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Business as UsualThe Roots of the Global Financial Meltdown$
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Craig Calhoun and Georgi Derluguian

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814772775

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814772775.001.0001

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The End of the Long Twentieth Century

The End of the Long Twentieth Century

(p.53) Chapter 1 The End of the Long Twentieth Century
Business as Usual

Beverly J. Silver

Giovanni Arrighi

NYU Press

This chapter compares the present with previous periods of financialization, and the long twentieth century with previous long centuries. It identifies similarities among three previous periods of financialization, pointing to patterns of recurrence across time, then focuses on patterns of evolution. The chapter argues that long centuries should not be understood as primarily recurrent (cyclical) phenomena; rather, the financial expansions that mark the beginning and end of each long century have been periods of fundamental reorganization of the world system. These successive reorganizations have produced an evolutionary pattern in which the dominant governmental business complex increased over time in size, power, and complexity—including social complexity.

Keywords:   financialization, financial expansions, social complexity, twentieth century, world system

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