Bielefeld Meeting

A group of seven sociologists met at the 13th World congress of Sociology in Bielefeld, Germany on Wednesday, July 20, 1994 to discuss the idea of a World Party. Those present were Valentine Moghadam, Tom Robinson, Terry Boswell, Mike Timberlake, Tieting Su, Wally Goldfrank and Chris Chase-Dunn.

It was asserted that the world-systems perspective provides a scientifically valid and useful theoretical bases for understanding and action upon the world political stage in order to bring about a more humane global society.

W. Warren Wagar’s A Short History of the Future (Chicago 1992) was summarized for those who had not read it, and then the discussion turned to:

Regarding the term "party" some participants were uncomfortable because of the history of Leninist "democratic centralism." It was generally agreed that the term "network" might be a better appellation to describe the activities under consideration.

Several constituencies were mentioned: NGO cadres, progressive employees of international organizations, academics and leftists.

It was agreed that World Party Network activists should help to communicate the world-systems perspective to a wider audience by writing text books and educational materials, and by speaking to groups outside of academic circles.

It was also agreed that the topic of world-system praxis should be engaged among academics who share the world-systems perspective. It was planned to try to get activities scheduled for the meetings of professional associations and to hold discussions on WSN, the world-systems electronic conferencing network.