chapter  3
28 Pages

The Portuguese as system-builders: Technological innovation in early globalization


Devezas and Modelski (2003) demonstrated recently that world system evolution may be viewed as a cascade of multilevel, nested, and self-similar, Darwinian-type processes that exhibit power-law behavior, also known as self-organized criticality. World social organization, poised on the boundary between order and chaos (Devezas and Corredine, 2001, 2002; Kauffmann, 1995), is neither sub-critical nor supercritical, and that allows for flexibility (innovation), which is a necessary condition of evolution and learning. The framework proposed by Devezas and Modelski opens the door to conceptualizing the emergence of world organization and, more recently, of globalization, as a process of systemic learning, which leads in turn to the umbrella concept of a learning civilization.