Sociology Department Events
Chaos and Governance in the 21st Century:
Prospects and Challenges to Peace and Justice in an Age of Uncertainty
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, February 18-19, 2016
At the close of the 20th century, Giovanni Arrighi and Beverly Silver published their influential work, Chaos and Governance in the Modern World-System (1999). Arrighi, Silver and their collaborators employed world historical methodologies to take on crucial scholarly controversies about the systemic and structural transformations characterizing global capitalism at the time, including the rise and spread of market fundamentalism, the financialization of capital, and processes of global economic integration and liberalization. Were these world system changes a sign of US hegemony or hegemonic decline? Did they signify a fundamental structural shift in the balance of power among states? Had "globalization" irremediably undermined state power? Had the world economy entered an unstoppable "race to the bottom" in conditions of work and life? Was the close of the 20th century the autumn of five centuries of Western dominance in the modern world system? Arrighi and Silver took on these questions, arguing that we have entered a period of US hegemonic decline and that urgent action was needed to avoid a long-period of systemic chaos and deep human suffering.
This conference provides a unique opportunity for scholars interested in revisiting these themes, questions, and propositions nearly two decades later, when the geopolitics, global economy and fabric of social life appear to be more uncertain and future directions more unstable.