Research On The World Systems Theory And Its Connection To Globalization

Globalization, as it has a major impact on the global economy, is now one of today’s most pressing issues. Most observers agree globalization has increased rapidly in the past 20 years. It also explains the similarity of cultural practices and norms as well as institutional networks which are aligned towards a shared agenda. This phenomenon has been explained by a variety of theories, such as the modernization theory and the world systems theory. The world systems model best explains global change in this way because it highlights the causes for inequality.

Immanuel Wallerstein created the World System Theory to help explain large-scale global changes. He argues that the world’s societies are interconnected by a set of unequal relationships in politics and economy that make up the “world systems” (Strikwerda). The modernization model helps explain how a traditional society changes from a premodern civilisation to one that adopts new social characteristics with superior technology (Strikwerda). It is because the world trade depends on the fact that a nation’s economy is weak and therefore they have to depend on other nations for their supplies. Strikwerda (2000, p. 3) states that most changes are initiated by a dominant center before spreading outwards unidirectionally. This arrangement will only last if there is inequality. The Modernization Theory does not explain globalization in its entirety, but rather focuses on the effects of it.

The world system theory best explains the global change in this way because it pinpoints the causes behind inequality (why are there developed and undeveloped countries). Modernization Theory is insufficient to explain globalization as it doesn’t identify the economic inequalities that drive the concept.


  • zakhart

    Zak Hart is an educational blogger and professor who has been writing about education for over 10 years. He has written for various publications, including The Huffington Post and Edutopia, and has been a guest lecturer at various universities. Zak is the founder and director of the Edutopia Academy, an online education program that provides teachers with resources and lessons to help them improve their teaching skills.

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