Immanuel Wallerstein

Picture of Immanuel Wallerstein

Date of Birth: 09/28/1930

Age: 86

Place of birth: New York

Citizenship: United States


Wallerstein, Immanuel (Wallerstein, Immanuel) (R. 1930) - American philosopher, founder of the world-system analysis, one of the leaders of the left-radical modern social science.

Born in New York on September 28, 1930. He studied sociology at Columbia University in New York (Bachelor - 1951 Master`s degree - 1954, PhD - 1959). He worked at Columbia University (1958-1971), the University of Mc Gil (1971-1976), Bingemtonskom (1976-1999) and Yale (2000) universities. Since 1976 he headed the organized them Fernand Braudel Centre for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations (at Binghamton University), whose members are actively involved in the development and promotion of the world-system approach. In 1994-1998 was the president of the International Sociological Association.

Having started an academic career as a sociologist-Africanist, Wallerstein from 1960 began to study the general theory of social and economic development. He developed the world-system theory is based on the proposal of the French historian Fernand Braudel principles of complex historical analysis. It synthesizes the sociological, historical and economic approaches to social evolution.

Wallerstein differs enormous scientific productivity: he has published more than 20 books and over 300 articles.

The main work I.Vallerstayna - multivolume modern world-system: the first volume (1974) is considered the genesis of the European World-Economy in the 16th century., In the second (1980) - its development in the period of mercantilism, in the third volume (1989) he brought her history until 1840. In other writings, Wallerstein analyzes the evolution of the capitalist world-economy in the 19-20 centuries. and even make predictions for the 21st century.

The main concept Wallerstein developed the concept of a world-economy - the system of international relations based on trade. In addition to the world-economies of different countries can be combined into a world empire, based not on economic but on political unity. History is regarded by him as the development of various regional world systems (world-economy and world empires) that have long competed with each other, while European (capitalist) world-economy has not become completely dominant. Thus Wallerstein contested traditional formational and civilizational approaches to stories, offering a new, third paradigm of social development.

Traditionally, it was thought that capitalism as a social system initially originated in some of the most developed countries, and only then began to take shape the capitalist world economy. According to the same concept Wallerstein, on the contrary, capitalism was originally developed as an integrated system of world relations, the individual elements of which were the national economy.

Capitalism was born, according to Wallerstein, 16 in., When by mere accident in Western Europe world-empire gave way to the world-economy based on trade. The capitalist world-economy has created the colonial expansion of Western European countries to 19. she suppressed all the other world-economy and the world-empire, remains the only modern world-system.

According to Wallerstein`s theory, all countries of the capitalist world-economy live in the same rhythm dictated by the "long waves" Kondratiev.

For the capitalist world-economy is characterized by "axial division of labor" - division of the nucleus (center) and the periphery. Countries of the European civilization, which form the core of the world economy, playing the role of the driving force of world economic development. Non-European countries (with some exceptions) form the periphery, ie, They are economically and politically dependent. The backwardness of the periphery explained by Wallerstein, targeted policy states the core - they impose subordinate countries such economic specialization, which continues to lead the developed countries. Although developed countries are promoting the ideology of "free trade", Wallerstein believes capitalism is profoundly anti-market system as the core countries monopolize its privileged position and power to protect it. However, in the 20th century. the distinction between between the core and the periphery has become a part wear out due to active attempts formerly backward countries (eg, Japan) to break the circle of active participants in the world economy.

In addition to antagonistic relationships between the core and the periphery of the core of the evolution of the other capitalist world-economy is a struggle between the core countries. The role of leader in world trade has consistently played the Netherlands (17 in.), The UK (19 in.) And the US (20 in.); intervals between periods of hegemony have been filled with economic and political confrontation of the strongest powers in economic terms (the Anglo-French wars of the 18th century., First and Second World Wars in the 20th century.). According to Wallerstein, in the modern era America loses the status of an absolute leader: "The United States is the strongest power in the world, - he writes - but it`s fading power".

By placing the blame for the backwardness of the "Third World" in the developed countries of the West, Valerstayn continues the tradition of the Marxist theory of imperialism. His proposed approach to the explanation of history gained immense popularity among the radical left economists developed and developing countries. Particularly impressed with them a pronounced anti-Americanism ideas Wallerstein.

Although many social scientists do not agree with Wallerstein, world-system theory has had a huge impact on the growth of interest in history as one global process and contributed to the birth of history and globalization.