Formations and Formalisms
Charles Tilly (1929–2008) was a pioneer in joining sociology and history. Throughout his career, he was especially concerned with the ways in which ordinary people made political claims, and how this was shaped by transformations in the state and in capitalism. Most often seen as a structuralist, Tilly was nevertheless deeply concerned with how to understand actors. This article traces Tilly's work from early research on French contention through his later, synthetic work on mechanisms and regimes to show how Tilly's understanding of actors, agency, culture, and social construction developed. Further, we show how this development went hand in hand with Tilly's development of distinctive methodological approaches to historical and sociological data.
"Formations and Formalisms: Charles Tilly and the Paradox of the Actor" Annual Review of Sociology 39, 1 (2013)