Tilly > Weblog

Mechanisms in Political Processes

Social Mechanisms

The article defines his ontological view of the social world as a set of bounded episodes that are made up of a complex array of small recurrent social processes. He terms this the mechanism-view of the explanation of political processes where the main goal is the identification of robust mechanisms (a delimited class of events that change relations among elements) that exist within processes (frequently occurring combinations or sequences of mechanisms) that make up episodes (bounded streams of social life). Thus, social scientific explanations should focus on the smaller processes and not the larger episodes (i.e Big Case Comparison).