The Organizational Weapon: A Study of Bolshevik Strategy and Tactics

Quid Pro Books
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The Organizational Weapon is a classic study of the methods, propaganda, and institutions which create infiltration and eventually cooptation of organizations from within. The study applies its theory to communist techniques but its analysis and insights have, over the years, become extremely useful in perceiving and combating such methods in jihadist cells, terrorist organizations, and political groups of many varieties, not only from the Left. 

The book's continuing relevance and utility have been exemplified in how it has influenced, and been cited by, many current writers on how extremist and politically astute groups recruit and infiltrate more benign organizations and make them tools of further expansion of power and action. The book is also considered excellent social science and history, analyzing an important moment in U.S. history when trade organizations, community groups, and the like became affected by Soviet encroachment and Marxist influence. Its insights, from one of the country's most recognized social scientists, have stood the test of time.

The new digital reprint edition from Quid Pro Books features an extensive and substantive 2014 Foreword by Martin Krygier, a senior professor of law and social theory at the law school of the University of New South Wales, in Australia, and adjunct professor at Australian National University.

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About the author

Philip Selznick (1919-2010) taught generations of law and sociology students as a professor of sociology and jurisprudence & social policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He was founding chair of Berkeley's Center for the Study of Law and Society. In addition to this work, his other influential books include TVA and the Grass Roots; Law, Society and Industrial Justice; Law and Society in Transition (with Philippe Nonet); The Moral Commonwealth; The Communitarian Persuasion; and, in 2008, A Humanist Science.

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Additional Information

Quid Pro Books
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Published on
Oct 27, 2014
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History / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Communism, Post-Communism & Socialism
Political Science / Terrorism
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. In The Real North Korea, Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state. After providing an accessible history of the nation, he turns his focus to what North Korea is, what its leadership thinks, and how its people cope with living in such an oppressive and poor place. He argues that North Korea is not irrational, and nothing shows this better than its continuing survival against all odds. A living political fossil, it clings to existence in the face of limited resources and a zombie economy, manipulating great powers despite its weakness. Its leaders are not ideological zealots or madmen, but perhaps the best practitioners of Machiavellian politics that can be found in the modern world. Even though they preside over a failed state, they have successfully used diplomacy-including nuclear threats-to extract support from other nations. But while the people in charge have been ruthless and successful in holding on to power, Lankov goes on to argue that this cannot continue forever, since the old system is slowly falling apart. In the long run, with or without reform, the regime is unsustainable. Lankov contends that reforms, if attempted, will trigger a dramatic implosion of the regime. They will not prolong its existence. Based on vast expertise, this book reveals how average North Koreans live, how their leaders rule, and how both survive.
Year by year, law seems to penetrate ever larger realms of social, political, and economic life, generating both praise and blame. Nonet and Selznick's Law and Society in Transition explains in accessible language the primary forms of law as a social, political, and normative phenomenon. They illustrate with great clarity the fundamental difference between repressive law, riddled with raw conflict and the accommodation of special interests, and responsive law, the reasoned effort to realize an ideal of polity.

To make jurisprudence relevant, legal, political, and social theory must be reintegrated. As a step in this direction, Nonet and Selznick attempt to recast jurisprudential issues in a social science perspective. They construct a valuable framework for analyzing and assessing the worth of alternative modes of legal ordering. The volume's most enduring contribution is the authors' typology-repressive, autonomous, and responsive law. This typology of law is original and especially useful because it incorporates both political and jurisprudential aspects of law and speaks directly to contemporary struggles over the proper place of law in democratic governance.

In his new introduction, Robert A. Kagan recasts this classic text for the contemporary world. He sees a world of responsive law in which legal institutions-courts, regulatory agencies, alternative dispute resolution bodies, police departments-are periodically studied and redesigned to improve their ability to fulfill public expectations. Schools, business corporations, and governmental bureaucracies are more fully pervaded by legal values. Law and Society in Transition describes ways in which law changes and develops. It is an inspiring vision of a politically responsive form of governance, of special interest to those in sociology, law, philosophy, and politics.

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