Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Charles Tilly's Problem Situations: From Class and Revolution to Mechanisms and Contentious Politics

  • Mark Lichbach (a1)

During his long and distinguished career, Charles Tilly addressed the problem situation he inherited from his teacher Barrington Moore, the situation that emerged in the middle of his studies, and the problems that arose later in his life. Moore's core themes were revolutionary classes, revolutionary violence, and the outcomes of revolution. As the 1960s and the 1970s gave way to the 1980s and 1990s, Tilly faced a different world-historical situation. So-called national liberation moments—violent and radical, communist and anti-U.S.—did not always win. And when they did succeed, radical politics was not particularly appealing. Tilly's final challenge involved rational-choice theory's drive for hegemony in explaining all outcomes—political, economic, and social—of macrohistorical change. For example, could a systematic alternative to the major approach to contention and conflict—a bargaining theory of war—be developed? To address these changing problem situations, Tilly fashioned his own unique theories, methods, and domains of inquiry. A truly seminal thinker, he pioneered now standard social-scientific approaches to mechanisms, contentious politics, and state construction. To understand Charles Tilly is therefore to understand the last fifty years of historical and comparative social science.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Robert Bates . 2008. When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Carles Boix . 2003. Democracy and Redistribution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mark Irving Lichbach . 1995. The Rebel's Dilemma. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Doug McAdam , Sidney Tarrow , and Charles Tilly . 2001. Dynamics of Contention. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Theda Skocpol . 1979. States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Charles Tilly . 2005. Trust and Rule. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Charles Tilly . 2006a. Regimes and Repertoires. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Charles Tilly . 2007. Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Charles Tilly , Louise Tilly , and Richard Tilly . 1975. The Rebellious Century: 1830–1930. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 7
Total number of PDF views: 27 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 143 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.