Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The title of this entry, while certainly capturing a common phrase in the world of international analysis, is a bit of a misnomer. World-systems theory is in reality a broad “approach,” which has only been deemed a “theory” against the hopes of some of its central proponents. The world-systems approach seeks fundamentally to broaden the frameworks of analysis generally deployed in the social sciences in two directions: geographically, through the transcendence of the nation-state in favor of the “system,” and historically through an emphasis on the “long duration.” While most closely associated with sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein and the Fernand Braudel Center he founded at State University of New York at Binghamton, world-systems theory draws on many tributaries and has given rise to a broad variety of occasionally contrasting perspectives. World-systems theory finds its most direct predecessor in the theories of dependency developed by scholars in underdeveloped nations as a theoretical ...