This book is dedicated to the great German sociologist and political economist Max Weber (1864—1920) and his influence on Russian society; a topic which up to now has remained largely under researched. Few people even know that Weber taught himself Russian in order to better examine the social and political problems of the country.
However, Russia has since remained at the margins of Weberian sociology for several reasons. Primarily, Weber was regarded as a challenge to Marxism-Leninism in the Soviet Union. Therefore, the authorities did not allow studies into his intellectual heritage. However, following the demise of the Soviet Union, the situation has gradually changed, and many questions have gone unanswered: How well can Western sociological theory describe a country which many consider to be “the Other” in comparison to the West? Are such Weberian core concepts as charisma, rationality, or ideal type applicable to Russian realities? Or what kind of challenge does Russia pose to the “sociological imagination”?
This volume contains eleven papers originating from a symposium organized by the Aleksanteri Institute in 2007. The scholars, from Russia, Finland, the Netherlands, Canada and Germany, in turn, discuss various aspects of Weber’s heritage and its relationship to Russia.
Josephien van Kessel
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