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

By R. Schroeder

An Age of Limits outlines a brand new social thought for figuring out modern society. delivering an research of why political, fiscal and cultural powers face constraints around the worldwide North and past, this daring publication argues that forces which handle present demanding situations needs to confront the boundaries of the interaction among dominant institutions.

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We will return in the chapters that follow to provide the comparative-historical evidence underpinning these tables and discuss where any gaps or disagreements lie – and what hangs on them. Before elaborating the tables further, I need to discuss where I depart from these theorists, a major one being how the mechanisms (others would call them types of power) that operate in the three orders are different in kind. For example, the political order is primarily characterized by conflict, whereas the economic and cultural orders are mainly characterized by cohesion – and thus functionalism.

Global powers? Before we turn to a fuller account of the dynamics of the three orders and their differentiation after the birth of the modern world, it is 40 An Age of Limits necessary to tackle one further question: apart from nation-states as units, is there a systemic level which encompasses the three orders at a more macro-level? This level, as mentioned earlier, is often discussed in terms of modernization or globalization, both of which implicitly posit the convergence between societies (or at least economic convergence in the case of the champions of globalization).

20 An Age of Limits versus authoritarian ones [1993: 60]). In either case, the state has responded to pressures from below, with one party or (in democracies) several channelling these pressures via competing parties into different directions of pluralist states. Note that, unlike the civil society perspective, which is based on an evolutionist-functionalist idea (differentiation, leading to cohesion), this radical perspective is based on the idea of conflict and social change characterized by ongoing struggle.

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