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

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.
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Section News


The call for nominations for PEWS Awards is now open! The DEADLINE is March 1, 2023. Please consider nomination a colleague or yourself. Please also help the Section spread the word.

More information can be found in the Current Call for Awards section in this website and at the ASA PEWS Section page.


The PEWS Council is pleased to announce 3 annual scholarships in the amount of $300 each to PEWS Newsletter editors (up to two) and Webmaster for 2022-2023.

As we all know, our section relies on volunteers to serve as newsletter editors and webmaster. The scholarship is a small way to acknowledge and appreciate their time and service to the PEWS section.

We are still looking for a volunteer to serve as PEWS Newsletter editor for 2022-2023. If you are interested, please contact Lu Zhang (lu.zhang1@temple.edu).

2022 ASA PEWS Section Award Winners

We are pleased to announce the 2022 PEWS Section Award Winners!

Immanuel Wallerstein Memorial Book Award:
Ashok Kumar. 2020. Monopsony Capitalism: Power and Production in the Twilight of the Sweatshop Age. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Honorable Mention, Book Award:
Christy Thornton. 2021. Revolution in Development: Mexico and the Governance of the Global Economy. Oakland, CA, USA: University of California Press.

Distinguished Article Award:
Chang, Andy Scott. 2021. "Selling a resume and buying a job: Stratification of gender and occupation by states and brokers in international migration from Indonesia." Social Problems, 68(4):903-924.

Terence K. Hopkins Graduate Student Article Award:
John Antonacci. 2021. "Periodizing the Capitalocene as Polemocene: Militarized Ecologies of Accumulation in the Long Sixteenth Century." Journal of World-Systems Research, 27(2):439-467.

Distinguished Teaching Award:
Jason Mueller, UC Irvine / Kennesaw State University

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the members of the award committes for their service!

ASA PEWS Section Election Results

We are pleased to announce the 2022 ASA Election for PEWS Officers and Council Members. Congratulations to those elected and thank you to everyone who volunteered to run!

Chair: Lu Zhang, Temple University
Chair-Elect: Vilna Bashi, Northwestern University
Past Chair: Manuela Boatça, Freiburg University
Section Secretary/Treasurer: Nikhil Deb, Murray State University
Council Members: Melanie E. L. Bush, Adelphi University / Alvin Camba, University of Denver / Sahan Savaş Karataşli, University of North Carolina at Greensboro / Marcel Paret, University of Utah / Kristin Plys, University of Toronto / Kristen Shorette, Stony Brook University, SUNY
Student Representative: Zeinab F. Shuker, University of California, Riverside / Nefratiri Weeks, Colorado State University

The Journal of World Systems Research (JWSR)

The Journal of World-Systems Research (JWSR) is the official journal of the Political Economy of the World-System Section of the American Sociological Association. JWSR is an open access scholarly journal that reaches a global audience and consists of unidisciplinary scholarship on topics relevant to the world-systems perspective. We seek the work of political scientists, historians, sociologists, ethnographers, archaeologists, economists and geographers.

We especially encourage works that take theory seriously by confronting problems of conceptualization and making definitions of concepts explicit, by formulating hypotheses, constructing axiomatic theories and causal models. Theoretical research programs that combine theory construction with comparative research are badly needed to take the world-systems approach beyond the stage of a perspective.

JWSR will consider studies that utilize a wide range of methods, including both qualitative and quantitative research. We also consider studies based on community based research (see Guidelines for Community Based Research). Empirical studies that are deemed relevant to world-systems analysis may be published even if it uses a very different conceptual framework.

Authors are encouraged to submit completed articles between 8,000 to 10,000 words for review. For consideration for the Winter/Spring 2023 issue authors should make their submissions by November 15, 2022. For consideration for the Summer/Autumn 2023 issue, authors should make submissions by May 15th, 2023.

We also welcome proposals for special issues on themes that fall within the scope of the journal. All proposals should be sent to the journal editor (jwsr@ciis.edu). More information about this process can be found in the About section on the website.

"We must overcome the colonial denial: Wallerstein versus the woke" by Professor Charles McKelvey

Professor Charles McKelvey published a Substack Column titled "We must overcome the colonial denial: Wallerstein versus the woke." It discusses the significance of the work of Immanuel Wallerstein. In subsequent postings to the column, Professor McKelvey will be analyzing the world-economy and contemporary events from a world-systems perspective.

Latest Edition of PEWS News!

The latest edition of PEWSNews (Spring 2022) is out! Thank you to our editors, Nadia Smiecinska and John Antonacci, for their expert job of putting this edition together so efficiently during these turbulent and difficult times! You can read the latest edition (and past editions) here.

PEWS @ ASA 2022

Check out the great sessions held for ASA 2022!

Refereed Round-tables:
The Political Economy of Environmental/Ecological Impact

Co-organizer, Nayla Huq, SUNY at Stony Brook
Co-organizer, Julia Jean Schoonover, SUNY at Buffalo
Refereed roundtables will feature cutting-edge theoretical and empirical research that engages global, political economic approaches organized by topical theme. The 2022 Call for Papers was as follows: The Political Economy of the World System (PEWS) Section invites papers for discussion at ASA roundtables on the topic of The Political Economy of Environmental/Ecological Impact. Since the last ASA annual meeting, the world has seen devastating hurricanes, tornadoes in atypical zones, massive wildfires, an oil spill, popular culture adopting phrases like "climate migrant" and "climate nomad", and climate scientists giving the dire warning to turn away from fossil fuel consumption. Scientists from various fields have shown the clear link between economic activity and environmental/ecological impact, and the ensuing environmental/ecological consequences on the economy. Sociologists are increasingly examining these links. How are Sociologists, specifically those taking Political Economy and/or World Systems approaches, now contributing to this knowledge? Though Climate Change has gained much more traction of late, environmental/ecological impact stemming from economic activity has a long history. We invite papers from scholars who address the link between economic activity and environmental/ecological impact from the Political Economy and/or World Systems perspectives.

Dialogues between Southern and Decolonial approaches and World System Analysis

Organizer, Caroline M. Schoepf, Hong Kong Baptist University
Decolonial approaches were originally created as a response to what was perceived as a lack of attention to race, knowledge, or other non-economic aspects in Dependency Theory and World System Analysis. However, despite this, Dependency Theory and World System Analysis have continued to focus more on economic issues, whereas Decolonial, Postcolonial, Anti-colonial and other Southern approaches have placed their focus more towards issues of race, culture, knowledge-production, or similar non-economic issues. While some fruitful work has tried to bridge this gap, these two broad schools of thought could still benefit much from work that attempts to set them into dialogue with one another, in order to holistically account for all the power relations that structure our world. This session invites papers that endeavor such a dialogue, in a wider sense.

Defenses and Critiques of Racial Capitalism as an Analytical Tool

Organizer, Manuela Boatça, Freiburg University
“Racial capitalism” has been in use for some time but is gaining influence in sociology. We gather as a panel to examine what purchase is gained or lost from linking together racism and capitalism. How are theory and empiricism improved by embracing/rejecting racial capitalism as an analytical tool? When the concepts of racism and capitalism are conjoined, do we gain an improved understanding of applied sociological spaces like crises in health and environment? Is racism different under capitalism than outside of it? Can we imagine capitalism without racism, and if so, what would that look like?

Congrats to the 2021 PEWS ASA Award Winners!

Congratulations to our 2021 ASA PEWS Section award winners!

Award for Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
Mangala Subramaniam, Purdue University

Immanuel Wallerstein Memorial Book Award:
Laura Doyle. 2020. Inter-Imperiality. Vying Empires, Gendered Labor, and the Literary Arts of Alliance. Durham: Duke University Press.

Honorable Mention, Book Award:
Nicholas Jepson. 2020. In China's Wake: How the Commodity Boom Transformed Development Strategies in the Global South. New York: Columbia University Press.

Distinguished Article Award:
Sahan Savaş Karataşli. 2020. "Capitalism and nationalism in the longue durée: Hegemony, crisis, and state-seeking nationalist mobilization, 1492-2013." International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 61(4):233-263.

Terence K. Hopkins Graduate Student Article Award:
Alvin Camba. 2020. "The Sino-Centric Capital Export Regime: State-Backed and Flexible Capital in the Philippines." Development and Change, 51(4):970-997.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the members of the award committes for their service!

Remembering Immanuel Wallerstein

The PEWS section has set up webspace for section members to post their remembrances or stories about Immanuel Wallerstein. You can access the webspace here. To post your story, go to the webspace and scroll down to the section that says, "Remembering Immanuel Wallerstein." Click on the "Read More" button and then go to the comment box to enter your remembrance. You will also be able to read everyone's stories on that page. If you have any technical problems with the webspace, please contact PEWS webmaster, Nayla Huq at nayla.huq@stonybrook.edu.

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).

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: