Posted by Connie R. Aponte on November 11, 2013 in Capitalist Economies |


The present research was conducted in Village Zandra, District Ziarat, in Baluchistan, Pakistan. Zandra Village is situated 108 km southeast of Quetta just 12 km short of Ziarat town. The village is 8,000 ft. above sea level and is surrounded by grey hills, apple orchards and Juniper forest, which is considered to be the 2nd largest in the world. Thus, the area is greener than other areas of the province. Area wise Baluchistan is the largest province of Pakistan. It shares its northern border with Afghanistan with major cities of Chagai, Quetta and Zhob. The western border is shared with Iran via districts Makran and Kharan. The eastern end is bounded by the Sind province, whereas the Arabian Sea lies on its south.


Qualitative anthropological research methods which include socio-economic survey, participant observation, key informant interviews and in-depth interviews were used to collect empirical data. Stratified random sampling based upon social classes was used for selecting 100 households. This research was a longitudinal study. First of all a 4 months visit was conducted in 1987, then a couple of month long visits in 1990s and finally in 2007.


This research has been embedded in the theoretical discourse of world system theory. World Systems Theory is a multidisciplinary approach, which studies the world history and social change at macro-level. This theory is also known as the world systems analysis. This theory treats the world systems as the basic unit of social analysis and by world system it means the division of labour at international level. The world system approach was developed by Immanuel Wallerstein in 1970s and 1980s. His three volume work “The modern world system” (1974, 1980, 1989), Historical Capitalism (1996), “The end of the world as we know it (1999) and number of essays (i.e. 1974, 1979, 1983, 1991, 1991(b), 1995, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2004(b)) were the major contribution in developing the theory. The other contributors of world system theory are Samir Amin (1970, 1973), Cardoso and Falleto (1969), Santos (1970a, 1970b), Rodney (1974), and Andre Gunder Frank (1969).

According to Wallerstein the capitalist world economy is a dynamic system which keeps on changing with the passage of time. However, some of the basic features remain constant. When we look into these changes the core countries are clearly the most benefited from this arrangement. They earn very high profits from international trade. They exchange manufactured products for raw materials mainly from peripheral countries and to some extent from the semi-peripheral countries. The core countries are becoming richer and richer at the cost of the peripheral economies. It does not mean that every citizen of the periphery is becoming poorer and everybody in the core countries is becoming richer as a result. The landlords in the periphery often become richer at the expense of their underpaid labour, as they can exploit them and can use their surplus manpower in their interest. On the other hand in the core countries, most of the landless rural population is forced to work as wage labour, which results in a relative decline in their income and living standard. In general this theory says that the world’s capitalist economies determine the rout for development of the large part of the world’s population in their own favour.

In world system theory, Wallerstein explains the wide-ranging and different effects of development on the world’s population. He examines how economic and political conditions in northwestern Europe transformed into the superior commercial and political power after the breakdown of feudalism. The capitalist world economy has been growing since its birth. Its geographic expansion has changed political systems as well as the labour conditions wherever it could penetrate. Functions of the world economy have created big differences and inequalities among the economies of different countries.

The relationship between the core, peripheral and semi-peripheral countries are also relative inconstant. Technological development brings positive changes all over the world. Some impulsive changes are brought in peripheral or semi-peripheral countries, but the core countries get the most advantage. Wallerstein, however, after the analysis of history of the capitalist world system firmly concluded that this development has created inequality and disparities in economic and social sectors of different countries rather than bringing prosperity all over the world.

Most of the world system theorists have analyze its implementation at macro level. The exploitative relation between core and periphery has been studied at state level. In this research this model will be put on test at micro level to confirm, revise or drastically change the reasoning built into this. Its impact would be observed on village economy. The researcher would try to examine how this development of underdevelopment influences the masses at grass root level. Husain (1976) in the field of technological development and Di Bona (1977) and Keith (1978) in the field of education have studied the implementation of world system analysis at micro level. Arnove (1980) has emphasized the need of further research at micro level.

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