War in Social Thought: Hobbes to the Present

Overview

"Joas and Knöbl place modern sociological theory in the distinctive perspective of war and peace, actual conflicts and struggles to end armed strife. This encourages readers to see familiar themes in new light as well as to pay attention to often-neglected dimensions of classical sociological theory. Not least, they help to situate theories that are often considered ahistorically in the abstract as part of the effort to understand war and peace in particular historical contexts."—Craig Calhoun, director of the ...

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War in Social Thought: Hobbes to the Present

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Overview

"Joas and Knöbl place modern sociological theory in the distinctive perspective of war and peace, actual conflicts and struggles to end armed strife. This encourages readers to see familiar themes in new light as well as to pay attention to often-neglected dimensions of classical sociological theory. Not least, they help to situate theories that are often considered ahistorically in the abstract as part of the effort to understand war and peace in particular historical contexts."—Craig Calhoun, director of the London School of Economics and Political Science

"Viewed in its social context, war embraces every dimension of human life, yet the subject of war is almost wholly missing from social thought. This book is a very valuable corrective to this situation and well worth reading."—Edward Luttwak, Center for Strategic and International Studies

"There has been a tendency in social thought to stay clear of the issues of war despite its importance in shaping the modern age. But, as this important and erudite study shows, war keeps on intruding. By demonstrating how much theorists have struggled with the problems of war, Joas and Knöbl illuminate vital aspects of social theory—and of war itself."—Lawrence Freedman, King's College London

"This book, written by two eminent social theorists, has no parallel. Hans Joas and Wolfgang Knöbl tackle a fundamental problem in historical and contemporary social theory: the conceptualization of war as a fundamental phenomenon in social life. At the same time, they provide a comprehensive review of thinking about war in modern social theory since Hobbes. This book presents an impressive panorama of its subject."—Dieter Senghaas, University of Bremen

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
This excellent book is the best in its field, and it deserves and will surely gain wide readership.
From the Publisher
One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2013

"This excellent book is the best in its field, and it deserves and will surely gain wide readership."—Choice

"War in Social Thought issues a provocative warning to those who engage in theoretical and political debates without taking account of the history of ideas. Indeed, Hans Joas and Wolfgang Knöbl demonstrate that seemingly new structural ideas about war and peace in fact have antecedents in the past and are discredited by the bloody history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."—Ingo Trauschweizer, Michigan War Studies Review

"That this book provides a good recounting of the effects of warfare within the world stage of competing nation-states bound by their own domestic dilemmas of economics and politics is what makes it useful."—Jerome Braun, Society (Springer)

"This book is an excellent synthesis of the literature on war, and the authors' own perspective on the debates is often incisive."—Michael Mann, American Journal of Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691150840
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/4/2012
  • Pages: 338
  • Sales rank: 1,240,231
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans Joas is professor of sociology and social thought at the University of Chicago and a permanent fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Freiburg. Wolfgang Knöbl is professor of sociology at Göttingen University. They are the authors of many books and the coauthors of "Social Theory: Twenty Introductory Lectures".

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

  1. Introduction 1
  2. War and Peace before Sociology: Social Theorizing on Violence from Thomas Hobbes to the Napoleonic Wars 16
  3. The Long Peace of the Nineteenth Century and the Birth of Sociology 65
  4. The Classical Figures of Sociology and the Great Seminal Catastrophe of the Twentieth Century 116
  5. Sociology and Social Theory from the End of the First World War to the 1970s 156
  6. After Modernization Theory: Historical Sociology and the Bellicose Constitution of Western Modernity 194
  7. After the East-West Conflict: Democratization, State Collapse, and Empire Building 217
  8. Conclusion 252

Notes 257

Bibliography 277

Name Index 315

Subject Index 323

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