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Gourevitch: The international system and regime formation

Disclaimer. Don't rely on these old notes in lieu of reading the literature, but they can jog your memory. As a grad student long ago, my peers and I collaborated to write and exchange summaries of political science research. I posted them to a wiki-style website. "Wikisum" is now dead but archived here. I cannot vouch for these notes' accuracy, nor can I say who wrote them.

Gourevitch. 1978. The international system and regime formation: A critical review of Anderson and Wallerstein. Comparative Politics 10: 419-38.

Discussion to focus on the review of Wallerstein (419-427).

Wallerstein's key concern: why was it that Europe, not some other area, "spawned the economic system that allowed it to dominate the globe"? (421)

Focus: the difference btw Europe's state system and China's (and other places') empire system. In empires, all economic activity is within the borders, and can therefore be controlled more. In states, trade happens across borders, so some "economic activity [is] outside the arena over which any political entity is able to exercise control," leading to differentiation" (421). This led to development of capitalism. "What Weber attributed to the Protestant ethic, Wallerstein attributes to the failure of the Spanish Armada" (to the failure of empire in Europe) (422).

Thus, leading to the modern world system, in dependencia terms: core, periphery, semi-periphery. The international economy --> regime types: "The world economy develops a pattern where state structures are relatively strong in the core areas and relatively weak in the periphery" (422)

Observable implication: "All core economies have strong states, and all strong states are only in the core economies. [but] Is this the case? No, though it is not entirely clear whether the following schematization really tests Wallersteins definitions..." (423).

Research by the same authors

Research on similar subjects


Gourevitch, Peter (author)International RelationsRegime TypePolitical EconomyIPEMarxismCapitalismQualitative Methods

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