Critique of the World Systems Theory

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Muhammad Hamza Afsar Khan 17020034 Dr. Muhammad Asadi Power, State and Society Throughout the course of this essay, a parallel will be drawn between the Militarized International System as proposed by Dr. Asadi and the infamous World System Theory formulated by Immanuel Wallerstein. It shall examine the economic reductionism of Wallerstein and contrast it with the multi-faceted system of stratification analyzed by Asadi. The second level of the juxtaposition of these two theories will be about the fate of capitalism as laid out by both theorists. The world system theory departs from the traditional development theories preceding wallerstein with regards to the unit of analysis not being a nation or a state, but rather an entity in which there is on- going division of labor. This is explained by using the concept of Alternative Possibilities to the organization of the material world, namely the modes of production. As the name suggests, this system is based on the decisions of dividing the productive tasks, by choosing the course of investment, the allocation and distribution of resources. The earliest mode of production was the reciprocal lineage system. This mode revolves around human labor and requires limited specialization and division of labor. Due to their technological primitivism these societies failed to subsist for long periods historically, succumbing to natural calamities, conquests or integration with other such societies. Hence, this mode if referred by wallerstein himself as a mini-system. Sharply contrasting are the two other modes of production known as world systems to signify the larger spatio-temporal existence of diverse cultural groups which may or may not be politically united. The first of these is the world empire which “creates enough of an agricultural surplus (based therefore on a more advanced technology than the reciprocal-lineage
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