European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power (Paperback)

European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power By Immanuel Wallerstein Cover Image

European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power (Paperback)


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How ideas such as civilization and progress have been used as a smoke screen for Western dominance, by the world-renowned sociologist

Ever since the Enlightenment, Western intervention around the world has been justified by appeals to notions of civilization, development, and progress. The assumption has been that such ideas are universal, encrusted in natural law. But, as Immanuel Wallerstein argues in this short and elegant philippic, these concepts are, in fact, not global. Rather, their genesis is firmly rooted in European thought and their primary function has been to provide justification for powerful states to impose their will against the weak under the smoke screen of what is supposed to be both beneficial to humankind and historically inevitable.

With great acuity Wallerstein draws together discussions of the idea of orientalism, the right to intervene, and the triumph of science over the humanities to explain how strategies designed to promote particular Western interests have acquired an all-inclusive patina.

Wallerstein concludes by advocating a true universalism that will allow critical appraisal of all justifications for intervention by the powerful against the weak. At a time when such intervention--in the name of democracy and human rights--has returned to the center stage of world politics, his treatise is both relevant and compelling.

Immanuel Wallerstein is a senior research scientist in the department of sociology at Yale University and professor emeritus of sociology at Binghampton University (SUNY). His many books include The Modern World-System and Historical Capitalism. The New Press has published his After Liberalism, European Universalism, The Decline of American Power, Utopistics, and a collection of his works, The Essential Wallerstein. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut, and Paris, France.
Product Details ISBN: 9781595580610
ISBN-10: 1595580611
Publisher: New Press
Publication Date: June 1st, 2006
Pages: 112
Language: English