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Contemporary civilisational analysis has emerged in the post-Cold War period as a forming but already controversial field of scholarship. Debating civilisations seeks to evaluate the main currents of the field and its principal competitors. The author draws a unique comparison of many key scholars of civilisations, comparing civilisational analysis with competing perspectives and presenting a fresh theoretical approach. As well as tracing the lineage of the field, the book evaluates the work of S. N. Eisenstadt, Norbert Elias and Johann P. Arnason as leading contemporary scholars of civilisations against the competing paradigms of Marxism, globalisation theory and postcolonial sociology. Drawing also on the work of Cornelius Castoriadis, the author argues for an alternative approach that lays stress on the dense engagement of societies, cultures, empires and civilisations in human history. Debating civilisations will appeal to academics and postgraduate and final-year undergraduate students in the fields of history, comparative and historical sociology and social theory.