World-Economic Theories and Problems: Quigley vs. Wallerstein vs Central Civilization

David Wilkinson


This is one in a series of papers on civilizational issues. Its predecessors have argued for the existence of a world system/civilization, "Central Civilization," born regionally in the Middle East about 1500 B.C. in the collision of two smaller, expanding local civilizations, expanded throughout the globe, engulfing all competing civilizations to become the unique global social system in the last 100-150 years. If continuing social struggles both are and imply continuing social entities, there is social continuity-stabilities, trends and cycles--in the struggles forming and maintaining Central Civilizations. A consequence of accepting Central Civilization as a genuine entity, or a reason for treating it as a fruitful heuristic, is, in particular, the finding that it possesses a political cycle (states system--universal empire) characteristic of other entities commonly treated as civilizations (Wilkinson, 1986; 1987, 53-56; 1988) as well as a political evolution (from multistate anarchy to balance-of-power) incipient but never successfully established in other world systems (Wilkinson, 1985).

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