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Journal of World-Systems Research
Number of Followers: 0  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 1076-156X
Published by U of Pittsburgh Homepage  [30 journals]
  • Editorial Note

    • Authors: Andrej Grubačić
      Pages: 178 - 180
      Abstract: The editor's introduction for the Summer/Autumn 2022 issue of Journal of World-Systems Research.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1143
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Introduction to the Special Issue

    • Authors: Spencer Louis Potiker
      Pages: 181 - 187
      Abstract: Editor's introduction to the special issue on non-state movements and spaces.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1142
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Anarchist and Anarchistic Anti-Systemic Movements in World-Systems

    • Authors: Spencer Louis Potiker, Dana Williams, Jake Alimahomed-Wilson
      Pages: 188 - 218
      Abstract: While world-systems anti-systemic movement scholarship has briefly acknowledged the existence of anti-state “cultural” movements—namely, autonomous indigenous movements in the periphery and anarchist worker movements in the core and semi-periphery—it relegates them to secondary importance to statist “political” movements. In this paper, we provide an intervention in the world-systems anti-systemic movements literature by centering anti-state movements in our analysis. In order to investigate the mechanisms essential for anti-state, anti-systemic movements over the longue durée of the world-system, we operationalize a qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) using nine cases of non-state spaces from different geographies and historical time periods throughout the world-system. We use a Boolean crisp set, or binary approach, denoting the presence, or absence of factors to determine the pathways that lead to the variation between explicitly anarchist and implicitly anarchistic movements as well as short-term or long-term non-state spaces established by anti-state movements. We find that the core and semi-periphery classification of anarchist movements is false. We also find that non-state spaces succeed when they are not repressed by statist anti-systemic movements or core imperial nation-states. In effect, the anti-systemic political actor replicates the logic of the core nation-state it claims to be opposed to when it comes to its repression of non-state spaces and movements. Prior to the “liberal geoculture” (1848–1968), even core states had difficulty repressing non-state spaces, and after the liberal geoculture semi-periphery and periphery states have had difficulty repressing non-state spaces.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1097
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Maroon Movements Against Empire

    • Authors: Crystal Eddins
      Pages: 219 - 241
      Abstract: Marronnage, or escape from slavery, was a longue-durée form of resistance to slavery in Haiti and was also, as Sylvia Wynter argues, a “dialectical response to the capitalist plantation system”—a system that aimed to deny humanity, sever social and cultural ties, and commodified people and their labor power. This article, as well as works by others such as Cedric Robinson (1983), Sylvia Wynter (n.d.), and Jean Casimir (2020), argues that marronnage was a fundamentally anti-capitalist mode of resistance, socio-political critique, and grassroots mobilizing. In the immediate moments when enslaved people fled plantations, they reclaimed possession of themselves and other tangible and intangible resources, such as their time, social relationships, forms of knowledge, and labor skills that enslavers stole from them. When maroons re-appropriated resources and mobilized themselves, they challenged and subverted colonial plantation structures, contributing to the downfall of both Spanish and French imperial slaveries in Haiti. During and after the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804, Africa-born rebels and maroons were central to the mobilizing structures that successfully fought to abolish slavery and overturn colonialism—representing an astounding rupture to the prevailing Atlantic world-system that was dependent upon enslaved labor. Even after the post-independence Haitian government replicated aspects of the colonial administration, as Casimir (2020) points out, the formerly enslaved masses of Haiti organized themselves into communal social arrangements that prioritized subsistence labor and extended kin networks, and continued to rely on marronnage to protest exploitative economic practices. This article explores the trajectory of marronnage in Haiti as a continuous struggle, emphasizing the ways that it exposed the violence, exploitation, and oppression inherently embedded in the Atlantic world-system, and exposed the limits of the governing Haitian states.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1108
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Critical World-Systems Analysis

    • Authors: Marilyn Grell-Brisk
      Pages: 242 - 266
      Abstract: From the first #BlackLivesMatter (#BLM) in 2013 to the summer of 2020, America and the rest of the world have been compelled, at minimum, to pay attention to the continuous rejection of Black being(ness). Black Lives Matter! isn’t just a call to attend to police brutality against Black people in America, it is a rallying call demanding that Black folx’s humanity be acknowledged and accorded without question—that we be seen. It is a declaration of resistance against the antiblackness that is embedded within racial capitalism. And, it is a demand that comes from years of frustration from Black lives being continuously and violently disregarded, of seeing “Black faces in high places” but no tangible institutional relief from the ever-present abjection of Blackness and Black folx. I argue that to pre-figure Black futurity, the movement for Black lives must necessarily be a movement that actively calls attention to and resists disposability regimes that highlight the tension between the world-system’s economics of inequality and its professed politics of equality. I contend that the active rejection of antiblackness and the movement for Black lives must be transnational in scope, and while implicitly occupying non-state anti-systemic spaces, it must reimagine the logics of solidarity, simultaneously embodying Black transnational and translocal collaboration; it must be radical in scope, seeking not simply to fix the existing structures of inequality and oppression but envision new structures, a complete reorganization of society where antiblackness no longer exists. To begin the work, I propose a multilevel analytical framework.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1103
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • The Ins and Outs of Autonomy

    • Authors: Ryan Knight
      Pages: 267 - 292
      Abstract: Drawing from processes of autonomous community organization in Mexico, this paper will interrogate and rethink the borders and boundaries of autonomy. Rather than articulating autonomy as some fully separated space with clearly delineated borders, this paper will show how struggles for autonomy in Mexico are constantly navigating their insides and outsides, organizing and inhabiting the border or boundary space. With this, we can begin to re-conceptualize autonomy without state-like borders as something in constant movement. In the same way, we can begin to take seriously the complexities and intricacies of autonomous struggles as they play out in practice.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1096
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Postcolonial and Anti-Systemic Resistance by Indigenous Movements in

    • Authors: Carlos Lucio, David Barkin
      Pages: 293 - 319
      Abstract: Indigenous resistance against neoliberalism reveals numerous social transformations and political contributions in the context of a postcolonial transition from the world-system. The Mexican indigenous movement, inspired by the Zapatista rebellion, renewed conversations between the country's diverse indigenous peoples but also established new alliances with non-indigenous sectors of national society in defense of the commons and alternative ways of life to the civilizational order of capital. The radicalism, led by the indigenous peoples in their process of transformation into a social subject deploys new forms of collective action that break with the ideological discourses and narratives of modernity. As in other parts of the global South, communities in Mexico are actively engaged in consolidating their ability to govern themselves, through strategies of autonomy and self-determination, providing a wide variety of services to improve the quality of life of their members, diversifying their productive base and renewing their cultural heritage, while defending and caring for their territories. The indigenous movement is currently experiencing a conceptual and discursive renewal that inverts the assimilationist thesis implicit in the slogan of “Never again a Mexico without us,” from which their historical exclusion in the project of nation was questioned, to “We, without Mexico" that poses a radical questioning of the worn-out model of the nation-state, which assumes as its main objective to think (and act) beyond the State and capital. As part of international networks and alliances, they are engaged in leaving the world-system.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1113
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Colonial Management of Iranian Kurdistan; with Emphasis on Water Resources

    • Authors: Allan Hassaniyan, Mansour Sohrabi
      Pages: 320 - 343
      Abstract: Iranian Kurdistan (a region referred to by the Kurds as Rojhelat/East Kurdistan), which possesses a large variety of minerals, oil reserves, dense forests, and massive surface and underground water resources, has for decades supplied the economic, agricultural, and industrial sectors in Iran, mainly benefiting the development of the central parts of the country and bringing significant income to the state. This has occurred while the Kurdish region remains among the most economically underdeveloped and deprived areas of Iran. The Iranian state’s economic and developmental approach to Kurdistan’s natural resources, and the mechanisms of extractions and exploitation of these resources, have resulted in extensive environmental degradation, affecting the public health in the Kurdish region, and not least de-development and further underdevelopment in this region. Taking into account the extent of extraction and use of Kurdistan’s natural resources reveals the Kurdish-state relation as an internal core-peripheral relationship, resulting in the centre’s destruction of the natural environment and exploitation of the natural resources of the periphery. This paper sheds light on the Iranian state’s economic and developmental activities, with a focus on water resources in the Kurdish region and the consequences of their use on the natural environment.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1081
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Theories of Antifascism in the Interwar Mediterranean Part I

    • Authors: Kristin Plys
      Pages: 344 - 358
      Abstract: The current proliferation of authoritarianism across both core and periphery is one political articulation of the current crisis of the capitalist world-system. Authoritarianism similarly proliferated in previous periods of crisis, in the 1970s and 80s in the peripheries, and in the 1930s and 40s in the core. In Part I of this essay, I detail how world-systems analysts have long been attuned to describing and analyzing chaotic moments in between systemic cycles of hegemony, but less attention has been given to the rise of authoritarianism in these chaotic phases. The multiple crises of hegemonic transition engenders an ideological contestation between Fascism and Communism revealing the limitations of Liberalism, the foundational ideology of the world-system. In such periods of hegemonic breakdown, anarchists developed autonomous strategies of resisting authoritarian rule at both the point of production (the worker-occupied and self-managed workplace) and at the point of leisure (the autonomous zone of the infoshop or café as resources and interventions in the joint struggle against capitalism and authoritarianism. These theories are important to recover for the contemporary fight against a resurgent authoritarianism across the world-system in the current conjuncture.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1105
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Interrogating Structural Conditions for Agricultural Production

    • Authors: Andrew R. Smolski
      Pages: 359 - 390
      Abstract: An important, contemporary focus of scholarship is on the necessary structural conditions to promote a sustainable transition in agriculture. This study examines the possible role of anti-systemic structures, delinked and exilic, in conditioning transitions to agroecological production. I conduct a comparative-historical analysis of two periods, 1959–1991 and 1992–2016, within a single case, Cuba. The results provide evidence that the prevalence of delinking with incorporation maintains an industrial model of agricultural production, even while bringing the law of value under sovereign control. In this way, the existence of delinking as one type of anti-systemic structure is not a sufficient condition for increasing agroecological production; although data suggests that delinking can provide important tools to support sustainable transitions in future periods. In the second period characterized by increasing prevalence of an exilic structure in conjunction with delinking, results demonstrate that anti-systemic structures operate complementary to one another and can maintain partial incorporation while increasing the application of agroecological production. As such, this study provides a rationale for future research and action on anti-systemic structural mixture conditioning sustainable transitions.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1117
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Tributary World-Ecologies, Part II

    • Authors: Çağrı İdiman
      Pages: 391 - 414
      Abstract: This essay—the second in a two part series—reconceptualizes the High Medieval Mediterranean World as a tributary world-ecology. Area Studies view the High Medieval Mediterranean as a culturally fragmented world, while the Commercialization Theorists only unite these fragments externally through trade relations. In contrast, Marxist Theorists almost exclusively focus on Medieval Europe through production relations. I argue that the High Medieval Mediterranean can be theorized as a tributary world-ecology. I advance two interrelated arguments. First, I underline the socio-ecological similarities and differences between the North Sea (addressed in Part I) and the Mediterranean Worlds. The Mediterranean world-ecology was premised upon the breakdown of world-imperial redistribution mechanisms and localization of peasant exploitation. This was exemplified by the development of iqta’, pronoia and similar land-tenure regimes across the Mediterranean World. The localization peasant exploitation, however, did not result in autarchy, but rather in the formation of a world-market. In fact, novel agrarian relations, coupled with the climatological upturn and technological innovations, led to the growth of surpluses in the hands of the aristocracies. This in turn stimulated artisanal production and revival of trade. Consequently, the Mediterranean World, like the North Sea World, witnessed further geographical integration and economic growth. Second, I emphasize the similarities and differences between the crises of the North Sea and the Mediterranean Worlds. Their socio-ecological relations reached their limits when the climate began to cool and destabilize, and organizational innovations could no longer produce sufficient surpluses. Consequently, both world-ecologies collapsed, finding its clearest expression in the Black Death. In turn, the Mediterranean, just like the end of the Roman period, disintegrated. The Western Mediterranean and the North Seas were integrated on the basis of capitalist productive and commercial networks, resulting in the birth of European capitalist world-ecology. In contrast, the Eastern Mediterranean would be reintegrated on the basis of the tributary networks of the Ottoman World-Empire.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1122
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Power, Profit, and Prometheanism, Part I

    • Authors: Jason W. Moore
      Pages: 415 - 426
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1140
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Immanuel Wallerstein’s Legacy in Southern Europe

    • Authors: Javier García Fernández
      Pages: 427 - 437
      Abstract: This paper is a farewell and an intellectual tribute to one of the greatest masters of contemporary Marxist thought and one of the major references in contemporary social science. Immanuel Wallerstein died August 31, 2019, leaving a theoretical, historical, and intellectual legacy that is to be read, rethought, and actualized by social scientists in the coming decades. His world-systems theory gave rise to a whole new understanding of the genesis of the capitalist world-system. This contribution reviews the sources that inspired the world-system theory, as well as showing its main contributions and its dialogues with other proposals of critical social theory, such as the epistemologies of the South and decolonial thought. This article is also a new formulation of the perspectives that the world-systems theory opens for the historical and sociological research on Andalusia and southern Europe in the context of the historical genesis of world capitalism.
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1134
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Encountering Other Cultural Universes on the Brink of Chaos

    • Authors: Boaventura de Sousa Santos
      Pages: 438 - 441
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1141
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Review Of: The Biomedical Empire

    • Authors: Durgesh Solanki
      Pages: 442 - 444
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1145
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Review Of: Oil Crisis in Iran

    • Authors: Val Moghadam
      Pages: 445 - 447
      PubDate: 2022-08-25
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1144
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 2 (2022)
  • Editorial Note

    • Authors: Andrej Grubačić
      Pages: 1 - 3
      Abstract: The editor's introduction for the Winter/Spring 2022 issue of Journal of World-Systems Research.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1128
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 1 (2022)
  • The New Shape of the Global Power-Field (GPF) After the Transformation of
           the Modern World-System Post-WWII (Part. 2)

    • Authors: Omer Awass
      Pages: 4 - 24
      Abstract: This article is a follow-up to a previous essay that mapped the dynamics of the modern world-system theory into what was called a Global Power-Field (GPF) during the colonial era phase of planetary history. It continues this mapping project by exploring the reconfiguration of the field in the postcolonial period. This field of power operated on the practice of ‘objectification’ of asymmetrical relations within its domain. The current essay extends that analysis by further identifying the forms of ‘objectification’ in the field’s contemporary phase. A prominent feature of the current field is the non-locality of its operations; a term signifying the level of dispersion of its vectors of power across the globe. The investigation will conclude with a detailed case study of how this current version of the GPF impacts the Global South by examining Post-Revolutionary Iran’s relations with the West.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 1 (2022)
  • Tributary World-Ecologies, Part I

    • Authors: Çağrı İdiman
      Pages: 25 - 52
      Abstract: This essay, in two parts, argues for the centrality of the world-ecology perspective for theorizing the relations, dynamics, and crises of the High Medieval Worlds. Commercialization Theorists view the High Middle Ages as a period of early capitalism, while classical Marxist theorists conceive it as a continuation of feudalism. In contrast to both conceptions, I argue that this era can instead be evaluated on its own terms from the world-ecology perspective. In Part I, I develop two interrelated historical-geographical and theoretical arguments. By employing a comparative world-historical methodology, I first argue that two distinct world-ecologies emerged in the North Sea and the Mediterranean during the High Middle Ages. Second, I define world-ecologies not only in terms of commercial relations, but also of production relations, that is, the mode of appropriation of nature and labor. Next, I focus on the common characteristics of tributary world-ecologies. These two world-ecologies were distinguished by agrarian tributary relations, two-tiered commercial networks, and a multiple state-system. I argue that they expanded due to the unique bundling of climatological upturn, novel production relations, and technological and organizational innovations. I conclude Part I by analyzing the North Sea world-ecology, which has typically served as a model for both Commercialization and Classical Marxist perspectives. While there is no question that both perspectives have their merits, it seems more fruitful to explain the relations and dynamics of the North Sea world by the mutual-conditioning of nature, tributary production, and two-tiered commerce. Second, it is more useful to theorize the North Sea world in relation to the larger tributary worlds, characteristic of the High Middle Ages.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1066
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 1 (2022)
  • For a Revolutionary Feminist World-Systems Analysis

    • Authors: Umaima Miraj
      Pages: 53 - 76
      Abstract: In revolutionary anti-colonial movements, women's involvement has been limited, and their contributions often marginalized or forgotten. This is not only an empirical puzzle in that anti-colonial movements have historically recruited women and furthered feminist discourse while also marginalizing female members, but also a political problem for movements that the lived reality for female participants diverges from the egalitarian philosophies of the movements themselves. In this article, I build on and further develop theories of feminist world-systems analysis, contending that feminist world-systems needs to rethink theories of anti-systemic movements to better include women’s revolutionary roles as active agents in the historical process of colonial independence and decolonization. In so doing, I contend that a revolutionary feminist world-systems analysis is increasingly important to analyze that women’s active roles as revolutionary agents have been sidelined because the movements that they have been a part of have also found themselves co-opted by dominant liberal ideology. This theoretical position is illustrated through an analysis of the published periodicals of the anti-colonial Ghadar Party. Through this empirical case study, I show that Ghadar’s revolutionary potential receded to the background because of its failures to fully include its female members. This case study is then levied to demonstrate how reviving a feminist world-systems analysis can help us better theorize women’s important but under-analyzed role in revolutionary anti-colonial movements.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1065
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 1 (2022)
  • Technological Change before Globalization

    • Authors: Michael Calderon-Zaks
      Pages: 77 - 97
      Abstract: Though the world-systems school has argued that globalization has been a long process over the last five centuries, globalization is often only synonymous with the late twentieth century. Globalization has gained a lot of attention in the context of declining blue-collar job sectors, but the technologies that enabled it had already displaced workers on U.S. railroads. To bridge both schools, railroads are the perfect setting for this study since it’s at the intersection of race, labor, technological changes, and globalization. Mexicans once accounted for ninety percent of track workers in the U.S. Southwest, but after gaining higher wages by the early 1950s, most of their jobs were lost to automation by the 1960s. While faster and larger cargo ships and railroads in recent decades have been synonymous with globalization, the technologies and infrastructure didn’t enable that global process until the 1970s at the earliest. Technological changes eliminated more jobs on the tracks before 1970 than to globalization since. Globalization was not possible without those technological changes.
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1061
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 1 (2022)
  • Leaning on the BRICS as a Geopolitical Counterweight Leads Only to
           Faux-Polyarchic, Subimperial “Spalling”

    • Authors: Patrick Bond
      Pages: 146 - 152
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1124
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 1 (2022)
  • How to Read Capitalism in the Web of Life

    • Authors: Jason W Moore
      Pages: 153 - 168
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1127
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 1 (2022)
  • Why Not Default'

    • Authors: Jerome Roos, Andrej Grubačić
      Pages: 169 - 174
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1123
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 1 (2022)
  • Give and Take

    • Authors: Patricia Ward
      Pages: 175 - 177
      PubDate: 2022-03-26
      DOI: 10.5195/jwsr.2022.1125
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 1 (2022)
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