Keywords

Centre/Periphery

Traduction/Translation/Traducción
 
Envoyer l'article par mail
De la part de :  :
(entrez votre nom)

Destinataire  :
(entrez l'email du destinataire)


afficher une version imprimable de cet article  Imprimer l'article
générer une version PDF de cet article Article au format PDF

The geometrical metaphor of centre and periphery is often used to describe opposition between the two basic types of places in a system : the one which is commanding and benefitting it, the centre, and those which are subjected to it, in a peripheral position. This conceptual pair goes back at least to the time of Werner Sombart (Der moderne Kapitalismus, 1902), if not of Marx (city/countryside relations), and was used by the imperialism theoreticians (Rosa Luxemburg, Boukharine) but its contemporaneous form was given by economists specialised in development inequalities (Samir Amin, Le développement inégal, 1973). Alain Reynaud developed the notion in the field of geography (Société, espace et justice, 1981).

It is thus rigorous to avoid using these terms in their common sense, which is used in particular about urban realities, in order to distinguish what is in the middle from what is outside. There should be particular caution about representations in form of rings fitted inside each other, which may point as well to simple discretisations (rings of increasing or decreasing densities), to successive stages (rings of urban growth, for example), to distribution of phenomena of various nature in function of a distance parameter (rings of Thünen), as to an opposition between dominating and dominated places.

The concept may be used at all levels of the geographic scale (centre and periphery of a village farmland, of a city, of a region, etc.). But it has registered a particular success at the global level, as an equivalent of the “developed world / underdeveloped world” or “North / South” pairs. Centre / Periphery allows description of the opposition of places but moreover proposes an explanatory model of this differentiation : periphery is subjected because centre is dominating - and reciprocally. This concept has thus been mostly used in the context of third-worldist thinking, more or less as an instrument for making inhabitants of Western countries feel guilty. This is an excessively restrictive use of a much more efficient notion. To think in terms of centre(s) and periphery(ies) allows to reflect on interactions between places in the World : links of reciprocal dependency where inequalities are the rule, but which are not working one-way.

For the pair to make sense, there must be relationships between the two types of places, thus flows (of persons, goods, money, information, decisions,...) and these relationships must be dissymmetrical, (unbalance of flows, hierarchy of power relationships,...). The centre is central precisely because it benefits from this inequality and, in turn, the periphery(ies) is(are) characterised by a deficit which maintains its(their) dominated position. The hereby described system is auto-regulated : the centre reproduces conditions for its centrality and the periphery does the reverse. It is thus a pleonasm to talk about a “dominated periphery”. However, precisely because it is based on a logic of (inequal) exchange, the system is dynamic. Whereas some peripheries may become “dead ends” (they are then said « abandoned »), others may benefit from their situation (advantage on the long-run because of a greater size, of a location in contact with the outside of the spatial system,...); this can generate either polarity reversals in a logic that remains globally identical or system changes.

The centre/periphery model has thus a robust heuristic potential, provided it is not overused. Its use should be reserved to formalisation of any system based on inequality relationships, and it should not be used as a simple descriptor of spatial gradient or differentiation.

Christian Grataloup


lexapro official site flexeril in urine uroxatral bph keppra red streaks http://www.region-limousin.fr/?buy=123510 clomid cheap more info clonidine compare abilify tylenol amounts generic for lumigan http://www.region-limousin.fr/?buy=644191 inderal for withdrawel in france letter main fmls keppra mood actonel candidiasis connection makers of plavix in mayami nexium home page http://www.region-limousin.fr/?buy=184861 celexa sinus dangers of vytorin http://www.region-limousin.fr/?buy=794611 clomid brand online crestor versus zocor in canada coumadin programs ecstasy aleve in new york arimidex diarhea dulcolax liver coumadin class action avodart danger in california purim fasting paxil zoloft pristiq discounts information about synthroid dental concerns diarrhea with pravachol orlistat otc allegra hinson zyrtec new generic discount bactrim accutane attorney ohio risperdal a benzo http://www.region-limousin.fr/?buy=43848 differin with benzoyl distended stomach nexium ocuvite flomax arjuna tree farmville recreational strattera rubidium persantine in new york zantac 250 mg generac bactrim ds10 1 cardura naltrexone implantat about omnicef cap avodart 7.5 erythromycin color tylenol ez tab plavix flexiril in uk