Identities, Affiliations, and Allegiances

Cambridge University Press
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Where do political identities come from, how do they change over time, and what is their impact on political life? This book explores these and related questions in a globalizing world where the nation state is being transformed, definitions of citizenship are evolving in unprecedented ways, and people's interests and identities are taking on new local, regional, transnational, cosmopolitan, and even imperial configurations. Pre-eminent scholars examine the changing character of identities, affiliations, and allegiances in a variety of contexts: the evolving character of the European Union and its member countries, the Balkans and other new democracies of the post-1989 world, and debates about citizenship and cultural identity in the modern West. These essays are essential reading for anyone interested in the political and intellectual ferment that surrounds debates about political membership and attachment, and will be of interest to students and scholars in the social sciences, humanities, and law.
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About the author

Seyla Benhabib is Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy and Director of the Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale University, Connecticut. Her most recent publications include Transformation of Citizenship: Dilemmas of the Nation-State in the Era of Globalization (2000), The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global World (2002) and The Rights of Others: Aliens, Residents and Citizens (2004) which won the Ralph Bunche award of the American Political Science Association and the North American Society's best book in Social Philosophy award.

Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University, California and Henry R. Luce Director of the Yale Center for International and Area Studies. His most recent publications include The Moral Foundations of Politics (2003), The State of Democratic Theory (2003), The Flight From Reality in the Human Sciences (2005) and Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Fight over Taxing Inherited Wealth (with Michael J. Graetz, 2005).

Danilo Petranovich is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Yale University, Connecticut. His research focuses on the shaping of American allegiances from the Founding period through the Civil War.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Aug 2, 2007
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Pages
364
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ISBN
9781139464376
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / History & Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In this captivating yet troubling book, Ian Shapiro offers a searing indictment of many influential practices in the social sciences and humanities today. Perhaps best known for his critique of rational choice theory, Shapiro expands his purview here. In discipline after discipline, he argues, scholars have fallen prey to inward-looking myopia that results from--and perpetuates--a flight from reality.

In the method-driven academic culture we inhabit, argues Shapiro, researchers too often make display and refinement of their techniques the principal scholarly activity. The result is that they lose sight of the objects of their study. Pet theories and methodological blinders lead unwelcome facts to be ignored, sometimes not even perceived. The targets of Shapiro's critique include the law and economics movement, overzealous formal and statistical modeling, various reductive theories of human behavior, misguided conceptual analysis in political theory, and the Cambridge school of intellectual history.


As an alternative to all of these, Shapiro makes a compelling case for problem-driven social research, rooted in a realist philosophy of science and an antireductionist view of social explanation. In the lucid--if biting--prose for which Shapiro is renowned, he explains why this requires greater critical attention to how problems are specified than is usually undertaken. He illustrates what is at stake for the study of power, democracy, law, and ideology, as well as in normative debates over rights, justice, freedom, virtue, and community. Shapiro answers many critics of his views along the way, securing his position as one of the distinctive social and political theorists of our time.

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