Identity, Interest and Action: A Cultural Explanation of Sweden's Intervention in the Thirty Years War

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März 2008



This book offers an original combination of cultural and narrative theory with an empirical study of identity and political action. It is at once a powerful critique of rational choice theories of action and a solution to the historiographical puzzle of why Sweden went to war in 1630. Erik Ringmar argues that people act not only for reasons of interest, but also for reasons of identity, and that the latter are, in fact, more fundamental. Deploying his alternative, non-rational theory of action in his account of the Swedish intervention in the Thirty Years War, he shows it to have been an attempt on behalf of the Swedish leaders to gain recognition for themselves and their country. Further to this, he demonstrates the importance of questions of identity to the study of war and of narrative theories of action to the social sciences in general.


Acknowledgements; Introduction: the beginning of the story; Part I. A Narrative Theory of Action: 1. Historical and scientific explanations; 2. The modern orthodoxy; 3. A narrative theory of action; Part II. Why Did Sweden Go to War in 1630?: 4. Historical and cultural preliminaries; 5. Fighting for a national interest; 6. Fighting for a national identity; Conclusion: the end of the story?; Notes; Bibliography; Index.


"Erik Ringmar has done a neat job of comparing rational-choice models of decision making with cultural ones in Identity, Interest and Action....this is a powerful little study, smoothly written and tightly argued that sheds light on many different areas of sociology." James M. Jasper, Contemporary Sociology
EAN: 9780521026031
ISBN: 0521026032
Untertitel: 'Cambridge Cultural Social Stud'. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: März 2008
Seitenanzahl: 252 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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