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Charles Tilly

America's most prolific and interesting sociologist is unknown in Britain, which shows how far the discipline has faded here. Tilly offers insights on everything from riots to the persistence of inequality

By Geoff Mulgan   September 2005

Why are women paid less than men? Why were there riots in some northwestern English cities in 2000 but not in London? What is the significance of bloggers, or of the World Social Forum? One of the strange features of our times is that well-educated people can get by with very little idea of how to answer questions like these. Over the last few decades, we have witnessed great progress in the public’s level of scientific understanding, thanks to many brilliant expositors. In history, too, some of the most original minds are also first rate communicators. Much of economics has…

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