The World System and the Earth System: GLOBAL SOCIOENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY SINCE THE NEOLITHIC (Hardcover)
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In this benchmark volume top scholars come together to present state-of-the-art research and pursue a more rigorous framework for understanding and studying the linkages between social and ecological systems. Contributors from a wide spectrum of disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology, geography, ecology, palaeo-science, geology, sociology, and history, present and assess both the evolution of our thinking and current, state-of-the-art theory and research. Covering ancient through modern periods, they discuss the complex ways in which human culture, economy, and demographics interact with ecology and climate change. The World System and the Earth System is critical reading for all scholars and students working at the interface of nature and society.Contributors: Thomas Abel, Björn Berglund, Chris Chase-Dunn, Alfred Crosby, Carole L. Crumley, John Dearing, Bert de Vries, Nina Eisenmenger, Andre Gunder Frank, Jonathan Friedman, Stefan Giljum, Thomas Hall, Karin Holmgren, Alf Hornborg, Kristian Kristiansen, Thomas Malm, Daniel Mandell, Betty Meggers, George Modelski, Emilio Moran, Helena Öberg, Frank Oldfield, Susan Stonich, William Thompson, Peter Turchin.
About the Author
Alf Hornborg is an anthropologist and professor of human ecology at Lund University, Sweden. He has conducted field research in Peru, Nova Scotia, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Brazil, and his current research interest is the cultural and political dimensions of human-environmental relations in past and present societies, particularly from the perspective of world-system analysis. He is author of The Power of the Machine: Global Inequalities of Economy, Technology, and Environment (AltaMira Press 2001) and chief editor of Voices of the Land: Identity and Ecology in the Margins (Lund University Press 1998) and Negotiating Nature: Culture, Power, and Environmental Argument (Lund University Press 2000) and Rethinking Environmental History: World-System History and Global Environmental Change (AltaMira Press, 2007)Carole Crumley is professor of anthropology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and has conducted research in archaeology, paleoclimatology, and ecology. Her interest in heterarchy’s origins in brain research and artificial intelligence, coupled with a background in Earth systems, led to her current research on contemporary complex systems. Her publications include New Directions in Anthropology and Environment: Intersections (edited; AltaMira Press 2001).
"The volume must be read by anyone interested in the human-environmental connection. Spanning the local, social, and global, back into prehistory and onward to the future, it brings the weight of history and the wisdom of experience to bear on the problems that most threaten our future."
—Fakhry A. Assaad, Environmental Geology
"This is both an exciting and rewarding book. What unites the authors is their willingness to test the hypothesis that the biophysical earth systems and the historical social world systems ultimately form a single inseparable whole, whose mode of operation needs to be elucidated."
—Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University
"The fruit of an unprecedented gathering of a veritable pageant of luminaries in the human and natural sciences, this book charts a new synthesis. It must be read by anyone interested in the human-environmental connection. Spanning the local, social, and global, back into prehistory and onward to the future, it is the approach we need at this time, when the challenges of global environmental problems cannot be met with the status quo. It brings the weight of history and the wisdom of experience to bear on the problems that most threaten our future."
—Richard Wilk, Indiana University
"The World System and the Earth System offers a critical perspective on large-scale environmental change in an era when we are awakening to the phenomenon of global warming. This work is notable for bringing together long-term environmental systems research with its social scientific equivalent, world-systems analysis, a novel and powerful synthesis."
—Josiah Heyman, University of Texas at El Paso
"This volume is a long overdue synthesis of our understanding of the human-environment relationship at the global scale. The study of socio-ecological systems at local scales is making progress in understanding the critical issues of resilience and sustainability. However, it is at the scale of the Earth as a whole where the collision between humans and environment is being played out in its most dramatic form, with the future of the planetary life support system in the balance. Learning from the rich record of socio-ecological change in the past is a strong feature of the volume, but its interest and value are not limited to this. In the present era where a rapidly globalising human enterprise has become a geophysical force impacting the functioning of the Earth System itself, it is impressive to see that this book takes on the ultimate question: 'Are World-Systems Sustainable?'"
—Will Steffen, Australian National University