An Anatomy of Power: The Social Theory of Michael Mann by John A. Hall, Ralph Schroeder

By John A. Hall, Ralph Schroeder

Michael Mann is among the so much influential sociologists of contemporary a long time. His paintings has had a huge effect in sociology, heritage, political technological know-how, diplomacy and different social technology disciplines. during this quantity, his paintings has been systematically and significantly assessed through distinct students who take inventory of Mann's total technique and of his account of specific sessions and ancient instances. This well timed quantity additionally comprises Mann's answer the place he solutions his critics and forcefully restates his place. it is going to attract students around the social sciences.

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The modern state developed from the ramifications of the military revolution of early modern times; this shows that the importance of the military involves not only the external relations among states – their geopolitics – but also the internal structuring which happens on a state’s territory as it builds infrastructure to support its military forces. The sphere of politics, independent of the military, grows historically because of the institutionalization of the Weberian, forcemonopolizing territorial state.

Mann’s account of the rise of the modern state is congruent with Weber’s theory of the rise of bureaucracy. Considered in Weberian terms and on the level of organization, the rise of modernity is best characterized, not as a move from feudalism to capitalism, but from the patrimonial household to bureaucratic organization. What Weber called patrimonial organization exists where the basic unit of society is the household, and larger structures are built up as networks of links among households. It is important to note that the household mode of organization is not the same thing as the family mode of organization, although they are related.

Thus the move into academic life – for this Oxford doctoral thesis became his first book, Workers on the Move (1973a) – was essentially accidental. It is important to note too that the initial entry into the profession was thoroughly empirical: a British doctorate at that time had no general courses, and so was based entirely on research. As Mann did his initial doctoral work whilst at Nuffield College, it is not surprising that the views of Alan Fox, the leftist theorist of industrial relations, had some impact upon Mann.

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