Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4)


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Sign in via your Institution. Sign in with your library card. This chapter takes Wallerstein into territory that critics of his earlier volumes admonished him for neglecting: gender, race, and to a lesser extent ethnicity.

Three Big Ideas: Liberalism, Socialism, Nationalism

The fifth and final substantive chapter considers the foundation of the social sciences and the discipline of history in the latter decades of the 19th century, mainly in Germany, Britain, France and the US. About 90 percent of the discussion concerns Britain or France. The periphery, semi-periphery and external areas of previous volumes scarcely make an appearance. Imperialism hardly figures. The justification for this is that the triumph of centrist liberalism occurred first in Britain and France.

So crucial parts of the capitalist core by such as the US, Germany and Japan are usually off stage — Japan is scarcely mentioned. Wallerstein regards the French Revolution as the defining event for the 19th century, one which put new issues on the table that politics and culture thereafter had to face. This viewpoint is more sustainable when one concentrates on France and Britain than if one follows the triumph of centrist liberalism in the 19th century to, say, Canada or Australia.

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As in Volume III, Wallerstein dismisses the Industrial Revolution as no revolution at all, merely another phase in the evolution of the world-economy. This apotheosis of the French Revolution and denial of the Industrial Revolution puts Wallerstein at odds with most recent interpretations of the 19th century world, a position in which he seems to delight.

Many readers of the earlier volumes, myself included, often found them too confined to economic relations. Volume IV will not arouse the same criticism. It is about ideas, society and politics. It explores the outlook of thinkers from the early and midth century, figures once important to Marxist and marxisant debates, but now mostly forgotten.

Readers who have not encountered de Maistre or the Guesdists will be at sea from time to time. Ideas and intellectual culture figured tangentially in the earlier volumes, but are front and center here. Wallerstein read deeply into the historical literature on 19th-century ideas and social movements in Britain and France.

ISBN 13: 9780520267619

But he apparently did most of the reading years ago: About 60 percent of his references are to works from the s, s or s; he cites more work from the s than from the s; and scholarship from the s accounts for about 1 percent of his references, and well under that for the first four chapters.

It is admirable that he is so well versed in the scholarship of earlier generations, which too many authors now dismiss as not worth consulting. But Wallerstein has not come to grips at all with major works of recent years that offer influential visions of the 19th century, for example, C. The French Revolution fades into the background.

These are prominent books.

The Modern World-System IV - Immanuel Wallerstein - Häftad () | Bokus

My guess, then, is that he did almost all his reading for Volume IV some years ago. That might or might not have affected his conclusions. If he found himself persuaded by parts of their arguments he would have had to adjust his own. Chapter Five is for me the most interesting part of the book. He has consistently chafed, and rightly so I think, at the isolationism of each academic social science discipline, at the dominion of Weberian schemas in most social science, and the ahistorical abstractions of almost all professional economics.

Here he explores the origins and early development of history, economics, sociology and political science as tools for understanding late 19th-century Europe, and understanding it in ways congenial to late 19th-century liberalism.

The Modern World-System IV: Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 - Vol. 4

In each of these discussions he proceeds country by country, always featuring France and Britain, but with journeys to Germany and the US as needed. The segments on history, sociology and economics, however, concern the prevailing ideas of the early giants in these fields. Despite its title, this section does not deal with structures of knowledge outside the Western world — for Wallerstein this is less important, perhaps because what thinkers in Japan or the Ottoman Empire were up to did not inform or consolidate the victory of centrist liberalism.

The synopses of the emergence of these academic disciplines in Europe and the US are not original, I expect — rather drawing on the prior work of others — but taken together and put in the context of the politics and society of Western Europe circa to , they make for a persuasive presentation of the origins of academic social science.

The book begins with a short summary of volumes I to III. It ends with a short summary of Volume IV. Harried scholars, and students preparing for exams, will be especially thankful for these sections. But reading the book in full will be worth their time. All readers will find something to disagree with, as readers long have with Wallerstein, but much to admire as well.

Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4) Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4)
Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4) Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4)
Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4) Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4)
Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4) Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4)
Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4) Centrist Liberalism Triumphant, 1789-1914 (The Modern World-System, Volume 4)

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