Changing Peripheries: East–West Relations During the Growth of Globalisation


Author: Olavi K. Fält, University of Oulu, Finland
Email: [email protected]
Published: August 2012

Citation: Fält, O. K. (2012). Changing Peripheries: East–West Relations During the Growth of Globalisation. IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 1(1).


The paper examines why Western culture achieved a position of hegemony in global development in the 1800s and why non-Western cultures, particularly Arabic, Indian, and Chinese cultures, did not achieve the same despite earlier supremacy in various fields leading to a type of globalization that can be termed “southernization”. I consider the question by assessing the political, cultural, and economic factors affecting globalization during different periods. My analysis utilizes Robert P. Clark’s entropy theory, according to which cultures have flourished by extending their sphere of influence, whereupon disorder and loss of energy have been moved elsewhere. The theory helps to suggest how Western Europe was able to adopt enough technical innovations produced by southernization to respond to the population pressures of the 1400s, thereby rising to a leading position in the world in the 1800s.


center, periphery, East-West, globalization, entropy