http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World-systems_theory - emphasizes the world-system (and not nation states) as the primary (but not exclusive) unit of social analysis = that’s correct. But the next criteria is wrong:
"World-system" refers to the inter-regional and transnational division of labor, which divides the world into core countries, semi-periphery countries, and the periphery countries. Core countries focus on higher skill, capital-intensive production, and the rest of the world focuses on low-skill, labor-intensive production and extraction of raw materials. This constantly reinforces the dominance of the core countries. Nonetheless, the system has dynamic characteristics, in part as a result of revolutions intransport technology, and individual states can gain or lose their core (semi-periphery, periphery) status over time. For a time, some countries become the world hegemon; during the last few centuries, as the world-system has extended geographically and intensified economically, this status has passed from the Netherlands, to the United Kingdom and (most recently) to the United States of America.
Blue – core, purple – semi-periphery (China – most productive – on the semi-periphery!) and red – periphery)
- criteria should be “capitalist” or “transitional” states. “Capitalist” should be divided into “imperialist” and “3rd world”.
Orthodox Marxists find the world-systems approach deviating too far from orthodox Marxist principles.