In before European Hegemony, Janet L. Abu-Lughod attempts to bring light to the time period before Europe became a dominant power. The reason for this is to give background and an explanation for how things changed. Janet has the idea that historians are wrong for starting with the European hegemony and working backward. Instead she suggest they go back and work their way forward.
Janet begins in the 13th century. She says that during the 13th century there was a huge amount of economic development and cultural achievement around the world. Technology played a big role in the economic boom. New technologies made it easier for countries to trade amongst each other. With the trading came a spread of culture. The money used from trading went back into cultural affairs. It was somewhat of a cycle.
During this time, there was no one country or area of the world that was a hegemonic power. At this time the West, Middle East, and East were all similar in power. The question is raised, could we describe this time period as a world system. Maybe even modern capitalism for a better term. This time period is very interesting. It's hard for me to imagine a time period in history when Europe was not seen as the dominant power. I guess my reason of thinking is the exact reason why Janet questions why we assume that Europe was always the dominant hegemony.