World Society Studies

Volume 2: Waves, Formation and Values in the World System

Volker Bornschier & Peter Lengyel (editors)

Published by Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, N.J., U.S.A., 1992
ISBN 1-56000-056-2 (cloth)


During the 1990s an enormous acceleration of history is occurring; world society has become radically altered in many respects. In Eastern Europe what seemed stable and predictable regimes over decades came close to collapse or even broke down spectacular ly toward the end of the decade. In part of the Third World, debt and vast misery brought economic development and modernization to a virtual halt. Finally, after years of stagnation, the integrational momentum of the European Economic Community picked up considerably an unexpectedly. These dramatic examples of discontinuous, wave-like social transformation are weighted with lessons for social scientists. This volume explores the dynamics and implications of these changes in the postwar order through theo retical and practical approaches.

The book, bringing together advanced scholars from Europe, the United States, and the Third World, opens with an introductory statement that traces the links between political change and technological evolution. The chapters in the first part compare theo retical models and historical instances of political and economic cycles applicable to those of our own time. In this context the authors examine changes in the structures of ideological legitimation, social protest, multistate system stability, the role of cities and the international civil service in world systems, and state-society conflicts.

The chapters in the second part explore how sudden eruptions of political change-revolutions-reshape basic values and the central role of legitimacy. The autho rs demonstrate that a resurgence of religious values is often connected with the legitimation of private property, and that the centrality of human rights is the legitimizing element of pluralistic, democratic orders. Other chapters consider the impact of global change on conceptions of neutrality in nations such as Sweden and Switzerland and on problems of development in Third World countries. Waves, Formations and values in the World System offers original creative thinking and conceptualisation for confronting the intellectual challenges of rapid social change in the 1990s. It will be of interest to sociologists, economists, political scientists, and historians.



The End of the Post-War Era
Volker Bornschier and Peter Lengyel

I Waves and Formations

1 Long Waves in the World System
Volker Bornschier and Christian Suter

2 The Changing Role of Cities in World-Systems
Christopher Chase-Dunn

3 Realpolitik and Multistate System Stability
Thomas R. Cusack

4 The Structuring of Social Protest in Modern Societies: the Limits and Direction of Convergence
S.N. Eisenstadt

5 The Socialist Societies: Rise and Fall of a Societal Formation
Jakob Juchler

6 The International Civil Service in Perspective
Peter Lengyel

7 The Power and Limits of States: Struggles for Domination between States and Societies
Joel S. Migdal

II Values and Conflicts

8 The Emerging European-Wide Human Rights Regime: too much of a Good Thing?
Philip Alston

9 Nuclear Confrontation: Ambivalence, Rationality and the Doomsday Machine
J. David Singer

10 The Problem of Religious Politics and its Impact on World Society
William H. Swatos, Jr.

11 Structural Situation and World View: the Case of Switzerland
Walter Schöni and Heinrich Zwicky ~~UP~~

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