The Historical Evolution of World-Systems

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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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About the author

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
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Additional Information

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Published on
Feb 18, 2005
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Best For
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Political Science / Comparative Politics
Political Science / General
Political Science / History & Theory
Political Science / International Relations / General
Social Science / Anthropology / General
Social Science / Developing & Emerging Countries
Social Science / Sociology / General
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