Poland in the Capitalist World Economy — The Limits of Wallerstein’s Approach
Any analysis about the chances of democracy and transformation in the East must start with a more profound understanding of the long-run tendencies of peripherization and stagnation, which are so common in the history of Eastern Europe and Russia since the beginnings of the capitalist world economy. Poland’s relationship with the capitalist world economy, to take just one example, does not just date back to the IMF-stabilization plan, it dates back to the so-called Long Sixteenth Century. Central in today’s social science debate about these long-run tendencies is Wallerstein’s approach. My critique of Wallerstein’s world system approach to development which is, in a way, a mere continuation of the Baran/Frank approach to development and in reality has little to do with original dependency thought on the issue (Palma, 1981), is derived from a critique of the very foundation of that approach; i.e., its explanation of the divergence of development in the Long Sixteenth Century in Europe (Wallerstein, 1974: 125ff.; 451).
KeywordsSixteenth Century Capitalist Growth Unequal Exchange Original Dependency Capitalist World Market
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