By Immanuel Wallerstein
Immanuel Wallerstein’s hugely influential, multi-volume opus, the trendy World-System, is considered one of this century’s maximum works of social technology. An leading edge, panoramic reinterpretation of worldwide historical past, it strains the emergence and improvement of the fashionable global from the 16th to the 20 th century.
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Extra resources for The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century (With a New Prologue)
The approximate dates of this are 1450-1640. The second volume shall deal with the consolidation of this system, roughly between 1640 and 1815. The third shall deal with the conversion of the world-economy into a global enterprise, made possible by the technological transformation of modern industrialism. This expansion was so sudden and so great that the system in effect had to be recreated. The period here is roughly 1815-1917. The fourth volume will deal with the consolidation of this capitalist world- Introduction: On the Study of Social Change 11 economy from 1917 to the present, and the particular "revolutionary" tensions this consolidation has provoked.
Conceptualization should determine research tools, at least most of the time, not vice versa. The degree of quantification should reflect merely the maximum of precision that is possible for given problems and given methods at given points of time. More rather than less quantification is always desirable, to the extent that it speaks to the questions which derive from the conceptual exercise. At this stage of analysis of the world-system, the degree of quantification achieved and immediately realizable is limited.
But structures too are born, develop, and die. Unless we are to use the study of social change as a term synonymous to the totality of social science, its meaning should be restricted to the study of changes in those phenomena which are most durable—the definition of durability itself being of course subject to change over historical time and place. One of the major assertions of world social science is that there are some great watersheds in the history of man. One such generally recognized watershed, though one however studied by only a minority of social scientists, is the so-called neolithic or agricultural revolution.
The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century (With a New Prologue) by Immanuel Wallerstein