Small worlds4


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FOCUS mid term symposium

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Small worlds4

  1. 1. Small World – World Systems ...and the polity options for a central Empire
  2. 2. What is World System Theory?• World Systems are networks operating on:• 1 Information exchange• 2 Politically and military interactions• 3 Prestige good exchange• 4 Bulk good exchange.Their system behavior can be predicted (cliodynamics) e.g. by comparative World System assessment (there have been more than one at a time)
  3. 3. What is the Small World Theory?• Small Worlds is a mathematic model of networks (Watts, Strogats, etc.)• Sociology: The friend of your friend is your friend (clustering effect)• Link to World System Theory: – „trade diasporas“ and „trade ecumenes“ within World Systems as examples of small worlds – Presented first at the symposium „Nomadism and Mobile ways of life in the Américas“, Urania, Feb. 15 to 17, 2012 by the present author.•
  4. 4. Hazard to European Union - as identified by World System Theory• An Empire is a World System under a central authority‘s aegis – This requires a mono-centric World System i.e. one core, one semi-periphery and one periphery. – Polities to dominate the WS are usually situated on the periphery of their respective politically defined WS.• European Union not at a periphery defined by socioeconomic gradients.
  5. 5. Classical Empires• Rome, Semiperiphery of the Hellenic WS• Spain, Semiperiphery plus frontier of Europe• Great Britain: Semiperiphery and no interest in getting entangled into Continental Affairs („splendid isolation“)• USA: Semiperiphery-Periphery gradient to the frontier (defined by Victor Turner)
  6. 6. Typical carreer of Empires in time:• Semiperipherical polity• Imperialistic expansion and internal transformation (Rome: Hannibal‘s legacy, USA: Civil war)• Hegemonic position• Imperial mission statement = Shift from hard power to soft power• Accepted leadership
  7. 7. Oligocentric World SystemOld World System before European expansion with eight cores until 14th century administered by the Mongols (silk road):1405-1433 Missions of Zheng He‘s treasure fleet to dominate the WS by gift diplomacy (total 7 voyages,)1435 to 1450ies: Ming China couldn‘t replace the Mongolian Empire as silk road administrator. Imperial overstretch stopped by Confucianist officials, Mongols and Muslim network economy was more efficient.
  8. 8. EU‘s endangered position• No position at the periphery• Legacy of deceased Empires (Western Europe) versus victims of continental Empires (Eastern Europe)• Mission statement: Peace keeping after World War II in Europe• No universalistic mission statement in contrast to US declaration of independence.• Compensation is costly
  9. 9. How to keep an Empire from the WS‘s center?• Examples: Islam in 6th century: „trade diasporas“ as economic incentitive for religious conversion (WS shift was already underway)• Network economy• Networks => Small World Approach.
  10. 10. Model approach• Watts & Strogats‘s Small World model combined with World System Theory (by the author)• Each knot is a contributor• No central „value production“• scale-effects of network economy
  11. 11. Empire based on networksl Example: Inca➲ Technology development as mission statement comes first!➲ Biodiversity generator and ecologically embedded cities (Plachetka 2011)➲ Restoration ecology as “arcana imperii” (Münkler 2005)➲ Inca princes: development programs
  12. 12. Recommendations for policy makersCoherence of policy towards EU’s credibility in its peripheryInnovation and knowledge as strategic resource to be fosteredEncouragement of innovative instead of state-of-the-art projectsInnovation network “knots” all over the worldExample: In-stream River Training - The EU Water frameworkdirective lead to growing appreciation of Victor Schauberger. Instream river training (see Wikipedia)
  13. 13. Be realistic – try the impossible• They changed the world• Yes, we can too
  14. 14. Thank you for your attention• Dr. Uwe Christian Plachetka• Contact:• 2nd:• Professional page to be found by Google keyword: BOKU Plachetka• Personal page: