Max Weber studies have been radically transformed since the 1980s. The author continues this revision by reading Weber as a thoroughly political thinker. Weber’s key concept is Chance, a concept that allows us to study politics as contingent activity and to understand both the actions of politicians and the presence of the political aspect in research.
This collection contains essays from 1999 to 2014 and a new introduction. The first part deals with Weber’s concept of politics and the politician as an ideal type, the second discusses Weber’s reinterpretations of key political concepts of freedom, democracy, parliament, nation and the state. The third part links Weber’s concept of ‘objectivity’ with the parliamentary style of politics. The essays set Weber’s political thought in relationship to his predecessors (Constant, Bagehot, Nietzsche), contemporaries (Sombart, Schmitt, Benjamin), later (Arendt, Sartre) or contemporary scholars (Skinner, Koselleck) and current Weber studies (Hennis, Scaff, Ghosh).
'In this very needed monograph on Max Weber's political thought, Kari Palonen engages through the work of this great theorist with some of the most urgent issues of our times, like the role of temporality in political deliberation, the relationship between ethics and politics, and the political style of thinking and acting politically. A tour de force and a challenging text for those who study and practice politics.'
Nadia Urbinati, Columbia University