Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Institute for Research on World-Systems organizes collaborative interdisciplinary research on long-term, large scale social change and its ecological, geographical and epidemiological causes and effects. IROWS facilitates interdisciplinary collaborative research among physical, social and biological scientists including: Geophysicists, Meteorologists, Statisticians, Epidemiologists, Sociologists, Antrhopologists, Geographers, Political Scientists, Historians and Economists.

The Institute for Research on World-Systems

There are 179 publications in this collection, published between 2001 and 2023.
Other Recent Work (20)

The Economic Ascent of China and the Potential for Restructuring the Capitalist World-Economy

The economic ascent of China in the past two decades is the most dramatic change in the capitalist world-economy of this period. Analyses focus on changes in government control of the economy, the availability of low cost workers for export production, the historical characteristics of Chinese economy and society, and the role of the Chinese government as a developmental state. All highlight key parts of China’s economic ascent, but none addresses what we argue will be the critical component of future sustained economic ascent, if it is to take place in China: the role of raw materials and transport industries as generative sectors.

These generative sectors in the most successful historical cases articulate domestic economic development with the creation of new systems of international economic and political relations, ultimately restructuring the capitalist world-economy in support of a nation’s ascent to core status and its ability to challenge the existing hegemon and other ascendant economies for hegemony. China is following the Japanese model of coastal greenfield heavy industrialization as state policies focus on deepening industrialization in steel, shipbuilding, and other heavy industries. However, following the models of earlier ascendant economies does not guarantee success. In this paper, we analyze the efforts underway in China to use steel, coal and other linked industries as driving forces for sustained economic ascent, and the potential consequences of these efforts for China

Understanding Waves of Globalization and Resistance in the Capitalist World(-)System*:Social Movements and Critical Global(ization) Studies

Abstract: The world(-)systems* perspective provides a useful framework for discerning the continuities and discontinuities (emergent properties) of long historical waves of global integration (globalization) and social resistance to (capitalist) globalization.. The capitalist world(-)system has experienced long cycles of economic and political integration for centuries and these have been interspersed by periods of social resistance to capitalist globalization, in which disadvantaged, exploited and dominated groups contest the hierarchies that global capitalism and hegemonic states have constructed. In the contemporary period the intensification of capitalist globalization has been accompanied by a strengthening of social resistance and the emergence of new social movements that resist neoliberal globalization and attempt to build alternatives. Careful study of these long waves of globalization and resistance can provide us with important insights that are relevant to the task of building a more humane and democratic global commonwealth in the 21st century. Research and teaching on the role of the new social movements and the historical dialectic between globalization, resistance, and democratization should be a central aspect of the new critical Global(ization) Studies.

Power and Size:Urbanization and Empire Formation in World-Systems

Abstract: This paper contains an overview of earlier research on city and empire growth/decline phases and new evidence on the relationship between urban growth and the rise and fall of empires in six world regions. We find that empires and cities grow and decline together in some regions but not others. We also examine the temporal correlations between growth/decline phases of largest and second largest cities and empires within regions. Do large empires grow at the expense of other large states within a region or are there periods of regional growth in which states (and cities) are growing together?

17 more worksshow all