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 News Fall 2018 is Now Out!

The Fall 2018 PEWS News is now out! Great thanks to Marilyn Grell-Brisk, Jesse Liss, and Zeinab Shuker for a fantastic issue—their first as our new editorial team! As you will see, the newsletter has some fascinating research spotlights and news from our members. It also contains important updates from the PEWS workshop at ASA and an overview of proposed changes to the PEWS bylaws that will be on the ballot this spring. Finally, check out the update from our Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, a proposal for a new PEWS Interuniversity Consortium, news on our growing social media presence, and the latest on JWSR. You can access the newsletter at this link.

Changes to the Section By-Laws

This spring, PEWS members will have the oppotunity to vote on a series of proposed changes to the Section By-Laws alongside the election of new Council members. These proposed changes have emerged out of the multi-year effort on the part of the PEWS Council since 2016 to develop proposals and solicit repeated feedback from the membership through the survey, blog discussion, ASA workshop, and Reconciliation Committee. Please review the proposed changes and rationale here in preparation for the vote. The document can be found at this link. Please contact PEWS Chair Amy Quark (aaquark@wm.edu) with any question or concerns.

Political Economy of the World-System Interuniversity Consortium

In the Spring of 2018, Torry Dickinson approached the Council with the idea of establishing an interuniversity consortium to support PEWS research and teaching. Chris Chase-Dunn, Valentine M. Moghadam, and Beverly Silver graciously accepted the Council invitation to serve on an ad-hoc PEWS Interuniversity Consortium (PEWS-IC) Committee to explore this idea. The Committee has developed the following proposal and is now soliciting feedback from the membership.The proposal is at this link. If you have comments on the proposal or if you would like to be involved in the consortium, please contact the committee: Chris Chase-Dunn (chriscd@ucr.edu), Val Moghadam (vmmogha@yahoo.com), Beverly Silver (silver@jhu.edu).

Call for Papers for PEWS Section and Regular Sessions at ASA 2019

Section Paper Session (open): The Global South and the Intellectual Lineages of World-Systems Analysis

Organizers: Amy Quark and Beverly Silver
This session invites papers that reflect on the multiple intellectual lineages of world-systems analysis forged by scholars in the Global South. World-systems analysis is an intellectual tradition that finds its roots in the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist analyses generated during struggles for decolonization by scholars across multiple regions in the Global South. This session seeks to recuperate these contributions and reflect on their continued salience for understanding the contemporary crises and anti-systemic movements in the capitalist world-economy. We invite papers by scholars in the Global South and the Global North that reflect on the influence of Southern scholars on their work. Relevant papers may focus explicitly on the intellectual contributions of an individual or intellectual tradition from the Global South or may reflect on the importance of these contributions in analyses of contemporary empirical research.

Section Paper Session (open): South-South Flows in Global Context

Organizers: Jennifer Bair and Manjusha Nair
Analyses of globalization have tended to focus on North-South flows of capital, labor, and finance, and the role of multinational corporations and international institutions based on the North in directing and/or facilitating global flows. However, more recent scholarship has noted the rise of South-South engagements, and the commercial and infrastructural ventures of countries and metropoles such as China, Dubai, Singapore, India, Brazil, and South Africa. How should we characterize South-South flows that complicate the model of core-periphery dynamics, yet alarmingly resemble its model of raw commodity and finished goods exchange? What political, economic and social ramifications shall we draw from these developments? To what degree are they shaped by the legacies of anti-colonial movements and struggle? Are anti-imperialist politics and ideologies relevant for making sense of these shifts in global capitalism? This panel invites papers that deal with any aspect of the history, theory, practice and implications of South-South flows and relations.

Section Refereed Roundtable: Section on the Political Economy of the World-System Roundtables

Session Organizer: Colin Arnold and Nikhil Deb

Regular Session (open): World Systems
Organizer: Roberto Korzeniewicz, University of Maryland-College Park
The topic welcomes submissions that make substantive theoretical, methodological, and/or empirical contributions to World-Systems analyses.

The section also calls for PEWS award nominations. We are pleased to introduce a new award this year, the Award for Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion! For details about the PEWS awards, please see our call at this link).

Call for Papers: PEWS Spring Conference 2019

Please see the call for paper proposals for the 43rd Annual PEWS Spring conference to be held at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg in Germany from April 11-14, 2019. The theme this year is: "De-Linking: Critical Thought and Radical Politics." The call outlines a set of provocative themes around the notion of de-linking. I hope many of you can participate in what promises to be a fantastic conference. Thanks to Manuela Boatca and others on the organizing team for all their hard work. Paper proposals are due by Nov. 30, 2018.

Reconciliation Committee Report

The Reconciliation Committee has completed its work and is now soliciting feedback from the membership by October 19. The report is pasted below, attached to this email, and available on the blog (http://www.asapews.org/blog/reconciliation-committee-report/). Thanks to those who joined Amy on the Reconciliation Committee and offered their thoughtful contributions on these issues: Jennifer Bair, Chris Chase-Dunn, Rob Clark, Albert Fu, Jackie Smith, and Lu Zhang.

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 results of the survey are posted here.


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: