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semi-periphery World-systems theorists originally conceptualized global power relations in terms of core (metropolitan) capitalist states and their weaker underdeveloped dependants in the periphery. The concept of the semi-periphery was subsequently devised in recognition of the inadequacy of the bipolarity of the original formulation. It referred to those nation-states which were neither core nor peripheral but somewhere in between. These societies remained dependent, and to some extent underdeveloped, despite having achieved significant levels of industrialization. Examples include Greece and Ireland.

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