Globalization and Immanuel Wallerstein

Globalization and Immanuel Wallerstein

There are several key points in this week’s readings. The main ideas are the dominant power relations and the eye on conflicts in many societies. In connection to issues of political culture and modernization, the authors examine the meanings of colonialism, globalization, democracy, and capitalism (Garner and Hancock 2014). They analyze these issues in connection to their ongoing political conflicts and the historical context. Acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of historical contexts enables individuals to critically evaluate political ideologies, divisions, and interests in challenging and maintaining the dominant groups and their perspectives.

One of the major key points is the comparison between globalization and colonialization. Colonialization is practicing domination involving the subjection of one individual to another. Political and moral philosophers have experienced a longstanding concern from the legitimacy of colonialism. Since the conquest of America and the crusades, political theorists have been struggling to reconcile the ideas on natural law and justice with European sovereignty over many countries around the world (Garner and Hancock 2014). On the other hand, globalization is the intensifying, widening, and growing impact of worldwide interconnection. Researchers are arguing that globalization is a new form of colonialism since it produces prosperity through corporate capitalization of free markets and is increasing the living standards of people. As a result of globalization, human societies have dramatically increased their pace in establishing progressively closer contacts.

Another key is the overview of Immanuel Wallerstein and World Systems theory. Wallerstein’s theory articulates, the entrepreneurial global economy is a surplus appropriation mechanism that is both efficient and subtle (PittGlobalStudies 2014). It mainly depends on the formation of surplus through a continuously growing production. Wallerstein categorizes the economy of the capitalist globe into three significant sectors including semi-peripheral and peripheral sectors and core sectors. The least developed sectors are peripheral since they are subjugated by core areas due to their inexpensive raw materials, cheap labor, and agronomic productions. Semi-peripheral sectors are intermedia as they both take a role in exploiting peripheral areas and are being exploited by core areas (Moleverde 2009). The core areas are known for internally promoting capital accumulation through government purchasing, tax policy, financing infrastructural development, sponsoring development and research, and maintaining social order.

Besides counterpower in the network society, another key point is the different forms of power. With the contemporary society full of networking activities, the exercise of power is seen through the use of networks. Under technological and social conditions, there are about four kinds of power such as network, networking, network-making power, and networked power (TheRSAorg 2013). All the mentioned power networks exercise their power, through a multimedia network of mass by predominantly influencing the human mand.  They also engage partnership and competition strategies, practicing competition and cooperation simultaneously.


Garner, Roberta., & Hancock, Black. (Eds.). 2014. Social theory: continuity and confrontation: A reader (Third Edition). Ontario: University of Toronto Press.

Moleverde. 2009, May 8. Immanuel Wallerstein on the end of Capitalism. YouTube.

PittGlobalStudies. 2014, September 5. Immanuel Wallerstein – Dilemmas of the Global Left (Lecture). YouTube.

TheRSAorg. 2013, May 2. Networks of Outrage and Hope – Manuel Castells. YouTube.

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