The Historical Evolution of World-Systems

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Springer, Feb 18, 2005 - Political Science - 213 pages
The rise and decline of great powers remains a fascinating topic of vigorous debate. This book brings together leading scholars to explore the historical evolution of world systems through examining the ebb and flow of great powers over time, with particular emphasis on early time periods. The book advances understanding of the regularities in the dynamics of empire and the expansion of political, social and economic interaction networks, from the Bronze Age forward. The authors analyze the expansion and contraction of cross-cultural trade networks and systems of competing and allying political groupings. In premodern times, theses ranged from small local trading networks (even the very small ones of hunting-gathering peoples) to the vast Mongol world-system. Within such systems, there is usually one, or a very few, hegemonic powers. How they achieve dominance and how transitions lead to systems change are important topics, particularly at a time when the United States' position is in flux. The chapters in this book review several recent approaches and present a wealth of new findings.
 

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Contents

The Rise and Fall of Great Powers
1
Eurasian CWave Crises in the First Millennium BC
20
From Harappa to Mesopotamia and Egypt to Mycenae Dark Ages PoliticalEconomic Declines and EnvironmentalClimatic Changes 2200 BC700 BC
52
Power is in the Details Administrative Technology and the Growth of Ancient Near Eastern Cores
75
Power and Size Urbanization and Empire Formation in WorldSystems Since the Bronze Age
92
Lamb Rice and Hegemonic Decline The Mongol Empire in the Fourteenth Century
113
The Rise of European Hegemony The Political Economy of South Asia and Europe Compared AD 1200AD 1500
122
Contentious Peasants Paternalist State and Arrested Capitalism in Chinas Long Eighteenth Century
155
Space Matter and Technology in Globalization of the Past and Future
174
Index
211
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About the author (2005)

MITCHELL ALLEN Anthropology, Santa Clara University, California, USA ALEXIS ALVAREZ Institute for Research on World-Systems, University of California-Riverside, USA EUGENE N. ANDERSON Anthropology, University of California, Riverside, USA STEPHEN BUNKER Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA CHRISTOPHER CHASE-DUNN Sociology and Director, Institute for Research on World-Systems, University of California, Riverside, USA PAUL CICCANTELL Sociology, Western Michigan University, USA SING CHEW Sociology, Humboldt State University, California, USA HO-FUNG HUNG Sociology, Johns Hopkins University, USA ERIC MIELANTS Sociology, University of Utah, USA DANIEL PASCIUTI Institute for Research on World-Systems, University of California-Riverside, USA WILLIAM THOMPSON Political Science, Indiana University, USA