1. Name three places that show that this map is out of date when discussing global divisions.

core and periphery

The location of every Internet connected device in the world.


hubs and nodes

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  1. Add the definitions above to your notes
  2. Read pp 14-16 HL Book as a class
  3. Copy Fig. 2 p15 in your notes

global cities

Distribution of Ga-WC World Cities (2010 data). Source: Wikipedia

Distribution of Ga-WC World Cities (2010 data). Source: Wikipedia

  1. Describe the distribution of world cities. Refer to the general pattern, specifics and exceptions. Specify regions of continents using compass words.
  1. Click, read and summarise the article above in one paragraph.

mapping of core areas at the focus of interaction


  1. Access the GATW page and complete the mapping activities.

practice exam question

Explain how global core areas (hubs) can be distinguished from peripheral areas [10 marks].


mark scheme

Candidates would be expected to define “global core areas/hubs” as significant places that provide a focal point for global flows and activities. They are places where major diaspora groups may be found or may be identified as source regions either for contemporary cultural diffusion (for example, Seattle’s computer industries) or economic imperialism (for example, Washington). The scale at which hubs can be identified is open to interpretation. Small cities like Cambridge (UK) are hubs, but so too are megacities such as Sao Paulo and small states including Monaco and Luxemburg.

Arguably, entire nations such as Singapore and South Korea could be described as hubs at which point the term hub is almost synonymous with “core” in world systems analysis. But an appropriate “core and periphery” analysis in 2011 should not simply echo 1970s World Systems theory. Responses that do not acknowledge this and do not examine more than a simple “MEDC–LEDC” worldview (for example, by at least acknowledging a semi-periphery of emerging economies/NICs) should not progress beyond band C. (Within bands D and E, a good explanation of a fuller range of characteristics could compensate for a more limited description of the hub/periphery pattern.)

At bands D and E, answers need to be focused on how such places can be distinguished from other places and should not just assert that they exist. People and organizations in hubs will display high levels of global participation which could be measured using KOF or AT Kearney indices. They may also host major diasporas or can be mapped as source regions for key “globalized” cultural traits including language (such as English or Spanish). Mapping the head offices of large TNCs is another route of inquiry. Other routes could include a ranking of the competitiveness of financial centres, airports, ports, internet bandwidth availability, reliance on agriculture.

Other approaches may be equally valid.

examiner report

This question produced a disappointing set of responses on the whole. Too many candidates merely asserted, wrongly, that a simplistic MEDC–LEDC divide still exists. There was next to no acknowledgment of globally important hubs such as Mumbai or Sao Paulo or other key settlements in emerging economies (or peripheral "LEDCs" as they were portrayed in most accounts, despite the BRIC group’s key role in driving global GDP growth today). Overall, the cohort showed poor understanding of contemporary economic geography and the global pattern of hub regions.

The use of the word "hub" in the guide, and in this question, ought to be a clear signal to centres that the core–periphery literature dating from the 1970s is not, in itself, sufficient background reading for the current global interactions course. Candidates who relied exclusively on this outdated framework found themselves erroneously describing a global system within which a global periphery, that includes China and India, continues to provide raw materials for the manufacturing firms found in developed countries. Examiners were left wondering whether, in other contexts, such candidates would be able to explain the rise of the Asian tigers and BRIC economies, or the de-industrialization of the old global core.

Thus a widespread lack of familiarity with the concept of emerging economies as new global hubs (which must surely come from examining the latest KOF or Kearney indices) was seen. There was little mention of the activities of the world’s financial hubs (which have triggered the global economic turndown that now surrounds us).

The concept of scale was clearly the biggest problem. There was a lack of comprehension that world cities in middle-income and low-income nations can nonetheless be global hubs. Effective teaching about globalization and global interactions needs to move beyond the nation state as the only frame of reference for patterns of wealth and connectivity.

mobile internet coverage / interactive map