Download e-book for kindle: An Age of Limits: Social Theory for the 21st Century by R. Schroeder

By R. Schroeder

ISBN-10: 0230360610

ISBN-13: 9780230360617

ISBN-10: 1137314621

ISBN-13: 9781137314628

ISBN-10: 1942022042

ISBN-13: 9781942022046

An Age of Limits outlines a brand new social conception for realizing modern society. offering an research of why political, fiscal and cultural powers face constraints around the international North and past, this daring ebook argues that forces which tackle present demanding situations needs to confront the boundaries of the interaction among dominant institutions.

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Extra info for An Age of Limits: Social Theory for the 21st Century

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12 One option would be to add, as Mann does, militarism as a fourth source of power. Yet militarism will only be treated here as a separate force for the first half of the 20th century and for the Cold War contestants into the second half, but not as a separate source of power during the Age of Limits and within the North. This is because militarism after the Cold War, and among developed societies, arguably only matters for the US: the hegemony of the US (some would even say ‘empire’), even if it is supported by world-historically unparalleled military strength, is also undergoing decline and the international order is moving towards a multipolar or tripolar North.

And although there are also different types of democratic states – they have diverged – even more important is that they now also face similar constraints. Still, again, democratic states are the dominant institution that orders and derives legitimacy from its environment – ‘people’ – by extending rights to them and being responsive to the inputs from ‘the people’. Differentiation and macro-social orders The birth of the modern world was not just an historical caesura. It also created a new type of social structure.

Thus there is a ‘horizontal’ differentiation (orders becoming separated) and a ‘vertical’ distinction between the institutions and the environments they exercise power or control over, but which also shapes them. One implication that should be noted immediately is that this is a thoroughly sociological account: top-down, through how the environment is being shaped, as well as bottom-up, via the environment that shapes and constrains. The term ‘environment’ I borrow from Luhmann, without accepting any of the baggage of his systems theory, to simply indicate how the dominant institutions relate to different parts of society that they are interacting with or that they are shaping.

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An Age of Limits: Social Theory for the 21st Century by R. Schroeder


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