In this chapter, I examine the dual character of the role of raw materials in the evolution of the capitalist world-economy. The following sections will outline the key elements of new historical materialism, a theoretical model that builds on the work of Wallerstein (1974, 1979), Chase-Dunn (1989), and Arrighi (1994, 2009) in order to understand the multiple roles of raw materials in shaping the past five centuries of the capitalist world-economy. New historical materialism highlights the need to examine economic ascent in the core, the exploitation of the periphery, the relationships between these processes, and the impacts of these relationships on long term socioeconomic and environmental change. This chapter concludes with an outline of directions for future research from the new historical materialist perspective.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/paul_ciccantell/6/