1st Edition

Explosive Conflict Time-Dynamics of Violence

By Randall Collins Copyright 2022
    322 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    322 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This sequel to Randall Collins' world-influential micro-sociology of violence introduces the question of time-dynamics: what determines how long conflict lasts and how much damage it does. Inequality and hostility are not enough to explain when and where violence breaks out. Time-dynamics are the time-bubbles when people are most nationalistic; the hours after a protest starts when violence is most likely to happen. Ranging from the three months of nationalism and hysteria after 9/11 to the assault on the Capitol in 2021, Randall Collins shows what makes some protests more violent than others and why some revolutions are swift and non-violent tipping-points while others devolve into lengthy civil wars. Winning or losing are emotional processes, continuing in the era of computerized war, while high-tech spawns terrorist tactics of hiding in the civilian population and using cheap features of the Internet as substitutes for military organization. Nevertheless, Explosive Conflict offers some optimistic discoveries on clues to mass rampages and heading off police atrocities, with practical lessons from time-dynamics of violence.

    Introduction: Emergent and Self-Propelling Conflicts, Part 1. Time-Dynamics, 1 C-Escalation and D-Escalation: A Theory of the Time-Dynamics of Conflict, 2 Time-Bubbles of Nationalism, 3 Tipping Point Revolutions and State Breakdown Revolutions: Why Revolutions Succeed or Fail, 4 Time-Dynamics of Violence from Micro to Macro, Part 2. The Eye of the Needle: Emotional Processes, 5 Material Interests Are Ambiguous, So Interaction Rituals Steer Political Movements, 6 Mood-Swings in the Downfall of the English Revolution, 7 When History Holds Its Breath: The Take-Off of the French Revolution, 8 Assault on the Capitol: 2021, 1917, 1792, Part 3. War and Sport: Dynamics of Winning, Losing, and Stalemate, 9 The Micro-Sociology of Sport, 10 Battle Dynamics: Victory and Defeat, 11 High-Tech War in Theory and Reality, 12 Terrorist Tactics: Symbiosis with High-tech, Part 5. Violence in Everyday Life, 13 Emotional Domination and Resistance to Sexual Aggression, 14 Clues to Mass Rampage Killers, 15 Cool-Headed Cops Needed (and Cool Heads on the Street): Heart-Rate Monitors Can Help, Conclusion: Optimistic Discoveries in the Sociology of Violence


    Randall Collins is the Dorothy Swaine Thomas Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. His articles and books are influential in many academic disciplines throughout the world. His books include Violence: A Micro-Sociological Theory, The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change, and Conflict Sociology: A Sociological Classic Updated (Routledge).

    "This book is a major contribution to Collins’ influential theories of violence. It has a breadth and novelty of argument that can’t be found elsewhere."

    -- Ralph Schroeder, Oxford University

    "Collins offers a fresh and provocative perspective on the sociology of violence and grand theory."

    --Elijah Anderson, Yale University

    "Collins offers a way forward for sociology free of moralizing, doctrine, and prejudice that infects the work of others. Although instructors of a very wide range of courses teach Collins’s many books, this book is clearly a great choice for courses on sociological theory, historical sociology, political sociology, sociology of violence and conflict, and courses on public order/crowds/movements."

    --Anthony King, University of Warwick