Plasticity into Power
Comparative-Historical Studies on the Institutional Conditions of Economic and Military Success
A Verso book
Volume 3 of Politics, a work in constructive social theory.
Plasticity into Power works out, through historical examples, a major theme of Unger's work – the relation between institutional and organizational flexibility and the development of our collective ability to produce or to destroy. The message of the book is that the practical success of a society depends on its capacity for permanent innovation. Certain practices and institutions – the history and content of which Unger explores – can nurture this capacity.
Unger pursues this topic through wide-ranging historical inquiries into the European escape from the recurring crises that foreclosed political and economic breakthroughs in the great empires of the past; the invention of revolutionary approaches to the governmental protection of wealth; and the social conditions of military success, viewed as sources of insight into the social foundations of economic growth. Throughout, Plasticity into Power exemplifies a conception of the relation between theory and history that remains faithful to the surprising, open-ended quality of lived experience.
- November 2004
- 5.4 × 8.7 in
/ 232 pages
- Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies and the Philippines.
Endorsements & Reviews
“[Unger] does not make moves in any game we know how to play ... [His] book may someday make possible a new national romance ... [It] will help the literate ... citizens of some country to see vistas where before they saw only dangers – see a hitherto undreamt-of national future ...” — Richard Rorty
“A philosophical mind out of the Third World turning the tables, to become a synoptist and seer of the First.” — Perry Anderson
Also by Roberto Mangabeira Unger
New edition / Paperback
Second Edition / Paperback