chapter  3
24 Pages

An evaluation of the occidental world-system

In this chapter we will examine, most importantly, Immanuel Wallerstein’s ideas regarding his concept of the world-system. This is a term that Wallerstein coined to explain both the process of capital accumulation and modernity created by the relationship between economic, social, technological and global forces within which the capitalist world-system survives. But in his recent work, Wallerstein also identifies the modern world-system with Occidentalism and shows that historicism and patterns of change in this world-system occur in a remarkably stable and pervasive way as marked by the span of historical evolution of Western civilization. The evolution of this occidental world-system is shown by Wallerstein to be a continuous threshold of fresh epistemological investigation segmented between the camps of the philosophers, the natural scientists and the social scientists since the late eighteenth-century European Enlightenment.