Political modernities: Disentangling two underlying dimensions of institutional differentiation

Sociological Theory 20 (1):61-85 (2002)
Abstract
This article recommends that we recover two old contrasts from the history of social thought in order to facilitate the recently renewed discussion of multiple variants of European political modernity. Recovering them greatly aids in clarifying the different "modernizing" paths that the European-system polities took during the state-consolidation and nation-building periods of the "long nineteenth century." Specifically, the basic polity forms delineated in this article capture strikingly well the distinctive "institutional logics" and political cultures of the Anglo, Nordic, Germanic, and French orbits, legacies enduring through the 1960s and beyond. Clarifying these polity forms also helps in isolating underlying institutional changes occurring in the contemporary (post-World War II) period (current institutional convergence, for example)
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