Myths, State Expansion, and the Birth of Globalization: A Comparative Perspective by J. CarlsonMyths, State Expansion, and the Birth of Globalization: A Comparative Perspective by J. Carlson

Myths, State Expansion, and the Birth of Globalization: A Comparative Perspective

byJ. Carlson

Hardcover | December 15, 2011

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Myths are important, yet overlooked. Myths, dreams, desires and false information prime the pump of imperial expansion, which explains how new regions of the world get absorbed into the expanding world system. This book explores the role that information plays in the expansion of the state system. High risk, high return behavior subsidizes later 'rational' strategies. The Northwest Passage, Prester John, West African rivers of gold, and Marco Polo's silver-roofed land of Zipangu all provide examples. Not merely an artifact of history, accurate information acquisition and dissemination continues to be relevant, as myths still drive markets and political decision-making.

JON D. CARLSON is a lecturer in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Arts at the University of California, Merced.
Title:Myths, State Expansion, and the Birth of Globalization: A Comparative PerspectiveFormat:HardcoverDimensions:252 pagesPublished:December 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan USLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230120881

ISBN - 13:9780230120884


Table of Contents

Broadening and Deepening: Systemic Expansion, Incorporation and the Zone of Ignorance * New World Empires and Otters: The Scramble for Nootka Sound, the Northwest Passage, and the China Trade * West Africa and the Rise of Asante: Rivers of Gold, a Short Route to China, and the Globalization of Labor * Ethiopia and the Middle East: The Red Sea Trade, Prester John and Christians in the Muslim World * Japan and the Far East: Zipangu, Roofs of Silver and the Lure of the Orient * Conclusion: Myths, Incorporation & Systemic Expansion

Editorial Reviews

'This work presents a fine addition to the international relations literature and world systems theory. Following in the footsteps of Chase Dunn and Eric Wolf, Carlson offers us a detailed analysis of four 'peripheral' systems that were gradually incorporated into the European world system, and he brings a rich historical perspective to the current discussions around globalization. Contrary to state centric perspectives that dominate neo-liberal and structural realist accounts, the author demonstrates how incorporation into the European world system entailed profound military, political, economic, and social transformations at the micro-level. Thus, to understand the macro-level outcome that led to the creation of the current state system, one needs to understand how all four spheres interacted. From his analysis one must conclude that the current pattern of globalization challenges not merely the Westphalian state system but every aspect of social and political life. As Carlson's narrative shows, all the given assumptions of day-to-day life become malleable and uncertain, and indeed the very understanding of what 'the international system' means should be subject to re-examination.' - Hendrik Spruyt, Norman Dwight Harris Professor of International Relations, Northwestern University'In this well-written and carefully argued work, Jon D. Carlson forces us to consider, through a comparative examination of how different regions have historically been incorporated into the world system, the representational devices of the myths of expansion. Equally fascinating, creative, and rigorously executed, Carlson's theoretically rich work engages, synthesizes, and implicates a variety of core assumptions centralized by International Relations scholars.' - Brent Steele, associate professor of Political Science, University of Kansas and author of Defacing Power: The Aesthetics of Insecurity in Global Politics'A benchmark for addressing issues of incorporation and globalization. The book also has pedagogical value both for explicit content and as a model of how such work can be done. It will have broad appeal to scholars of world history, archaeology, geography, sociology, and international relations.' - Thomas D. Hall, Professor Emeritus, Depauw University