What Are the Countries in the Semi-Periphery?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 27, 2020 11:09:26 AM ET

Countries in the semi-periphery include Malaysia, Venezuela, Brazil and China. Cuba, Algeria, Italy, New Zealand and Mexico are also considered semi-periphery. South Korea, Romania, Portugal, Turkey and Ukraine are as well.

The semi-periphery is part of the world-systems theory developed by Immanuel Wallerstein. Within this theory, there are three types of countries: periphery, semi-periphery and core.

Core countries are dominant and highly industrialized and urbanized, such as the United States and Germany. Peripheral countries, which include most African countries and some South American countries, are dependent on the core countries and are less literate. The semi-periphery are industrializing countries that are mostly capitalist. They are less developed than core nations but more so than peripheral countries. India and South Africa are examples of semi-periphery countries.

Semi-peripheral countries help stabilize the world system by providing a connection between the core and peripheral countries. They are major exporters and focus on manufacturing. Though major contributors to the world's economy, they tend to have unmanaged poverty and lack the economic power to rise to core standards, though they may have once been core countries. Many semi-peripheral countries, such as Iran, have above-average land mass, though not all; Israel, Poland and Greece serve as counter-examples.