Legitimacy and Revolution in a Society of Masses: Max Weber, Antonio Gramsci, and the Fin-de-Sicle Debate on Social Order

Legitimacy and Revolution in a Society of Masses: Max Weber, Antonio Gramsci, and the Fin-de-Sicle Debate on Social Order

by M. F. N. Giglioli

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Questions surrounding the concept of legitimacy—the force that keeps a polity together, and whose absence causes it to shatter—are possibly the most important concern of a study of politics. M. F. N. Giglioli examines the shift to a distinctly modern understanding of the concept in Continental Europe, following the crisis of liberal rationalism in the late nineteenth century, and the search for new ways of envisaging the determinants of collective action into the twentieth century.The author examines certain aspects of the intellectual and political background of early twentieth-century theories of legitimacy elaborated by Max Weber and Antonio Gramsci. These theories are interpreted as the outcome of a contested process of redefinition of the concept, itself prompted by the social and political circumstances of the late nineteenth century, such as economic modernization and the attempt to incorporate the working class into the political system.This is the first book in a generation to offer a general reassessment of issues of legitimacy in political thought at the turn of the twentieth century. It examines the development of the concept in France, Italy, and Germany during the half-century or so following the Paris Commune. It discusses six key critics of classical Victorian liberalism on the revolutionary Left and the conservative Right. The political position and biography of each is a central focus of the study, as the culture of the age was decisively shaped by reflection on the social role of intellectuals.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This is an excellent book outlining a political debate on legitimacy that is still relevant.” —Paolo Morisi, Political Studies Review “This book is a brilliant and comprehensive treatment of past masters of social theory whose relevance looms large in our age of Occupy Wall Street. Matteo Giglioli's debut text is powerful and propitious.” —Cornel West, Class of 1943 University Professor Emeritus, Center for African American Studies, Princeton University “A provocative and yet highly subtle reconstruction of a crucial chapter in the history of political thought in modern Europe.” —Jan-Werner Müller, professor of politics and founding director of the Project in the History of Political Thought, Princeton University “This fascinating book makes an essential contribution to debates about political legitimacy. Giglioli deftly weaves together diverse strands of fin-de-siècle social and political thought, analyzing the intellectual problems that are encountered when social transformations render forms of authority relations obsolete, and press us to devise new normative and institutional solutions. His focus on revolution and violent social upheaval serves as a very important reminder of what is ultimately at stake in the debate.” —Tamsin Shaw, associate professor of European and Mediterranean studies and philosophy, New York University

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781351508988
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/28/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 260
File size: 657 KB

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