I forgot to make a note of this yesterday, so I’ll do so now: Kieran Healy of Crooked Timber has flagged the fact that Mann’s conclusion to The Sources of Social Power is going to be published in two parts. Volume 3 will be entitled ‘Global Empires and Revolution, 1890-1945’, which is a bit odd as Volume 2 already covered social change up to the First World War. Volume 4 will be ‘Globalizations, 1945-2011’, which indicates that Mann eventually decided against emphasising global crises in the title.
I wish I had known this about 2 months ago when I wrote a review for Mann’s ‘Power in the 21st Century’, in which Mann discusses (with eminent sociologist John A Hall no less) the evolution of his thought between Volumes 2 and 3. Oh well. My review, to be published by the end of the year, should at least come out ahead of the publication of Volume 3.
In any case, Vols. 3 and 4 may have been a long time coming (19 years) but it seems very likely that they will cement Mann’s position as the most compelling grand theorist in historical sociology alive today. Hopefully international relations theorists will sit up and take notice, not just because of the theoretical sophistication and empirical detail of Mann’s work but also due to the fact that the two new volumes look like they will squarely confront many of the issues on the home turf of IR theory such as war, hegemony and global empire. Unfortunately Mann, Tilly and other historical sociologists have never had the impact their work deserves in IR theory. Indeed much of the engagement on the part of IR scholars has been cursory and shallow. But these are failings within the discipline and their discussion belongs in a different post.