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Modern Life and Its Discontents: Politics & Government


Modernity: ...That Machiavelli is considered a founder of a new form of political science indicates the significance of this vision for the social sciences. Indeed, modernity gave rise both to the kinds of societies or social relations studied by the field as well as to widespread notions about what it means to practice science. Yet it is an ambivalent term....

from: International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd ed. 2008


Modernization: Modernization was a theory of global social change, as well as an American political project. Articulated across several disciplines by American social scientists from the 1950s through the 1970s, the concept of modernization defined a universal, historical process through which traditional societies became modern...

from: International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd ed. 2008


Modernization Theory: This entry traces the evolution of modernity from the theories of the 1950s through the present time, focusing especially on the varied forms that modernity has taken and its relationship to changing concepts of power and the legitimacy of the nation-state. The entry concludes with a look at the impact of globalization and at the negative aspects of modernity...

from: International Encyclopedia of Political Science, 2011


Postmodernism:...Superficially, postmodernism conveys a temporal notion of what comes after modernity. It is, at least in this respect, the ideational equivalent of postmodernity conceived as a new social formation. Yet we should be extremely wary of any suggestion that postmodernity as a social formation gives rise to postmodernism as a set of ideas—a suggestion generally made by those who represent postmodernism in hostile terms as the ideology of late capitalism.... 

from: Encyclopedia of Political Theory, 2010

Key Figures

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       Karl Marx*                  Thomas Hobbes             Adam Smith                     Max Weber*


*{{PD-1923}} – published before 1923 and public domain in the US.

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