State Formation, Nation-Building, and Mass Politics in Europe: The Theory of Stein Rokkan

State Formation, Nation-Building, and Mass Politics in Europe: The Theory of Stein Rokkan

State Formation, Nation-Building, and Mass Politics in Europe: The Theory of Stein Rokkan

State Formation, Nation-Building, and Mass Politics in Europe: The Theory of Stein Rokkan

Synopsis

Stein Rokkan was one of the leading social scientists of the post-war world. He was a prolific writer, yet nowhere is his contribution to social science - the conceptual and developmental map of Europe - presented in an integrated and systematic way. Stein Rokkan had plans to do this but died before the work could be started. Drawing on Rokkan's published, unpublished, and translated writings, this book systematizes and integrates Rokkan's numerous writings in the way he wanted to do himself.

Excerpt

The Norwegian Stein Rokkan was one of the world's leading social scientists since World War II. And yet his work has remained surprisingly unknown. This is certainly not true for the single pieces which have made him famous, but it is correct for the fundamental unity of the thinking that underlies his numerous scattered publications.

Rokkan played a unique role in organising international social science co-operation: as Secretary of the IPSA/ISA Committee on Political Sociology and Chairman of the ISSC Committee on Comparative Research under UNESCO, as President of the International Political Science Association and Vice-President of the International Sociological Association, as Chairman of the European Consortium for Political Research and President of the International Social Science Council of UNESCO.

But he always remained what he basically was: a Renaissance scholar, completely dedicated to pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge-- in a deeply humane and communicative effort. His greatest and enduring achievement may have been his attempt to link the old tradition of macrosociology to the new developments of social science databases and methodology. He was fascinated by the work of the classic social scientists who had analysed similarities and differences in social and political organisation, their origins, stability, and change. At the same time he also believed in the 'technical revolution' of the social sciences which could provide more detailed comparisons on the basis of ecological or micro-data collections.

As is the case of so many other people, the editors owe him a great deal, intellectually and personally. With the editing of this book we wish to repay some of our debt. But the repayment comes late. Rokkan died in 1979, and a year later the ECPR launched the idea of publishing Rokkan's collected works. For one reason or another this idea was never realised. Much too late, in the early 1990s, we began to 'reanimate' the idea. We soon became convinced, however, that instead of editing 'collected works', a more fruitful task would be to select, edit . . .

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