Immanuel Wallerstein was born in 1930 in New York. He received his B.A. in 1951 and his Ph.D. in 1959 from Columbia University, after which he worked as a lecturer in the university's sociology department. His main area of research between 1955 and 1970 was Africa. He published “Africa: the Politics of Independence” in 1961 and “Africa: the Politics of Unity” in 1967. After taking an active part in the reform movement in Colombia in 1968, he took up a post at McGill University in Montreal in 1971. Since 1976 he has been a distinguished Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University and Director of the Fernand Brodell Centre for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems and Civilizations. In 1994 he was elected president of the International Sociological Association. To date, three volumes of his multi-volume work “The Modern World System” have been published (in 1974, 1980 and 1989).