The rise of China and its impact on world economic stratification and re-stratification

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The article provides a framework for understanding the historical trajectory of China’s rise and its impact on the conventional stratification of the capitalist world-economy of the core, semi-periphery and periphery. Inspired by World-System Theory, the author analyses the process through which China’s global economic rise is challenging the status quo of the world-economy’s established structure. In other words, China’s economic rise is modifying the ‘classical’ stratification of the world economic zones as conceptualised by World-System Theory in terms of the core, semi-peripheral and peripheral relationships and in terms of the composition and proportional size of the three economic zones. As a result, the conventional stratification of a small core, a scattered larger semi-periphery and a vast periphery is being altered. The article goes through China’s different positions in the world’s economic stratification during different periods, and concludes that the global transformations led by China’s economic rise is leading the world towards a regional and global re-division of labour, which is exerting a great deal of impact on both the Global North and the Global South in terms of opportunities and challenges.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)530-550
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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