The Center for Ideas & Society presents a book talk with Christopher Chase-Dunn (Sociology, UCR) and co-author Paul Almeida (Sociology, UC Merced)

"Global Struggles and Social Change From Prehistory to World Revolution in the Twenty-First Century"

This is a book about global social movements and the impacts that they have had, and will have, on the institutional structure of global society. The main concepts used to analyze the history of world politics are globalization, the world-system, neoliberalism, Global North and South, the welfare state, social citizenship, social movements, and world revolutions. The authors are sociologists who have done research on transnational social movements in Latin America and on human sociocultural evolution. They emphasize the often-ignored distinction between ‘structural globalization’ and the capitalist-inspired ‘globalization project. Chapter 1 declares that ‘Collective behaviour and social movements have been important drivers of social change since the emergence of human language.’ This sets the tone for the whole book, implicitly criticizing the ‘presentism’ of most social science and enhancing it with a very long historical perspective. The theoretical stance behind this is labelled ‘institutional materialism’. Chase-Dunn and Almeida combine both functional and social movement theories to deploy a world-system perspective for analyzing the evolution of world politics.

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