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World State Formation: Historical Processes and Emergent Necessity

"ABSTRACT: Recent studies of processes operating in the modern world-system imply that the continued existence of the interstate system -- the system of multiple, competing, and unequally powerful states -- may be a luxury which humanity cannot afford. The continuation of the legitimacy of warfare as a method for resolving disputes is incompatible with the survival of our world civilization and perhaps also with the survival of life on Earth. This paper examines theories which purport to explain the longevity and structural basis of the contemporary interstate system. And that discussion has implications for the possibilities of developing a world polity which can prevent the usage of weapons of mass destruction."

Author(s):  Chase-Dunn, Christopher
Format:  Article
Publisher:  Institute for Research on World-Systems
Source:  IROWS Working Paper #1