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formal definition of world-system
by g kohler
17 March 2002 17:33 UTC
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here is a formal definition from Chase-Dunn's glossary --

Christopher Chase-Dunn,
Global Formation: Structures of the World-Economy. Updated Edition.
Oxford, England: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998, pages 347-348

p. 348 "World-system: a whole social system (not necessarily global)
composed of cultural, normative, economic, political, and military
relations which is bounded by a territorial network of regularized
exchange of material goods. Regarding the problem of spatial boundaries
of world-systems, see chapter 15, "Spatio-temporal mapping"."

. . .  and just to confuse you a bit, he has three more formal
definitions, which are:

p. 347 (with hyphen) "World-economy: a type of world-system in which the
territorial network of economic exchange is politically structured as an
interstate system."

p. 347 (without hyphen) "World economy: the total sum of economic
relationships contained in a world-system, including intranational,
transnational, and international production and exchange."

p. 347-348  "World-empire: a type of world-system in which the
territorial economic network is largely contained within a single state

. . . and to irritate some other members of the world(-)system(s) club,
he did not even give a formal definition of "world system" (without
hyphen) or of "Weltsystem" (no hypen and no space), as in the German
edition of Lenin's introduction to "Imperialism" of 1922.

with greetings to Russia from Canada,
Gernot Kohler

in response to:

A question       by Evgeni Nikolaev           17 March 2002

Dear Sirs,

I cannot find an answer to a very simple, and therefore stupid question:

What is (are) the formal definition(s) of the term “world-system” as
from the world-systems perspective? I am now writing a report on the
world-systems analysis in Russian, and the most important thing that I
cannot find is precisely the above definition. I will highly appreciate
help, and apologize for the trouble.

Evgeni Nikolaev.

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