A Structural Theory of Imperialism

Wednesday 6 April 2022

Galtung, Johan. 1971. Journal of Peace Research 8, no. 2: 81-117.

Echoing Immanuel Wallerstein’s World Systems Theory, this source conceptualises imperialism as being separated into cores and peripheries, where there is tension between the core and the periphery as well as between the elites/rest of the core and between the elites/rest of the periphery. The text explains this to demonstrate that, while structures of power have changed, their underlying nature has remained fundamentally extractive and, therefore, unjust. Following from this theory of (in)justice, this article identifies an inherently violent world system – for a positive peace, the entire structure needs to change.

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