Political Economy of the World-System Interuniversity Consortium (PEWS-IC)

Draft v 3-2-20

PEWS-IC is a scholarly consortium dedicated to research and education that applies and develops the world-system perspective on political economy, development and transnational and interpolity relations. The main goals of the PEWS-IC are to facilitate cross-institutional and international collaboration on curricular, training, and research projects informed by world-system analysis and to make it easier for scholars who do not have like-minded local colleagues to work with others on research projects. PEWS-IC seeks to include relevant graduate programs, research institutions and individual scholars from around the world.[1]

Activities and projects of the PEWS-IC include:

1.      a website to facilitate communication and collaboration among world-system scholars; the website would allow for both the posting of announcements and the development of forums for discussion on themes of interest to those active in PEWSIC;

2.      organizing and updating a world-system archive (through possible use and revision of the World-System Archive (http://wsarch.ucr.edu ) and/or the World Historical Dataverse (http://www.dataverse.pitt.edu/)  to contain working papers, data sets, links to relevant other archives and publications and links to other existing archives;

3.      curriculum development including (a) “boot camps” for graduate students and junior faculty (intensive seminars to deepen knowledge of world-system research and perspectives); (b) real-time and/or online PEWSIC courses; (c) courses certified by PEWS-IC that students may list on vitae as evidence of attained skills in world-system scholarship and research. These could be stand-alone courses or online sections of existing courses at participating institutions;

4.      raising funds to support the activities of the consortium, the section, and the open access Journal of World-Systems Research (JWSR).

PEWS-IC will operate as a subcommittee under the umbrella of the American Sociological Association’s Political Economy of the World-System Section. PEWS-IC will enhance the PEWS section’s international visibility and outreach capacity and help the PEWS Section broaden its interaction networks to include participants from different academic disciplines and from outside of the United States.


PEWS-IC will generate special issues and other content related to cutting-edge themes in the field for publication in the Journal of World-Systems Research (JWSR), and will otherwise encourage its network of participants to submit their work to the journal. This relationship will help disseminate PEWS-IC research to the JWSR’s growing global audience of readers and help ensure greater sustainability and resources for the journal’s operation.


Participation in the activities of PEWS-IC will not require membership in the American Sociological Association.  PEWS-IC will benefit from the long-term institutional stability of the PEWS section including an already established website that could serve as the initial platform for the PEWS-IC website. This structure will enable scholars from a wider array of countries and disciplines to participate in collaborative projects and dialogues.


The membership of the PEWS-IC coordinating committee currently (below) consists of five representatives of research project hubs who are currently active in the collaborations of PEWS-IC. We would like to add a member of the PEWS Council and a member of the Journal of World-Systems Editorial Board to aid communication between the Committee, the Council and the Journal. After an initial 3-year organizational period the members of the committee should have staggered 3-year terms to enhanced continuity.

The first activity of the PEWS-IC coordinating committee will be spread the word about the existence of PEWS-IC and to sign up as many research hubs and individual participants as possible. 


The PEWS-IC coordinating committee: Chris Chase-Dunn, University of California-Riverside <chriscd@ucr.edu>; Valentine M. Moghadam, Northeastern University < vmmogha@yahoo.com>; Beverly Silver, Johns Hopkins University silver@jhu.edu; Leslie Gates, Binghamton University < lgates@binghamton.edu> and Sahan Savas Karatasli, University of North Carolina at Greensboro < skaratasli@gmail.com>

Potential participants:

Research Hubs:

Ruth Mostern, University of Pittsburg World History Center <https://www.worldhistory.pitt.edu/> and the World Historical Dataverse (http://www.dataverse.pitt.edu/)  

Beverly Silver, Arrighi Center for Global Studies, Johns Hopkins University https://krieger.jhu.edu/arrighi/

Valentine M. Moghadam, Gender and Development Initiative, International Affairs Program, https://cssh.northeastern.edu/internationalaffairs/gender-development-initiative/gender-development-initiative/ and Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and International Affairs Program, Northeastern University, https://cssh.northeastern.edu/people/faculty/valentine-moghadam/

Chris Chase-Dunn and Marilyn Grell-Brisk, Institute for Research on World-Systems, University of California-Riverside https://irows.ucr.edu/

Leslie Gates, Department of Sociology, Binghamton University

Christian Suter, University of Neuchatel, World Society Foundation

Amy Quark, Jennifer Bickham-Mendez and Sefika Kumral, College of William and Mary


Individual Research Projects:

Chris Chase-Dunn, the Settlements and Polities Research Working Group

< https://irows.ucr.edu/research/citemp/citemp.html>



Individual Participants


[1] The world-system perspective is delineated in the mission statement of the Political Economy of the World-System section of the American Sociological Association: The Section on Political Economy of the World-System (PEWS) brings together scholars committed to the critical study of the capitalist world-economy and other historical social systems. The PEWS Section seeks to foster an intellectual tradition that finds its roots in the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist analyses forged during struggles for decolonization by scholars in the Global South. With a focus on world-systemic dynamics, PEWS members are united by the use of political economy as an analytical frame, while exploring the intersection of political economic change with race, gender, class, imperialism, neo-colonialism, and the environment. This Section maintains the PEWS legacy as a radical critique of disciplinary boundaries and thus embraces diverse disciplinary, epistemological, theoretical, and methodological approaches. We seek to provide a forum for intellectual exchange and debate among kindred sociologists, scholars, activist-practitioners, and teachers in both the Global North and the Global South. We welcome members with wide-ranging substantive interests in world historical perspectives and are strongly committed to promoting a diverse membership.