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This is the third volume of Immanuel Wallerstein's essays to appear in Studies in Modern Capitalism, following the immensely successful collections The Politics of the World Economy and The Capitalist World Economy. Written between 1982 and 1989, these pieces offer Wallerstein's perspective on the events of this period, and the background to his interpretation of the momentous events of 1989. In his introduction Wallerstein argues that the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the process of perestroika bear out his basic analysis: that the decline of US hegemony in the world-system is the central explanatory variable of change; and that the collapse of the communist empire and the approach of European unity cannot be understood without reference to this decline as a critical stage in the cyclical rhythm of the capitalist world economy. As part of the analysis the book also charts the development of a challenge to the dominant 'geoculture': the cultural framework within which the world-system operates. The author argues that since 1968 there has been a rejection of the universalist ideas of liberalism through an intellectual focus on 'culture' as opposed to economics and politics; a concern with the inherent existence of racism and sexism in the system; and a new relationship between the sciences and humanities. This collection offers the latest ideas of one of the most original and controversial thinkers of recent years, and is bound to stimulate debate among students and scholars from a variety of disciplines across the social sciences.