War in the World-System

Hardcover | September 1, 1989

EditorRobert K. Schaeffer

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This interdisciplinary study provides a broad conceptual and factual base for a deeper understanding of the social, political, and economic forces that contribute to war and peace in the modern world. Focusing on war as an integral part of the political and economic development of the capitalist world-economy, the authors offer critiques of modern conflict theories and in-depth empirical analyses of war in the world-system during the past 400 years. Schaeffer's introductory chapter assesses theoretical approaches to the study of war from a world-system perspective. The historical relationship between economic development and war in the interstate system is explored on several levels. The emergence of the world-system is discussed, and the history of its globalization through diplomacy, aggressive trade expansion, conquest, and war is outlined. The authors examine the changing structure of political relations in the interstate system, and look at the connections between military conflict and political and economic developments within individual nations. The threat of nuclear war is considered, particularly as it shapes the world-system through "deterrence ideology" and the deployment of massive superpower nuclear arsenals. Other topics addressed are the relationship between militarization and national development, the origin and character of military-industrial complexes, the waging of war by absolutist states, and the impact of economic fluctuations on military expenditures and international relations. Drawn from a recent conference on War in the World-System, the studies in this book distill some of the most original and innovative thinking in the field. An appropriate choice forcourses or research in war and peace studies, political economy, development, international relations, and allied disciplines.

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This interdisciplinary study provides a broad conceptual and factual base for a deeper understanding of the social, political, and economic forces that contribute to war and peace in the modern world. Focusing on war as an integral part of the political and economic development of the capitalist world-economy, the authors offer critiqu...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:144 pages, 9.76 × 6.12 × 0.71 inPublished:September 1, 1989Publisher:GREENWOOD PRESS INC.

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:031325429X

ISBN - 13:9780313254291

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?This volume (edited by Schaeffer, a senior editor at Greenpeace) consists of essays presented at the 1988 Political Economy of the World-System conference. The research focuses on the general topic of war and most of the selections adhere closely to the World-System' perspective developed by Immanuel Wallerstein (The Modern World System, Vols. I and II) and others. Few of the contributors are major figures in the field; Christopher Chase-Dunn, Johns Hopkins University and Raimo Vayrynen, University of Helsinki, are the exceptions. Although the book is not an enormously significant contribution because no major theoretical or empirical advances are reported, it does contain a number of competently performed studies that constitute a normal' scientific addition to knowledge. A number of the selections focus on the empirical relationship between economic cycles and war, and a few consider the impact of other factors, such as the advent of nuclear weapons and changes in political organization, on the likelihood of war. The most interesting passages are those advancing forecasts regarding the timing of the next global war. The book is a useful companion to a number of the other volumes in the series of which it is a part (e.g., Crises in the World-System, ed. by A. Bergesen, 1983 and Dynamics of World Development, ed. by R. Rubinson, 1981), as well as to the broader literature on World-Systems, ' . . . . Graduate students and faculty.?-Choice