The global policy relevance of the centre-periphery paradigm

Hendrikx, Harrie Paul (1993). The global policy relevance of the centre-periphery paradigm PhD Thesis, School of Economics, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Hendrikx, Harrie Paul
Thesis Title The global policy relevance of the centre-periphery paradigm
School, Centre or Institute School of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1993
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor H. U. Tamahke
S. R. Harrison
Total pages 387
Language eng
Subjects 14 Economics
Formatted abstract The essential purpose behind the thesis was to develop a relatively more policy relevant paradigm in order to help generate a policy perspective that would assist in the synchronization of policies leading to the 'better functioning' of the global political economy

The centre-periphery paradigm may be seen as providing us with a stop-go mechanism that can help predict internationally generated trends on the basis of sequentially observable 'historical time-posts' In this thesis, the emphasis is on those time-posts that appear as structural characteristics of the global political economy The associated internationally generated trends pertain to a set of interdependently moving ratios of 'mirror' centre and periphery variables. Changes in these ratios are broadly related to changes in the general relative economic wellbeing of 'centre and periphery-type economies'

The thesis' title promises to expound the policy relevance of the new paradigm. To this end, the thesis has developed a 'synthetic' view of globally recurring sequences in a set of interdependently moving economic and political variables These sequences are seen to represent and to be brought about by, recurring series of changes in socio-economic structures through which changes in global inter-sectoral flows of wealth are brought about. These flows provide a predictive quality in that they indicate movements of variables as a function of sequential changes. In this way, the sequentially changing structural properties of the global political economy, are rendered relatively more predictable and therefore also more policy relevant.

The thesis develops a policy vision that incorporates a normative basis for the assessment of relatively 'favourable' trends and structures. The policy perspective also provides a Tinbergen-type policy concept that relates instrument variables to the achieving of relatively 'favourable' trends and structures. It is in this way that the policy perspective of the centre-periphery paradigm can become engaged in the assessment of the relative meritoriousness of various 'policy bundles'

The new paradigm's historical-time-posted sequences are seen to have occurred under certain conditions during which imperialistic and mercantilistic tends alternated in their degree of dominance. The associated structural foundation was then consistent with the generating of time-posted sequences. These mainly found their origin in the periodic fluctuations in the degree of confrontation between imperialistic structures that contained centres and their peripheries. After having been quite prevalent during the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries, the pattern of centre-periphery sequences re-emerged strongly during the confrontations of the twentieth century They are expected to continue until 'sufficient' foundational changes to liberate the global structure from imperialistic conditions, are brought about through for instance, the introduction of an appropriately foundationally institutionalized 'New World Order'

To formalize the market structure in which centre-periphery trade takes place, the bilateral oligopoly bargaining model is usefully employed to complete the main aspects of the axiomatic basis for the deductive part of the new paradigm and its sequences. That model and the way in which this thesis theoretically developed, is further detailed in Appendix III

The focussing on this thesis' axiomatic foundation has been especially useful in terms of providing a basis for the linking with and the comparing with, the neo-classical system. The neoclassical paradigm assumes the persistence of equilibrating structures and its main policy relevance lies in rendering structures more competitive and in assisting in re-equilibration. In contrast, the new paradigm accepts that economic structures change as a function of political economic circumstances and that cumulative collapse mode conditions could become prevalent. As a result, its original policy relevance lies in providing insights as to how structures can be policy assisted to become more sustainable and how they can provide greater social justice.

Longer run foundational changes are seen to occur through a structure's 'mutation' or through a process of 'evolutionary transformation' In the long-run, structural foundation is seen to tend towards that of the over time, relatively more predominant phase that occurs in the intermediate-run sequences.

In its long-run policy perspective, the thesis argues for globally instigated and synchronized policies that would lead to a selected set of foundational characteristics. The selection is made to be consistent with those characteristics that are expected to pertain during a foreshadowed 'New World Order' The concept of a New World Order was before the 1991 Desert Storm, espoused by the main Anglo-Saxon leaders. The Desert Storm was in basic contradiction to the main espoused tenets of the New World Order

The main contribution of the thesis relates to the inductive verification of and to the development of, a theoretical framework that has been developed based on the dialectic theoretical arm of the methodology in the social sciences. Additionally, through its emphasis on the effects of different structural foundations, on 'qualitatively' distinct future transformational paths, the thesis has made a distinct contribution to the theoretical analysis of mutational processes and the preferred outcomes regarding their structural axiomatic bases

This thesis' development must be seen to be in contrast to the general construction of the empiricists' analytical efforts. Notwithstanding this, the thesis has fully conformed to the methodological principles associated with the 'logical positivistic' approach. It is that approach's combining of and the synthesizing between, the deductive and the inductive methodological-arms, that has been generally recognized to be the more scientifically respectable analytical approach that is available for the analysis of policy issues in the social sciences.

Some of the axiomatic characteristics of this author's new paradigm, possess certain similarities with the structures that have been developed by people such as Prebisch, Samir Amin, Frank, Emannuel, Hveem, Galtung and others. However, these structures are taken as a priori to the new paradigm's even further expanded axiomatic basis. Also, the new paradigm has been developed well beyond a mere statement of its structural foundation.

As there is an enormous literature relating to centreperiphery structures, the reader must excuse the author for his selectivity in the application of references. For the benefit of further research, the author has in Appendix I, provided an extensive tableau of the main intellectual contributions that he has valued in the development of this thesis.
Keyword Economic policy
International economic relations

 
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