Re: Addendum to Mark Selden's post

Wed, 5 Mar 1997 12:49:28 -0500 (EST)
william r. thompson (

Perhaps raising the question of "incorporation" suggests that we are
evading a prior question: how or to what extent eastern and western
eurasian political economies were linked immediately prior and during
this roughly 14th-18th century period about which we are debating. The
Modelski-Thompson position, for instance, argues against "incorporation"
or "merger" conceptualization because they were already part of the same
larger Afroeurasian system. Around 1500 some Europeans hijacked a
respectable proportion of the ancient maritime version of the silk
roads. I think we would agree with the "Asia first" group(s) that this
did not immediately change the way in which the eastern end of Eurasian
political economy functioned but it did alter the nature of
transcontinental transactions which has always been our focus. Other
posters seem more interested in intra-regional transformations and
preponderances - on both the western and eastern regional ends.
Moreover, how one sees what happened around 1500 on (vis-a-vis
incorporation, merger, more of the same, or selective rechanneling of
major trade routes) will also influence how one views the paradigmatic
significance of the era. Bill Thompson

On Wed, 5 Mar 1997, Thomas D. [Tom] Hall, THALL@DEPAUW.EDU wrote:

> Mark et al are usefully pointing to a number of things that need to be
> rethought. At the risk of being too self-promoting, in Rise & Demise,
> Chap 4 on incorporation, we do discuss precisely this type of problem as
> the MERGER of formerly separate world-systems. While a type of
> incorporation, it is substantially different from garden variety
> incorporation as discussed in conventional WST, and very different from
> incorporation of non-state peoples as I have discussed it (mostly in
> _Social Change in the Southwest_). But I think we have barely scratched
> the surface of the problem. It may well be the case that the
> incorporation/merger of Asia with Western Eurasia will force to rethink
> the entire process, or to recognize this as a very different type of
> process than more conventional incorporation/colonization.
> tom
> Thomas D. [tom] Hall
> Department of Sociology
> DePauw University
> Greencastle, IN 46135
> 765-658-4519