Legitimation Crises in Premodern Worlds

Peter N. Peregrine

Abstract


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.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.1996.94

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Copyright (c) 2015 Peter N. Peregrine

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