The Age of Transition: Trajectory of the World-System, by Terence K. Hopkins

By Terence K. Hopkins

Everyone has the same opinion the realm is altering within the Nineties with the tip of the chilly battle and with a supposedly new globalization. yet are those the fundamental adjustments? in an effort to see the place the area is headed within the subsequent quarter-century, it is necessary to examine thoroughly the place it's been considering that 1945. it's the rivalry of this ebook that the post-1945 international already observed its significant second of swap within the years 1967-73, a second within which there has been a conjuncture of 3 significant turning-points, each one resulting in a downturn. those include, within the non permanent, the tip of the area monetary growth within the present 50-year Kondratieff cycle; within the medium-term, the start of a decline within the dominant function of the us; and within the long term, intimations of a potential systemic disintegration of the 500-year-old capitalist world-economy. isolating out those results, the publication analyses what constitutes the long term structural situation of the world-system into which we've entered, and the very tricky interval of transition which has begun.

This concrete research of the arrival a long time within the mild of the former ones is a fabricated from the world-systems research of the Fernand Braudel middle for the examine of Economies, ancient platforms, and Civilizations. The interval 1945-90 is analysed when it comes to six major vectors: the interstate process, global construction, the area labour strength, international human welfare, the social solidarity of the states, and the constructions of data. The publication concludes with worldwide overviews: one for 1945-1990, and one assessing worldwide probabilities, 1990-2025. It paints an image of darkish days forward, yet one during which there are genuine historic choices.

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The re­ unification of Gerihany and the disintegration of the Soviet bloc put an end to two major aspects of the postwar interstate order, though the Cold War stOl lingered in the Asian zone, symbolized in the division of Korea. Still, now there was no threat from the Soviets, real or other­ wise. With the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact the rationale for NATO was gone as well (Wallerstein, 1991a: ch. 1). The USA, however, still aimed to continue its hegemony by keeping its allies locked into a dependent relationship through US control over the flow of oil, agri­ cultural goods, and" the provisioning of security.

2; see also Kenwood and Lougheed, 1992: 245-60). 2). The gap between OECD countries and Asian developing countries widened markedly between 1950 and-1987, even, though the per-capita GDP of the latter improved as a percentage of the average-per-capita GDP of the OECD countries. Latin American countries and the TJSSR also experienced a significant widening of the gap between them' and the OECD countries. In terms of country performance, the'absolute diffftence of per-capita real GDP has been wideniilg between richer and poorer countries, the only exceptions being the cases' of Taiwan and South Korea.

Rather than curbing its arms sale^ or attempting to seek global curbs on the proliferation of conventional weapons, though, the USA has instead stepped up arms sales to the Middle East and Far East, where regional arms races continue (Klare, 1994: 134— 54). In this, the USA seems determined to preserve its specialization in the protection industry by playing up the dangers, posed by Third World regional powers such as Iraq, even as it contributes to the probleip. Les Aspin, chairman of the House Armed Services committee and later Secretary of Defense, stated that the Persian Gulf War should be 'a model for future wars.

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