• Summary
  • Contents
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Divided into two parts, this book examines the train of social theory from the 19th century, through to the `organization of modernity', in relation to ideas of social planning, and as contributors to the `rationalistic revolution' of the `golden age' of capitalism in the 1950s and 60s. Part two examines key concepts in the social sciences. It begins with some of the broadest concepts used by social scientists: choice, decision, action and institution and moves on to examine the `collectivist alternative': the concepts of society, culture and polity, which are often dismissed as untenable by postmodernists today. This is a major contribution to contemporary social theory and provides a host of essential insights into the task of social scie

The Mythical Promise of Societal Renewal: Social Science and Reform Coalitions
The mythical promise of societal renewal: Social science and reform coalitions

In the post Second World War history of the social sciences in France, Italy and West Germany, a distinct period can be detected in which a policy orientation was (re-) introduced into these disciplines, as briefly discussed in the previous chapter. In this period major research efforts were undertaken, either on specific policy areas or on the politico-administrative processes themselves, with a view to improving policy-making by putting it on a ‘scientific’ or ‘more rational’ basis. These processes took place in the 1960s and early 1970s and thus followed previous developments in the USA where the term ‘policy sciences’ (Lerner and Lasswell 1951) was ...

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