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And she was the first to draw out the implications.

Big Structures, Large Processes, Huge Comparisons

She writes:. Instead, I insisted on a structural perspective to get at the historically unfolding intersections of the efforts of differently situated and differently motivated groups — groups not operating under the shared rubric of a revolutionary ideology. They come.

Big Structures Large Processes HUGE Comparisons

The initial stages of the Iranian Revolution obviously challenged my previously worked-out notions about the causes of social revolutions. Three apparent difficulties come immediately to mind. She goes on to attempt to draw general lessons from the Revolution which both modify and extend her earlier work. Our accumulated knowledge about revolutions may still be incomplete, but it is richer and more complete than it would have been had Skocpol not been as persistent.

So while I agree that predictions are impossible, its nevertheless important to make them. The only way to test a prediction is to hold it up against evidence. The key is to get the predictions on the record before those events occur and then to be honest about reassessing them as information comes to light.

Posted in current events , mere empirics , political science , social movements , uncategorized. Tagged with current events , political science.

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Subscribe to comments with RSS. I agree that one way to overcome some of the tautology of the revolution and macro-soc literature is to make predictions.


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The ancient Chinese and Roman Empires are often compared due to their synchronous and analogous developments from warring states into universal empires. Atlantic history studies the Atlantic World in the early modern period. It is premised on the idea that, following the rise of sustained European contact with the New World in the 16th century, the continents that bordered the Atlantic Ocean—the Americas, Europe, and Africa—constituted a regional system or common sphere of economic and cultural exchange that can be studied as a totality.

Its theme is the complex interaction between Europe especially Britain and France and the New World colonies. It encompasses a wide range of demographic, social, economic, political, legal, military, intellectual and religious topics treated in comparative fashion by looking at both sides of the Atlantic. Although a relatively new field, it has stimulated numerous studies of comparative history especially regarding ideas, [11] colonialism, [12] slavery, economic history, and political revolutions in the 18th century in North and South America, Europe and Africa.

Beginning with German and French sociologists of the late 19th century, modernization models have been developed to show the sequence of transitions from traditional to modern societies, and indeed to postmodern societies. This research flourished especially in the s, with Princeton University setting up seminars that compared the modernization process in China, Japan, Russia and other nations. Modernization theory and history have been explicitly used as guides for countries eager to develop rapidly, such as China.

Indeed, modernization has been proposed as the most useful framework for world history in China, because as one of the developing countries that started late, "China's modernization has to be based on the experiences and lessons of other countries.

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The field of comparative history often overlaps with the subdivision of political science known as comparative politics. Mordechai Zaken compared two non-Muslim minorities in Kurdistan, the Jews and the Assyrian Christians in their relationships with their Muslim rulers and tribal chieftains during the 19th and 20th centuries.

As an alternative to those timeless, placeless models of social change and organization, Tilly argues convincingly for a program of concrete, historically grounded analysis and systematic comparison. To illustrate the strategies available for such research, Tilly assesses the works of several major practitioners of comparative historical analysis, making skillful use of this selective review to offer his own speculative, often unconventional accounts of our recent past.


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  7. Historically oriented social scientists will welcome this provocative essay and its wide-ranging agenda for comparative historical research. Other social scientists, their graduate and undergraduate students, and even the interested general reader will find this new work by a major scholar stimulating and eminently readable.

    This is the second of five volumes commissioned by the Russell Sage Foundation to mark its seventy-fifth anniversary. This book should find attentive readers both in undergraduate courses and in graduate seminars. It should also find appreciative readers, for Tilly is a writer as well as a scholar. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.

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    Big Structures, Large Processes, Huge Comparisons

    Sort order. Apr 18, Marc rated it liked it Shelves: history , historiography.

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    This booklet is now more than 30 years old. And since it is mainly a literature study a critical discussion of various, earlier publications , it inevitably is somewhat dated. But Charles Tilly is not just anyone he was a leading historical sociologist, at the end of last century , and the global guidelines he gives remain relevant.

    In the first place this is the guideline to always refer back to concrete historical data when you talk about major social processes, otherwise you only build cast This booklet is now more than 30 years old. In the first place this is the guideline to always refer back to concrete historical data when you talk about major social processes, otherwise you only build castles in the air as a historian, I like to hear something like that of course. And secondly, he gives a number of very specific methodological guidelines for doing comparative historical analysis.