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Post-Imperial Democracies
Ideology and Party Formation in Third Republic France, Weimar Germany, and Post-Soviet Russia


Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

  • Date Published: July 2010
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521709859

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About the Authors
  • This book examines the causal impact of ideology through a comparative-historical analysis of three cases of 'post-imperial democracy': the early Third Republic in France (1870–86); the Weimar Republic in Germany (1918–34); and post-Soviet Russia (1992–2008). Hanson argues that political ideologies are typically necessary for the mobilization of enduring, independent national party organizations in uncertain democracies. By presenting an explicit and desirable picture of the political future, successful ideologues induce individuals to embrace a long-run strategy of cooperation with other converts. When enough new converts cooperate in this way, it enables sustained collective action to defend and extend party power. Successful party ideologies thus have the character of self-fulfilling prophecies: by portraying the future polity as one organized to serve the interests of those loyal to specific ideological principles, they help to bring political organizations centered on these principles into being.

    • First book-length comparison of post-Soviet Russia with Weimar Germany and Third Republic France
    • First book to show empirically how ideology can play a causal role in determining fate of party systems in uncertain new democracies
    • First book to present a new interpretation of Max Weber's theory of politics that is relevant to contemporary comparative politics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In many respects, Stephen E. Hanson's intellectually provocative and conceptually innovative study is an attempt to refute the argument … that ideology would fade away in our post-industrial, postmodern, post-utopian and post-historical age.' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521709859
    • length: 306 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I:
    1. Weberian methodological individualism
    2. A Weberian theory of ideology
    3. Ideology and party formation
    Part II:
    4. The founding of the French Third Republic
    5. The rise and fall of the Weimar Republic
    6. Post-Soviet Russia
    7. Conclusion: bringing ideology back in.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Democracy and Dictatorship
    • Honors Contemporary Multicultural Studies
  • Author

    Stephen E. Hanson, College of William and Mary, Virginia
    Stephen E. Hanson is the Vice Provost for Global Affairs and the Herbert J. Ellison Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. Hanson is the author of Time and Revolution: Marxism and the Design of Soviet Institutions (1997), which received the 1998 Wayne S. Vucinich book award from the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. His more recent publications include Postcommunism and the Theory of Democracy (2001, with Richard Anderson Jr., M. Steven Fish, and Philip Roeder), and articles in journals including Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, and East European Politics and Societies. He also served as Assistant General Editor of the Cambridge University Press Series in Comparative Politics until 2008.

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