World-Systems before Capitalism
AbstractWithin 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.