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core nations

Definition of Core Nations

(noun) In world systems theory, a powerful industrial nation that dominates the global economic and political system.

Examples of Core Nations

Note: Based on research by Babones (2005).

Core Nations Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: core na·tions

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /kOR nAY-shuhnz/
  • British English – /kAW nAY-shuhnz/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /kɔr ˈneɪʃənz/
  • British English – /kɔː ˈneɪʃənz/

Usage Notes

Related Quotation

  • “Transitions from the semiperiphery to the core have historically been rare, and have largely driven by chance (e.g., the discovery of oil) or massive transfers (e.g., membership in the EU). Neither mechanism can be relied upon to drive policy in the poorer countries of the world more broadly . . . Keeping in mind that the vast majority of the world’s population lives in the periphery of the world-economy, it would not be an unworthy goal to focus on ways to help peripheral countries attain semiperipheral income levels. While the current research gives no guidance on how to accomplish this goal, it does suggest that such a goal might be productively pursued” (Babones 2005:53).

Additional Information

Related Terms


Babones, Salvatore J. 2005. “The Country-level Income Structure of the World-economy.” Journal of World-Systems Research 11(1):29–55. doi:10.5195/jwsr.2005.392.

Works Consulted

Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Core Nations

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “core nations.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 24, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/core-nations/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

core nations. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/core-nations/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “core nations.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/core-nations/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“core nations.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 24 May. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/core-nations/>.