Sociology Conflict Theory
by
Jörg Rössel
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 October 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0035

Introduction

Conflict theory is a rather fuzzy theoretical paradigm in sociological thinking. The term conflict theory crystallized in the 1950s as sociologists like Lewis Coser and Ralf Dahrendorf criticized the then dominant structural functionalism in sociology for overly emphasizing the consensual, conflict-free nature of societies (see Classics of the Conflict Theory Paradigm). Therefore, they put forward conflict theory as an independent paradigm of sociological theory with a distinct focus on phenomena of power, interests, coercion, and conflict. Basically, conflict theory assumes that societies exhibit structural power divisions and resource inequalities leading to conflicting interests. However, the emergence of manifest conflicts is a rather rare phenomenon, since it depends on the mobilization of power resources by social actors and on their social organization. Therefore, conflict theory assumes that societies and other forms of social organization usually exhibit rather stable structures of dominance and coercion, punctuated only infrequently by manifest conflicts. However, apart from some authors like Randall Collins (see Contemporary Works of the Conflict Theory Paradigm), only few contemporary sociologists use the label conflict theory to identify their paradigmatic stance. Thus, conflict theory has not become an established paradigm in social theory (see History and Overviews). However, apart from the notion of conflict theory as independent theoretical paradigm, the term is often used in at least three other important meanings: firstly, to summarize the theoretical tradition in sociological theory, which deals with conflict, power, domination and social change, exemplified by authors like Karl Marx, Max Weber (b. 1864–d. 1920), and Georg Simmel (b. 1858–d. 1918) (see Classics of the Conflict Theory Tradition). Secondly, it is applied to denote the analysis and explanation of social conflicts in different sociological paradigms and in other behavioral sciences (see Multiparadigmatic Conflict Theory and Perspectives from Other Disciplines). Finally, the label conflict theory is often applied to substantive research on power structures, domination, conflict, and change (see Fields of Conflict). Conflict theory as a paradigm had a kind of catalytic function in the social sciences. It was able to show that the sociological classics also had a focus on phenomena of power and conflict (see Classics of the Conflict Theory Tradition), it inspired other theoretical paradigms to broaden their focus to include hitherto neglected issues (see Multiparadigmatic Conflict Theory), and it contributed to the emergence of conflict-oriented research in several fields of sociology (see Fields of Conflict). In contemporary sociological discussions, therefore, conflict theory is less important as an independent sociological paradigm than in the various forms of conflict theorizing it has inspired.

History and Overviews

Since conflict theory is not a fully established, independent sociological paradigm, the number of introductory texts and reflections on the history of conflict theoretical thinking is rather limited. Bartos and Wehr 2002 provide a general and comprehensive introduction to the explanation of social conflict. Binns 1977 is a thorough overview of neo-Weberian and Marxist conflict theory. Bonacker 2008 gives an excellent insight into multiparadigmatic conflict theory, covering most theoretical approaches to social conflicts in contemporary social science. Collins 1994 deals exhaustively with the conflict theory tradition, especially Marx and Weber, whereas Collins 1990 creates a link between the conflict theoretical paradigm and contemporary work in comparative historical sociology. Demmers 2012 introduces the most important general theories of violent conflict. The chapter in Joas and Knöbl 2011 is an excellent overview of classic work in the conflict theory paradigm in the 1950s and discusses reasons for the demise of conflict theory as an independent sociological paradigm. Finally, Turner 2003 briefly discusses the conflict theoretical tradition and the classical conflict theory paradigm and focuses especially on contemporary neo-Weberian, neo-Marxist, and feminist conflict theory.

  • Bartos, Otomar J., and Paul Wehr. 2002. Using conflict theory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511613692Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This is a comprehensive approach to the explanation of social conflict. It has an introductory character and links different theoretical perspectives with empirical examples.

    Find this resource:

    • Binns, David. 1977. Beyond the sociology of conflict. New York: St. Martin’s.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      This is a historical reflection of the conflict theoretical tradition, focusing especially on the Weberian and neo-Weberian tradition in its relationship to Marxism.

      Find this resource:

      • Bonacker, Thorsten, ed. 2008. Sozialwissenschaftliche Konflikttheorien: Eine Einführung. Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        This volume covers a broad range of social scientific theories dealing with the phenomenon of social conflict. All contributions have a systematic structure and introduce complex theories in a very comprehensible way.

        Find this resource:

        • Collins, Randall. 1994. The conflict tradition. In Four sociological traditions. By Randall Collins. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          This monograph introduces the history of sociological theory by focusing on four major strands of theory building: the conflict, the rational/utilitarian, the Durkheimian or normative, and the micro-interactionist tradition. Because of the author’s readable style and the annotated list of references, the book’s first chapter is a very good introduction to the conflict theoretical tradition.

          Find this resource:

          • Collins, Randall. 1990. Conflict theory and the advance of macro-historical sociology. In Frontiers of social theory. Edited by George Ritzer, 68–87. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            This chapter discusses the contemporary situation of conflict theoretical thinking and links the classical conflict theory paradigm to contemporary work in comparative historical sociology, especially the work in Mann 1986–2013 (see Contemporary Works in the Conflict Theory Paradigm). It thereby illustrates Collins’s rather encompassing notion of the term conflict theory.

            Find this resource:

            • Demmers, Jolle. 2012. Theories of violent conflict: An introduction. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              This is a book with an introductory character. It explains the most important theories of violent conflict of social psychology, sociology, and political science.

              Find this resource:

              • Joas, Hans, and Wolfgang Knöbl. 2011. Conflict sociology and conflict theory. In Social Theory: Twenty introductory lectures. By Hans Joas and Wolfgang Knöbl, 174–198. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                This book gives an exhaustive and readable overview of contemporary sociological theorizing. It was originally published in German (Sozialtheorie) in 2004. The chapter not only introduces the main authors and discussions of the classical conflict theory paradigm of the 1950s and 1960s, but it also depicts the failure of conflict theory to establish itself fully as an independent sociological paradigm.

                Find this resource:

                • Turner, Jonathan H. 2003. The structure of sociological theory. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  The four sub-chapters about conflict theorizing offer a very dense and systematic account of classical and contemporary conflict theory, especially in its neo-Weberian, neo-Marxian, and feminist variety. Turner presents the theories in a very analytic way, summarizing each of them by providing tables of major, empirically testable propositions.

                  Find this resource:

                  Handbooks and Textbooks

                  Similar to the introductory texts and histories of conflict theory, the range of handbooks and textbooks covering conflict theory is rather narrow. Collins 1994 contains selected readings covering the history of conflict theory from the classics to contemporary work. The chapter in Rössel and Collins 2001 mainly deals with current developments of conflict theory and their major problems and challenges. Heitmeyer and Hagan 2003 is a state-of-the-art handbook on violent conflicts in different social fields and thus covers only one aspect of conflict theory.

                  • Collins, Randall, ed. 1994. Four sociological traditions: Selected readings. Rev. and expanded ed. Edited by Randall Collins. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    The first section of this volume contains selected readings covering the history of conflict theory from the classics, like Marx and Weber. It also contains a piece by Ralf Dahrendorf, one of the founders of conflict theory, as a paradigm and two further, more contemporary works by Gerhard Lenski and Randall Collins.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Rössel, Jörg, and Randall Collins. 2001. Conflict theory and interaction rituals. In Handbook of sociological theory. Edited by Jonathan H. Turner, 509–531. New York: Plenum.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      This chapter has a focus on recent developments of conflict theory, especially in the micro-interactionist version developed by Randall Collins. It deals mainly with the current state of conflict theory, its problems, and its future directions.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Heitmeyer, Wilhelm, and John Hagan, eds. 2003. International handbook of violence research. 2 vols. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.

                        DOI: 10.1007/978-0-306-48039-3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        This is a comprehensive handbook on violent conflict. It deals with the main forms and manifestations of violence in different social arenas and its main causes and theories.

                        Find this resource:

                        Classics of the Conflict Theory Tradition

                        This section contains references to the most important authors making up the conflict theoretical tradition in sociology. The authors assembled in this section are not part of a conflict theoretical paradigm in a strict sense. However, their work is often taken as a starting point for classical and contemporary conflict theory. Apart from the important work by Karl Marx, covered in Marx 1990 and Marx 2000, it covers Weber 1978, Michels 1999, Mannheim 1991, and Simmel 1964. Michels, Mannheim and Simmel are not included in the selected readings compiled in Collins 1994 (cited under History and Overviews).

                        • Mannheim, Karl. 1991. Ideology and utopia. London: Routledge.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          This book was one of the founding statements of the sociology of knowledge. Following Marx, it explained groups’ thoughts in a materialist fashion based on their social position. The book is an enlarged translation of an earlier German version (Ideologie und Utopie), which appeared in 1929.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Marx, Karl. 1990. Capital: A critique of political economy. Vol. 1. Translated by Ben Fowkes. London: Penguin.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            This is the first volume of Marx’s Capital, his extensive analysis of capital, value, labor, and the process of capitalist accumulation. It appeared originally in German (Das Kapital) in 1867.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Marx, Karl. 2000. Selected writings. 2d ed. Edited by David McLellan. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              This is one of the most comprehensive editions of selected writings by Marx in English. It contains his works on the materialist conception of history, the relevance of class struggle, the state, and some pieces on economics.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Michels, Robert. 1999. Political parties: A sociological study of the oligarchical tendencies of modern democracy. Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                This book introduced the idea of organizational power struggles into sociology. It shows with a focus on the example of the German social democratic party how organizational elites establish their domination by using organizational hierarchies. The book appeared in German (Zur Soziologie des Parteiwesens in der modernen Demokratie) in 1911.

                                Find this resource:

                                • Simmel, Georg. 1964. Conflict and the web of group affiliations. Translated by Kurtt H. Wolff and Reinhard Bendix. New York: Free Press.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  Simmel’s chapter on conflict was originally contained in his magnum opus (Soziologie), which appeared in German in 1908. It includes his ideas about conflict as a form of interaction and sociation. Furthermore, in developing his own version of conflict theory in the 1950s, Coser 1972 relied mainly on this chapter (see Classics of the Conflict Theory Paradigm).

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Weber, Max. 1978. Economy and society: An outline of interpretive sociology. Vol. 1. Edited by Gunther Roth and Claus Wittich, and Translated by Efraim Fischoff, et al. Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    This translation of Weber’s masterpiece from German (Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 1921–1922) includes not only his main theoretical ideas about the micro-foundation of sociological theory and explanation, but also his substantive analysis of households and families, ethnic groups, economy, and stratification, as well as of state and bureaucracy.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    Classics of the Conflict Theory Paradigm

                                    This section includes the main works that were important for the foundation of modern conflict theory as a paradigm. They are mainly from the 1950s and 1960s. Bendix 2001 stands as an exemplar of the comparative historical sociology wing of conflict theory. Bernard 1954 is in contrast the earliest link between sociological conflict theory and game theory. Coser 1972 represents the author’s important attempt to develop a conflict theoretic addition to the then dominating structural functionalism. Dahrendorf’s works (Dahrendorf 1958 and Dahrendorf 1959) constitute the even more radical suggestion to develop conflict theory as an independent paradigm. Lockwood 1964 is an attempt to link the level of conflicting actors and the level of systemic contradictions. Rex 1998 is also a foundational account of conflict theory, relying mainly on Marx and Weber as theoretical inspirations. In contrast, Mills 2000 is an insightful descriptive analysis of the structure of the American power elite in the 1950s.

                                    • Bendix, Reinhard. 2001. Work and authority in industry: Ideologies of management in the course of industrialization. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      This comparative work on industrialization and ideologies of management is a pathbreaking analysis of the organizational forms of domination and its legitimating ideologies. In contrast to much work in conflict theory, it focuses on the varieties of ruling-class organization and not mainly on working-class organization.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Bernard, Jessie. 1954. The theory of games of strategy as a modern sociology of conflict. American Journal of Sociology 59:411–424.

                                        DOI: 10.1086/221387Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        This is a pioneering article, introducing game theory in non-mathematical form to sociologists and emphasizing the contribution of game theory to the sociology of conflict. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Coser, Lewis. 1972. The functions of social conflict. London: Routledge.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          This is one of the foundational texts of conflict theory as a theoretical paradigm in sociology. It unfolds a theoretical approach on the causes, the development, and the consequences of social conflicts in a thorough interpretation of Simmel 1964 (see Classics of the Conflict Theory Tradition).

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • Dahrendorf, Ralf. 1958. Out of utopia: Toward a reorientation of sociological analysis. American Journal of Sociology 64:115–127.

                                            DOI: 10.1086/222419Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            This short paper contains the most vigorous attack on structural functionalism and simultaneously the clearest endorsement for a reorientation of sociological theory toward conflict theory. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Dahrendorf, Ralf. 1959. Class and class conflict in industrial society. Rev. and expanded ed. Translated by Ralf Dahrendorf. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              This book comprises a thorough interpretation of Marx’s theory of class conflict and a theoretical and empirical critique of it. On the basis of this discussion, Dahrendorf develops a new conceptualization of class conflict, which focuses on relations of domination as basis of social conflicts. This book appeared in German (Soziale Klassen und Klassenkonflikt in der industriellen Gesellschaft) in 1957.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Lockwood, David. 1964. Social integration and system integration. In Explorations in social change. Edited by George K. Zollschan and Walter Hirsch, 244–257. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                This is one of the most intellectually stimulating texts in the discussion between structural functionalism on the one hand and conflict theory on the other. Lockwood shows that the analysis of collective social conflicts has to be structurally based on the analysis of underlying systemic contradictions.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Mills, C. Wright. 2000. The power elite. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  First published in 1956, this book is a classic analysis of the US power elite, consisting of the triangle of political, military, and economic elites. They are related to one another by attending the same elite educational institutions, by participating in the same social circles, and by entering into the private relations of friendship and marriage.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • Rex, John. 1998. Key problems in sociological theory. London: Routledge.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    In its reference to Marx and Weber as precursors of modern conflict theory, this book has helped to shape the notion of a conflict theoretical tradition in sociology.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    Contemporary Works of the Conflict Theory Paradigm

                                                    One of the few major contemporary sociological theorists adhering to the conflict theory paradigm is Randall Collins. Therefore, three of his major works are present in this list: Collins 1975, Collins 1998, and Collins 2004. Collins counts Michael Mann’s four volumes on the Social Sources of Power (Mann 1986–2013 in this section; see Collins 1990 in History and Overviews) as the most important contribution to macro-sociological conflict theory, providing a formidable historical account of major shifts in power structures from the beginnings of human history to the present. Rössel 2002 represents one of the few studies that empirically test theorems of classical conflict theory with quantitative methods. Rueschemeyer 1986 represents one of the rare attempts to explain and study social differentiation outside of structural functionalism and systems theory. Tilly 1984 is a major paradigmatic statement of comparative historical sociology.

                                                    • Collins, Randall. 1975. Conflict sociology: Toward an explanatory science. New York: Academic Press.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      This is an encyclopedic summary of sociological knowledge from a conflict theoretical point of view, covering major sociological fields from everyday behavior to class cultures, organizations, states, and even the sociology of science.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Collins, Randall. 1998. The sociology of philosophies: A global theory of intellectual change. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Collins worked for decades on this study. It gives a theoretical account, based on an impressive knowledge and analysis of philosophy in most world regions, of philosophical developments in the major philosophical traditions. The book shows that even the development of ideas is amenable to a conflict theoretical explanation.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        • Collins, Randall. 2004. Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          Collins’s most important contribution to conflict theory is his attempt to provide a micro-foundation for it. In this book, his theory of interaction ritual chains is fully presented for the first time and illustrated with several examples (smoking, stratification, sexuality).

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Mann, Michael. 1986–2013. The sources of social power. 4 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                            DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511570896Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            These four volumes cover the most important changes in the history of human societies, like the emergence of stratification or the formation of states. Furthermore, Mann explains these social transformations by relying on a model of power networks, which shares most theoretical assumptions with contemporary work in conflict theory.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Rössel, Jörg. 2002. Die klassische Konflikttheorie auf dem Prüfstand: Determinanten der Intensität und Gewaltsamkeit von sozialen Konflikten. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Soziologie 28:47–67.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              This paper has a focus on the intensity and duration of conflicts. It empirically tests hypotheses derived from Coser’s and Dahrendorf’s theories by using quantitative data on strikes.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Rueschemeyer, Dietrich. 1986. Power and the division of labour. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                Usually topics like the division of labor or functional differentiation of society are discussed in structural functionalism or in systems theory. In contrast, Rueschemeyer’s book gives a conflict-theoretical, power-oriented explanation. The theoretical analysis is substantiated by empirical case studies of organizational control, processes of professionalization, and dedifferentiation.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                • Tilly, Charles. 1984. Big structures, large processes, huge comparisons. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Tilly’s book is a classic paradigmatic statement of comparative historical sociology, laying down not only the foundations for comparative sociological work, but also theoretical principles of historical sociology. Without professing to be a conflict theoretical work, it shares core ideas of the conflict theoretical tradition.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  Multiparadigmatic Conflict Theory

                                                                  The conflict theory paradigm emerged as a reaction to structural functionalism, which was perceived as depicting society as overly consensual and conflict free. Since the 1950s, several general sociological theories emerged that explicitly treat social conflict as a normal and important social phenomenon. Therefore, they have taken up the central message of conflict theory, but without adhering to conflict theory as a paradigm. Bourdieu 1984 is especially important for a contemporary analysis of class stratification and culture. Giddens’s two volumes, Giddens 2010 and Giddens 1992, deal with basic foundations of sociological theory, social and historical change, and state formation. Knight 1992 gives a concise account of the importance of social conflict in rational-choice explanations of institutions. Korpi 1983 and Korpi 1985 are also based on a rational-choice framework; however, they are closely linked to the empirical analysis of class mobilization, power structures, and political institutions in contemporary societies. Luhmann 1996 represents the author’s approach to social conflicts in terms of autopoietic, i.e. self-referential systems theory. In contrast, Schwinn 2001 is a neo-Weberian approach to social differentiation with obvious similarities to the conflict theoretical paradigm. Finally, Schelling 1980 is a classic approach to social conflict from a game-theoretic perspective.

                                                                  • Bourdieu, Pierre. 1984. Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Translated by Richard Nice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Bourdieu’s work is based on the conflict theoretical tradition, especially on Marxist and Weberian ideas. In this monograph, Bourdieu presents his masterly account of class stratification and its cultural reproduction in France. Originally published in French (La distinction, critique sociale du judgement) in 1979.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Giddens, Anthony. 2010. The constitution of society. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      This monograph is the main theoretical work of Anthony Giddens. It gives a comprehensive account of social structures, systems, and their reproduction linking agency and structure (structuration theory). Originally published in 1984.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • Giddens, Anthony. 1992. A contemporary critique of historical materialism. Vol. 2, The nation state and violence. Cambridge, MA: Polity.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        This book studies a rather neglected topic in sociology, the interlinkage between state and nation-state formation, military changes, and violence. It is an original study connecting historical analysis with theoretical reflection. Originally published in 1985.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Knight, Jack. 1992. Institutions and social conflict. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511528170Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          This book is a marvelous critique of contemporary economic explanations of institutions. Knight accurately shows that rational-choice theory is able to explain the emergence of institutions only if conflicting interests, power asymmetries, and the distributional consequences of institutions are taken into account.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Korpi, Walter. 1983. The democratic class struggle. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            This is a systematic and empirical analysis of the importance of class conflict in contemporary societies, with a specific focus on the mobilization of power resources by capital and labor. Korpi especially studies political and industrial conflicts and their impact on industrial relations and welfare-state institutions.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • Korpi, Walter. 1985. Power resources approach vs. action and conflict: On causal and intentional explanations in the study of power. Sociological Theory 3:31–45.

                                                                              DOI: 10.2307/202223Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              This is a pathbreaking paper for conflict theory, since it shows precisely that a focus on manifest conflicts leads away from most important social phenomena. Instead, Korpi suggests analyzing the underlying power distributions, which lead sometimes to conflict, but more often to acquiescence and anticipatory obedience. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • Luhmann, Niklas. 1996. Social systems. Translated by John Bednarz, Jr., and Dirk Baecker. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                This is the first major exposition of Luhmann’s theory of autopoietic systems. In chapter 9, the author deals explicitly with the emergence of contradictions and conflicts in communicative autopoiesis. It was originally published in German in 1984 (Soziale Systeme).

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • Schelling, Thomas. 1980. The strategy of social conflict. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  This is a pathbreaking attempt to apply game theory to the study of social conflict. In a clear and precise language, Schelling studies phenomena of international relations like deterrence, war, and bargaining from a game-theoretic perspective.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Schwinn, Thomas. 2001. Differenzierung ohne Gesellschaft. Weilerswist, Germany: Velbrück.

                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Schwinn’s monograph criticizes autopoietic systems theory and its approach to functional differentiation. In contrast, the author proposes and depicts an alternative theory of differentiation that is very much in line with conflict theory, based on a thorough interpretation of Max Weber.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    Perspectives from Other Disciplines

                                                                                    Some stimulating work on social conflicts and theoretical approaches with similarities to conflict theory are also found in other disciplines like economics, psychology, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology. Bowles and Gintis 1990 is an attempt to reconstitute the micro-foundations of Marxist economics, whereas Bowles, et al. 1986 presents a neo-Marxist approach to accumulation theory. In contrast, Hirshleifer 2001 represents an analysis of social conflicts from a more mainstream economic perspective. Of course, social psychology has a long history of analyzing conflict and aggression. Forgas, et al. 2011 is a comprehensive overview of this research. In contrast, Daly and Wilson 1988 is a classic study on violent conflict from the perspective of evolutionary psychology. Finally, Harris 2001 has strong similarities to conflict theory in sociology. The book selected for this bibliography is the author’s paradigmatic theoretical work.

                                                                                    • Bowles, Samuel, and Herbert Gintis. 1990. Contested exchange: New microfoundations for the political economy of capitalism. Politics and Society 18:165–222.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1177/003232929001800202Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      Bowles and Gintis show in this theoretical paper that if economists take the idea of self-interested action seriously, most of the liberal or neoclassical ideas about markets become untenable and issues like asymmetries of power and domination come to the fore. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Bowles, Samuel, David M. Gordon, and Thomas E. Weisskopf. 1986. Power and profits: The social structure of accumulation and the profitability of the postwar U.S. economy. Review of Radical Political Economics 18:132–167.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1177/048661348601800107Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        The authors introduce their social structure of accumulation approach in this paper. In this theoretical approach, profits are explained as the result of the specific structure of institutions, power, and conflicts. The model is supported with econometric evidence. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Daly, Martin, and Margo Wilson. 1988. Homicide. Foundations of Human Behavior. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          This is a standard work on violent interpersonal conflict from the perspective of evolutionary psychology. It lays down the basic assumptions about the shaping of human behavior by evolutionary selection and tests them on the basis of empirical data.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Forgas, Joseph P., Arie W. Kruglanski, and Kipling D. Williams, eds. 2011. The psychology of social conflict and aggression. New York: Psychology Press.

                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            This volume represents a comprehensive and up-to-date account of psychological approaches to the phenomena of social conflict and aggression.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Harris, Marvin. 2001. Cultural materialism: The struggle for a science of culture. Updated ed. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Marvin Harris’s work in anthropology is based on cultural materialism: the attempt to explain cultural phenomena like ideologies or food preferences on the basis of material interests and structural aspects of societies. This paradigmatic idea is explained in this primarily theoretical book.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Hirshleifer, Jack. 2001. The dark side of the force: Economic foundations of conflict theory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                Economics usually assumes that people better their material situation by productive or exchange activities. In this book, Hirshleifer uses economic theory combined with evolutionary approaches to explain phenomena like social conflict, war, and rent seeking.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                Fields of Conflict

                                                                                                The conflict theory paradigm emerged in a period when sociology neglected social conflict and structural crises as topics and overly emphasized the progressive and consensual character of Western societies. Since the 1950s, the study of social conflicts has become a major part of social science. This research has of course been stimulated by the conflict theoretical debates of the 1950s and 1960s, and the main contemporary theoretical approaches show strong similarities to the basic assumptions of conflict theory. In the context of this entry, it is only possible to name references for some empirical fields. However, many important areas like family conflict, terrorism, war, and international conflict are necessarily left out.

                                                                                                Economic and Organizational Conflict

                                                                                                Organizations and the economy are major arenas of social conflict with important consequences for social stratification, domination hierarchies, and social change. Bacharach and Lawler 1980, Edwards 1996, and Fligstein 1990 focus mainly on intra-organizational power struggles. Whereas Bacharach and Lawler (Bacharach and Lawler 1980) provide a general model, which links social psychological assumptions with organizational structures, Edwards’s study analyzes the historical transformations of workplaces from a neo-Marxist perspective, and Fligstein focuses on the development of corporate control from a neo-institutionalist point of view. Franzosi 1995, Korpi and Shalev 1980, and Shorter and Tilly 1974 study industrial conflict, a rather neglected topic in sociology, which mainly focuses on the more fashionable new social movements. Whereas Tilly and Shorter analyze strikes from a rather state-centered perspective, Korpi and Shalev apply a power-resource model to the explanation of strikes. Franzosi provides the theoretically most differentiated treatment of industrial conflict in the literature. Rössel 2006 gives an overview of the most important forms of conflict in the economy. Finally, the four volumes on the development of the modern world system contain Wallerstein’s neo-Marxist analysis of the origin and transformation of modern capitalism (Wallerstein 2011).

                                                                                                • Bacharach, Samuel B., and Edward J. Lawler. 1980. Power and politics in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  This book provides a systematic account of intra-organizational struggles. It links social psychological assumptions about behavior with organizational structures and thus provides testable theorems about the causes, process, and outcomes of organizational conflict.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Edwards, Richard. 1996. Contested terrain: The transformation of the workplace in the twentieth century. New York: Basic Books.

                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    This book studies class conflict in capitalist organizations from the late 19th to the late 20th century. It shows how class domination and class conflict are shaped by workplace struggles, and vice versa. Originally published in 1979.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • Fligstein, Neil. 1990. The transformation of corporate control. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Fligstein analyses the transformations of corporate control structures in the huge US corporations as the outcome of struggles between different corporate factions pursuing different visions of corporate control.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Franzosi, Roberto. 1995. The puzzle of strikes: Class and state strategies in postwar Italy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511571534Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        Franzosi’s book is an extremely thorough analysis of the development of strikes in postwar Italy. The author does not only test major theories of strikes and social movements, but he also shows how strikes and strike waves transformed the Italian economy.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Korpi, Walter, and Michael Shalev. 1980. Strikes, power, and politics in the Western nations, 1900–1976. Political power and social theory 1:301–334.

                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          This article compares the development of strikes in eighteen Western countries over the 20th century, on the basis of a Marxist-inspired power-resource perspective. The authors apply multivariate statistical analysis to test major theories of strikes.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • Rössel, Jörg. 2006. Conflict. In International encyclopedia of economic sociology. Edited by Jens Beckert and Milan Zafirovski, 92–95. Abingdon, UK, and New York: Routledge.

                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            This is a short paper introducing a general definition of social conflict and classifying major forms of conflict in the economy, from the ubiquitous price struggle in ordinary economic transactions to intra-firm struggles and industrial conflict.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            • Shorter, Edward, and Charles Tilly. 1974. Strikes in France, 1830–1968. London: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              This is a groundbreaking study for sociological research on industrial conflicts. Its emphasis is on the importance of social organization and political contention for the development of strike patterns. Therefore, Shorter and Tilly show that strikes in France were often a form of struggle for political power.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • Wallerstein, Immanuel. 2011. The modern world-system. 4 vols. Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                In these four volumes, Wallerstein traces the development of the modern capitalist world system from the late 15th century onward. He attempts to show that an explanation of capitalism has to include the systemic exploitative links between peripheral and core countries.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                Education and Stratification

                                                                                                                Social stratification is one of the most important topics of conflict theory, since it is the starting point for many explanations of social conflict. Therefore, only a small selection of the relevant literature can be mentioned here. The classic statements of a conflict theoretical explanation of stratification are Tumin 1953 and Lenski 1984. With the educational expansion in the United States and other Western countries, the analysis of stratification shifted more and more to the analysis of educational stratification, exemplified by Bourdieu and Passeron 2000, Collins 1979, and Karabel 2005. However, Bradley, et al. 2003 shows that a conflict theoretical approach is also able to explain income inequality. Chafetz 1990 and Blumberg 1984 are attempts to tackle gender inequality from a conflict theoretical point of view.

                                                                                                                • Blumberg, Rae Lesser. 1984. A general theory of gender stratification. Sociological Theory 2:23–101.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/223343Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  This paper develops a comprehensive explanation of gender stratification from a conflict theoretical point of view. Thus, on the one hand it also takes biological and ideological variables into account, but on the other hand the theoretical core of the explanation is based on each sex’s economic power. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  • Bourdieu, Pierre, and Jean-Claude Passeron. 2000. 2d ed. Reproduction in education, society and culture. Translated by Lois Wace. London: SAGE.

                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    This is a selection of classic papers originally published in French by Bourdieu and his collaborator Passeron. They exemplify the mechanism of cultural reproduction of class structures in studies of the French educational system, mainly in the 1960s.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Bradley, David, Evelyne Huber, Stephanie Moller, François Nielsen, and John D. Stephens. 2003. Distribution and redistribution in postindustrial democracies. World Politics 55:193–228.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1353/wp.2003.0009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      This paper tests major hypotheses of power-resource theory in a quantitative analysis of the development of income inequality in Western countries. It shows that income distribution is strongly dependent on the distribution of class power resources. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      • Chafetz, Janet Saltzman. 1990. Gender equity: An integrated theory of stability and change. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.

                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        This is an attempt to integrate micro- and macro-sociological theories to develop a full-scale model of gender inequality in different spheres of society.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • Collins, Randall. 1979. The credential society: An historical sociology of education and stratification. New York: Academic Press.

                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          This is a classic analysis of educational expansion from a conflict theoretical point of view. It shows that the process of technological change and the upgrade of skill requirements are not able to explain the increasing number of educational credentials and the rising number of professionalized occupations. Collins argues that processes of competition and conflict between different social status groups are the main causal condition for this development.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Karabel, Jerome. 2005. The chosen: The hidden history of exclusion and admission at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            This is an in-depth study of the history of the admission process at the three major universities of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. The author precisely shows how certain status groups were deliberately excluded or recruited by these organizations.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            • Lenski, Gerhard E. 1984. Power and privilege: A theory of social stratification. Chapel Hill: North Carolina Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              This is the classic conflict theoretical statement on the development of stratification. Basically, Lenski argues that the distribution of surplus scarce goods depends on the power structure of societies. In his study, he covers all types of societies from hunter-gatherers to modern industrial societies. Originally published in 1966.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Tumin, Melvin M. 1953. Some principles of stratification: A critical analysis. American Sociological Review 18:387–394.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/2087551Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                This was the first paper that critically attacked a functionalist explanation of social inequality from a conflict theoretical point of view. Instead, Tumin suggests an explanation focusing on material interest and power. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                Social Movements and Protest

                                                                                                                                The field of social movement and protest research is most clearly linked to the upsurge of conflict theoretical thinking since the 1950s and 1960s. It is not at all possible to mention even the most important references or theoretical approaches here, since this is a flourishing and highly differentiated field of research. This article focuses especially on those approaches with a distinctive similarity to classic conflict theory. The resource-mobilization perspective, represented here by McCarthy and Zald 1977, especially took up conflict theoretical ideas. This is also true for the political-opportunity structure approach, exemplified by McAdam 1999; McAdam, et al. 1988; and Tilly 1978. Moore 1978 on the one hand and Snow, et al. 1986 on the other add an interpretive perspective, since they show that the successful mobilization for protest is always dependent on the successful framing of certain issues as unjust. Piven and Cloward 1977 shows that radicalism is an important ingredient for a successful lower class movement.

                                                                                                                                • McAdam, Doug. 1999. Political process and the development of black insurgency, 1930–1970. 2d ed. Chicago: Chicago Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226555553.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  This is a highly influential study of the rise of the black protest movement in the United States. This book introduces the political process approach, which especially emphasized the role of shifting opportunity structures for the emergence of social protest.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • McAdam, Douglas, John D. McCarthy, and Mayer N. Zald. 1988. Social movements. In Handbook of sociology. Edited by Neil J. Smelser, 695–737. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.

                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    This is a comprehensive overview of social movement research, focusing especially on the resource-mobilization approach on the one hand and the political process model on the other.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    • McCarthy, John D., and Mayer N. Zald. 1977. Resource mobilization and social movements: A partial theory. American Journal of Sociology 82:1212–1241.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1086/226464Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      This groundbreaking article introduces resource-mobilization theory into social movement research. It basically argues that the main causes of social protest are not deprivation or psychological strain, but the availability of protest resources. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      • Moore, Barrington. 1978. Injustice: The social bases of obedience and revolt. White Plains, NY: M. E. Sharpe.

                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        This is a historical study of the development of the German labor movement. Moore shows that deprivation or inequalities as such were not sufficient for the successful recruitment of workers. Revolt starts when inequalities are framed as unjust and political and social alternatives are considered as legitimate.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Piven, Frances Fox, and Richard A. Cloward. 1977. Poor people’s movements: Why they succeed, how they fail. New York: Pantheon.

                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          This is a comparative study of the labor movement and the unemployed-workers’ movement in the United States in the 1930s and the civil rights and the welfare rights movement in the 1960s. The authors basically argue that the only successful strategy for lower-class movements is a radical strategy of disruption.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Snow, David A., E. Burke Rochford, Jr., Steven K. Worden, and Robert D. Benford. 1986. Frame alignment processes, micromobilization and movement participation. American Sociological Review 51:464–481.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2307/2095581Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            This important paper introduced the idea that grievances or interests are not simply given, but have to be meaningfully interpreted. This is an important addition to more objectivistic approaches in social movement research. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            • Tilly, Charles. 1978. From mobilization to revolution. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Tilly’s book gives a rather comprehensive view of social movements and social protests. The author’s basic view is that social movements and protests are forms of power struggles between excluded and established social groups.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              Revolution

                                                                                                                                              Revolution is the most fascinating but also a rather infrequent form of social conflict. Therefore, there is a steady sociological interest in that topic. Since the 1970s, there have been several studies of revolutions, which are strongly in line with conflict theoretical assumptions. Whereas Paige 1978 focuses mainly on class relations as conditions for agrarian revolutions, Goodwin 2001 and Skocpol 2008 emphasize the political opportunity structures shaped by major state crises. Goldstone 1991 has developed a comprehensive model of revolutions integrating demographic pressure in agrarian societies. Finally, Wickham-Crowley 1993 represents an attempt to reconstruct the multi-causal conditions leading to successful guerrilla movements.

                                                                                                                                              • Goldstone, Jack. 1991. Revolution and rebellion in the early modern world. Berkeley and Los Angeles: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                Goldstone’s book is a thorough comparative historical study of political and social processes in England, France, and the Ottoman Empire in the early modern world. The author shows that demographic developments are crucial to understand the onset of revolutionary crises.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                • Goodwin, Jeff. 2001. No other way out: States and revolutionary movements, 1945–1991. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511812125Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Goodwin’s study focuses on revolutionary movements in Southeast Asia, Central America and Eastern Europe. In his comparative analysis the author discusses the explanatory strength and limits of the state-centered perspective on revolutions put forward in Skocpol 2008.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  • Paige, Jeffery. 1978. Agrarian revolution. New York: Free Press.

                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    In this book, Paige develops a class-based explanation of different forms of agrarian movements. He combines quantitative statistical analysis with three dense case studies of Peru, Angola, and Vietnam.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    • Skocpol, Theda. 2008. States and social revolutions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      In this pathbreaking book, Skocpol develops a structuralist, state-centered explanation of social revolutions, relying on a thorough comparative historical analysis of political and social developments in France, Russia, and China. Originally published in 1979.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      • Wickham-Crowley, Timothy. 1993. Guerrillas and revolution in Latin America: A comparative study of insurgents and regimes since 1956. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Wickham-Crowley’s book studies the multi-causal conditions for the success of revolutionary movements in Latin America. The study is methodologically interesting, because it applies qualitative comparative analysis to discover multiple causalities.

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        State and Democracy

                                                                                                                                                        The formation of modern states and their democratization are exemplary topics of comparative historical sociology. Most studies rely on theoretical concepts with a strong similarity to the conflict theory paradigm. Anderson 1979 on the development of absolutism is a rich historical survey based on a neo-Marxist class-based approach. In contrast, the volume in Evans, et al. 2010 emphasizes the causal importance of state structures for historical developments. Collins 1986, Downing 1992, Ertman 1997, and Tilly 2008 develop this state-centered perspective further by considering the importance of military power and war. A full-fledged multidimensional conflict theoretical approach considering class structures and state structures is applied to explain the development of democracy in Moore 1993 on the one hand and especially by Rueschemeyer, et al. 1994 on the other.

                                                                                                                                                        • Anderson, Perry. 1979. Lineages of the absolutist state. London: New Left Books.

                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          This is a comprehensive comparative historical treatment of the development of absolutist states in Eastern and Western Europe. Anderson’s explanatory approach is based on the analysis of the crisis of the feudal mode of production and the related shifts in class structure. Originally published in 1974.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Collins, Randall. 1986. The future decline of the Russian Empire. In Weberian sociological theory. By Randall Collins, 186–210. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511557682.009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            This essay, containing Collins’s prediction of the dissolution of the Soviet Empire, was originally presented in a talk in 1980. It is theoretically based on the author’s geopolitical analysis of the development of state power.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            • Downing, Brian. 1992. The military revolution and political change. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              This is a comparative historical treatment of state development and democracy in six Eastern and Western European countries. Downing develops the thesis that the survival of medieval forms of constitutional government was dependent on the military involvement of states and was crucial for the early onset of representative forms of government in early modern Europe.

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              • Ertman, Thomas. 1997. Birth of the leviathan: Building states and regimes in medieval and early modern Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511529016Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                Ertman studies the different forms of government that emerged in Eastern and Western European states in the early modern period. He differentiates the explanation in Downing 1992 by emphasizing the role of timing and the representation of class interests in parliamentary institutions.

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                • Evans, Peter B., Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol, eds. 2010. Bringing the state back in. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  This publication crystallized the state-centered approach in comparative historical sociology, an approach that added the importance of state structures to previous structural and conflict theoretical explanations. The book contains studies on the role of states for economic development and the shaping of social conflict, as well as research on the transnational embeddedness of the state. Originally published in 1985.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • Moore, Barrington. 1993. Social origins of dictatorship and democracy: Lord and peasant in the making of the modern world. Boston: Beacon.

                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    This is one of the classic studies of comparative historical sociology comparing the political and social development of England, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, the United States, and India. It explains the emergence of three regime types (fascism, communism, democracy) mainly on the basis of agrarian class structures.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    • Rueschemeyer, Dietrich, Evelyne Huber, and John D. Stephens. 1994. Capitalist development and democracy. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      This book studies the development of democracy in Europe and the Americas. In contrast to Moore 1993, this book relies on a fully fledged conflict theoretical model, taking not only class structures into account, but also state structures and their transnational embeddedness. Furthermore, they point out that the accomplishment of full democracy was in most countries driven by coalitions between the working and the middle class. Originally published in 1992.

                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                      • Tilly, Charles. 2008. Coercion, capital and European states: AD 990–1992. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        In this book, Tilly paints a comprehensive picture of European state development over a millennium. In his explanation of different outcomes, he relies on a multidimensional theory emphasizing different configurations of economic development, class, and state structures and military involvement. Originally published in 1990.

                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                        back to top

                                                                                                                                                                        Article

                                                                                                                                                                        Up

                                                                                                                                                                        Down