1st Edition

The World-System as Unit of Analysis Past Contributions and Future Advances

Edited By Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz Copyright 2018
    148 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    148 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    World-system analyses have recast the study of between- and within-nation country inequality as constituent aspects of a single field of inquiry: the study of inequality and social stratification as processes that always have been global in their very essence. World-system analyses maintain that global social stratification pivots around institutional arrangements that render distributional outcomes as simultaneously “national,” “gendered,” “racialized,” and “global” processes.

    This book takes stock of some of the enduring theoretical and empirical contributions of a world-system perspective, and identifies promising directions for future inquiry and discussion. Some chapters reassess the scope and methodologies of world-system analysis around several key problems (e.g., the spatial and temporal boundaries of global commodity chains, the construction and challenge of various dimensions of social inequality, systemic and antisystemic social movements). Others take stock of areas in which world-systems are promoting methodological innovation and/or generating useful global data, and identify questions that demand additional methodological and empirical attention for future research.

    In different ways, this book help us to critically reconsider some of the enduring legacies within a world-system perspective (such as Karl Polanyi’s concept of the “double movement,” or the distinction drawn by Giovanni Arrighi or Immanuel Wallerstein between systemic and antisystemic movements). As argued by many of the authors in this book, a world-historical approach calls for greater sensitivity to the manifold ways in which conceptual boundaries change over time and space. Taking seriously the issue of unit of analysis, this book explores critically productive ways for better understanding global patterns of continuity and change.

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. By Way of Introduction: Selected Discussions on the Scope and Empirics of World-System Analysis (Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz).

    Chapter 2. The Analytical-Holistic Divide Within World-Systems Analysis (David Baronov).

    Chapter 3. Coercion and Concrete Labor Within Historical Capitalism: Reexamining Intersectionality Theory (Kelvin Santiago-Valles).

    Chapter 4. Modern World-System or Capitalist Civilization? (Ramón Grosfoguel and Eric Mielants).

    Chapter 5. Great Convergence or the Third Great Divergence? Changes in the Global Distribution of Wealth, 1500–2008 (Sahan Savas Karatasli and Sefika Kumral).

    Chapter 6. Illusion in Crisis? World-Economic and Zonal Volatility, 1975–2013 (Daniel S. Pasciuti and Corey R. Payne).

    Chapter 7. The Longue Durée and Raw Materialism of Coal: Against the So-Called Death of Coal (Paul S. Ciccantell and Paul K. Gellert)

    Chapter 8. Contextualizing Global Inequalities: A Sociological Approach (Anja Weiß).

    Chapter 9. (Anti)Systemic Movements: Hegemony, the Passive Revolution, and (Counter)Revolutions (Brendan McQuade).

    Chapter 10. Brokering Markets for Labor and Nature: Social Movements and the Transition to a Just Economy (Devparna Roy).

    Chapter 11. Exit Strategies: Marginalization, Social Movements, and Exit from the Capitalist World-System (Robert K. Schaeffer).



    Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park (USA). His book Unveiling Inequality (NY, 2009), co-written with Timothy P. Moran, won the 2010 Best Book Award of the Political Economy of the World-System section of the American Sociological Association. His current research focuses on global patterns of income inequality, social stratification, and mobility.