2011년 4월 29일 금요일

[자료] Capitalism and the Modern World-System: Rethinking the Non-Debates of the 1970s

by Giovanni Arrighi
© Fernand Braudel Center 1997.
(Paper presented at the American Sociological Association Meetings, New York, August 16-20, 1996)

※ Thanks to the author and the related people for kindly providing the article on the Internet. Followings are just a reading note of this reader with some annotations, so please refer to the link above to see the original content.
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Talking at cross purposes is often a major ingredient of so-called debates in the social sciences. The real, though generally undeclared purpose of such non-debates is not so much the shedding of light on their alleged subject-matter as establishing or undermining the legitimacy of a particular research program--that is, what subject-matter is worth investigating and how it should be investigated. Criticisms of empirically false or logically inconsistent statements are advanced not to improve upon the knowledge produced by a research program but to discredit the program itself. This, in turn, produces among the upholders of the program a siege mentality that leads them to reject valid criticisms lest their acceptance be interpreted as a weakness of the program. Worse still, the same fear leads to another kind of non-debate--that is, to the lack of any debate of even the most glaring differences that arise among the upholders of the program.

Useful as these non-debates may be in protecting emergent programs against the risks of premature death, eventually they become counterproductive for the full realization of their potentialities. I feel that world-system analysis has long reached this stage and that it can only benefit from a vigorous discussion of issues that should have been debated long ago but never were. The purpose of this paper is to raise afresh some of these issues by examining briefly two major non-debates that marked the birth of the world-system perspective--the Skocpol- Brenner-Wallerstein and the Braudel-Wallerstein non-debates.

1. The World-System Perspective and Wallerstein's Theory of the Capitalist World-Economy.

As Harriet Friedmann (1996: 321) has pointed out, the emergence of the world-system perspective as research program is inseparable from the influence of Immanuel Wallerstein's The Modern World System, Vol.I (henceforth TMWS) and from the new institutions formed in its wake, most notably the PEWS Section of the ASA, the journal Review, and the Fernand Braudel Center. Thanks to this text and these institutions, the new research program
"opened questions later blazed across headlines, and the subject of fast-breeding academic journals. If sociology has kept pace with `globalization' of the world economy, it is to the credit of the institutional and intellectual leadership initiated in 1974 by [Wallerstein's] remarkable study of the sixteenth century" (Friedmann 1996: 319).
The new perspective redefined the relevant spatial and temporal unit of analysis of the more pressing social problems of our times. In Christopher Chase-Dunn's and Peter Grimes' words,
At a time when the mainstream assumption of accepted social, political, and economic science was that the "wealth of nations" reflected mainly on the cultural developments within those nations, [the world-system perspective] recognized that national "development" could only be understood contextually, as the complex outcome of local interactions with an aggressively expanding European-centered "world" economy. Not only did [world-systemists] perceive the global nature of economic networks 20 years before such networks entered popular discourse, but they also saw that many of these networks extend back at least 500 years. Over this time, the peoples of the globe became linked into one integrated unit: the modern "world-system." (1995: 387-8)
In pioneering this radical reorientation of social research, Wallerstein(1974, 1979 [1974]) advanced a theoretical and historical account of the origins, structure, and eventual demise of the modern world-system. Central to this account was the conceptualization of the Eurocentric world-system as a capitalist world-economy
  • A world-system was defined as a spatio-temporal whole, whose spatial scope is coextensive with a division of labor among its constituent parts and whose temporal scope extends as long as the division of labor continually reproduces the "world" as a social whole. 
  • A world-economy was defined as a world-system not encompassed by a single political entity. Historically, it was maintained, world-economies tended towards disintegration or conquest by one group and hence transformation into a world empire--a world-system encompassed by a single political entity. 
  • The world-economy that emerged in sixteenth- century Europe, in contrast, displayed no such tendency. Not only did it survive but it became the only world-system--in Wallerstein's own words--"that has ever succeeded in expanding its outer boundaries to encompass the entire world," thereby transforming itself "from being a world to becoming the historical system of the world" (1995:5).

What accounted for this unprecedented and unparalleled expansionary thrust of the European world-economy was its capitalist nature--the fact that it was not just a world-economy but a capitalist world-economy. Wallerstein singled out "production for sale in a market in which the object is to realize the maximum profit" as the essential feature of a capitalist world-economy. "In such a system production is constantly expanded as long as further production is profitable, and men constantly innovate new ways of producing things that will expand the profit margin"(1979:15).
This alleged transformation of the European world-economy into a capitalist world-economy is both a great strength and a great weakness of Wallerstein's account of the origins and evolution of the modern world-system. 
  • It is a great strength because--if it can be convincingly demonstrated--it provides a highly parsimonious and plausible explanation of the uniquely expansionary thrust of the Eurocentric world-system over the last 500 years. 
  • But it is also a major weakness because Wallerstein has no convincing explanation of how and why the transformation occurred when and where it did.

This gap soon became the common target of the two most influential critiques of Wallerstein's TMWS, Robert Brenner's and Theda Skocpol's. Twenty years after their publication, these two critiques are still routinely cited in all dismissals not just of Wallerstein's theory(ies) but of the world-system perspective pioneered by that theory. The success of these critiques is no doubt largely due to their reaffirmation of the validity of more traditional Marxist and Weberian research programs in the face of the challenges posed by the emerging world-systems perspective. At least in part, however, their success rests on solid arguments with which world-systemists have yet to come to terms.

2. The Skocpol-Brenner-Wallerstein Non-Debate.

Although the Skocpol and Brenner critiques have different thrusts, both underscore Wallerstein's failure to account plausibly for the capitalist transformation of the European world-economy. From the very start, Skocpol (1977: 1077-8) focuses her critique on the lack of insights offered by Wallerstein on "how and why capitalism emerged, has developed and might one day pass from the scene." In explaining origins and dynamics, she finds Wallerstein awkward and sketchy, in sharp contrast with his forcefulness on the subject of the stability of the capitalist world-system--"once the system is established, everything reinforces everything else."
As to origins,

To explain what he holds to be the demise of feudalism around 1450, Wallerstein... employs, first, an amalgam of historians' arguments about reasons for the crisis of feudalism (1300-1450) and, then, a series of teleological arguments about how the crisis "had to be solved" if "Europe" or "the system" were to survive. The emergence of the capitalist world system is presented as the solution. Thus in this one instance where Wallerstein actually discusses a supposed transition from one mode of production to another, he uses the language of system survival, even though such language is quite incongruous.(Skocpol 1977: 1078)
As to dynamics--"how world capitalism develops once it is established"--Wallerstein's repeated assertions that the system is dynamic are matched by "no theoretical explanation of why developmental breakthroughs occur."
The only definite dynamics of Wallerstein's world capitalist system are market processes: commercial growth, worldwide recessions, and the spread of trade in necessities to new regions of the globe. Apparently the final demise of the system will come after the market has spread to cover the entire globe and transformed all workers into wage laborers. But even the all-important dynamic of global expansion itself depends upon the occurrence of technological innovations--themselves unexplained. (Skocpol 1977, 1078)
After these initial observations, Skocpol develops her critique in two directions: Wallerstein's alleged "reduction of socio-economic structure to determination by world market opportunities and technological production possibilities," and his alleged second "reduction of state structures and policies to determination by dominant class interests" (1977: 1078-9). We shall deal with the first reduction in connection with the Brenner critique. For what concerns the second kind of "reductionism," three observations will suffice.
  • First, in an incidental but highly significant remark, Skocpol finds "curious" that "a theory that sets out to deemphasize the nation-state"--as Wallerstein's theory does-- should give a decisive role to "a hierarchy of dominating and dominated states" in creating a worldwide pattern of "unequal exchange." This remark betrays a major misunderstanding of Wallerstein's critique of the state-centered approach.{즉 Skocpol을 포함해 많은 사람들이 월러스틴의 논지를 잘못 이해하고 있는 부분이라는 것} Such a critique is not at all incompatible with a recognition of the centrality of states in shaping world-systemic processes. What is deemphasized in Wallerstein's TMWS is the nation-state as unit of analysis. Nation-states as institutions of the modern world-system, in contrast, if anything are overemphasized.
  • Second, Skocpol's (1977: 1083-5) famous criticism of Wallerstein's category of the "strong state" is partly married by the same misunderstanding. Wallerstein's characterization of "core" states as "strong" states is largely tautological--states are strong because they are core and they are core because they are strong. Skocpol is perfectly right in pointing out anomalies--most notably, the "weakness" by most standards of the United Provinces--and in invoking standards of state strength independent of core position. However, some of the standards she uses to criticize Wallerstein--e.g. command over large standing armies and bureaucratic organizations--are derived from state-centric analyses that ignore or downplay systemic sources of strength, such as the balance of power, geopolitical circumstances, and control over markets and world money.
  • Third and last, Skocpol (1977: 1086) is on firm world-systemic grounds when she criticizes Wallerstein for underestimating the importance of politico-military competition among emerging European states as an autonomous resource in the explanation of the origins and dynamics of the modern world-system. As she acknowledges, the use of this resource is perfectly compatible with Wallerstein's conceptualization of an interstate system as an integral component of the capitalist world-economy, and Wallerstein himself does use it occasionally. But he does not attribute to it the centrality it deserves. The validity of this criticism from a world-systems perspective was fully borne out by William McNeill's subsequent pathbreaking analysis of interstate military competition as the primary source of European advances, not just in military and industrial technology, but in commercialization and proletarianization as well (1982).

If Skocpol's critique is largely methodological and concerned primarily with the issue of state power and state formation, Brenner's critique is largely theoretical and concerned primarily with the mechanisms that account for the self-expansion of capital. Brenner (1977) has no disagreement with Wallerstein's definition of capitalism as a system based on production for sale in the market in view of a (maximum) profit and leading to accumulation of capital by way of innovation. As he explained more exhaustively in a subsequent paper, what he questions is that Wallerstein's transformation of the European world-economy into a capitalist world-economy could have occurred in the absence of two conditions: 1) "the separation of the organizers of production and the direct producers (sometimes the same persons) from direct access to, or `possession of' their means of production, i.e. the means to re-produce themselves so as to retain their established class position or to survive;" and 2) "the separation of the direct producers from the means of production" (Brenner 1981: 1, 4-5).

In Brenner's scheme of things, the first condition is necessary in order to activate and sustain the competition that will force the organizers of production to cut costs so as to maximize profits, not just through specialization, but through the ploughing back of profits and innovations. The second condition, in turn, is necessary in order to activate and sustain the competition that will force the direct producers to sell their labor power to the organizers of production and to subject themselves to the discipline imposed on them by the latter (Brenner 1981: 5-6).

As Brenner fully acknowledges, this is nothing but a restatement of Marx's theory of capitalist production as sketched in Vol. I of Capital. Since this theory was itself modelled on the conditions of capitalist production as they developed in England before and after the industrial revolution, it is no surprise that Brenner finds that his and Marx's two conditions of the full development of capitalist production were present in England to a far greater extent than anywhere else. To this he adds the findings of his own research on the different outcomes of the class struggle between landlords and peasants in Eastern and Western Europe, and in different national locales of Western Europe itself, namely in England versus France (Brenner 1976). These findings are then used to establish a connection between the peculiar outcome of the rural class struggle in England and the emergence therein of the above two conditions in almost ideo-typical form.
It would be easy to dismiss Brenner's critique as being based on a highly selective reading of Marx. In this reading there is no room for Marx's more world-systemic theorizations, most notably the thesis that the formation of a Eurocentric world market in the sixteenth century was the single most important condition for the emergence of capitalist production in Western Europe, England included, in the following centuries. Brenner's theory and history of capitalist development does provide at least part of the explanation of why England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries emerged as the main center of capitalist production. But they have even less to contribute than Wallerstein's own theory and history to an explanation of how and why the world-systemic conditions for the development of capitalist production in England and elsewhere were created.

My purpose here, however, is to underscore not the weak but the strong points of Brenner's critique in order to see whether and how they can be met from a world-systems perspective. Two related issues seem to me to deserve special attention: 

  1. the impossibility of reducing processes of class formation and, more generally, socio-economic structures to position in the core-periphery (with or without semiperiphery) structure of the world-economy; and 
  2. the impossibility of explaining the transformation of the European world-economy into a capitalist world-economy without a theoretically and historically plausible account of the competitive pressures that have promoted and sustained the transformation.
On the first issue, which was raised also by Skocpol, it have long been convinced that class relations and conflicts are as irreducible to core-periphery relations, as the latter are to class relations and conflicts (see, for example, Arrighi and Piselli 1987). The dogmatic insistence of many world-systemists on the primacy of core-periphery relations to counter the opposite claim by their critics has been one of the most disturbing features of the development or, rather, underdevelopment of the perspective. Its only result has been to alienate from the perspective some of its most serious practitioners. Eric Wolf is a case in point. As Jane Schneider (1995: 7-8) observes, quoting Wolf himself,
Occasionally, Wolf has been taken as a "world-system" theorist, bent on demonstrating unequal exchange between "core," "peripheral," and "semiperipheral" regions, differentially capable of producing high-profit goods and services. But, although he is ever aware of unevenness in the world distribution of profit and power, he faults this approach for obliterating the "range and variety" of the micropopulations "habitually investigated by anthropologists" .... If anything, the very concept "periphery" reifies difference, as if the ordering of power in the world had a teleology in which Europe... had been destined to ascend to "core" status and stay there. Such thinking masks the contradictory reality, attended to by Wolf, that Europeans were "peripheral" to more developed power complexes for centuries.
The sooner world-systemists stop seeking an explanation for almost everything in core-periphery relations and their temporal equivalent--A-B phases of Kondratieffs and suchlike cycles--the better for the credibility of their analyses to anybody who is not already a true believer. This brings us to the second issue mentioned above. Core-periphery relations and A-B phases cannot explain how and why in the course of the "long" sixteenth century the European world-economy metamorphosed into a capitalist world-economy. Brenner is perfectly right in pointing out [:]

  1. that world-economies have to a greater or lesser extent existed throughout world history without becoming capitalist, and 
  2. that in order to account for the capitalist metamorphosis of the European world-economy in the "long" sixteenth century one has to explain what kind of competitive pressures promoted and sustained the transformation.
Wallerstein has of course always been aware that he needs such an explanation. But the one that he provided in TMWS and in subsequent writings (see in particular Wallerstein 1992)-- basically, that in a moment of conjunctural desperation (the "crisis of feudalism") feudal landlords decided to become full-fledged capitalist entrepreneurs--has always made as little sense to me as it did to Brenner and Skocpol. In order to come up with something better than this, we must take leave from this non-debate between Wallerstein and his critics to examine briefly the debate Wallerstein never had with his great inspirer, Fernand Braudel.

3. The Braudel-Wallerstein Non-debate.

A French historian close to Braudel once told me off the record that Braudel didn't really know what he was doing until Wallerstein came along and told him. I suppose that what he meant is that Braudel did not know that he was doing world-systems analysis until he read TMWS. True or false, the remark later induced me to check how Braudel responded to TMWS, which he read before completing the third volume of his Civilization and Capitalism

The very title of Braudel's volume III--The Perspective of the World--betrays a Wallersteinian influence. And the explicitly "theoretical" Chapter I is packed with references full of praise for Wallerstein's "world-economy model". More implicitly than explicitly, however, Braudel's interpretation of the rise of a capitalist world-economy in Europe departs in key respects from Wallerstein's. It is on this departures that I will focus.

Braudel's most explicit disagreement with Wallerstein is set out in the well-known passage in which he confesses of not sharing "Wallerstein's fascination with the 16th century."
For Wallerstein, the European world-economy was the matrix of capitalism. I do not dispute this point, since to say central zone or capitalism is to talk about the same reality. By the same token however, to argue [as I do] that the world-economy built in the sixteenth century on its European site was not the first to occupy this ... continent, amounts to saying that capitalism did not wait for the sixteenth century to make its first appearance. I am therefore in agreement with the Marx who wrote (though later went back on this) that European capitalism--indeed he even says capitalist production--began in thirteenth-century Italy. (Braudel 1984: 57)
This spatio-temporal relocation of the origins of European capitalism--from the sixteenth to the thirteenth century and from Northwestern Europe to Italy--betrays a far more fundamental departure from Wallerstein's theory and history of the capitalist world-economy than may appear at first sight. For one thing, the idea that more than one capitalist world-economy may have occupied the European continent at different points in historical time is absent from Wallerstein's theory of the modern world-system. The idea, in contrast, is central to Braudel's reconstruction of the dynamics of the European world-economy.

Thus, in introducing his discussion of the "divisions of time" needed "to locate chronologically, and the better to understand those historical monsters, the world-economies," he suggests that not just two but "several world-economies have succeeded... each other in the geographical expression that is Europe. Or rather the European world-economy has changed shape several times since the thirteenth century" (Braudel 1984: 70-1). And in concluding that same discussion, he makes clear that these changes are not merely quantitative but qualitative, true "breaks with the past" marking "transitions from one system to another." These transitions are announced by "crises" which "mark the beginning of a process of destructuration: one coherent world system which has developed at a leisurely pace is going into or completing its decline, while another system is being born amid much hesitation and delay" (Braudel 1984: 85)

In subsequent chapters, Braudel seeks the clue to these systemic metamorphoses of the European world-economy in the succession of "dominant cities" that came to constitute both "its centres of gravity" and its "organizing centres" (1984: 35-6). In this account there is not a word about the "crisis of feudalism"--the only systemic crisis Wallerstein acknowledges prior to the present crisis--nor about the transition from feudalism to capitalism, which is central to Wallerstein's account. The focus is instead on how a world-economy centered on city-states was transformed into a world-economy centered on territorial states and, in the process, expanded its tentacles to encompass the entire globe.

At the basis of these differences in accounting for the emergence and evolution of the Eurocentric capitalist world-economy, we can detect equally fundamental differences in the very conceptualization of capitalism and its relationship to a trade-based division of labor. Whereas Wallerstein defines capitalism as a mode of production grounded in a trade-based division of labor, Braudel defines it as the top layer of the world of trade--the layer, that is, where the large profits are made--which he contrasts with the intermediate layer of the market economy and the bottom layer of the "non-economy" or, rather, the layer of extremely elementary and mostly self-sufficient economies (1982: 21-2, 229-30).

Whatever their comparative merits, these different definitions lead Braudel and Wallerstein to look in different directions for the origins of world capitalism. Wallerstein looks for them in the organization of agricultural production in the territorial states of northwestern Europe--the states, that is, that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries emerged as the leading locales of capitalist production. Braudel, in contrast, looks for them in the organization of long-distance trade and high finance in the city-states of northern Italy. These city-states were interstitial formations, which by the seventeenth and eighteenth century had lost out in the intercapitalist competitive struggle, but for most of what Braudel calls the "extended" sixteenth century (1350-1650) had been the leading capitalist organizations of the European world-economy.

Unfortunately, there never was a debate between these two great exponents of the world-system perspective on this fundamental discrepancy on where to look for the origins of the Eurocentric capitalist world-system. This is unfortunate because the reorientation of the search for origins advocated by Braudel is in my view necessary in order to fill the truly "missing link" in Wallerstein's theory of the modern world-system--namely, a plausible account of the competitive pressures that have promoted and sustained the capitalist transformation of the Eurocentric world-system. To be sure, while Wallerstein at least offers an implausible account of the emergence of such pressures--the subjective metamorphosis of feudal landlords into full-fledged capitalist entrepreneurs in a moment of conjunctural desperation--Braudel offers no account at all. But the direction in which he points as the original seat of the transformation is the right direction. That's where I have looked in my own research on the origins of the world capitalist system--a world capitalist system which, as Wallerstein has put it so well in a previously quoted passage, has transformed itself from being a world to becoming the first historical system of the world. By way of conclusion, let me briefly point out how the findings of this research (Arrighi 1994) bear upon the two non-debates examined in this paper.

4. The Interstitial Origins of the World Capitalist System.

The first and most important consideration is that Wallerstein's failure to respond to the challenges posed to his theory of the origins and dynamics of the modern world system by his most influential critics is due primarily to the fact that he remained trapped in the research agenda of the then predominant state- and class-centric analyses. World capitalism did not originate within the economic activities and social relations that were predominant in the larger territorial organizations of the European world. Rather, it originated in the interstices that connected those larger territorial organizations to one another and their totality to other "worlds"--as magisterially sketched in Janet Abu-Lughod's (1989) account of the Eurasian world trading system of the late-thirteenth and early-fourteenth centuries. The organizations that developed in these interstices, both in Europe and elsewhere, were not territorial states at all, but city-states, quasi-city-states, extra-territorial business networks, and other non-territorial organizations. It was within these organizations that the largest profits were made and various forms of capitalism thrived. As a rule, these profits originated in long-distance trade and high-finance, although they sometimes found their way into the reorganization of short-distance trade and production proper (Braudel 1982).

In seeking the origins of world capitalism in the agriculture of the larger territorial states of Europe, Wallerstein necessarily finds himself in great difficulties in responding to his critics for the simple reason that world-capitalism did not originate within, but in-between and on the outer-rim of these states. The crisis of feudalism and the so-called transition from feudalism to capitalism in European agriculture are no doubt very relevant to an understanding of English, French, Polish, German and many other "national" histories of the European world. They nonetheless are largely if not entirely irrelevant to an understanding of the process whereby the European world-economy became a capitalist world-economy. An understanding of this process requires that we focus on the interstitial growth of capitalism within and between "worlds", in an attempt to provide some plausible account of how and why in Europe and only in Europe this interstitial growth, so to say, got out of hand, subjected the territorial states themselves to its logic, and thereby propelled them towards the "endless" accumulation of capital. The account that I have proposed (see Arrighi 1994: especially chapters 1 and 2) combines three basic ideas: 
  1. Braudel's idea that the Italian city-states were the original centers and organizers of the "first" capitalist world-economy; 
  2. Garrett Mattingly's (1988) idea that these same city-states came to be organized into an inter- city-state system that anticipated by two centuries the main features of the Westphalia system; and 
  3. William McNeill's (1982) idea that the inter-state armament race, which has been a constant and distinguishing feature of the Eurocentric world-system, also originated in the Italian system of city-states.

In this account the competitive pressures that have promoted and sustained the capitalist transformation and the "endless" expansion of the European world-economy are structural and systemic rather than local and conjunctural. Moreover, their strength constantly increases over time provoking the recurrent systemic crises and developmental breakthroughs that have enabled the Eurocentric world system to globalize itself. In my view, the account meets the most important and valid criticism of Wallerstein's theory of the modern world system without making any concession to the detractors of the world-system perspective. My only hope is that it will not become the object of yet another non-debate.

  • Abu-Lughod, Janet (1989). Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Arrighi, Giovanni (1994). The Long Twentieth Century. Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times. London: Verso.
  • Arrighi, Giovanni and Fortunata Piselli (1987). "Capitalism Development in Hostile Environments: Feuds, Class Struggles, and Migrations in a Peripheral Region of Southern Italy." Review (Fernand Braudel Center), 10, 4: 648-751.
  • Braudel, Fernand (1982). The Wheels of Commerce. New York: Harper & Row.
  • __________ (1984). The Perspective of the World. New York: Harper & Row.
  • Brenner, Robert (1976). "Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-industrial Europe." Past and Present, 70: 30- 75.
  • __________ (1977). "The Origins of Capitalist Development: a Critique of Neo-Smithian Marxism." New Left Review, 104: 25-92.
  • __________ (1981). "World System Theory and the Transition to Capitalism: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives." Unpublished English version of a paper published in Jochen Blaschke, ed., Perspectiven des Weltsystems. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag 1983.
  • Chase-Dunn, Christopher and Peter Grimes (1995). "World-Systems Analysis." Annual Review of Sociology, 21: 387-417.
  • Friedmann, Harriet (1996). "Prometheus Rebound." Contemporary Sociology, 25, 3: 319-322.
  • McNeill, William (1982). The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society since A.D. 1000. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
  • Mattingly, Garrett (1988). Renaissance Diplomacy. New York: Dover.
  • Schneider, Jane (1995). "Introduction: The Analytic Strategies of Eric R. Wolf." In J. Schneider and R. Rapp, eds., Articulating Hidden Histories: Exploring the Influence of Eric Wolf. Berkeley, CA:University of California Press.
  • Skocpol, Theda (1977). "Wallerstein's World Capitalist System: A Theoretical and Historical Critique." American Journal of Sociology, 82, 5: 1075-90.
  • Wallerstein, Immanuel (1974). The Modern World-System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World- Economy in the Sixteenth Century. New York: Academic Press.
  • __________ (1979 [1974]). "The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System: Concepts for Comparative Analysis." In I. Wallerstein, The Capitalist World-Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • __________ (1992). "The West, Capitalism, and the Modern World- System." Review (Fernand Braudel Center), 15, 4: 561-619.
  • __________ (1995). "Evolution of the Modern World-System." Proto-Soziologie, 7: 4-10.9-2.

2011년 4월 28일 목요일

[자료] Introduction: The Analytic Strategies of Eric R. Wolf.

자료: 구글도서
도서명: Articulating hidden histories: exploring the influence of Eric R. Wolf
저자: Jane Schneider, Rayna Rapp
University of California Press, 1995 (400 페이지)

1장. Introduction: The Analytic Strategies of Eric R. Wolf.
지은이: Jane Schneider

* * *
At the American Anthropological Association Meeting of 1991, three sessions explored the influence of Eric R. Wolf's scholarship on the field of anthropology and related disciplines. (...) Out of the 1991 sessions the title for this book, "Articulating Hidden Histories," evolved. Here, I use these words to frame what I think are the analytic strategies of Eric Wolf, working from back to front.

The first word is "histories." For Wolf, historical processes are preeminently political and economic, reinforced through ideology. Concentrations of political and economic power generate "forces" or "vectors" with enormous potential to disrupt human arrangements over a wide field. These disruptions put people at risk, demand that they cope, and provoke oppositional responses that at times succeed. Yet even the revolutionary overthrow of a particular concentration of power can end up with the "subjugation and transformation" of the social groups in whose name the revolutionaries struggled. This point was made by Wolf in ^Peasant^(1966a,92-93, 109), a book that predated by twenty years the uprising against revolutionary socialist regimes in Eastern Europe. It was reiterated in his essay "Freedom and Freedoms: Anthropological Perspectives," delivered to the University of Capetown in 1990. There Wolf compares liberal and Jacobian models of freedom. As a radical faction at the time of the French Revolution, the Jacobians conceived of the state "not as a potential threat to liberty, but as the very embodiment of the 'people's will' to freedom." Yet they, and revolutionary parties after them, were unable to install their principles or protect their gains from foreign and domestic enemies without adopting measures "quite contrary to their initial sentiments"(1990a, 9, 11).

Conclusions such as these are not born of cynicism but rather derive from a profound sense that concentrations of power, however, they might by achieved, will continue to act disruptively out of their location in a competitive, ever-changing, and unevenly developed "field of forces." At times Wolf has used the terms "structure" or "structural power" to refer to power complexes(e.g., 1990b, 586-587). He is, however, self-consciously ambivanlent about this architectural metaphor, with its implication of fixity. A bibliographic note in ^Europe and the People without History" expresses appreciation of the French structural Marxists for expanding on the mode of production concept, yet regrets their abandonment of the Hegelian language of dialecticcal contradictions in favor of a teleology of "structural causality"(1982a, 401). Consistent with this is Wolf's conscious borrowing of metaphors from physics rather than architecture: vectors, forces, and fields of force are frequently evoked in his writing.

Some anthropologists balk at the concept "forces" for being too abstract, disembodied, and determiative. Yet powerful forces like militarized chiefdom, merchant and industrial companies, banking houses, and governmental regimes (whether tributary, capitalist, or socialist) are conceptualized by Wolf as human products and repositories of human agency, having developed out of historical processes of political-economic-ideological competition. Their seeming impersonailty derives from the open-ended and inherently unstable fields within which they are constrained to operate, for any particular concentration of power provokes others into being, with which it must then contend. Wolf's essay "Cycles of Violence"(1987a) strongly suggests that the issue is not one of impersonal determinants so much as it is the unpredictable, ever-changing moves of strategizing and self-justifying powerholders in a "world of multi-tiered conflicts."

This means of course, that ideatinal phenomena belong to the world of politics and economics; they are not its product or "superstructure." Put differently, foci of accumulation require ideological definition in their very operation: ideology organizes the material and political practices of those who would deploy power. Nor does a concern with "forces" or "vectors" preclude recognizing religion as a realm of symbolic communication contributing to the realm of politics and economics. Appreciating Mart Bax's concept, "religious regime," Wolf emphasizes that religion also generates vectors, at once economic, political, and sanctifying (see Wolf 1984a, 1991a). Yet of all the forces or vectors that play, or have played, in the fields of interaction we call history, those associated with mercantilism and capitalism are seen to pose the "greatest single threat"(1990b, 587). Under capitalism, the "Cycles of Viloence" essay argues,

arrangements of power and order are predicated not upon stable and enduring foundations, but upon an economic base forever trembling and subject to major quakes... If capitalism has a special relation to the development of political freedom as we know it, it also exercises an extraordinary destabilizing power in its continuous search for higher profits and sustained capital accumulation. Capital forever abandons older sectors of the economy and relocates in new and more promising industries and areas...[;] in its continuous and often unpredictable movements, it also continuously shakes up the foundations of human existence, and as a result also calls into question over and over again the capacity of power groups to wield power and to maintain it. (1987a, 147-148)

I belabor Wolf's image of a trembling and quaking field of forces, intrinsic to world history but vastly more disruptive under capitalism, in order to expand on the word "histories"in particular the choice of the plural formin the title of this book. Much of anthropology asks whether locally situated, powerless peoplesclassical anthropological subjectscan exercise "agency" in relation to the "structures" that would dominate them. This is not Wolf's definition of the problem. His starting point is an open-ended, unpredictable, interaction sphere, whose very fluidity among competing, and often contradictory, forces enlarges the possibilities for empowerment from below. Local and regional histories abound, built up out of the organizational or tactical power of "operating units" with the help of leadership and personal persuasion. Moreover, there are circumstances under which such mobilizations can enter the force-field as significant vectors.


(...) Revisiting his concept of the "closed corporate peasant community" in 1986, he described himself as striving to comprehend "local and parochial relationship in terms of wider unfolding economic and political processes, while trying simultaneously to grasp how human beings in [these local] communities responded to these processes through culturally informed action and action-involved cultural forms" (1986, 328).

For Wolf, undervalued peoples are not only "among the makers of the modern world, and among its shakers," but knowing their histories is also a way "to recover a significant part of ourselves, so that we may gain more effective knowledge of the world which all of us, with our shared history, inhabit together." (Wolf 1983f, 5). This brings us to a second sense of the word "artuculating"the linkages of an increasingly globalized totality. Occasionally, Wolf has been taken as a "world-system" theorist, bent on demonstrating unequal exchanges between "core," "periphery," and "semiperipheral regions, differentially capable of producing high-profit goods and services. But although he is ever aware of unevenness in the world distribution of profit and power, he faults this approach for obliterating the "range and variety" of the micropopulations "habitually investigated by anthropologists" (Wolf 1982a, 23)

If anything, the very concept "periphery" reifies difference, as if the ordering of power in the world had a teleology in which Europe, or more precisely, North Atlantic Europe, had been destined to ascend to "core" status and stay there. Such thinking masks the contradictory reality, attended to by Wolf, that Europeans were "peripheral" to more developed power complexes for centuries, whereas of late they have had to take note of new and potent accumulation processes in Asia. Because his analysis begins with an open field of forces, with relational sets and internal contradictions, he is receptive to the possibility that new complexes might well appear, contra any fixed notion of a core-periphery hierarchy. It is this openness that most profoundly marks his dynamic, processual approach to what history is about.

Not only does the use, here, of "articulation" differ from a world-system outlook, it is also at variance with the multiple usages of the French structural Marxists. In the 1970s, philosophers and anthropologists of this school explored new applications of the mode of production concept, delineating several types or modes that had been absent, or underdeveloped, in the writings of Marx and Engels, and exploring the terms of their coexistence with capitalism. In their language, the colonial and imperial projects of Europeans brought the capitalist mode into "articulation" with other modes, variously labeled by such general terms as "Asiatic," "African," "precapitalist," or by more restrictive designations such as "hunting and gathering," "horticulture," "slavery," and so on. William Roseberry, with his usual clarity, reviews the attempt of Pierre-Phillippe Rey to map out stages of articulation between capitalist and noncapitalist modes, as well as other applications of this term (1989, 155-175).

In ^Europe and the People without History^, Wolf, too, makes use of the mode of production concept, arguing that, because it is a powerful tool for analyzing the differentiation and appropriation of social labor, it usefully guides us to a fuller consideration of relationships of class and power. Yet he eschews the typological fixity and structural determination implied by Rey and others. Their anthropology, he suggests, shows a tendency "to collapse all culture and cultural diversity into the elements of the mode of production. Furthermore, they reify modes of production into timeless essences, which are then allowed to reproduce themselves or conjugate('articulate') with one another without reference to historical time or circumstances.(1982a, 401). Wolf opts instead for no more than three comprehensive modes, each internally differentiated and capable of much variation. The threekin-ordered, truburary, and capitalistare not so much structured entities as heuristic devices for sorting out divergent processes of power and wealth accumulation, these processes in turn fostering divergent patterns of social inequality and ideological justificationl. Moreover, all three are dynamic. Change, growth, and development emerge from kin-ordered and tributary relations, and from their interactions, as well as from the much touted restlessness of capitalism. To be discovered are the articulations among the foci of accumulation, both within and across the three modes.

(...) 흥미로운 내용이 더 이어진다. 다음 기회에 알아봐야...

[자료] The rise of global capitalism according to F. Braudel

자료: http://www.helium.com/items/1592499-the-rise-of-global-capitalism-according-to-f-braudel

September 20, 2009

Before moving to the F. Braudel's considerations, we must to come to an understanding on the term and the concept of "capitalism", that suggests the amount destined to be invested to produce an interest. The use of the term "capitalism" appears in the middle of the nineteenth century, but its spread, according to Braudel, is probably the product of a successful essay, "The Modern capitalism", published in 1902 by the German sociologist Werner Sombart (1883-1941).

The term "capitalism" is not used by Karl Marx (1818-1883), although he had been the first to develop a critical analysis of the social system then so-called "capitalism." Marx limited himself to the definition of the modes of the capitalist production; or the social connections and the prevailing techniques which produce the wealth of the society. However, in order to give us back to the issue of the definition of capitalism, because a system is so named, they must be present some key factors: the private owners of inputs, a free competition on the market, the investment of capital to make a profit, the availability of the waged workforce and, finally, the utilization of rational techniques of the cost-reducing activity. I start by saying that the fundamental studies on the origins of capitalism are of some scholars as Dobb, Sombart, Wallenstein; however, for the moment, I simply explain the contents of " Capitalism and Material life" (1), in which Braudel also addresses the problem of capitalism. The topic of work is the economy of the Modern Era from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, on a global dimension.

According to Braudel, in this phase of history we cannot to speak of a single economy, but of three economies.

  • The first is represented by the primary activity (self-sufficiency, limited exchange) in which the men ensure to themselves the survival . It represents the context of the so-called "material civilization", which describe itself as an immutable way with a slow rhythm. 
  • The second is known as "the market economy", characterized by the trade. 
  • But, over and above, there is an economy in which the economic actors operate within; they are put at the top of the social hierarchy, and they jump into the initiatives to exceed the standards and the regularity of market. This type of initiatives, making good use of the financial sophisticated and credit instruments and utilizing a complex chain of intermediaries, produce large benefits and a significant accumulation of capital.
The "Capitalism" is, just the name that Braudel applies to this specific sector of economic activity, a structure that has its roots in the market, but that it rises on top of it. The "Capitalism" then, according to Braudel, is the "place" of the investments and of the loud benefits. After the industrial revolution, the capitalism materialized in the sector of productivity, but in the XV-XVIII centuries, however, it was at the top of the commercial activity.

The action of the great merchants, the main characters of this transformation, had the ability to grab the key for the long-distance trade: they knew and achieved the information for themselves, and they had a complicity in the privileged sectors of society and in the apparatus of the State, gaining the "monopoly" and, basically, deceiving to the rules of the market, that it is, "ab imis", based on the competition and on an (hypothetical) equal basis of departure.

This type of capitalism, according to Braudel, was not practiced by any individuals, but by any "Societies" and "Companies", which were some structures that moved themselves with the "complicity" of the State apparatus and of the public authorities. They situated these Companies in a state of monopoly and therefore in a position to gain very high profits. Thus, the Braudel's analysis goes "beyond" the narrow economic sphere, emphasizing how the "primitive capitalism" was a phenomenon "encouraged" (using an euphemism) by the public authorities.

1) F. Braudel, "Capitalism and material life", 1400-1800. [ F. Braudel, "Civilt materiale, economia e capitalismo (secoli XV-XVIII), Torino, Einaudi, 1983 ].

2011년 4월 27일 수요일

[자료] World-systems analysis: an introduction (1장. historical origins)

자료: 구글도서
도서명: World-systems analysis: an introduction (Duke University Press, 2004)
지은이: Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein

제1장. Historical Origins of World-Systems Analysis: From Social Science Disciplines to Historical Social Sciences

(...) Consider first of all the impact of U.S. hegemony and Third World self-assertion. Their joint occurrence meant that the division of labor within the social sciencesㅡhistory, ecnomics, sociology, poltical science to study the West and Orientalism to study the restㅡwas worse than useless to policymakers in the United States. The United States needed scholars who could analyze the rise of the Chinese Communist Party more than it needed scholars who could decipher Taoist scriptures, scholars who could interpret the force of African nationalist movements or the growth of an urban of Bantu peoples. And neither Orientalists nor ethnographer could help much in this regard.

There was a solution: train historians, ecnomists, sociologists, and political scientists to study what was going on in these other parts of the world. This was the origin of a U.S. inventionㅡ"area strudies"ㅡwhich had an enormous impact on the university system in the United States (and then the world). But how could one reconcile what seemed to be relatively "idiographic" in natureㅡthe study of a geographic or cultural "area"ㅡand the "nomothetic" pretentions of economists, sociologists, political scientists, and by now even some historians? There emerged an ingenious intellectual solution to this dilemma: the concept of "development."

Development, as the term came to be used after 1945, was based on a familiar explanatory mechanism, a theory of stages. Those who used this concept were assuming that the separate unitsㅡ"national societies"ㅡall developed in the same fundamental way (thus satisfying the nomothetic demand) but at distinct paces (thus acknowledging how different the states seemed to be at the present time). Presto!  One would then be able to introduce specific concepts to study the "others" at the present time while arguing that eventually, all states would turn out more or less the same. This sleight of hand had a practical side as well. It meant that "most developed" state could offer itself as a model for the "less developed" states, urging the latter to engage in a sort of mimicry, and promising a higher standard of living and a more liberal government structure("political development") at the end of the rainbow.

This obviously was a useful intellectual tool for the United States, and its government and foundations did all they could to encourage the expansion of area studies in the major (and even the minor) universities. Of course, at that time there was a cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union knew a good thing when it saw one. It too adopted the concept of stages of development. To be surem Soviet scholars changed the terminology for rhetorical purposes, but the baic model was the same: the Soviet Union, not the United States, was used as the model state in the Soviet version.

Now let us see what happens when we put together the impact of area studies withe the expansion of the university system. Expansion meant more persons seeking PhD degree. This seemed a good thing, but remember the requirement that a doctoral dissertation be an "original" contribution to knowledge. Every additional person doing research meant a more and more difficult search for originality. This difficulty encouraged academic poaching, since originality was defined as being located within the disciplines. Persons in each discipline began to carve out subspecialties in subjects that previously had belonged to other disciplines. This led to considerable overlapping and erosion of the firm boundaries between disciplines. There were now ^political^ sociologists and ^social^ historians and every other combination of which one could think.

The changes in the real world affected the self-definition of the scholars. The disciplines that formerly specialized in the non-Western world found themselves looked upon with political suspicion in the countries they had traditionally studied. As a result, the term "Orientalism" gradually disappeared, its former practitioners often becoming historians. Anthropology was forced to redefine its focus rather radically, since both the concept of the "primitive" and the reality it was supposed to reflect were disappearing. In some ways, anthropologists "came home," beginning to study as well the countries from which the majority of them originated. As for the four other disciplines, they now for the first time had faculty members specializing in parts of the world with which their curricular had not previously been concerned. The whole distinction between modern and non-modern zones was disintegrating.

All thi on the one hand led to increasing uncertainty about traditional truths (what was sometimes called the "confusion" within disciplines) and on the other hand opened the way for the heretical calling into question of some of these truths, especially by the growing number of scholars who came from non-Western world or who were part of the cadre of newly trained Western scholors bred by area studies. In the social sciences, four debated in the period of 1945-70 set the scene for the emergence of world-system analysis: 
the concept of core-periphery developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America(ECLA) and the subsequent elaboration of "dependency theory"; 
the unity of Marx's concept of the "Asiatic mode of production", a debate that took place among communist scholars; 
the discussion among historians of western Europe about the "transition from feudalism to capitalism"; the debate about "total history" and the triumph of the ^Annales^ school of historiography in France and then in many other parts of the world. 
None of these debates were entirely new, but each became salient in this period, and the result was a major challenge to the social sciences as they had developed up to 1945.

Core-periphery was an essential contribution of Third World scholars. Ture, there had been some German geographers in the 1920s who had suggested something similar, as had Romanina sociologists in the 1930s (but then Romania had a social structure similar to that of the Third World). But it was only when Raul Prebish and his Latin American "young Turks" at the ECLA got to work in the 1950s that the theme became a significant focus of social science scholarship. The basic idea was simple. International trade was not, they said, a trade between equals. Some countries were stronger economically than others(the core) and were therefore able to trade on terms that allowed surplus-value to flow from the weaker countries (the periphery) to the core. Some would later label this process "unequal exchange." This analysis implied a remedy for the inequality: actions by the states in the periphery to institute mechanisms that would equalize the exchange over the middle run.

Of course, this simple idea left out an immense amount of detail. And it therefore led to vigorous debates. There were debates between its advocates and those who held to a more traditional view of international trade notably propounded by David Ricardo in the 19th century: that if all follow their "comparative advantage," all will receive maximal benefits. But there were also debates among the advocates of a core-periphery model themselves. How did it work? Who really benefited from the unequal exchange? What measures would be effective to counteract it? And to what degree did these measures require political action more than economic regulation?

It was on this latter them that "dependency" theorist developed their amended versions of core-periphery analysis. Many insisted that political revolution would be a prerequisite for any real equalizing action. Dependency theory, as it developed in Latin America, seemed on the surface to be primarily a critique of the economic policies practiced by the Western powers(especially the United States). Andre Gunder Frank coined the phrase "development of underdevelopment" to describe the results of the policies of large corporations, major states in the core zones, and interest agencies which promote "free trade" in the world-economy. Underdevelopment was seen not as an original state, the responsibility for which lay with the countries that were underdeveloped, but as the consequence of historical capitalism.

But the dependency theories were making as well, even perhaps to a greater extent, a critique of Latin American communist parties. These parties had espoused a theory of stages of development, arguing that Latin American countries were stilol feudal or "semi-feudal" and therefore had not yet undergone a "bourgeois revolution," which they said thad to precede a "proletarian revolution." They deduce that Latin American radicals needed to cooperate with so-called progressive bourgeois to bring about bourgeois revolution, in order to subsequently the country might proceed to socialism. The ^dependistas^, inspired as many were by the Cuban revolution, said that the official communist line was a mere variant of the official U.S. government line(build liberal bourgeois states and a middle class first). The (...12쪽의 끝)


(...) For those on Dobb's side of this debate, the issue was posed as endogenous versus exogenous explanations. Dobb found the roots of the transition from feudalism to capitalism in elements ^internal^ to the states, specifically in England. Sweezy was accused by Dobb and his supporters with crediting ^external^ factors, particularly trade flows, and ignoring the fundamental role of changes in the structure of production, and therefore of class relations. Sweezy and others responded by suggesting that England was in fact part of a large European-Mediterranean zone, whose transformations accounted for what was occurring in England. Sweezy used empirical data from the work of Henri Pirenne (non-Marxist Belgian historian and a forefather of the Annales school of historiography, who had famously argued that the rise of Islam led to a breakdown of trade routes with western Europe and to its economic stagnation). Those who supported Dobb said that Sweezy was overemphasizing the importance of trade (a so-called external variable) and neglecting the crucial role of the relations of production (a so-called internal variable).

The debate was important for several reasons. First of all, it seemed to have political implications (like the arguments of the dependistas). Conclusions about the mechanisms of the transition from feudalism to capitalism might have implications about a putative transition from capitalism to socialism (as indeed some of the participants explicitly pointed out). Secondly, the whole debate pushed many persons who were economists by training into looking more closely at historical data, which would open them up to some of the arguments that were being put forth by the Annales group in France. Thirdly, the debate was essentially about the unit of analysis, although this language was never used. The Sweezy side was raising questions about the meaningfulness of using a country, projected backward in time, as the unit within which social action should be analyzed, rather than some larger unit within which there was a division of labor (such as the European-Mediterranean zone). Fourthly, just like the debate about the Asiatic mode of production, this debate had the consequence of breaking the crust of a version of Marxism (analyzing relations of production only, and only within a state's borders) that had become more an ideology than a scholarly argument open to debate.

Those involved in this debate were almost all Anglophone scholars. The Annales group, by contrast, originated in France and for a long time had resonance only in those areas of the scholarly world where French cultural(...14쪽의 끝).


(...) But eventually, they began to raise questions about underlying epistemologies of the structures of knowledge.

It is at this point, in the early 1970s, that people began to speak explicitly about world-systems analysis as a perspective. World-systems analysis was an attempt to comnine coherently concern with the unit of analysis, concern with social temporalities, and concern with the barriers that had been erected between different social science disciplines.

World-systems analysis meant first of all the substitution of a unit of analysis called the "world-system" for the standard unit of analysis, which was the national state. On the whole, historians had been analyzing national histories, economists national economies, political scientists national political structures, and sociologists national societies. World-systems analysis raised a skeptical eyebrow, questioning whether any of these objects of study really existed, and in any case whether they were the most useful loci of analysis. Instead of national states as the object of study, they substituted "historical systems" which, it was argued, had existed up to now in only three variants: minisystems; and "world-systems" of two kindsㅡworld-economies and world-empires.

Note the hyphen in world-system and its two subcategories, world-economies and world-empires. Putting in the hyphen was intended to underline that we are talking not about systems, economies, empires of the (whole) world, but about systems, economies, empires that are a world (but quite possibly, and indeed usually, not encompassing the entire globe). This is a key initial concept to grasp. It says that in "world-systems" we are dealing with a spatial/temporal zone which cuts across many political and cultural units, one that represents an integrated zone of activity and institutions which obey certain systemic rules.

Actually, of course, the concept was initially applied primarily to the "modern world-system" which, it is argued, takes the form of a "world-economy." This concept adapted Braudel's usage in his book on the Mediterranean, and combined it with the core-periphery analysis of ECLA. The case was made that the modern world-economy was a capitalist world-economyㅡnot the first world-economy ever but the first world-economy to survive as such for a long period and thrive, and it did this precisely by becoming fully capitalist. If the zone that was capitalist was not thought to be a state but rather a world-economy, then Dobb's so-called internal explanation of the transition from feudalism to capitalism made little sense, since it implied that the transition occurred multiple times, state by state, within the same world-system.

There was in this way of formulating the unit of analysis a further link to older ideas. Karl Polanyi (...) had insisted on the distinction between three forms of economic organization which he called reciprocal (a sort of direct give and take), redistributive(in which goods went from the bottom od the social ladder to the top to be then returned in part to the bottom), and market (in which exchange occurred in monetary forms in a publiv arena). The categories of types of historical systemsㅡminisystems, world-empires, and world-economiesㅡseemed to be another way of expressing Polanyi's three forms of economic organization. Mini-systems utilized reciprocity, world-empires redistribution, and world-economies market exchanges.

The Prebish categories were incorporated as well. A capitalist world-economy was said to be marked by an axial division of labor between core-like production processes and peripheral production processes, which resulted in an unequal exchange favoring those involved in core-like production processes. Since such processes tended to group together in particular countries, one could use a shorthand language by talking of core and peripheral zones (or even core and peripheral states), as long as one remembered that it was the production processes and not the states that were core-like and peripheral. In world-system analysis, core-periphery is a ^relational^ concept, not a pair of terms that are reified, that is , have separate essential meanings. 

What then makes a production process core-like or peripheral? It came to be seen that the answer lay in the degree to which particular processes were relatively monopolized or relatively free market. The processes that were relatively monopolized were far more profitable than those that were free market. This made the counttris in which more core-like processes located wealthier. And given the unequal power of monopolized products vis-a-vis products with many producers in the market, the ultimate results of exchange between core and peripheral products was a flow of surplus-value(meaning here a large part of the real profits from multiple local productions) to those states that had a large number of core-like processes.

Braudel's influence was crucial in two regards.
  • First, in his later work on capitalism and civilization, Braudel would insist on a sharp distinction between the sphere of the free market and the sphere of monopolies. He called only the latter capitalism and, far from being the same thing as the free market, he said that capitalism was the "anti-market." This concept marked a direct assault, both substantively and terminologically, on the conflation by classical economists(including Marx) of the market and capitalism. 
  • And secondly, Braudel's insistence on the multiplicity of social times and his emphasis on structural timeㅡwhat he caled the longue dureeㅡbecame central to world-systems analysis. For world-systems analysis, the longue duree was the duration of a particular historical system. Generalizations about the functioning of such a system thus avoided the trap of seeming to assert timeless, eternal truths. If such systems were not eternal, then it followed that they had beginnings, lives during which they "developed", and terminal transitions.
On the one hand, this view strongly reinforced the insistence that social science had to be historical, looking at phenomena over long periods as well as over large spaces. But it also opened, or reopened, the whole question of "transitions." Dobb and Sweezy had put forward quite different explanation of the transition from feudalism to capitalism, but they shared the sense that whatever explained the transition, it was an inevitable occurrence. This conviction reflected the Enlightenment theory of progress, which had informed both classical liberal thought and classical Marxist thought. World-systems analysts began to be skeptical about the inevitability of progress. They saw progress as a possibility rather than a certainty. They wondered whether one could even describe the construction of a capitalist world-economy as progress. Their skeptical eye allowed them to incorporate within an acount of human history the realities of those systems that had been grouped under the label "Asiatic mode of production." One didn't need to worry any longer whether these structures were located at some particular point on a linear historical curve. And one could now ask why the transition from feudalism to capitalism occurred at all (as though the possibility that it might not have occurred were a real alternative), and not assume its inevitability and look merely at what were the immediate causes of the transition.

The third element in world-systems analysis was its lack of deference to the traditional boundaries of the social sciences. World-system analysts analyzed total social systems over the longue duree. Thus they felt free to analyze materials that had once been considered the exclusive concern of historians or economists or political scientists or sociologists, and to analyze them within a single analytical frame. The resulting world-systems analysis was not multidisciplinary, since the analysts were not recognizing the intellectual legitimacy of these disciplines. They were being undisciplinary.

Of course, the triple set of critiquesㅡworld-systems rather than states as units of analysis, insistence on the longue duree, and a unidisciplinary approachㅡrepresented an attack on many sacred cows. It was quite expectable that there would be a counterattack. It came, immediately and vigorously, from four camps: nomothetic positivists, orthodox marxists, state autonomists, and cultural particularists. The main criticism of each has been that its basic premises have not been accepted by world-systems analysis. This is of course correct but hardly an intellectually devastating argument.

Nomothetic positivists have argued that world-system analysis is essentially narrative, its theorizing based on hypotheses that have not been rigorously tested. Indeed, they have often argued that many of the propositions of world-systems analysis are not disprovable, and therefore inherently invalid. In part, this is a critique of insufficient (or nonexistant) quantification of the research. In part, this is an critique of insufficient (or nonexistant) reduction of complex situations to cleary defined and simple variables, In part, this is a suggestion of the intrusion of value-laden premises into analytical work.

Of course, this is in effect the reverse of the critique by world-systems analysis of nomothetic positivism. World-system analysts insist that rather than reduce complex situations to simple variables, the effort should be to complexify and contextualize all so-called simpler variables in ordr to understand real social situations. World-systems analysts are not against quantificatin per se (they would quantify what can usefully be quantified), but (as the old joke about the druk teaches us) they feel that one should not look for the lost key only under the street lamp just because the light is better (where there are more quantifiable data). One searches for the most appropriate data in function of the intellectual problem; one doesn't choose the problem because hard, quantifiable data are available. (...)