This book provides a reassessment of the significance of Max Weber's work for the current debates about the institutional and organizational dynamics of modernity. It re-evaluates Weber's sociology of bureaucracy and his general account of the trajectory of modernity with reference to the strategic social structures that dominated the emergence and development of modern society. Included here are detailed analyses of contemporary issues such as the collapse of communism, fordism, coporatism and traditionalism in both Western and Eastern societies. All of the contributors are scholars of international repute. They undertake analyses of Weber's texts and his broader intellectual inheritance to reassert the centrality of Weberian sociology for our understanding of the moral, political and organizational dilemmas of late modernity. These analyses challenge orthodox readings of Weber as the prophet of the iron cage. Instead they offer interpretations of his work which emphasize the reality of modernity as a dual process with the potential for both disarticulation of rational structures and deeper colonization of daily life.
Not only is this book essential reading for Weber specialists but it also provides compelling analyses of modernity and the inherently contingent nature of global cultural and stuctural transformation. Martin Albrow, Roehampton Institute; Stewart Clegg, University of Western Sydney; David Chalcraft, Oxford Brookes University; John Eldridge, Glasgow University; Larry J