Review Article of After Liberalism by Immanuel Wallerstein


This article tries to analyze the works of Immanuel Wallerstein (after liberalism) mainly on his views of what liberalism is especially in this era of globalization. After liberalism published in 1995 and it is a collection of essays, which all look at the issue of international capitalism either from a country’s perspective all from the perspectives of earlier influential writers within this context like V I Lenin.

The book gives a good overview of the nature of liberalism especially in the context of international capitalism. In his analysis, Wallerstein argues that the emergence of theories like liberalism in modern times was all because of new beliefs within the political arena as well because of people’s moral sovereignty. Among the theories, Wallerstein claimed that in a modernizing world there were people who saw the changes as immoral. These people pursued Consevativism. Because of the rise of conservatism, the liberalist theory arose to defend the modernizing processes of new technologies new ways of integration as being non-expedient processes for a better global society. After the rise of liberalism and its application, a new theory emerged (socialism). Unlike the conservatisms, socialists did agree with the liberalists that the issue of modernization or progress was both desirable and inevitable. However, unlike the liberalists socialists were strongly suspicious of the top-down system of reforms advocated by liberalists.

Liberalism: This broad field encompasses many different ideas and theories concerning the roles of governments. Liberalism generally advocates for individual liberty, mixed market systems, liberal democratic governments (transparent) as well as the application of the rule of law.

Review Article of After Liberalism by Immanuel Wallerstein

International capitalism: international capitalism is the system of processes that allow for the growth of globalization. It is the practice of capitalism on a global perspective. Thus, it involves the international ownership of modes of production by individuals and the unrestricted transfer of international funds and investment projects globally.

In his argument, Wallerstein claims that the classification of third world countries is uncalled for. This is because as he says the so called third world has been intertwined in the structure of international capitalism in such a way that there are even subsidiaries of multinational firms based in the third world countries that contribute money to the parent company countries that is in excess of what the parent companies pay.

After liberalism is quite clear on the issue of national development. Wallerstein goes ahead in Borrowing ideas from such authorities as Adam smith (the wealth of nations), as well as ideas from people like Vladimir Lenin and Paul Kruger. Wallerstein concludes that even with the advent of international capitalism and globalization, the issue of national sovereignty and national development is very crucial in ensuring that the vices of capitalism are always kept to a level minimum.


After liberalism is an authoritative collection of essays that tries to expose the nature and processes associated with international capitalism and globalization. However, the book fails to explain issues of under development especially in the third world more clearly. In addition, the process of colonization and its impacts on both the colonizing states as well as the colonized should have been analyzed. This is because issues of international capitalism affect all nations alike and thus the root causes of under development in some of the countries would have to be addressed.

Review Article of After Liberalism by Immanuel Wallerstein


Wallerstein Immanuel (1995), after liberalism, new press, New York.