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"Determinism" and Comparative-Historical Analysis: Clarifying Concepts and Retrieving Past Insights

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Abstract:

This paper explores questions of determinism and relates them to the tradition of comparative-historical analysis. Starting with some conceptual ground clearing, the first part differentiates three issues that use of the term "determinism" may evoke. The main goal of this discussion is to highlight the content of the particular "determinist" stance(s) associated with each issue. The second part of the paper considers the engagements of Barrington Moore Jr. and Reinhard Bendix with "determinism." It is argued that these scholars' shared concern about determinism reflects a shared general perspective on the classic dilemma of choice/constraint (or in other words, agency/structure). Differences emerge, however, in the manner that they respond to this concern-both rhetorically in their explicit discussions and in the way that they go about the practice of historical social explanation. In discussing the concerns and responses of Moore and Bendix, the paper illustrates how the conceptual distinctions introduced earlier can facilitate the presentation and evaluation of past attempts to wrestle with the question of "determinism."

Most Common Document Word Stems:

determin (80), bendix (74), outcom (71), moor (67), causal (66), caus (65), determinist (59), account (58), stanc (53), social (52), choic (40), explan (40), histor (39), issu (39), differ (37), term (37), one (36), univers (36), explain (35), concern (34), case (31),

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Keywords: Determinism, Comparative-Historical Analysis, Barrington Moore, Reinhard Bendix
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Name: American Political Science Association
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MLA Citation:

Adcock, Robert. ""Determinism" and Comparative-Historical Analysis: Clarifying Concepts and Retrieving Past Insights" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Sheraton Boston & Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts, Aug 28, 2002 <Not Available>. 2009-05-27 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p66631_index.html>

APA Citation:

Adcock, R. , 2002-08-28 ""Determinism" and Comparative-Historical Analysis: Clarifying Concepts and Retrieving Past Insights" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Sheraton Boston & Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-27 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p66631_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper explores questions of determinism and relates them to the tradition of comparative-historical analysis. Starting with some conceptual ground clearing, the first part differentiates three issues that use of the term "determinism" may evoke. The main goal of this discussion is to highlight the content of the particular "determinist" stance(s) associated with each issue. The second part of the paper considers the engagements of Barrington Moore Jr. and Reinhard Bendix with "determinism." It is argued that these scholars' shared concern about determinism reflects a shared general perspective on the classic dilemma of choice/constraint (or in other words, agency/structure). Differences emerge, however, in the manner that they respond to this concern-both rhetorically in their explicit discussions and in the way that they go about the practice of historical social explanation. In discussing the concerns and responses of Moore and Bendix, the paper illustrates how the conceptual distinctions introduced earlier can facilitate the presentation and evaluation of past attempts to wrestle with the question of "determinism."

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Document Type: .pdf
Page count: 26
Word count: 9223
Text sample:
APSA DRAFT ``Determinism'' and Comparative­Historical Analysis: Clarifying Concepts and Retrieving Past Insights Robert Adcock adcockr@uclink4.berkeley.edu Department of Political Science University of California Berkeley Berkeley CA 94720­1950 Paper for panel on ``Probability Contingency and Determinism in Comparative­Historical Analysis.'' Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association Boston. Aug. 29 2002. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ This paper explores questions of determinism and relates them to the tradition of comparative­ historical analysis. Starting with some conceptual ground clearing the first part differentiates three issues that
Boston: Beacon Press. Moore Barrington Jr. 1978. Injustice: The Social Bases of Obedience and Revolt. White Plains New York: ME Sharpe. Moore Barrington Jr. 1985. ``Reflections on Comparative History.'' Contemporary Sociology 14 1: 14­15. Moore Barrington Jr. 1987. Authority and Inequality under Capitalism and Socialism. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Ringer Fritz. 2002. ``Max Weber on Causal Analysis Interpretation and Comparison.'' History and Theory 41 (May): 163­78. Skocpol Theda and Margaret Somers. 1980. "The Uses of Comparative History in Macrosocial Inquiry."


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