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Identity, Interest and Action: A Cultural Explanation of Sweden's Intervention in the Thirty Years War (Cambridge Cultural Social Studies) Paperback – 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0521026031 ISBN-10: 0521026032 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Cultural Social Studies
  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521026032
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521026031
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,847,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Erik Ringmar has done a neat job of comparing rational-choice models of decision making with cultural ones in Identity, Interest and Action....this is a powerful little study, smoothly written and tightly argued that sheds light on many different areas of sociology." James M. Jasper, Contemporary Sociology

Book Description

This book offers an original combination of cultural and narratological analysis with an empirical study of identity and political action. A powerful critique of rational choice theory, it also provides a solution to the historiographical puzzle of why Sweden intervened in The Thirty Years War. Arguing that people act for reasons of identity, more fundamental than reasons of interest, Erik Ringmar shows the Swedish intervention to have been an attempt on behalf of Swedish leaders to gain recognition for themselves and their country.

More About the Author

Erik Ringmar is a lecturer in political science at Lund University, Sweden. He graduated from Yale University in 1993 with a PhD in political science and for 12 years he taught comparative politics at the London School of Economics. Between 2007 and 2013 he lived and worked in China, for the last two years as professor of international relations in Shanghai. He is the author of four academic book, most recently Liberal Barbarism, which deals with European imperialism in China in the 19th century. He is currently hard at work on Boredom, Colonialism and War (for Routledge), Performing International Systems (for CUP), and History of International Relations, a textbook for Open Book Publishers.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By history/I.R. type on April 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The sarcastic review of this book posted by "a reader" in 1999 is unfair. It is a well-written integration of theory and historical case study, the basic argument being that identity precedes interest (a state must know what it is before knowing what it wants). The illustrative case study shows that Sweden entered the 30 Years War for identity-centered rather than interest-centered reasons. Readers who wish to can skip some of the detailed historical analysis without losing the book's insights. The basic theoretical argument is now familiar in the literature, but this book does add more than a couple of fresh angles to it.
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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book really hits home the powerful decision by some bloke to enter the thirty year war. It examines in infinite details the decision that this man may have taken when deciding to commit himself to the war. It is really great to consider that there are still people out there who not only find the time to write such interesting books but also believe others may want to read them. I must thank Erik Ringmar for writing the perfect book on how to solve insomnia, with out this book I feel sleep may be a problem, but not now I own a copy.
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