Emerging Issues in the 21st Century World-System: Crises and Resistance in the 21st Century World-System - Vol. 1

Emerging Issues in the 21st Century World-System: Crises and Resistance in the 21st Century World-System - Vol. 1

Emerging Issues in the 21st Century World-System: Crises and Resistance in the 21st Century World-System - Vol. 1

Emerging Issues in the 21st Century World-System: Crises and Resistance in the 21st Century World-System - Vol. 1

Synopsis

As one-half of the latest edition of Immanuel Wallerstein's Political Economy of the World System series, this collection offers cutting-edge theoretical directions to explain the structural crises of the 21st century world system. Contributors argue that the capitalist world system has reached a critical bifurcation point, a short period which will be characterized by a sudden shift in the long-term structural forces that have created and sustained the world as we know it. Writers challenge conventional thinking about the most significant structural crises that face the 21st century world system, including terrorism, debt, the growth of megacities as global actors, the emergence of a powerful transnational capitalist class, and the world ecological crisis.

Excerpt

The Political Economy of the World-System (PEWS) Section of the American Sociological Association was created in the 1970s to bring together a small but growing number of social scientists concerned with analyzing the processes of world-systems in general and our modern one in particular.

Although organizationally located within the American Sociological Association, the PEWS Section bases its work on the relative insignificance of the traditional disciplinary boundaries. For that reason it has held an annual spring conference, open to and drawing participation from persons who work under multiple disciplinary labels.

For PEWS members, our work is not only unidisciplinary; the study of the world-system is not simply another “specialty” to be placed beside so many others. Instead, it is a different “perspective” with which to analyze all the traditional issues of the social sciences. Hence, the themes of successive PEWS conferences are quite varied and cover a wide gamut of topics. What they share is the sense that the isolation of political, economic, and sociocultural “variables” is a dubious enterprise, that all analysis must be simultaneously historical and systemic, and that the conceptual bases of work in the historical social sciences must be rethought.

Immanuel Wallerstein

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