Marxism usually seems to be ”irrelevant” to international relations theory.However,thanks to some successive scolars the internationalization process of Marx’s ideas are shaped from Lenin’s imperialism to Wallerstein’s world-systems theory.
Firstly, Lenin published his book ”Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism” in 1977.In this book he argued that under monopoly capitalism there is a two-tier structure had developed within the world econonmy.A dominant core exploiting a relatively weaker periphery.Lenin argued that the bourgeoisie in the core could pacify their own working class throughfurther exploitation of the periphery.Marx’s idea of harmony of interest among all workingclasses in the world therefore, no more existed. Later, Latin American Dependency School developed the notion of core and periphery in greater detail.Paul Prebisch for example talked about ”declining terms of trade”.
Meaning;price of manufactured goods increased more rapidly compared to raw materials.As a resultperipheral countries become poorer and poorer.So, development of less industrialized countries was directly ‘dependent’ on the more advanced capitalist countries.And this dependency was the reason why some countries couldn’t developed.International systemwas exploitative, characterized by dominance of some countries over others.
There are threemain premises of dependency theorists.F?rst is the international division of labor.Core countries dominate in terms of industry and technology.Meanwhile, peripheral countriesare characterized by agricultural production and cheap labor.
Therefore we can say thatperiphery serves the core.Second is class distinction.In each type of countries there is aclear divide between rich and poor, and each economic and political elites all cooperatewith one another.So, they collaborate so as to keep the system the way it is.
Third is globalcapitalism.In this system liberal economic theory dominates, which serves the interest of the core.In addition, multinational corporations, banks, international institutions (World Bank, IMF) all serve the interests of the core.As we can see this entire system serves the interests of the wealthy.They don’t serve developing countries.Instead of promoting development and equal opportunity, this system promotes dominance and exploitation.So, from a dependency theory perspective, how can states develop in a system that is actually designed to prevent them from developing.
Dependeny theorists call thisphenomena ‘underdevelopment’.Immanuel Wallerstein added an intermediate semi-periphery, which has a hybrid nature, comprised of both core and periphery counties’ characteristics.Semi-periphery plays a vital role in stabilizing the world political system.
Wallerstein says that every world system has a beginnig, a middle, and an end.Capitalism is no different than any system that prececed it.Controversially, Wallerstein argues that the end of the cold war, rather than marking a triumph for liberalism, indicates that the current system has entered its ‘end’ phase; aperiod of crisis that will end only when it is replaced by another system (Wallerstein 1995). Exploitation of core over periphery also takes form of environmental problems.