The World System

The World System : Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand?

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The historic long-term economic interconnections of the world are now universally accepted. The idea of the 'world system' advanced by Immanuel Wallerstein has set the period of linkage in the early modern period. But some academics think this date is much too late and denies a much longer interconnection going back as much as five thousand years.
Reframing the chronology of the world system exercises powerful influences on the writing of history. It integrates the areas of Asia and the East which were marginalized by Wallerstein into the heart of the debate and provides a much more convincing account of developments which cannot otherwise be explained. It undermines the primacy claimed for Europe as the major agent of economic change, an issue with implications far beyond the realm of history.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 26mm | 580.6g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 2 Tables, black and white
  • 0415150892
  • 9780415150897
  • 1,265,057

Table of contents

Part I: Introduction 1. The 5,000-Year World System: An Interdisciplinary Introduction Andre Gunder Frank and Barry K. Gills Part II: Building Blocks of Theory and Analysis 2. "Capital" Imperialism and Exploitation in Ancient World Systems K. Ekholm and J. Friedman 3. The cumulation of Accumulation Barry K. Gills and Andre Gunder Frank 4. Hegemonic Transitions in the World System Barry K. Gills Part III: Using the Theory to Reanalyze History 5. World System Cycles, Crises, and Hegemonic Shifts, 1700 BC to 1700 AD Barry K. Gills and Andre Gunder Frank 6. Transitiona Ideological Modes: Feudalism, Capitalism, Socialism Andre Gunder Frank Part IV: The World System: 500 Years or 5,000? Discussing the Theoretical, Historical and Political Issues 7. Civilizations, Cores, World Economies, and Oikumenes Daivd Wilkinson 8. The Ancient World-System Versus the Modern Capitalist World-System Samir Amin 9. Discontinuities and Persistence: One World System or a Succession of Systems? Janet Abu-Lughod 10. World System Versus World-Systems: A Critique Immanuel Wallerstein 11. Rejoinder and Conclusions Andre Gunder Frank and Barry K. Gills
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Review quote

"I think it vital that this book should be widely read and discussed...."
"This is a generous volume."
-"Journal of World History, Fall 1996
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Rating details

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