Welcome to the ASA Political Economy of the World-System Section!

The PEWS is a unique section of the American Sociological Association. The core interests of those in the section are to explain the production and reproduction of asymmetric power relations and macro and micro-level inequalities in their world-historical context.
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Section News

PEWS Survey Report

At the PEWS Council meeting in August 2016, the Council decided to conduct a survey to assist us in our efforts to deal with the problem of declining membership. The Council created a committee to conduct the survey consisting of Rob Clark, Matthew Mahutga, Victoria Reyes and John Talbot. The committee developed a survey instrument designed to ascertain the impressions of the PEWS section among current PEWS members, former members, and ASA members who had never been PEWS members but who might be interested in joining. The survey was distributed in November 2016 to PEWS members and was sent to the chairs of fifteen ASA sections that we identified as having some overlap of interests with PEWS. The chairs were asked to send the survey to their members. We received a total of 398 responses.


The full report is located here.

Call for Editorship Proposals for the Journal of World-Systems Research

The Journal of World-Systems Research is the official journal of the Political Economy of World-Systems (PEWS) Section of the American Sociological Association. The PEWS Publications Committee is seeking proposals for a new editorial team. The journal, available free online, has established a strong reputation in the publication of cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on global social change and world-systems analysis (see The Journal of World-Systems Research Website). Ideally the new Editor(s) would have tenure at a research university and would be able to obtain financial support and course releases from their university for the publication of the journal. The PEWS Publications Committee will review all proposals and will make the decision regarding the editorial transition by no later than May 1, 2018. Members of the PEWS Publications Committee are: Chris Chase-Dunn (Chair), Mara Fridell, Marion Dixon, Jackie Smith, Ben Marley and Michaela Curran. Proposals should be submitted no later than March 15, 2018 to Chris Chase-Dunn at chriscd@ucr.edu.


Additional details, including a FAQ, can be found here.

PEWS 2018 Annual Conference: Call for papers

The Theme of the 42nd Annual Conference will be “Business Cycles in the Modern World System: Past, Present and Future.” The conference will be held at Fairfield University, in Fairfield, CT on April 26-28 2018. Paper proposals (around 500 words) should be sent to pews2018@gmail.com by October 30, 2017.


From the sixteenth century until the present day the capitalist world economy has been characterized by different economic cycles or conjunctures of various duration and intensity. Economic cycles impacting the core, the periphery and the semi-periphery have regularly played out across a multitude of commodity chains, impacting nation states, corporations, and households. Since the profound social, economic and political consequences of the Great Recession in 2008-2009 are still unfolding, the 42nd conference of the PEWS section of the American Sociological Association seeks to examine the role and significance of business cycles in the modern world-system by examining the following themes:


1) business cycles and social movements
2) business cycles and political trends
3) business cycles and commodity chains
4) business cycles and migration
5) business cycles and the web of life


Empirical as well as theoretical contributions are welcome. The conference organizers will attempt to provide an equal balance between both. Please see the call for papers for additional details.


Join PEWS

Membership in the Political Economy of the World System Section is open to any member of the American Sociological Association. Section membership is $22 for regular members, $8 for student members, and $13 for low-income members, which includes support for the official section journal, the Journal of World-Systems Research.

Join Online: To join the ASA and/or the PEWS section online, go to the ASA Membership Information Website. On this webpage log in with your member number and last name (all lower case), then click on "Join a Section" and add the Political Economy of the World-System section (Section 17).

Need help? If you are uncertain about your membership status in either the ASA or the PEWS Section or need any other assistance, contact ASA membership services: