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Contesting the Global Order: The Radical Political Economy of Perry Anderson and Immanuel Wallerstein (2020)

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*A book from SUNY Press and its series in New Political Science

* 2021 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title

*Examines how events in the Cold War and post–Cold War periods shaped the intellectual projects of Perry Anderson and Immanuel Wallerstein.

* Reviewed in Perspectives on Politics (by Craig N. Murphy), Choice (by Robert C. Cottrell), Contemporary Sociology (by Chamsy el-Ojeili), E-International Relations (by Yavuz Tuyloglu), New Political Science (by Steven Williamson), the Journal of World-Systems Research (by Juho Korhonen), and the Journal of Economic Literature.

“This is a thoroughly impressive first book by a young scholar.... Williams provides a well-written, sophisticated analysis of the two radical intellectuals while almost entirely avoiding the off-putting jargon that can easily encumber a work of this sort.... Highly Recommended" — Choice

"Williams’s book deserves to be on any recent list of the best in the genre." — Craig N. Murphy, Perspectives on Politics

“Williams’s book offers a sustained analysis of two of the most significant contributors to twentieth-century radical political economy. In addition to learning about the specific features of their thought and getting a feel for the arc of their lives’ work, one also encounters useful debates among radical anticapitalist thinkers over central political concepts.” — Jane Anna Gordon, author of Statelessness and Contemporary Enslavement

“Sophisticated theoretical positions are the bread and butter of serious scholars, and the two that are reviewed here are all the more interesting and important for having had to weather critical social changes relevant to their core propositions.  This is a fascinating book.” — Robert A. Denemark, editor of The International Studies Encyclopedia (12 vols.)

“The 1960s (or rather 1956-1973), by many measures, was the best time in recorded history. The highest apex of Modern age pivoted, as we now know, into a lasting postmodernity. Perry Anderson and Immanuel Wallerstein are emblematic thinkers of the epoch. Gregory Williams is right to focus on them together.” Georgi Derluguian, co-author of Does Capitalism Have a Future?


Photo by Gregory Williams, Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Contesting the Global Order explores what it means to be a radical intellectual as political hopes fade. Gregory P. Williams chronicles the evolution of intellectual visionaries Perry Anderson and Immanuel Wallerstein, who despite altered circumstances for radical change, continued to advance creative interpretations of the social world. Wallerstein and Anderson, whose hopes were invested in a more egalitarian future, believed their writings would contribute to socialism, which they anticipated would be a postcapitalist future of relative social, economic, and political equality. However, by the 1980s dreams of socialism had faded and they had to face the reality that a better world was neither close nor inevitable. Their sensitivity to current events, Williams argues, takes on new significance in this century, when many scholars are grappling with the issue of change in a world of declining state power.

Gregory P. Williams is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Northern Colorado.

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