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Cities, states, trust, and rule: new departures from the work of Charles Tilly

  • Author(s): Hanagan, Michael
  • Tilly, Chris
  • et al.

In the light of his essay “Cities, States and Trust Networks,” contributors to this collection were asked to consider ways of building on or departing from the late Charles Tilly’s work. The authors in this collection addressed four major themes: (1) historicism and historical legacies, (2) trust networks and commitment, (3) city–state relations, and (4) democracy and inequality. Authors concentrating on historicism examined how, despite unanticipated consequences, social action nonetheless produced systematic, durable, social structures; they particularly focused on processes of identity formation and cultural reproduction. In regard to trust networks, contributors discovered a striking variety of forms and relationships and they investigated their origins and their relationship to institutions and culture. Looking at city–state relations, authors uncovered the richness and intricacy of the ties linking cities and states and showed that city–state relations were important not simply in terms of the autonomy or dependence of mutual ties, but also in the quality of these relationships. Besides the ties between cities and states other authors sought to focus on empires and wondered about the degree to which empire formation involved similar processes as state formation. Several authors developed this theme. Authors pursuing themes of democracy and inequality stressed how changes in citizenship and the expansion of parliamentary democratic forms might have complicated effects. The relationship between democracy and inequality was mediated by elites and institutions. Democracy constrained inequality but inequality also constrained democracy. Increased state capacity might enable states to remedy old inequities but it might also allow them to perpetrate new ones. The authors’ varied responses suggest promising directions for research on cities, states, and trust networks.

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