Prof. Dr. Immanuel Wallerstein: Interview on Cultural Globalization


wallersteinbild1.jpg (45412 bytes)On June, 25th 1999 Prof. Immanuel Wallerstein was interviewed by Dr. Anand Kumar, Dr. Frank Welz, and Mrs. Gabriele Tysarzik at the Maison de Sciences de l’Homme in Paris. This interview was prepared by Gabriele Tysarzik (skript), Bernd Remmele (HTML design) and Markus Jenki (digital editing) for this web-presentation. On the current page you find some basic biographical data on Immanuel Wallerstein and a guide on how to access the interview in different ways (including technical requirements). For more information about Wallerstein and his world-system theory, including comprehensive reading lists as well as online-texts, please visit the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations. For an annotated reading list have look to our database. For a short list of literature on Wallerstein and world-system theory, including some critical approaches, have a look at our reading list. To give a more convenient access, the whole presentation can be ordered as a CD-ROM.

Biographical Data

wallersteinbild3.jpg (43315 bytes)Wallerstein was born in New York 1930. He studied at Columbia University, where he made his PhD. Like his dissertation: 'The Road to Independence: Ghana and the Ivory Coast' (Paris & La Haye l964) and books like: 'Africa, The Politics of Independence' (New York l96l) or 'Africa: The Politics of Unity' (New York l967) show his first scholarly interests lay in the continent of Africa and its struggle for independence.1968 as a an associate professor he played a active role in the students movement at Columbia University. His experiences and reflections about this time can be found in: 'University in Turmoil: The Politics of Change' (New York l969). After that he went to Stanford - Center for the Advanced Study in the Behaviorial Sciences - and to McGill University, Montreal. The first volume of 'The Modern World-System' - Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century - with which started his enduring occupation with world-system analysis, was published l974; 1976 he went to Binghampton University, State University of New York, and became director of the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations. For the biographical part of the interview go to Intellectual Biography

How to use pic1.jpg (3295 bytes)pic2.jpg (2764 bytes)pic3.jpg (3797 bytes)

wallersteinbild2.jpg (45672 bytes)The interview is provided as written text  (complete) and as video (most of), furtheron there are some background informations . Additionally the interview is available as an simple video recording (1h 30min). The sequential order of the interview has been broken up to create groups of thematically related parts of the interview. An overview on each group can be accessed via the navigation frame, clicking on the underlined buttons. Only parts which are available as video have been included in this grouping. For these parts there is also some background information - including a short summary of this part. They can be accessed via the navigation frame, clicking on the subcategories. To get an impression of the interview and the way it is presented here it is recommended to start with the thematically grouped overview pages, accessible via the (red) underlined buttons in the navigation frame. Therefore the interview can be accessed in the following ways:

pic2.jpg (2764 bytes) The written text of the interview is of course provided in the original sequential order. The parts of the interview which are also provided as video and with additional background information are discriminated by coloration. These parts of the text can be accessed directly by clicking  pic2.jpg (2764 bytes) from the thematical overviews or from the background page. The whole text is delivered within one page for easy print out.
pic1.jpg (3295 bytes) The video clips of the interview have been grouped thematically.The videos can be accessed by clicking  pic1.jpg (3295 bytes)  from the thematical overviews or from the background page.
To replay the video files on these pages, you need to have Windows Media Player 6.2 or above installed. Click here to check if you have the player already installed. The current (August 1999) version is 6.4 and it is available for MS Windows 3.x, 9.x, NT 4.x, 5.x for Intel and DEC Alpha Plattforms and Macintosh. You can get it from The version 6.4 for Windows 9.x, NT 4.x, 5.x  can also be downloaded from our site: German Version/ English Version/ French Version (3,1 MB).
The video files offer multiple streams according to the available bandwith from 28.8 Dial up Modem (27kbps) up to High Speed Internet (300kbps) . For good video quality a 56k modem connection or better is recommended. The emphasis is on audio quality. But if you have a single line ISDN connection or better, the video quality should be good enough, to play the video full screen and project it using a data beamer in a class room.
pic3.jpg (3797 bytes) Background information is provided for the interview parts which are available as video. It includes a short summary, related citations from other sources, recommended further reading, and - possibly - some comments. The background information can be accessed by clicking on  pic3.jpg (3797 bytes)  from the thematical overviews or by clicking the subcategories in the navigation frame. The whole background information is delivered within one page for easy print out.
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