Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town. By Rogers Brubaker, Margit Feischmidt, Jon Fox, and Liana Grancea (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2006) 439 pp. $35.00

Keith Hitchins
2008 Journal of Interdisciplinary History  
REVIEWS Regimes and Repertoires is a work of remarkable scope and insight, demonstrating once again why Tilly has long been one of our best interdisciplinary scholars of contentious politics. Its essential task is to analyze closely the interplay between types of regimes and varying repertoires of contention. Tilly's approach is that of a social scientist deeply rooted in history. In early separate chapters, Tilly explores the concepts of regimes and repertoires, refocusing his own considerable
more » ... is own considerable prior contributions in these areas for the purposes at hand. Consulting literary sources from Aristotle's Politics to works by Moore and Dahl, he claims the key dimensions for specifying regime types to be capacity and democracy. He creates a four-fold typology that allows him "to ask this book's main question: how do change and variation in regimes interact with change and variation in the character of contentious politics?" (29). As much as anyone, Tilly is responsible for our appreciation of the central role of repertoires in contentious politics. As he explains, "When people make collective claims they innovate with limits set by the repertoire already established for their place, time, and pair [of claimantobject]" (35)-be they bread riots, sit-ins, or suicide-bombings. He then hypothesizes that changes in repertoires will vary for claimants and powerholders, notably when regime instability increases. Then, powerholders will move "toward rigid repertoires and challengers toward more ºexible repertories" (44), including innovations more dramatic than the incremental ones that might occur during more stable times. To make this argument, Tilly introduces variations in another set of concepts with which he has long worked, the political-opportunity structure. 2 The model developed in the book involves interactions between regimes, repertoires, and the political-opportunity structure. The trajectory of change that Tilly ªnds conªrms neither accounts that emphasize top-down dynamics nor those that work from the bottom-up (113-115). He explores the interactions at the center of his model in separate chapters on collective violence, revolutions, and social movements and concludes with a chapter that summarizes his ªndings. The chapter on revolution is particularly provocative, challenging foundational assumptions about what does and does not constitute a revolution (hint: Rwanda does).
doi:10.1162/jinh.2008.38.4.617 fatcat:kzjm4gw23far7ioyezde6wnrwy