Main Currents in Sociological Thought: Durkheim, Pareto, Weber - Vol. 2

By Raymond Aron; Richard Howard et al. | Go to book overview
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VI
Political Sociology

I SHALL NOW discuss briefly the chapter of Economy and Society devoted to political sociology. As a matter of fact, Weber discusses political sociology twice in this posthumous work, once in the first volume when he is expounding his typology of forms of domination, and again in the second volume when he is elaborating the differentiation of political regimes observed throughout history, a differentiation which the typology set forth in the first volume helps to explain.

I have chosen these chapters of political sociology for three reasons. It is easier to reveal the broad lines of Weber's political sociology than to summarize his economic sociology. My account will be skeletal and thin compared with the richness of Weber's text, but it should not be a complete betrayal of Weber's thought, whereas a résumé of his economic sociology would have to be much lengthier.

The second reason for my choice is that Weber's political sociology is directly inspired by his interpretation of the contemporary situation of imperial Germany and Western Europe. Weber's political sociology will help us to perceive his major intention, which was to understand our time in the light of universal history or, what amounts to the same thing, to make universal history intelligible in that it culminates

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