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Identity, Interest and Action
A Cultural Explanation of Sweden's Intervention in the Thirty Years War

£33.99

Part of Cambridge Cultural Social Studies

  • Author: Erik Ringmar, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Date Published: March 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521026031

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About the Authors
  • This book offers an original combination of cultural and narrative theory with an empirical study of identity and political action. It is at once a powerful critique of rational choice theories of action and a solution to the historiographical puzzle of why Sweden went to war in 1630. Erik Ringmar argues that people act not only for reasons of interest, but also for reasons of identity, and that the latter are, in fact, more fundamental. Deploying his alternative, non-rational theory of action in his account of the Swedish intervention in the Thirty Years War, he shows it to have been an attempt on behalf of the Swedish leaders to gain recognition for themselves and their country. Further to this, he demonstrates the importance of questions of identity to the study of war and of narrative theories of action to the social sciences in general.

    • Radically new theory of action, combining cultural and political approaches in the spirit of Alessandro Pizzorno
    • Controversial critique of rational choice theory
    • Offers a solution to the classic puzzle of why Sweden intervened in the Thirty Years War
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521026031
    • length: 252 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.392kg
    • contains: 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    Introduction: the beginning of the story
    Part I. A Narrative Theory of Action:
    1. Historical and scientific explanations
    2. The modern orthodoxy
    3. A narrative theory of action
    Part II. Why Did Sweden Go to War in 1630?:
    4. Historical and cultural preliminaries
    5. Fighting for a national interest
    6. Fighting for a national identity
    Conclusion: the end of the story?
    Notes
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Erik Ringmar, London School of Economics and Political Science

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