World-Systems before Capitalism


  • M. N. Pearson M. N. Pearson


Within   the broad category of radical history, which seems to be the same as   political economy, there is no question that the dominant paradigm has been   laid out by Immanuel Wallerstein in his world-system model. Since the first   volume appeared in 1974 his work has set the agenda, leaving orthodox   Marxists, let alone modernisation theorists, liberal market analysts and   empiricists floundering in his wake. It even seems that post-modernists,   after their brief florescence, have returned to the obscurity they deserve.   Wallerstein's work produced a host of rebuttals, modifications, and   elaborations. Yet from the beginning even the most trenchant critics have   never questioned the value of his enterprise; rather they have been concerned   to improve it, to a greater or lesser extent modify it, but they still   recognise its seminal importance.