastructural: International airport, mass transit system (underground.subway), quality infrastructure and amenities

As well as important regions, countries and cities, there are also important global economic organisations. Three of the most famous are the G20, OECD and World Economic Forum. Although most will claim to want to end global disparities and alleviate poverty, critics will argue that they make decisions that they benefit themselves and maintain the status quo.


This is a group of twenty finance ministers and bank governors. There are 19 countries in the group and the EU (trading bloc). The 20 leading economies represent 80% of GNP and world trade and cover two thirds of the world’s population. The G20 was first proposed by the Canadian finance minister Paul Martin – it was formed in 1999. The Chair of the group is rotated between countries and summits are held once or twice a year. The summits were started in response to the financial crisis that started in 2007. The main purpose of the group is to discuss policies and issues relating to the running of the global financial system and economy. It aims to address issues outside the remit of international organisations.




The OECD stands for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. It has 34 members and was founded in 1961 to stimulate economic growth and world trade. Members are also committed to the free market system (capitalism) and democracy. The idea of the OECD was actually started in 1948 with the OEEC (Organisation for European Economic Cooperation), but was extended to accept non-European states in 1961. Each member has a delegation and an ambassador. There are yearly meetings. As well as the 34 member there are about 50 non-members who participate OECD schemes. The Secretariat based in Paris helps develop and implement policy. It has an annual budget of about $510 million.



World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation headquartered in Geneva. It started in 1971 as the European Management Forum, but changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987. The forum has an annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland which brings together business leaders, finance ministers, world leaders, economists and intellectuals. As well as its main meeting it holds six to eight annual regional meetings. The organisation is funded by its 1000 member companies. The aim of the forum is to discuss globally important issues like the environment, poverty, conflicts and obviously the economy.





TH Kof index of globalisation 

Read page 317-319 (textbook)

The KOF Index of Globalization measures the three main dimensions of globalization:

  • economic
  • social
  • and political.

In addition to three indices measuring these dimensions, we calculate an overall index of globalization and sub-indices referring to

  • actual economic flows
  • economic restrictions
  • data on information flows
  • data on personal contact
  • and data on cultural proximity.


Kof website

Describe the spread of globalization using one official index that you have studied (10)

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