My broad research areas are global sociology, comparative-historical sociology, political-economy, and world-system analysis with thematic foci at the intersections of historical capitalism, war-making, class struggle, and geopolitics. My research investigates the conflicts, compromises, and inequalities of global political-economic arrangements in historical capitalism and currently falls into three interrelated projects: (1) the political-economy of war & coercion; (2) the World-Magnates Project; and (3) the (un)making of global governance.

Political-Economy of War and Coercion

My work in this project assesses the recent changes in the political-economy of war and coercion by placing them in historical perspective.

My dissertation (in progress) investigates the recent trends towards the militarization of private enterprises and the privatization of military enterprises. Building from world-systems methodologies developed by Terence K. Hopkins, Giovanni Arrighi, and Beverly Silver, this project involves historical comparisons over time as far back as the Dutch joint-stock charter companies of the seventeenth century and the Italian city-states of the fifteenth century.

My related work in this area focuses on the relationship between war-making and workers’ power. In particular, analyzing the effects of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on U.S. industrial workers’ power, with an comparative eye towards the war-time arrangements among states, workers, and capital in the mid-twentieth century. 

Political-Economy of War and Coercion Publications

Payne, Corey R. (Forthcoming). “Delinking from the Warfare-Welfare Paradigm: Militarism, Emancipation, and Social Compact Unravelling in the United States,” in Political Economy of the World-System Annual Volume (2019).

World-Magnates Project

The World-Magnates Project is a multi-faceted study on the richest individuals in history, or “world-magnates” — the historical equivalents of today’s billionaires — from the mid-fifteenth century to the present. By understanding these individuals as epicenters of wealth accumulation that can be identified in space, time, and industry, such a dataset is invaluable in addressing longstanding questions about the historical development of capitalism, processes of creative destruction, and inequalities.

The project is based out of the University of Maryland (College Park) under the direction of Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz (UMD) and I.

For more information, visit our website (in progress):

World-Magnates Project Publications

Korzeniewicz, Roberto Patricio, & Corey R. Payne. (2019). “Sugar, Slavery, and Creative Destruction: World-Magnates and ‘Coreification’ in the Longue-Durée,” Journal of World-Systems Research. Vol. 25, Issue 2: 395-419.

Korzeniewicz, Roberto Patricio, & Corey R. Payne. (Forthcoming). “Rethinking Core and Periphery in Historical Capitalism: World-Magnates and The Shifting Epicenters of Wealth Accumulation,” in Political Economy of the World-System Annual Volume, Routledge.

Portuguese translation. (Forthcoming). “O centro e a periferia no capitalismo histórico: os epicentros cambiantes da acumulação de riqueza,” in Antonio Brussi, ed., Cultura Academica Editoria.

Albrecht, Scott, & Roberto Patricio Korzeniewicz. (2017). “‘Creative Destruction’ from a World-Systems Perspective: Billionaires and the Great Recession of 2008,” in Global Inequalities in World-Systems Perspective: Theoretical Debates and Methodological Innovations, Boatca, M., Komlosy, A., & Nolte, H., eds. Routledge.

The (Un)Making of Global Governance

My work in this area largely comes out of collaborative research groups at the Arrighi Center for Global Studies. More information about these research working groups can be found on the Arrighi Center website.

How (and by whom) have global political-economic arrangements been organized in historical capitalism? How have these arrangements come unraveled? Wither the crisis of the twenty-first century? These are the questions at the center of my collaborative work at the Arrighi Center for Global Studies.

One strand of this research concerns the decline of U.S. hegemony and the possible future trajectories of the world capitalist system. Such a research project incorporates geopolitical, economic, and social trends and requires an understanding of conflicts and inequalities.

Part of my work involves data collection and analysis for the Global Social Protest Research Working Group, under the direction of Prof. Beverly Silver, Sahan Karatasli, and Sefika Kumral. The group has created a new database on global social unrest from 1851 to 2016 from events reported in the international press, including The New York Times and The Guardian, with the goal of mapping the spatial-temporal distribution of events and forms of protest and grievances. The working group is using the database to systematically compare the current period with past analogous periods of widespread global unrest.

This thematic area also includes the study of global inequalities and international development, in which I have participated in updating and extending research on the long-term historical patterning of global inequality, the (in)effectiveness of post-war development strategies (i.e. “modernization”), and twenty-first century trends.

Global Governance Publications

Pasciuti, Daniel S. and Corey R. Payne. (2018). “Illusion in Crisis? World-Economic and Zonal Volatility, 1975-2013,” in Korzeniewicz, R.P., ed., The World-System as Unit of Analysis: Past Contributions and Future Advances. London: Routledge, pp. 50-64. (Online Appendices)