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The Currency Hierarchy in Center-Periphery Relationships

Analytical Gains of Geopolitical Economy

ISBN: 978-1-78560-337-2, eISBN: 978-1-78560-336-5

Publication date: 7 January 2016


This paper reassesses the center-periphery relationship in light of recent developments in the international monetary system and the currency hierarchy in a geopolitical economy framework. The center-periphery relationship has historically been examined in relation to the international division of labor, the pace and diffusion of technical progress associated with it, and the pattern of consumption it embodies. As conceived by structuralists and dependentistas, it is not seen as the result of the uneven and combined development of capitalism: it does not take into account the struggle between the dominant States (center), which want to reproduce the current order and the contender States (periphery) which aim to accelerate capitalist development to reduce the unevenness, and even to undermine the imperial project of dominant states. In a geopolitical economy framework, a powerful obstacle peripheral countries face in their efforts at combined development is the international monetary system, something that the theorists of the center-periphery relationship have perhaps overlooked. Because of its subordinate position in the currency hierarchy, the periphery is subject to greater external vulnerability, greater instability of exchange and interest rates, and as a result, enjoys a more restricted policy space. In this sense, the chapter shows that, beyond macroeconomic policies, the currency hierarchy in a context of high capital mobility limits a range of developmental policies of peripheral countries, reinforcing the unevenness of world economy and constraining combined development.




The authors wish to thank Radhika Desai, José Carlos de Souza Braga, Giuliano Contento de Oliveira, Bruno de Conti and an anonymous referee for useful comments. They are not responsible for any remaining errors. Financial support from CNPq (Brazil) and Capes (Brazil) is also gratefully acknowledged.


Palludeto, A.W.A. and Abouchedid, S.C. (2016), "The Currency Hierarchy in Center-Periphery Relationships", Analytical Gains of Geopolitical Economy (Research in Political Economy, Vol. 30B), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 53-90.



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