The Fernand Braudel Center was founded in September 1976. In November of that year, it produced an 80-page booklet entitled "Proposed Research Programs." This document opened with a statement of "the objectives of the Center," which read as follows:
The Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations exists to engage in the analysis of large-scale social change over long periods of historical time. We operate on two assumptions. One is that there is no structure that is not historical. In order to understand a structure one must not only know its genesis and its context; one must also assume that its form and its substance are constantly evolving. The second assumption is that no sequence of events in time is structureless, that is, fortuitous. Every event occurs with in existing structures, and is affected by its constraints. Every event creates part of the context of future events. Of course, there are ruptures in structures which represent fundamental change. But such ruptures too are explicable in terms of the state of the structures. We therefore do not separate the study of historical sequence and the study of structural relationships.
In this light, we believe that the problem is not to find an interdisciplinary meeting ground of the study of historical sequence (history) and the study of structures (anthropology, sociology, and other social sciences). It is to perceive our study as an imbricated whole with a single theoretical framework, within which different scholars will of course emphasize different immediate concerns and therefore frequently use different approaches, emphases, methodologies.
We are further uncomfortable with the traditional divide of humanities versus the (social) sciences. At least at the level of explaining large-scale social change over time, we find that it is not very meaningful to distinguish between a humanistic and a scientific approach. We wish primarily to explain systematically and coherently what is fundamentally a single occurrence, the development of the modern world-system. No doubt some parts of the research will seem more congruent with the traditional forms of the sciences and other parts with the humanities, but the whole we are trying to seize cannot be categorized in this way.
We have sought to remain faithful to these premises and to find ways of engaging in (and encouraging others to engage in) concrete research that would throw light upon the processes of real historical systems, and in particular on that one in which we are all living.
World-systems analysis has been subject to much criticism, on the one side from those who have felt it deals at too high a level of abstraction and therefore neglects the specificities of local realities and, conversely, from those who have felt it is insufficiently rigorous, using concepts that are insufficiently operational, and therefore unscientific and ideological. It is easy to see that we have been attacked thus by both the "particularizers" and the "universalists." This is perfectly understandable since, as is clear from our 1976 statement, we have been dedicated to the rejection of the Methodenstreit between the idiographers and the nomothetists. Instead, we have consciously sought the via media of the analysis of the processes that govern specific historical systems, systems that constitute a (not necessarily the) "world" (thus, the concept, world-systems).
We have conceptualized the modern world-system as a capitalist world-economy, by which we mean that it has encompassed a single arena of social action (originally only in one part of the globe, but today throughout the globe) within which the multiple production processes are integrated. We believe these production processes are organized both around an axial division of labor, or core-periphery tension, and around a social division of labor, or bourgeois-proletarian tension, which together permit the unceasing accumulation of capital that defines capitalism as an historical system.
We conceive these integrated production processes to be bounded by an interstate system composed of so-called sovereign states. We believe these states are all entities that have been created (or transformed) within the framework of this world-system. But we also believe they are not the only social actors (or groups) thus to have been created (or transformed). Nations, ethnic groups, households, even "civilizations," are, in their contemporary form and meaning, phenomena emerging out of the ongoing development of the modern world-system, as are the two central divisions of the system, gender and race.
Given this perspective, we have seen our task as engaging in the complex empirical research that would throw light on the real historical processes that have occurred as well as on the historical alternatives that are still before us. We have thus far identified ten major processes which we have felt it important to elaborate (though, of course, there are still others). We have organized our research, our conferences, and our writing around these ten processes. We have tried to open our journal, Review, particularly to articles bearing upon these processes.
Our initial epistemological assumptions about historical systems led us necessarily to distinguish between the "cyclical rhythms" of the system and its "secular trends." To the extent that we were concerned with long-term social change, we were interested primarily in the longer cycles: those of 50-60 year average length, often called Kondratieff cycles; and the still longer ones (200-300 years) sometimes called "logistics."
One of our earliest publications, "Patterns of Development of the Modern World-System" (Review, I, 2, 1977), drew up a series of hypotheses about the modern world-system phrased in terms of both the cycles and the trends. However, instead of devoting ourselves to elaborating direct quantified measures of either cycles or trends (a task in which many others are engaged), we have sought to include systematically both cycles and trends as variables (and, in the case of cycles, as time-markers) in all of our empirical work on other processes. We have in addition tried to further a fuller explanation of the cycles and trends in three ways: a) conferences on the world-economy as a whole; b) conferences bringing together those doing empirical research on "long waves"; c) projections of trends forward, or "futuristics."
a) We have used several conference structures to maintain an ongoing worldwide dialogue on the functioning of the world-economy. The most important is the International Colloquium on the World-Economy (ICWE) which has been held every 1-2 years since 1978. It is a collaborative effort of the FBC, the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme (Paris), and the Starnberger Institut zur Erforschung Globaler Strukturen, Entwicklungen und Krisen (Germany). The ICWE brings together each time no more than 30 scholars, with a considerable continuity from one meeting to another, but also with considerable input at each meeting from the region of the world in which the meeting is held. There have been eleven such meetings between 1978 and 1991. Six of them were held in Europe (Germany, France, and Italy), but we have also sought to meet in countries of the South -- in India, Venezuela, Senegal, Egypt, and Brazil. Our local sponsors in the latter countries were the Indian Council of Social Science Research, CENDES (Universidad Central de Venezuela), the Forum du Tiers-Monde, the Arab Thought Forum, and the Universidade de Brasilia. Since we have stressed in these meetings continuing informal discussion among a network of scholars, we have generally not sought to publish the papers as such. However, two collections did appear: F. Fröbel, J. Heinrichs, & O. Kreye (Hg.), Krisen in der kapitalistischen Weltökonomie (1981), and R. Parboni & I. Wallerstein, a cura di, L'Europa e l'economia politica del sistema-mondo (1987). These are the papers of the Ist and the VIIIth ICWE respectively. The ICWE has served for the FBC as the principal mechanism of submitting our findings and theorizing to colleagues across the world who have been working on these issues from a world-systems perspective.
In addition we have organized other colloquia. We organized two bilateral meetings with GEMDEV, one in Binghamton in 1985 and one in Paris in 1988. GEMDEV is the collaborative structure of the teaching and research programs in the Paris area concerned with the world-economy, the Third World, and development. The theme of the first colloquium was "The Present Downturn of the World-Economy Compared to Previous Downturns." Its papers were published in Cahier du GEMDEV, Nos. 6 & 7, 1986. The theme of the second was "Processes of Proletarianization in the World-Economy." Its papers were published in Cahier du GEMDEV, Nos. 12 & 13, 1989. Another colloquium was organized in 1991, this time on a trilateral basis (U.S.-French-Soviet) on the theme "Evolution of Western Societies and the World-System, 19th-21st Centuries." Its papers are being prepared for publication.
b) We have also sponsored discussions among persons doing research directly about long waves, with two objectives in mind. We have sought to encourage moving beyond narrowly economistic data, insisting on looking at the more "political" and the more "social" manifestations of these long waves. This comes from our deep conviction that the nineteenth-century morphology of three distinct arenas of human behavior (the economic, the political, and the social or socio-cultural) serves to create false barriers to intellectual analysis and that, in the real world, even in the real modern world, the processes are so interwoven and dialectic al that any non-holistic analysis necessarily leads astray.
Secondly, we have sought to encourage the coming together of those students of Kondratieffs, principally economists, concerned with data from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with those, principally economic historians, who have analyzed pre- 1800 historical patterns in terms of cycles that are very similar in length and pattern to the so-called Kondratieffs. This comes from our belief that the turn of the nineteenth century was not the critical period of onset of the capitalist world-economy which, in our view, occurred much earlier. It would follow that, if Kondratieff-length cycles are an ongoing feature of the capitalist world-economy, the data collected should be over the entirety of its historical existence.
In 1982, we organized a session at the Conference of Europeanists, in Washington, DC, on "Kondratieffs and Long Cycles in Europe Before 1800." In 1983, we co-sponsored the International Round Table on Long Waves, in Paris. A selection of the papers given at these two conferences were published in Review (VII, 4, 1984) and in Social Sciences Information (XXIII, 2, 1984). In 1986, we co-sponsored an International Workshop in Siena. Its proceedings were published as M. di Matteo et al., eds., Technological and Social Factors in Long-Term Fluctuations (Springer, 1989). In 1989, we co-sponsored still another meeting on "The Long Wave Debate" in Brussels. Its proceedings are coming out as A. Kleinknecht, E. Mandel, & I. Wallerstein, eds., New Findings in Long Wave Research (Macmillan, 1992). We have also made Review a locus of articles concerning long waves and have had numerous special issues or sections (II, 4, 1979; VII, 3, 1984; X, 3, 1987; XI, 1, 1988; XIV, 2, 1991). Mandel's volume on Long Waves of Capitalist Development was published in our Cambridge publication series, "Studies in Modern Capitalism."
c) In order to explore current historical alternatives, we have also thought it important to engage in "futuristics." This is a very difficult domain in which to do serious work. We have sought to strengthen our work by basing our "futuristics" on our analysis of long-term secular trends. We have undertaken two such projects. One was on the region of southern Africa from 1975- 2000. This research was conducted in collaboration with the Centro de Estudos Africanos (CEA) of the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique. Its analysis drew on previous research on the creation of a region in southern Africa from 1900 to 1970 (see below). The research with CEA is published as S. Vieira, W.G. Martin, & I. Wallerstein, coordinators, How Fast the Wind? Southern Africa, 1975-2000 (Africa World Press, 1991).
The second piece of "futuristics" is more ambitious and still in progress. It is seeking to analyze the trajectory of the world-system as a whole from 1945 to 2025. It is linked to and draws upon concurrent research into the patterns of hegemony and rivalry in the modern world-system throughout its existence (see below).
The concept of a commodity chain is central to our understanding of the processes of the capitalist world-economy. It is the commodity chains that in fact integrate the world-system more than anything else. What we mean by a commodity chain is very simple. Take any consumable product, say clothing. It is manufactured. The manufacturing process minimally involves material inputs, machinery, and labor. Material inputs are either manufactured or produced in some way. Machinery is manufactured. And labor must be recruited either locally or by immigration, and must be fed (hence food must be produced). We may continue to trace each "box" further back in terms of its material inputs, machinery, and labor. The totality constitutes a commodity chain.
We can analyze many aspects of such commodity chains: their extent (including how many political boundaries they traverse); the degree of concentration or dispersion of production entities within each box; the modes of labor control and reward for each box; the degree to which adjacent boxes are united or separated organizationally ("vertical integration"); the percentage of boxes located in the core vs. the periphery of the world-system; the rate of profit in one box versus another; and not least the degree to which commodity chains are reorganized whenever there are cyclical shifts in the world-economy. It is obvious that if we had data organized in this fashion we would have a veritable matrix of the social economy of the world-system. But data has never heretofore been collected in a way that lends itself to even minimal quantitative assertions.
We have thus organized a project for which existing data is scarce, and which is therefore merely a pilot project, in which we seek to describe two commodity chains from 1590 to 1790. The two commodity chains chosen, shipbuilding and wheat flour, were central to the capitalist world-economy at the time. The period was chosen for two reasons. It was first to see whether central commodity chains were as extensive and as trans-national in early modern times as they are known to be in the twentieth century. The second was to see the degree to which the chains were reorganized in conjunction with cyclical shifts in the world-economy. To observe the latter, a series of observation points were chosen that correspond with what is considered by historians to be moments of conjunctural reversal of trend. The data compiled is from a secondary analysis of the historical literature. The interim results tend to confirm both hypotheses.
Hegemony within the world-system refers to the situation in which one core power is so much more powerful than other core powers (on all or most dimensions of power) that it can obtain its way in the world-system with a minimal use of force, and be an exceptional locus of the accumulation of capital. Rivalry refers to a situation in which the relations among core powers is much less lopsided, and consequently the intra-core distribution of accumulation is much more even. The idea itself is a fairly common one in the literature of international relations. But there has been relatively little comparative analysis of the various hegemonies, and most of what there is has concentrated heavily on politico-military dimensions.
We start from two assumptions. The first is that there have been only three hegemonic powers in the history of the modern world-system. They are the United Provinces in the mid-seventeenth century, the United Kingdom in the mid-nineteenth, and the United States in the mid-twentieth. The second is that their hegemony expressed itself in all arenas of social action simultaneously (at least for a short while) and that each hegemonic power was able to establish a certain kind of world order. The research in which we are presently engaged is concentrating on the transition from one kind of world order to another, which we are investigating in three principal institutional arenas: high finance; the organization of productive enterprises and of the interenterprise system; the structures of everyday life. The results will speak to three concepts: the cyclical rhythms, that is, the structural similarities of the three hegemonic eras; the secular trends, that is, the developmental patterns of the capitalist world-economy, as evidenced in the successively reorganized world orders; the holistic nature of the processes, as evidenced by the linkage within each hegemonic era of the patterns that are found in the three arenas of social action.
Whereas looking at hegemony tends to focus one's attention, perhaps unduly, upon the core zones of the capitalist world-economy, looking at regionality tends to push one's attention to the semiperiphery. The concept of the semiperiphery is that of a group of states which form an in-between mode in a trimodal distribution of the world-system (one that is not simply an arbitrary statistical grouping). A region of the world-economy refers to a zone of multiple states which, although fully integrated into the world-economy, also manifests a high degree of integration of production processes within its bounds, and thus approaches the situation of being a single, fairly large state.
Semiperipheral states can be identified and analyzed by looking at the kinds of commodity chain "boxes" that tend to lie within their borders. If they have a fairly even mix of core-like (highly profitable) and peripheral (not very profitable) boxes, then we may call them semiperipheral. Such a mix has tended to correlate with (be caused by, be the explanation for) a relatively high degree of state intervention in the economy designed to protect and improve the relative world market position of the enterprises (and populations) located within that state.
For research purposes we have concentrated on two regions in the twentieth century: southern Africa, and southern Europe. They present different characteristics and are therefore interesting because they illustrate different patterns.
Southern Africa is today a genuine "region of the world-economy." It is structured around a typical semiperipheral state, South Africa, a state that has made itself semiperipheral in part by pursuing the construction of a southern African region. We have sought to analyze how it was that a geographical area, largely incorporated into the world-economy only in the late nineteenth century, could develop in less than a century the characteristics of regional integration it displays today, and this despite the high level of political and social conflict the area has known.
While South Africa may be considered semiperipheral today, it could not have been so considered a century ago. Indeed it did not exist as a state a century ago. This study too is organized around the cyclical rhythms of the world-economy. The picture that is emerging is that an increase in "regionality" was correlated with A-periods (times of world economic expansion). B-periods (times of world economic stagnation), by contrast, led to decreases in "regionality" but increases in the semiperipherality of the economically most powerful state in the region, South Africa. We shall thus present the interaction between "regionality" and "semiperipherality" as a contradictory one but a necessarily symbiotic one.
In addition to the forthcoming book on the construction of the region, the Center has sought to encourage debate on the subject by its publication of an irregular Research Bulletin on Southern Africa and the World-Economy, and by a special issue in Review (VIII, 2, 1984).
Southern Europe presents a very different kind of regional picture. It is not at all a "region of the world-economy" as we have defined it previously, that is, a locus of integrated production processes. Rather it is a series of states in geographical proximity one to the other that have pursued somewhat parallel trajectories in the twentieth century. The shift in emphasis in the political arena from the domination of liberal parties to fascist ones to social-democratic ones is surprisingly coincidental. Today they are all (except Turkey) members of the European Community, and all (except Italy) less core-like than is the EC norm.
To explore this parallel rise to semiperipherality (more or less) of various states located in some geographical proximity to each other (and therefore often spoken of as a region), the Center convened two successive colloquia of the same participants, one in Binghamton in 1982 and one in Paris 1983. The papers were published as G. Arrighi, ed., Semiperipheral Development: The Politics of Southern Europe in the Twentieth Century (Sage, 1985).
We have paid less direct research attention to east-central Europe as a region, which has had yet a third pattern, political domination of the region by a semiperipheral state that was not the economically strongest state in the region. We have however encouraged discussion in Review with special sections (V, 1, 1981; VI, 1, 1982). And we have insisted from the beginning in all our analyses in treating the U.S.S.R. as a semiperipheral state of the capitalist world-economy and not as a state outside this world-system, a view it seems to us eminently verified by the recent behavior of the U.S.S.R. which we felt was predictable from the standpoint of world-systems analysis.
Finally, for several years we had a group working on a comparative analysis of semiperipheral countries. Papers of this group were presented at the 1989 Annual Political Economy of the World-System Conference, in Urbana, and have been published in William G. Martin, ed., Semiperipheral States in the World-Economy (Greenwood, 1990).
We start with two premises. First, at its outset in the sixteenth century, the capitalist world-economy was located in only a part of the globe. Secondly, the capitalist world-economy needed structurally and was able politically to expand its frontiers, regularly but not continuously, to zones outside its boundaries until, by a certain point, it came to encompass the globe.
We call "incorporation" the process by which a zone outside the world-economy came to be included within it. One of our first pieces of research was to study this process. We took three zones which were quite different in terms of one key variable: the strength of the political structures in the zone immediately prior to incorporation. We chose the Ottoman Empire on the grounds that it had been a world-empire with a developed military and civil bureaucracy. We chose the Caribbean on the grounds that it had been a series of stateless minisystems, extremely weak militarily in the face of European intrusion. And lastly we chose southern Africa on the grounds that it represented a situation midway between the other two.
We centered our analysis on changes in two arenas: production processes, and political structures. We did not consider in this research two other crucial arenas, the construction of household structures, and the social creation of gender, race, and ethnicity. But, as will be seen below, we came to consider those topics later.
As we read the data, we arrived at provisional dates for the period we called "incorporation." The starting date chosen was the latest date for which we believed it was clear that no significant part of the zone was integrated in the world-economy. The closing date chosen was the earliest date for which we believed it was clearly the case that the zone was indeed significantly integrated in the world-economy. The dates selected for the Caribbean were 1650-1700. The dates for the Ottoman Empire were 1750-1820. The dates for southern Africa were 1870-1920.
The changes we found in production processes were the same in the three "incorporations." In each, at the end of the period, but not at the beginning, there was a large cash-crop production oriented to exporting to various parts of the capitalist world- economy, supported by a food-crop area oriented to supplying persons working on the cash-crops, and a person-crop zone oriented to sending migrant labor to the cash-crop and food-crop zones. In addition, each zone began to import certain kinds of manufactured goods from other zones of the world-economy, often to the detriment of manufacturing in their own zone. We also found that the cash-crop zones came to be organized either in large production units ("plantations") or in smaller units tied via debt mechanisms to merchant-brokers who played the role of exporter of the cash-crops.
While the changes in production processes seemed to be parallel, the changes in the political arena seemed to be opposite. But these "opposite" changes had the effect of making the three zones look similar after incorporation whereas they had looked quite different before incorporation. The zone with a strong bureaucracy saw a weakening of its strength. The zone with a non-existent bureaucracy saw its creation. The zone with a large unified state saw the beginning of dismemberment. The zone with tiny political entities saw the creation of larger ones. The end result was medium-sized states of medium strength. These states were not strong enough to interfere effectively with the trans-state flows of the factors of production in the world-economy, but they were strong enough to maintain internal order and guarantee the availability of a labor force for cash-crop production.
The results of this research were published as a special double issue of Review (X, 5/6, 1987) entitled "Incorporation in to the World-Economy: How the World-System Expands." In addition, the Center presented papers on this topic at two international conferences on the Ottoman Empire (Madison, 1979; Strasbourg, 1984), both later published. The Center also held a conference on the incorporation of southern Africa at Binghamton in 1979, the results of which were published in Review (III, 2, 1979).Incorporation is the first stage of peripheralization, a process that continues after incorporation, and which involves the deepening and widening of the zone's participation in commodity chains in peripheral activities. The Center therefore conducted further research on the continuing peripheralization of the eastern Mediterranean (1840-1914), by doing comparative analysis of the economic, political, and social transformations of five port cities: Beirut, Patras, Salonika, Smyrna, and Trabzond. A manuscript is currently being considered for publication.
In addition, the Center has maintained a concern with both incorporation and peripheralization in South Asia, publishing papers, and sponsoring sessions at the Conference on South Asia, the American Historical Association, and the Association of Asian Studies. The Center co-sponsored an international conference on "South Asia and World Capitalism" at Tufts University in 1986, whose proceedings have been published under that title by Oxford University Press in 1990 and edited by Sugata Bose.
The process of peripheralization in its multiple regional manifestations has, in addition, been a persistent theme in articles published in Review and in books in the "Studies in Modern Capitalism" series of Cambridge University Press.
We mean by antisystemic movements all those movements organized by persons who seek to transform the world-system in a more democratic, more egalitarian direction. This has included movements of the working classes, nationalist and/or ethnic movements, womens' movements, and a variety of other kinds of movements. The concept is an inclusive one in terms of the social composition of the movements and their primary locus of concern, but it is an exclusive one as well, seeking to omit movements narrowly focussed on the ascending of the stratification ladder by some particular group.
For a number of years, the Center has been producing papers, written jointly by Giovanni Arrighi, Terence K. Hopkins, and Immanuel Wallerstein, which aim at a theoretical rethinking of this field. Most of these papers have been presented at various meetings of the ICWE, and then published in Review. These papers have been collected and were published in 1989 by Verso Press under the title Antisystemic Movements. Translations of the book are in progress into Italian, Japanese, and Turkish.
The principal research focus has been to explain the variation of intensity of labor unrest in different regions of the world-system and at different moments of its cyclical rhythms. The initial problem of the World Labor group, which is working on this question, was how to obtain reliable and comparable measures of labor unrest on a worldwide basis and over a 100-year period. An initial survey of the existing quantitative data (principally strike data) indicated that they were not very useful for this purpose since they were inevitably incomplete (and in a biased way), both geographically and temporally. Furthermore, strikes were in fact only one manifestation of labor unrest, and quite often not even the most significant one.
The group invented an alternative data source based on a content analysis of newspaper reports of labor unrest anywhere in the world that were published in The New York Times and The Times (London) from 1870 on. The two newspapers were chosen on the grounds that they were the principal organs of the successive hegemonic powers and were likely to be reasonably comprehensive in coverage. A data base of over 75,000 entries has been compiled. The reliability (and degree of bias) of these data have been tested by comparisons with strike statistics for countries that have official statistics, and by comparisons with secondary literature concerning various other countries and regions of the world.
We are concerned to relate the incidence of labor unrest to cyclical rhythms of the world-economy, particularly to cycles of hegemony and rivalry. We believe the pattern is that upswings of labor unrest in core regions have led, over time, to similar up swings in peripheral regions (even when those in the core regions have died down). We further argue that the extent and effective ness of labor unrest have been determined primarily by structural/positional conditions more than by organizational capacities or ideologies. The role of labor unions and working-class parties in initiating and organizing acts of protest is postulated in most cases either to have reflected structural/positional circumstances or to have served as an "intervening mechanism" connecting such circumstances to demonstrations of labor unrest.
This research has been presented over the years at many conferences, including a series of bilateral conferences between 1980 and 1987 with the Institute of International Labour Studies of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences, as well as at the successive International Forums on the History of the Labor Movement and the Working Class (1985, 1991). Two volumes of papers have been produced: Immanuel Wallerstein, ed., Labor in the World Social Structure (Sage, 1983), and Melvyn Dubofsky, ed., Technological Change and Workers' Movements (Sage, 1985). The preliminary findings of the labor unrest project will be presented in a forthcoming special issue of Review.
The concept of the household utilized in our research is that there have been constituted within the framework of the capitalist world-economy small groups of persons who "pool incomes" over a long period. These persons are often but not always kin-related and are often but not always co-residential. These income-pooling units, the households, are in our view a basic institutional structure of the modern world-system, linking individuals to a system of labor-force formation.
We argue that the households bring together a shifting group of persons who pool five different kinds of income: wages, income from sales of petty commodity production (market income), rents, transfers, and subsistence production. We argue that all members of the household at virtually all ages bring in some of these kinds of income, often perhaps several, and that virtually no household is without multiple sources of income. Nonetheless there are systematic differences in the mixes of incomes according to cyclical shifts of the world-economy and location along the core-periphery axis.
To elaborate this concept, we have conducted empirical research on eight regional areas in three countries/regions of the world-system: the United States (Detroit, New York City, Binghamton, and Puerto Rico), Mexico (Mexico City and Central Mexico), and southern Africa (the Witwatersrand and Lesotho). We have analyzed them in five time periods corresponding to Kondratieff cycles. We have looked at the impact of cyclical rhythms, at what happens to the boundaries of households (in B-periods they tend to contract) and at the mix of income sources (a larger role for wages in A-periods). We have also looked at the secular trends: on the one hand, proletarianization; on the other hand, a maintenance of the importance of subsistence production income but its shift from primary subsistence (agriculture) towards subsistence production of manufactures and services.
At an early stage in the project, the Center held a joint colloquium with the Forschungschwerpunkt Entwicklungssoziologie of University of Bielefeld in Germany. The results of this meeting were published as J. Smith, I. Wallerstein, & H.-D. Evers, eds., Households and the World-Economy (Sage, 1984) and as a special issue of Review on "Households and the Large-Scale Agricultural Unit" (VII, 2, 1983). The main body of the research is appearing as J. Smith & I. Wallerstein, coord., Creating and Transforming Households: Constraints of the World-Economy (Cambridge, 1992).
We have argued that racism and sexism are not millenarian phenomena but constitute specific modes of organizing the work force within the capitalist world-economy (to be distinguished from xenophobia and patriarchy which of course have existed in earlier historical systems). We devoted an early issue of Review to "Chicano Labor and Unequal Development" (IV, 3, 1981). We organized the 1987 Political Economy of the World- System Conference on racism and sexism. The proceedings of that conference have appeared as Joan Smith, Jane Collins, Terence K. Hopkins, & Akbar Muhammad, eds., Racism, Sexism, and the World- System (Greenwood, 1988).
Recently we have commenced a new research project on gender, race, and ethnicity in the capitalist world-economy. This group is building on the previous work of the Center on "incorporation" and "households." The debate on racism/sexism of the last 20 years has centered around the issue of its origins and the bases of its social support. Virtually everyone accepts that there is some social construction of identities. The question is where, when, and how. The Incorporation project demonstrated that productive systems and political machinery are significantly re structured, and in specific ways, with a region's incorporation into the modern world-system. The Households project demonstrated that not only are household structures (of the kind we know) created with incorporation -- and that the household has both gender and ethnic characteristics as part of its structural definition -- but also that household structures are constantly remolded as a result of both the cyclical rhythms and the secular trends of the world-economy. This new group is seeking to take the next logical step -- to study how gender and race identities became formed within these already identified social processes.
We start from the assumption that the institutionalization of science and knowledge structures is one of the pillars of the modern world-system. It is clear from our founding premises that we do not accept the nineteenth-century myth of a universal, objective knowledge uninfluenced by the social structure of which it is a part. We said we were pursuing a via media amidst the false Methodenstreit. We have stated, as part of our official statement of Editorial Policy for Review, that we recognize "the transitory (heuristic) nature of theories." We stated in our editorial in the first issue of Review, which we entitled "The Tasks of Historical Social Science," both our sympathy with the three intellectual resistance movements against mainstream nineteenth-century thought -- Staatswissen schaften, Annales, and Marxism -- and our dismay at the distortions of them wrought by some of their practitioners. We promised in that editorial to be "open to the broad spectrum of emphases" within a perspective "critical of the still dominant universalizing-sectorializing tendencies of the social sciences" (Review, I, 1977, p. 7).
We have pursued this task in several ways. Our Inaugural Conference in May 1977 was on the theme "The Impact of the Annales School on the Social Sciences." This was published as Review, I, 3/4, 1978. We held exhibits on the work of Lucien Febvre and of Marc Bloch in 1980. We sponsored a session on "Fernand Braudel: An Appreciation" for the Southern Historical Association in 1987. The papers were published by the Journal of Modern History in 1991. We have also launched an ongoing special section of Review, jointly edited by Ignacy Sachs and Immanuel Wallerstein, on "Developmentalist Theory Before 1945." The first issue of Review in 1992 will be a special issue devoted to "The 'New Science' and the Historical Social Sciences."
We have also been conducting research on the ways in which the social sciences were institutionalized in the nineteenth century through the creation of university chairs and departments and through the creation of national (and international) scholarly associations and their journals. We also have a pilot project on the role that great libraries have played in this institutionalization via the creation of their cataloguing categories.
We mean by geoculture the cultural framework of the world-system as a whole. The institutionalization of science and knowledge is a major component of the geoculture of the capitalist world-economy. We mean by civilizations those constructs of the present which are claims of a long and particular cultural heritage in a specific region of the world. The boundaries of the "civilization" are often defined in relation to a religious and linguistic core. The tension between the singular geoculture of the capitalist world-economy and the multiple renewed civilizational claims is a central feature of the politics of the world-economy.
We have done less research than we would have liked in this domain. We did participate between 1979-1984 in the worldwide network constructed by the United Nations University under the rubric of the Project on Socio-Cultural Alternatives in a Changing World (later the Project on New Social Thought), and contributed various papers to its colloquia. We have included many articles in Review on this subject, including three by Anouar Abdel-Malek, one by Romila Thapar, and a debate on "Civilizations and the Declines" between Johan Galtung and Samir Amin (IV, 1, 1980).
We have also sought to encourage rethinking through our ongoing seminars. In 1979-1980, we conducted a seminar on "Culture, Consciousness, and the Modern World," and since 1989, we have been conducting, jointly with the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, an ongoing colloquium on "Culture and the World-System," co-chaired by Anthony King and Ali Mazrui.
We have evinced a particular interest in the problem of English-language dominance in the world of knowledge. This is undoubtedly a reality of the modern world-system, particularly today. We had to face up to it in terms of the linguistic policy of Review. We published (II, 3, 1979) an exchange of correspondence on this topic, entitled "Let A Hundred Languages Bloom." We reproduce this statement of language policy:
October 4, 1978
I must register my dismay at having Fernand Braudel's remarks (Vol. I, 3/4) only in French. Is there no translation available? Even with a scholarly audience today, I think it unfair to assume they read French. Annales School notwithstanding, it really isn't a major language any more.
Marion K. Pinsdorf
October 24, 1978
Dear Dr. Pinsdorf:
We view the dominant ideology of world social science as a viewpoint imposed by the hegemonic world powers (first Great Britain, later the U.S.). The cultural hegemony (and the consequent distortion of knowledge) is maintained in many ways. One way has been the steady attempt to define English as the only world scholarly language. There are of course many movements of resistance. We have written about them both in the opening Editorial of our first issue and in my article "Annales as Resistance" in the special issue on Annales. Review identifies itself with these currents of resistance.
We therefore from the outset discussed our language policy in this context. The social reality is that the efforts at achieving the cultural hegemony of certain interests has in fact been very successful, both in imposing the universalizing-particularizing framework of analysis and in the lesser task of imposing English as the world language of communication. The fact is that most American scholars read only English, and a large number of non-English speaking scholars are comfortable primarily in their own language and in English.This is unfortunate. It limits our collective abilities to perceive reality, both because it cuts Americans off from the vast important literature not in English and never translated, and because it increasingly forces non-English speakers to limit their intellectual framework as well. This is not merely unfortunate. It is a major stumbling-block in the attempt to arrive at fruitful social analysis. The only way this stumbling-block can and will be overcome is if all scholars begin to assume what today only scholars from countries with "minor" languages (e.g., Netherlands, Poland, etc.) assume that one of the elementary skills we must all acquire is a reading knowledge of six, eight, ten languages.
It is hard, and it is particularly hard if the national culture not merely doesn't encourage it, but actively derides it, as in the U.S. What can a journal like Review do? It can first of all set a standard to which we all can repair. It can demonstrate its belief that learning languages is not a luxury but a basic necessity and obligation.
Still, the present reality is that a large percentage of our readers do not have this capacity. What to do then? We arrived at a compromise. We would translate some articles that had first appeared in other languages (but translation is an arduous task). And we would publish up to 20% of our articles in "major scholarly languages" other than English. (We have not defined what these are but in practice we will probably mean French, Italian, Spanish, and German.) We would not translate these previously unpublished articles out of principle -- as a way of exemplifying our belief that English-speaking scholars ought to read these languages, as a mode of encouraging them to learn the languages, and because in addition our resources for translation are limited. As a further concession, we said we would run long English summaries of articles not in English. (See the summary of the article in Italian in I, 2.)
We violated this rule of summary in the case of Braudel's remarks. But the situation was special. Braudel was doing just that -- giving concluding remarks and not writing an article. There was no easy way to "summarize" these remarks. So we decided to let them stand as they were given -- in French, with no English summary. I regret you are frustrated. I can offer only two consolations: the whole rest of the issue was in English; most of Braudel's major writings are now available in English translation.
I am not sure this answer satisfies you. At least you see our decisions were not casual ones but reflect a considered policy.
We have correlatively been very concerned with the particular problems translation poses, particularly for concepts in the historical social sciences. The linguistic complexity of concept-formation is a topic largely neglected, not merely by translation specialists but by historical social scientists in general. In 1991, we therefore co-sponsored (with the Center for Research in Translation) an international conference on "Humanistic Dilemmas: Translation in the Humanities and the Social Sciences." The papers will be published.
We have been publishing a quarterly journal, Review, since 1977. Translations of articles from Review are now appearing in Japanese in a series of volumes published by Fujiwara Shoten. Our Anniversary Issue (X, 1, 1986) was devoted to "The Work of the Fernand Braudel Center" and included seven articles each reflecting the work of one major Research Working Group.
We have co-sponsored since 1979 with the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, a publication series "Studies in Modern Capitalism" which is co-published by Cambridge University Press and the Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme. The list of titles published is:
We had a second series from 1982-1985 with Sage, "Explorations in the World-Economy," in which we published five volumes, all growing directly out of the research of the Center. The list is:
The State University of New York at Binghamton grants the Center an annual budget which pays for a small support staff. The researchers are primarily faculty and graduate students of the university. We welcome annually 3-7 Visiting Research Associates coming from other countries and obtaining elsewhere funds for their stay. We have received significant research grants from the Ford Foundation (New York), the MacArthur Foundation (Chicago), the National Endowment for the Humanities (Washington, DC), the National Science Foundation (Washington, DC), and the World Society Foundation (Zurich). We have also received small grants for conferences, publications, and pilot projects from the American Sociological Association Subcommittee on Problems of the Discipline, the Cassa di Risparmio di Calabria e di Lucania, the Council of European Studies, the Governor of the State of New York, IREX, the Institute of Turkish Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York State Council on the Humanities, the Soros Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the United Nations University.
The Fernand Braudel Center is at the State University of New York at Binghamton. The governing body of the Center is an Executive Board composed of:
The Center is housed in modern facilities which provide the requisite space for seminar, office, library, and research activities. It has currently a small staff of four persons: Farshad Araghi, Postdoctoral Fellow; Donna DeVoist, Administrative Assistant and Managing Editor; Rebecca Dunlop, Secretary; and Faruk Tabak, Journal Secretary. Researchers largely donate their time and energy, although a few receive partial support from grants. In-office research tools include Microfilm reader/printer, photocopier, computer terminal, micro-computer and printer, etc. The local campus offers additional resources such as advanced computer facilities and a library of 1.5 million volumes which is part of the network of the Center for Research Libraries.
Last Updated: 11/18/14