1st Edition

Global Capitalism Theories of Societal Development

By Richard Peet Copyright 1991
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    In Global Capitalism (originally published in 1991), Richard Peet surveys the various approaches made by social theory towards seeing history in terms of its regional dynamics. He reviews environmental determinism, modernization, dependency, and world systems theories, and argues that the most capacious and dynamic model continues to be historical materialism.

    The volume presents a broad outline of global development through time, analysing primitive communism, lineage societies and the various kinds of tributary modes, and providing a closer examination of capitalism in terms of the phases and forms of its past and present. The author defends the centrality of structural Marxism to theories of global development and argues that its ideas can be furthered by the partial synthesis of other perspectives, such as the feminist critique.

    This book assumes no previous knowledge of the theories surveyed. It introduces complex material in an understandable form and will be valuable both to development professionals and to anyone interested in societal change.

    1. Introduction  2. Environmental determinism  3. Structural functionalism and modernization theory  4. Dependency and world systems theories  5. Historical materialism  6. The pre-capitalist world  7. The origins of capitalism  8. The development of global capitalism  9. Global transformation through industrialization?  10. Conclusion: the critique of Marxist development theory (and a reply)  Epilogue


    Richard Peet retired as Professor of Human Geography from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, USA. He was the Editor of the radical geography journal, Antipode, from 1970 to 1985 and Co-Editor of Economic Geography between 1992 and 1998.