- Copyright Page
- About the Editors
- Abbreviated Titles for Max Weber’s Texts
- Chronology of Max Weber’s Life
- Max Weber Past, Present, and Future
- Economics and Society and the Fate of Liberal Capitalism
- Max Weber’s Analysis of Capitalism
- Money, Credit, and Finance in Capitalism
- Law and the Development of Capitalism
- Is There a Future for Bourgeois Liberalism?
- Contemporary Capitalism and the Distribution of Power in Society
- Weberian Social Theory: Rationalization in a Globalized World
- Democracy, Partisanship, and Civil Society
- Nation, Nation-State, and Nationalism
- The Weberian City, Civil Society, and Turkish Social Thought
- The Modern State and Its Monopoly on Violence
- The Relevance of Weber’s Conception and Typology of Herrschaft
- The Supranational Dimension in Max Weber’s Vision of Politics
- Plebiscitary Politics and the Threats to Legality: Some Classical Insights on a Current Phenomenon
- Politics and Ethics, and the Ethic of Politics
- Max Weber’s Ethics for the Modern World
- Max Weber and the Late Modernization of Catholicism
- The “Disenchantment of the World” or Why We Can No Longer Use the Formula as Max Weber Might Have Intended
- The Literati and the Dao: Vernacular and Nation in China
- Class, Caste, and Social Stratification in India: Weberian Legacy
- Including Islam
- The Study on Ancient Israel and Its Relevance for Contemporary Politics
- The Rationalizations of Culture and Their Directions
- Max Weber and the Sociology of Music
- Contemporary Life Conduct and Existential Cultures
- From Occidental Rationalism to Multiple Modernities
- Max Weber and the Idea of the Occident
- Intellectuals, Scholars, and the Value of Science
- The Iron Cage in the Information Age: Bureaucracy as Tangible Manifestation of a Deep Societal Phenomenon
- Causation, Value Judgments, Verstehen
- Realism and Reality in Max Weber
Abstract and Keywords
Concepts of civil society and despotism played a fundamental role in Western interpretations of modern society, defined as a civilization, through construction of the “other.” On the one hand, modern social forms were explained through the concept of civil society and related notions of citizenship; on the other, premodern and non-Western societies were described as static and archaic through the concept of despotism. In the case of Weber’s work, demonstrating the uniqueness of the West was fundamental to his treatment of cities and citizenship. He relied on analyses of the birth and rise of the institutions and social structure of cities in the West to explain the development of modern capitalism. In this context his theory of patrimonialism gained acceptance within contemporary Turkish social science. Based on Weberian ideas, some historians and sociologists argued that Ottoman society had a despotic structure with an absence of civil society. According to this view, the “middle class” found in Western societies did not develop in Turkish society, and this absence became an obstacle to modernization. An alternative view held that this perspective resulted from a misinterpretation of the context of the Weberian approach, which was developed basically in order to explain Western modernity. However, these views were not designed to explain Ottoman society or to analyze contemporary problems and suggest appropriate solutions to the problems of civil society today.
Lutfi Sunar is associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Istanbul Medeniyet University, Turkey. His major research interests are classical sociological theory, orientalism, social change, and stratification. He has published various articles in international journals. Among his recent books are Marx and Weber on Oriental Societies (2014), Eurocentrism at the Margins: Encounters, Critics and Going Beyond (as editor, 2016), Debates on Civilization in the Muslim World: Critical Perspectives on Islam and Modernity (as editor, 2016), Toplumsal Değişim (2018), and Sosyal Tabakalaşma (2018).
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.