"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
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.