The World is Out of Joint: World-Historical Interpretations of Continuing Polarizations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The World is Out of Joint

World-Historical Interpretations of Continuing Polarizations, 1st Edition

Edited by Immanuel Wallerstein


208 pages

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The dominant view in social science has been that the modern world shows a pattern of linear development in which all positive social trends rise (albeit at an uncertain speed) toward a relatively homogenized world. In the post-1945 period, some analysts contested this linear model, arguing that the modern world was rather one of escalating polarization. Their view was strengthened by the separate emergence within the natural sciences of complexity studies, which suggested that natural systems inevitably moved away from equilibrium, and at a certain point bifurcated radically.

This book, based on a truly collaborative international research project, evaluates the empirical evidence in this debate in order to (1) give an adequate portrayal of the historical realities of the world-system, (2) draw a nuanced assessment about this debate, and (3) provide the basis on which we can not only envisage probable future trends but also draw conclusions about the policy and/or political implications of past and future research.

The work of ten research clusters, based on crucial topics of overlapping nodes of social activity, provides a vantage-point with which to assess the basic issue; a clear picture emerges of "world-historical interpretations of continuing polarizations."

Table of Contents

01 - Introduction

by Immanuel Wallerstein

02 - Ecology and the Geography of Capitalism

by Ana Esther Ceceña

03 - Economic Inequality, Stratification, and Mobility

by Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz and Timothy Patrick Moran

04 - Cities

by Peter J. Taylor, Michael Hoyler, and Dennis Smith

05 - Peasantries

by Eric Vanhaute, Hanne Cottyn, and Yang Wang

06 - Large Enterprises and Corporate Power

by Jorge Fonseca

07 - Intellectual Property

by Ravi Sundaram

08 - The States

by Atilio A. Borom and Paloma Nottebohm

09 - Citizenship

by Oleksandr Fisun and Volodymyr Golovko

10 - Patriarchal Systems and Women's Spaces

by Linda Christiansen-Ruffman

11 - Deviance

by Ari Sitas, Sumangala Damodaran, Weibke Keim & Nicos Trimikliniotis

12 – Conclusion

by Immanuel Wallerstein

About the Editor

Immanuel Wallerstein has been a Senior Research Scholar at Yale University since 2000, having taught previously at many distinguished universities. Among his many books, he is the author of the magisterial 4-volume work, The Modern World System. Volume IV is recently published.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General