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By R. Schroeder

An Age of Limits outlines a brand new social conception for knowing modern society. supplying an research of why political, fiscal and cultural powers face constraints around the international North and past, this daring e-book argues that forces which tackle present demanding situations needs to confront the bounds of the interaction among dominant institutions.

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This was generally a unidirectional process across all (modern Northern) nation-states, even if there have been authoritarian and other rights-revoking reversals. Thus ultimately there is a single arc of increasing popular legitimation over the course of modernity. It is a similar case with bureaucratization, which consists of a unidirectional growth throughout the modern period of administrative capacity, even if there have been periods of greater intensity of authoritarian state bureaucracies, and possibly a recent plateauing.

These approaches overlook, in my view, first, that social change does not take place in the same way as it did before the modern period (this has been argued already), but also, secondly, that there are different mechanisms that operate differently in these social orders. 7 ‘Systems’ or ‘power’ would carry with them certain baggage, but I could have equally used ‘spheres’ (Weber sometimes used this term) or ‘structures’ if three 24 An Age of Limits structures could be said to sit side by side, or ‘powers’ if that did not prejudge how power was exercised.

The key question, as we shall see, is to examine the varieties of democratic states from a sociological perspective: how do plural powers correspond with the reach and depth of rights? In the final analysis, as mentioned, I will argue that while the liberal and radical interpretations of the trajectories of modern states differ (but also overlap on key points), it is the normative implications that can be derived from them that set them apart. And although there are also different types of democratic states – they have diverged – even more important is that they now also face similar constraints.

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