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UnderstandingSociety
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Innovative thinking about social agency and structure in a global world
Innovative thinking about social agency and structure in a global world

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Science policy and the Cold War
The marriage of science, technology, and national security took a major step forward during and following World War II. The secret Manhattan project, marshaling the energies and time of thousands of scientists and engineers, showed that it was possible for ...

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Social science or social studies?
A genuinely difficult question is this: does the idea of a rigorous "social science" really make sense, given what we know of the nature of the social world, the nature of human agency, and the nature of historical change? There are of course large areas of...

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The soft side of critical realism
Critical realism has appealed to a range of sociologists and political scientists, in part because of the legitimacy it renders for the study of social structures and organizations. However, many of the things sociologists study are not "things" at all, but...

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Mechanisms according to analytical sociology
One of the distinguishing characteristics of analytical sociology is its insistence on the idea of causal mechanisms as the core component of explanation. Like post-positivists in other traditions, AS theorists specifically reject the covering law model of ...

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Moral limits on war
World War II raised great issues of morality in the conduct of war. These were practical issues during the war, because that conflict approached "total war" -- the use of all means against all targets to defeat the enemy. So the moral questions could not be...

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How organizations adapt
Organizations do things; they depend upon the coordinated efforts of numerous individuals; and they exist in environments that affect their ongoing success or failure. Moreover, organizations are to some extent plastic : the practices and rules that make th...
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