Social Order and the Risks of War
Papers in Political Sociology
This collection of essays by a distinguished social scientist forms an important contribution to the field of political sociology. Hans Speier has studied war as a means of understanding the organization and values of a peacetime society. His aim throughout the book is to present “knowledge pertinent to political choice,” and he believes that “such knowledge embraces the recognition of values as well as practical rules for their preservation.” Facing the moral dilemma presented by increased technological progress, his writings are based on the belief that students of contemporary Western civilization,” writes Hans Speier, “are indifference to its heritage, the ruthlessness and addiction to ideologies of powerful tyrants, and the technical progress of war. War is a phase of social life rather than an aberration from its normality, and there is no conceivable reason why its influence upon society should not be studies...” The importance of this book is such that it deserves a place in the library of every social scientist.