Investigation of the World System's Systemic Processes

Author: Grinin, Leonid
Almanac: Globalistics and Globalization Studies Global Evolution, Historical Globalistics and Globalization Studies

The paper discusses some aspects of integration of different regions and socie-ties in the course of historical globalization. Within historical globalization one can observe a close correlation between such important processes as technological transformations, urbanization, political integration, struggle for political hegemony, etc. In the paper we analyze these correlations in more or less details. We also try to associate historical globalization and its aspects with the phases of expansion of spatial links between societies. Within the expansion process we point out seven levels from the local level through the planetary one. The most significant changes were associated with crucial technological breakthroughs, or production revolutions and other related transformations like the Urban Revolution. The latter can be regarded as a phase transition of the Afroeurasian world-system to a qualitatively new level of complexity. There are also several periods which one can define as landmarks in the World-System history. The paper also offers some theoretical ideas about cycles of divergence and convergence.

Keywords: globalization, Afroeurasian world-system, divergence, political inte-gration, convergence.