In setting out to address this and similar questions, this book investigates issues that have been substantially neglected by those working in sociology and social theory. Anthony Giddens offers a sociological analysis of the nature of the modern nation-state and its association with the means of waging war. His analysis is connected in a detailed way to problems that have traditionally preoccupied sociologists - the impact of capitalism and industrialism upon social development in the modern period. The result is a theory both of the institutional parameters of modernity and of the nature of international relations.
The book is a sequel to the author's much discussed Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism. The framework of social theory outlined in that work is here elucidated in a systematic and thorough-going fashion. The novel and provocative ideas which the author develops will interest those working in a wide variety of disciplines: sociology, politics, geography and international affairs.