Legitimation Crises in Premodern Worlds

  • Peter N. Peregrine Lawrence University


Scholars employing world-system theory have tended to examine how world-systemsdevelop and expand, while few have addressed the fragmentation or collapse of world-systems. This paper explores the conditions of world-system collapse using Habermas's concept of legitimation crisis as a starting point. The paper posits that legitimation crises are a recurring problem in world-systems and have led to collapse in a number of cases. Prehistoric North American and Pacific world-systems are used as examples.
How to Cite
Peregrine, P. N. (1996). Legitimation Crises in Premodern Worlds. Journal of World-Systems Research, 2(1), 254–274. https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.1996.94
Archeological and Anthropological Approaches to World-Systems