Prof. Dr. Sam Whimster

Global Policy Institute, London Metropolitan University

Sam WhimsterSam WhimsterSam Whimster


Link zur BBC- Diskussionsrunde vom 16.01.2012 über den Verlust der protestantischen Arbeitsethik, mit Prof. Dr. Sam Whimster, Lord Andrew Mawson und Jonathan Wittenberg.


Curriculum Vitae

Sam Whimster studierte an der London School of Economics und der University of Leeds. Er promovierte an der London School of Economics über die historischen Grundlagen von Max Webers Soziologie. Er war als Dozent an der Universität Leipzig angestellt und war Research Fellow an den Universitäten Heidelberg, Tübingen und München. Sam Whimster ist Herausgeber der „Max Weber Studies“ und stellvertretender Direktor des „Global Policy Institute“ an der London Metropolitan University.
Neben Max Webers Werk liegen seine Forschungsschwerpunkte im Bereich der Historischen und Vergleichenden Soziologie, der Sozialtheorie, der Methoden empirischer Sozialforschung sowie der Stadtsoziologie Londons. Von Oktober 2011 bis Januar 2013 war Sam Whimster Fellow am Käte Hamburger Kolleg „Recht als Kultur“.


Theodor Mommsen, Max Weber and Law

Law was a formative influence on the young Max Weber. He studied it for over nine years: on going up to university through to the completion of his Habilitationsschrift. Recent publications of the Max Weber Gesamtausgabe demonstrate just how immersed Weber was in the study of law, and its debates between rational codification and historicism. Sociologists have approached law through Weber’s ideal types (formal-informal & rational-irrational), giving its study a theoretical and classificatory approach. But should not Weber’s study of law be considered in and through history and culture – the ways in which Weber learned to study law?  This is most pronounced in Weber’s study of Roman law and his curious relationship to Theodor Mommsen – not his teacher, as is often said. Nevertheless, both were part of the Berlin liberal intelligentsia (as Gangolf Hübinger has noted). Mommsen’s endorsement of Weber’s Habilitationsschrift represented a transmission of, and a modulation in, the role of the academic voice in imperial Germany (and less so an endorsement of his research about which Mommsen was quite critical). That being argued, how should the presence of law and Antiquity in Weber’s intellectual formation be assessed? The bias in Mommsen was to assume that the system of law was a coherent force in Roman history. Weber was careful not to equate social order with law, but the question has to be asked whether, in Weber, the presumption of order is assumed, and upon which the legislative academic voice will pronounce.


Publikationen (Auswahl)

  • Max Weber, Rationality and Modernity (Hrsg. mit Scott Lash), London/Boston 1987
  • Global finance and Urban Living (Hrsg. mit Leslie Budd), London/New York 1992
  • Max Weber and the Culture of Anarchy, New York 1999
  • The Essential Weber, London/New York 2004
  • Understanding Weber, London/New York 2007
  • Sociality and Pathology in Financial Institutions, in: Whimster, Sam (Hrsg.): Reforming the City. Response to the Global Financial Crisis, London 2009, S. 257-282 (Link zur PDF-Version des Buches)