The paper uses hermeneutic and comparative methods to analyze the notions of the capitalist system developed by Francis Fukuyama and Immanuel Wallerstein. The authoress highlights the differences between these two models. The article focuses on two theoretical approaches to the contemporary stage of globalization. Under the first approach, liberal democracy and capitalism are seen as the most perfect system and the only one free from internal contradictions. The existing economic and social differences are seen as a quantitative and transitional feature rather than a quantitative and permanent one. In the perspective adopted by Wallerstein, heterogeneity is seen as a permanent feature of the modern world, and capitalism is defined as a system full of inherent conflicts leading to an imminent decline. The analysis of world systems discussed in the text makes it possible to trace the ideological foundations of the contemporary stage of globalization. It also puts a question mark over the theory of modernization, which had its heyday in the 1990s and under which social changes take place in an identical, linear way in all societies, while the Western economic and political model is meant for universal application.
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