Abstracts

Review XXIV, 1, 2001

Carlos A. Aguirre Rojas, "Braudel in Latin America and the U.S.: A Different Reception"

This article compares the receptions and the links between the work and the activity of Fernand Braudel with the social sciences and the historiography of Latin America on the one side, and with U.S. historiography on the other side. To explain these different intellectual links, the author proposes to examine the two different cultural sensibilities of longue durée present in Latin America and in U.S. cultures.

Giovanni Arrighi, "Braudel, Capitalism, and the New Economic Sociology"

Among the disciplines and subdisciplines of the social sciences as practiced in the United States the New Economic Sociology is Braudel's most likely interlocutor. And yet, the New Economic Sociology has shown little interest in Braudel's work. The reasons for this lack of interest appear to be the same as those for the subdiscipline's silence on capitalism as historical social system: its distinctly "micro," "social-interactionist," event--or at most conjuncture-oriented approach to economy and society--an approach that contrasts sharply with that of the "old" economic sociology. The article argues that the New Economic Sociology, or for that matter the social sciences in general, can learn to speak meaningfully about capitalism as historical social system only by coming to terms with Braudel's notion of longue durée and his implicit theory of historical capitalism.

Maurice Aymard, "One Braudel or Several?"

Among the works of Fernand Braudel, The Mediterranean has had from the very beginning a particular importance. It had a huge, lasting, and increasing influence on several generations of younger historians. And it was determinant for the career of Braudel himself, whom it legitimized as an intellectual and institutional leader. But Braudel, as an historian, cannot be identified as the author of only one book. He organized his life around three main, lengthy historical projects and devoted or would have devoted to each of them a minimum of 20 to 25 years: The Mediterranean (1923-49, then 1949-66), Civilization and Capitalism (around 1955-79), Identity of France (1970-85). The overlapping of these three projects makes the 1960's (the period where he had more institutional responsibilities) exceptionally productive. But he had to wait until the 1970's to have a large reception, through the various translations, in the United States. We need to follow this personal itinerary to have a better understanding of the complexity of his historical thought and writing.

Giuliana Gemelli, "U.S. Foundations and Braudel's Institution Building"

The article analyzes Fernand Braudel's institution building by developing two arguments: the role of historical conjuncture in shaping biographical time and the effects of cross-fertilization policies between the United States and Europe, particularly France and Italy, between the 1950's and 1970's. The first argument is based on the assumption that actors' freedom and competence depend on their momentum, but also on the multiplicity of worlds to which their biographical spheres gave them access. The second argument is based on the assumption that the concept of Americanization is a too narrow perspective to analyze the complex dynamics of Braudel's "défi latin" vis-à-vis American "vision of modernity," both in its historical genealogy and strategic development. This system of French-American cultural relations was not the product of impersonal entities; it was the result of the dynamic interactions of a multiplicity of individual and institutional actors, on both sides of the Atlantic.

Jean Heffer, "Is the Longue Durée Un-American?"

The longue durée is a key concept elaborated by Fernand Braudel in his famous article published in 1958 in Annales. It means a semi-immobile time, when social structures change little, so that they may be stylized by a probabilistic model. The concept fits well with the period before the Industrial Revolution. So, as far as American history is concerned, its relevance is a moot question. There is no semi-immobility in a history that started only four centuries ago and was moved by a relentless quest for newness. Nevertheless a "bounded" longue durée may be a useful framework against some postmodernist drifts.

Steven Kaplan, "The 1960's: Was Braudel a Turning Point?"

This article explores the impact of Fernand Braudel's work on historical scholarship in the United States during the 1960's. It argues that before the translation of La Méditerranée, Braudel-in-America existed in a purely chrysalidal state. Ernest Labrousse, in the Sorbonne, loomed much larger than Braudel in this domain, where the latter coyly cultivated his strategic "marginality." After exploring the standard literature for traces of Braudel, the author looks to his own trajectory as a graduate student in the 1960's. Without the mediation of his teachers, he gravitated to Braudel, driven by an untutored hunger for theory, allured by Braudel's interdisciplinary ardor, and mesmerized (as well as terrified) by his unwonted, totalizing ("globalizing") ambition. The author took solace in a protracted course of LSD: the Longue durée, Structures, and Daily life. Though worried about Braudel's more or less undiscriminating contempt for events, his cavalier attitide toward politics, and a sometimes intransigent structuralism that allowed agency little purchase, the author fell under the spell of Civilisation matérielle et capitalisme (1967) which he regarded as a manifesto for an audacious history of the everyday order.

Anthony Molho,"Like Ships Passing in the Dark: Reflections on the Reception of La Mediterranée in the U.S."

An examination of the American reception of Fernand Braudel's Mediterranean reveals the wide range of critical judgements advanced by American scholars starting almost immediately following the book's publication in 1949. Although the work received great acclaim among many historians, the reserve, even hostility of many of these judgements is striking. American historians of early modern Europe--but certainly not only they--often expressed harsh judgements about Braudel's approach and his conclusions. Yet, and perhaps inevitably, even some of these critics could not escape the influence of one of the most ambitious and innovative historical accounts written in the twentieth century.

Susan Stuard, "A Capital Idea: Pursuing Demand"

This article offers a contrarian view to the opinion generally expressed by colloquium participants that Fernand Braudel's influence is on the wane. Fernand Braudel historicized the question of demand in Europe, 1400 to 1800, and as a result new presumptions about the emergence of capitalism prevail in recent historical literature. A brief historiographical review of the studies that followed Braudel's initial work on demand in Civilisation matérielle et capitalisme (1967) is presented. The underlying presumptions which characterize these historical analyses are contrasted to the utilitarian theory of demand that had dominated historical interpretations before Fernand Braudel offered his revisionist historicizing.

F. X. Sutton, "The Ford Foundation's Transatlantic Roles and Purposes, 1951-81"

The author, then an officer of the Behavioral Science Program at the Ford Foundation, describes his mission to Paris in 1957 to assess the plans of Fernand Braudel and Gaston Berger for a Maison des Sciences de l'Homme. His Harvard background and acquaintance with French social science of the time provided no clear intellectual agenda for the Ford Foundation on the social sciences in France. The Ford Foundation's purposes in Europe at that time were more broadly political than intellectual. Its grant of $1 million for the Maison, made in 1960, was intended to strengthen the social sciences in France, not in particular fields or methods, but because such strengthening was thought to contribute to the development of France as a part of western Europe and the Atlantic community. Braudel, as academic statesman, rightly saw that the Ford Foundation was chiefly useful as a catalyst for action by the French government. Later, after 1966, in the Ford Foundation presidency of McGeorge Bundy, there appeared possibilities for more focussed agendas in the social sciences in Europe. These were lost in choices forced on the Ford Foundation by the constriction of its budgets during the stagflation of the 1970's; but the author has observed and abetted in far places the intellectual influence of Braudel and the Maison to the present time.

Immanuel Wallerstein, "Braudel and Interscience: A Preacher to Empty Pews?"

Fernand Braudel gave his seminars under the aegis of a unitary "interscience." What did he mean by this term? It seemed to combine a triple emphasis--the mathematization of the social sciences, the necessity of local specificity, and the centrality of the longue durée. He put this forward as a "practical program" of reorganizing the structures of knowledge. He met much resistance to this project, and such success as he had engendered a backlash. Nonetheless, Braudel's project resonates with some important trends both in the natural sciences and the humanities.


Review XXIV, 2, 2001

Amiya Kumar Bagchi, "Fluctuations and Turbulence of the World-Economy"

Four processes of stimulation or contraction of the world-economy have been distinguished in this article: the Kahn-Keynes multiplier process, the Fisher-Kalecki debt process, the process of securitization and privatization of assets, and the Prebisch-Singer terms of trade process. The inequalities of world income distribution and the asymmetries of effects of expansion in incomes in different economic groupings foul up the expansionary potential of the multiplier process and dim the prospects of global Keynesianism. Inequalities in the distribution of assets as between different countries and within countries lie at the heart of the pulsations caused by the debt process. The greedy privatization and securitization of assets, accelerating in the 1990's, has enormously increased the fragility of the world-economy and the vulnerability and insecurity of ordinary people. Finally, the division of the world between poor, less developed countries, and the affluent OECD block partly rests on and partly propels the debt, securitization, and terms of trade processes leading to an increase of inequality all over the world.

Heinz R. Sonntag, Miguel A. Contreras & Javier Biardeau, "Development as Modernization and Modernity in Latin America"

In this article we discuss: the intellectual history of modernity; the union and interpenetration of modernity and development in Latin America and the Caribbean; how the ECLA version of development has come to be a synonym for modernity and has been disseminated and incorporated in the practices of social forces; the dilemmas generated by the attempts to achieve it; and the challenges which remain to be addressed in the future, in terms of possible development strategies, as consequences of truncated or frustrated modernizations.

Mohammad H. Tamdgidi, "Open the Antisystemic Movements: The Book, the Concept, and the Reality"

Treating the book Antisystemic Movements (Arrighi, Hopkins & Wallerstein, 1989) as an empirical site for conceptual exploration, this article aims to contribute to the newly revitalized debates in world-systems studies on realistic alternatives to historical capitalism. The article calls for the opening of our prevailing notions of antisystemicity in world-systems studies in favor of othersystemic, cultural, self-reflexive, world-historical, and inductive interpretations and praxes of social change. This can open our visions to the reality and significance of alternative approaches to antisystemicity whose challenges to the social status quo throughout world-history have been effected primarily not through reactive oppositional strategies, but through proactive modes of design and/or construction of alternative inter- and/or intrapersonal social realities. Western utopianism and Eastern mysticism are examples of these movements which have variously challenged in their own ways the world-historical or intrapersonal systemicities of alienating societies. The fact that these movements, like their modern antisystemic counterparts, have been more or less failing does not necessarily diminish their intellectual or practical value in the search for realistic historical alternatives to capitalism. Drawing upon the legacy of Terence K. Hopkins (1928-97) in the area of sociological pedagogy, this article concludes that the opening of the book and the concept Antisystemic Movements can be fruitfully advanced by further opening the innovative academic channels of humanist utopistics the authors of Antisystemic Movements have themselves been constructing in recent decades.


Review XXIV, 3, 2001

Shelley Feldman, " Intersecting and Contesting Positions: Postcolonialism, Feminism, and World-Systems Theory"

World-systems theory anchors creative ways to think about historical capitalism and processes of internationalization and provides a framework for interpreting nation-state formation and intrastate class and gender relations. Less attention, however, has been devoted by world-systems theorists to sustained engagements with contemporary theory and the advancements it promises for theory-building. To encourage this dialogue, I identify as well as deepen areas of engagement between world-systems analysts and those employing contemporary feminist and various post- theories. The primary question animating my discussion is: How do contributions from feminism, poststructuralism, and postcolonial theory offer a refinement of our understanding of contemporary global capitalism?

José Itzigsohn, "World-Systems and Institutional Analysis--Tensions and Complementarities: The Cases of Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic"

This article explores the articulations of the analysis of large scale/longue durée and national level processes of social change by looking at the complementarities and tensions of world-systems and comparative institutional analysis. The article compares the developmental trajectories and social stratification of two sets of countries--Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic on the one hand and Korea and Taiwan on the other. The article argues that in each of these cases the developmental trajectories were determined by the form of insertion of the countries in the world division of labor and in geopolitical struggles. Yet, the particular forms that the state apparatus and social stratification took were the result of local interelite struggle for control of the process of insertion in the world-economy. The article shows that world-systems theory can explain the main trends of the system and its subunits. The particular ways in which the cyclical and structural trends of the world-system affect particular locations, however, cannot be deduced directly from the logic of the system. Institutional analysis can help us address these questions.

Jonathan Leitner, "Red Metal in the Age of Capital: The Political Ecology of Copper in the Nineteenth- Century World-Economy"

This article examines the expansion of the world copper industry during the mid-to-late nineteenth century. It follows how bituminous coal-intensive smelting technologies pioneered in South Wales, the location of the world-economy's leading copper producers (or sectoral hegemons), were then adapted with varying degrees of success by copper producing firms elsewhere in the world. Peripheral copper mining regions began to develop after changes in British trade policy briefly blocked its importation of copper ores. By the end of the century, South Wales copper producers had been eclipsed by these new competitors, particularly those in Montana's Butte district. The Butte firms, chiefly the Anaconda Co., substituted hydroelectricity for coal in using electrolytic processing, a cheaper and more efficient technique that allowed them to outproduce other competing regions, including an already declining South Wales. A key component of this analysis involves considering the varying physical and environmental contexts of production in the disparate locales, and how they aided, or more often hindered, the establishment of the copper smelting industry, as well as strongly influenced the politics and economics of the world copper industry. The article's metapurpose is to demonstrate the importance of physical and environmental considerations in our analyses of the world-system, particularly when examining regions and localities in world-systemic context.


Review XXIV, 4, 2001

Ho-fung Hung, "Imperial China and Capitalist Europe in the Eighteenth-Century Global Economy"

Ming-Qing China has long been portrayed in Eurocentric historiography as a plainly agrarian and inward-looking Empire, in contrast to the commercially dynamic and maritime-oriented Europe. However, a recent wave of research illustrates the blossoming of maritime trade and domestic commerce in China from the sixteenth to eighteenth century, and depicts China as the center of the early modern "world-economy." Acknowledging the existence of an early modern global economy and that China was a crucial component of it does not infer that there was a single world-system grounded on an integrated division of labor and centered at China. This article is an attempt to locate China properly in the early modern world by examining the form and impact of the eighteenth-century Sino-English trade as an example. I will argue that: (1) despite the intensive trade between Europe and China, the economic exchange was institutionalized under a system of port of trade that kept the political economy of China intact. Nonetheless, the actual dynamics underlying the emergence of the system in China is more complicated than what the port-of-trade theory suggests; (2) China's participation in the global economy facilitated a drastic socio-economic transformation of the Qing Empire in the eighteenth century. The transformation was parallel to the formation of core-periphery division of labor in sixteenth-century Europe, but was contained in a political framework and geopolitical setting vastly different from those in the latter. Capitalist development was arrested, while the booming market economy weakened the imperial state, paving the way for the nineteenth-century disintegration of the Empire.

Khaldoun Samman, "The Limits of the Classical Comparative Method"

This article reviews authors who are creating new ways to organize knowledge. This new organization makes the older methodology of compartmentalizing populations into separate species obsolete. The classical comparative method places a burden on research because it creates the image of neatly bounded discrete cultures with clearly defined traditions, and leaves us in a poor position to understand diversity and difference. The classical comparative approach separates cultures and civilizations when in fact modern world history has demonstrated their interconnections. We are beginning to see the emergence of an alternative approach. Diverse figures such as Edward Said and Immanuel Wallerstein, among many others, have demonstrated that what have been posited as separate units have in fact been closely interconnected historically by power relations. World-systems analysis, subaltern, and postcolonial theory, all share a fundamental break with the classical comparative method.

Boris Stremlin, "Bounding Historical Systems: The Wallerstein-Frank Debate and the Role of Knowledge in World History"

The Frank-Wallerstein debate represents a new phase of contest between the "historical materialist" and the "civilizationist" approaches to world-historical writing in the age of globalization. Andre Gunder Frank has staked out the former position, arguing for the primacy of trade in the determination of world systemic boundaries and claiming that the overemphasis on culture and ideology ought to be rejected as Eurocentric. Although Frank suggests that such a position is implicit in the work of Immanuel Wallerstein, much of Wallerstein's writing over the last decade has begun to emphasize civilizational features as central to bounding world-systems in space and time (as well as defining them conceptually). Though civilizationists have traditionally undervalued material and transcivilizational linkages and non-European data, the ecumenicist and materialist approaches are equally prone to the pitfalls of reification and Eurocentrism. Wallerstein's version of world-systems analysis opens the way to relegitimizing aspects of civilizationism as integral to world-systems analysis and to positioning it as a mode complementary to ecumenicism in contemporary world history.

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