States and Collective Action

States and Collective Action : The European Experience

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It has become something of an orthodoxy of contemporary sociology that modern democratic industrial societies are essentially alike, and that they are confronted by uniform challenges, whether industrial (strikes and demonstrations), social (the 'crisis of the welfare state'), or political. In this important collection of studies Professor Birnbaum asserts, however, that the very existence of differentiation, challenge such a hypothesis. Linking historical and sociological investigation, Birnbaum argues that it is only through divergent state-formation that regional and national state variations in, for example, industrial conflict, policing or ideological configuration can be explained. His analysis of the influence of each type of state upon the development of various collective action and mobilisation processes establishes the crucial importance of the state as a quasi-independent more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139239880
  • 9781139239882

Review quote

'Lucid, systematic, and relentless, Pierre Birnbaum never lets his readers slide by with easy generalisations about political processes or their origins. His historically informed work makes all students of state formation and collective action rethink their cherished suppositions.' Charles Tilly, New School for Social Research, New York 'Pierre Birnbaum is at the forefront of comparative-historical work on states and social movements. These creative essays are sure to provoke interest - and arguments - from a broad interdisciplinary audience. It's wonderful to have them in one compact English-language volume.' Theda Skocpol, Department of Sociology, Harvardshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Mobilisation theory and the state: the missing element; 2. States, free riders and collective movements; 3. The state and mobilisation for war: the case of the French Revolution; 4. Ideology, collective action and the state: Germany, England, France; 5. Individual action, collective action and worker's strategy: the United States, Great Britain and France; 6. The state versus corporatism: France and England; 7. The Nazi collective movement against the Prussian state; 8. Territorial and ethnic mobilisation in Scotland, Brittany and Catalonia; 9. Nation, state and culture: the example of Zionism; 10. The state, the police and the West Indians: collective movements in Great Britain; Conclusion: the end of the state? from differentiation to dedifferentiation; Notes; more