chapter  4
23 Pages

Geo-economic limits on technological diffusion

International relations are characterized by a number of dualities. One that seems to have emerged more recently, beginning or becoming more apparent at least by the early nineteenth century, pits a relatively small group of affl uent states, the global North, against the rest of the world, the global South. Economic inequalities are hardly a novelty in the history of international relations. In some respects, the North-South divide resembles the imperial center-periphery structures that have been around as long as there have been empires, imperial centers, and hinterlands. Yet, the North is not a centralized empire; nor is the South an undifferentiated hinterland. Instead, we have some 190+ sovereign states – some of which are relatively rich while others are vastly poorer.