I look at books by world historians and I see discussions of environmental history, cross-cultural encounters, and the like; but I do not find addressed general images or conceptions of world history. Like other professional fields, world historians address each other with questions of interests to specialists. But questions of interest to generalists need to be addressed too, such as:
What are the major conceptions of world history?
Perhaps among others would be included: “the influence of geography”; “group selection and growing cooperation”; “genetic history”; “transformations in material life”; “a multicultural world”; “growing globalism and interconnection”; “coercion-vs-liberty”; “oppression-vs-liberation”; “barbarism-vs-civilization;” “the big ditch.”
I do not think they are all of equal value, but nor do I suppose that only one is paramount.