• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This is a discerning and relevant book providing an informed analysis of European society which identifies and defines contemporary issues and engages with key social theoretical perspectives. Covering the substantive historical sociological aspects of Europe (Part 1), the historical and comparative sociology of the nation-state (Part 2), and the comparative sociology of welfare capitalism (Part 3) Maurice Roche sets out a clear and effective framework for understanding the sociology of Europe.

Origins of the European Social Complex: Pre-Modernity, Commonalities and Europe as a ‘Civilisation’
Origins of the European social complex: Pre-modernity, commonalities and Europe as a ‘civilisation’

To understand the contemporary duality and complexity of Europe as a social formation it is necessary turn to the socio-historical aspect of ‘the sociological imagination’, and to explore Europe's history and development. In historical perspective, Europe's pattern of commonalities-in-difference can be addressed in part through an interest in understanding Europe as a ‘civilisation’ and interpreting the meaning of its ‘heritage’ from pre-modern to modern times.1 These are current issues for both Europeans and non-Europeans. For Europeans, they relate to questions about ‘European identity’. For non-Europeans, they relate to the everyday, political and academic processes of reviewing the claims and contributions ...

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