The End of the World as We Know it: Social Science for the Twenty-first Century

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U of Minnesota Press, 1999 - Social Science - 277 pages
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This book is nothing short of a state-of-the-world address, delivered by a scholar uniquely suited to the task. Immanuel Wallerstein, one of the most prominent social scientists of our time, documents the profound transformations our world is undergoing. With these transformations, he argues, come equally profound changes in how we understand the world.

Wallerstein begins his work with an appraisal of significant recent events -- the collapse of the Leninist states, the exhaustion of national liberation movements, the rise of East Asia, challenges to national sovereignty, dangers to the environment, debates about national identity, and the marginalization of migrant populations. Wallerstein places these events and trends in the context of the changing modern world-system as a whole and identifies the historic choices they put before us. The End of the World As We Know It concludes with a crucial analysis of the momentous intellectual challenges to social science as we know it today and suggests possible responses to them.

 

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Contents

Premises and Conclusions
1
Social Science and the Communist Interlude
7
The Past and Future
19
The Rise of East Asia or The WorldSystem
34
Geopolitics in the Longue Durte
49
States? Sovereignty?
57
No Exit
76
Frkres Ennemis?
87
Social Change?
118
Differentiation and Reconstruction in the Social Sciences
157
The Structures of Knowledge
185
The Rise and Future Demise of WorldSystems Analysis
192
Social Science and the Quest for a Just Society
202
The Heritage of Sociology
220
Notes
253
Permissions
269

Integration to What? Marginalization from What?
104

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About the author (1999)

Wallerstein studied at Columbia University, where he received his Ph.D. in sociology in 1959. His work has focused primarily on what he calls "world systems theory," which deals with the socioeconomic dynamics of global dependence and interdependence. As Wallerstein sees it, the wealthy nations of the world control and manipulate the destinies of weaker nations and keep them dependent. The world system is an outcome of historic global, political, and ideological forces leading to Western hegemony.

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