World System Theory Essay by BrainC

World System Theory
A critical evaluation of Emanuel Wallerstein's World System Theory.
# 53057 | 2,404 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Sep 30, 2004 in Political Science (Political Theory) , Economics (General)

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This paper examines Emanuel Wallerstein's modern world system and looks at how he showed how the European, capitalist, world economy developed from the 16th century into its modern form today. It explores how this modern world system came from the argument that the world system, which was traditionally considered capitalist, had an unequal international division of labor and was centered on both political and economic exploitation.

From the Paper:

"There were two specific divisions of the world system, and Wallerstein labeled these as world economies and world empires (Wallerstein, 1974b). The world empire was seen as a social entity that had not only a select centralized political structure but a redistributive economic system (Wallerstein, 1974b). The centralized political structure of the world Empire is a strength that it has but also a weakness (Wallerstein, 1974b). An economic flow from the outlying areas to the center through both tribute and taxation is guaranteed but there is also a bureaucracy that arises in such an empire and this absorbs a great deal of the profit (Wallerstein, 1974b). This is especially true in times where the military expenditure and social unrest is at its highest. In contrast to world empires, world economies are seen not as political entities but as economic ones (Wallerstein, 1974b)."

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