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In this concluding volume of his trilogy on social theory, W. G. Runciman applies to the case of twentieth-century English society the methodology (distinguishing reportage, explanation, description, and evaluation) and theory of the preceding two volumes. Volume III shows how England’s capitalist mode of production, liberal mode of persuasion, and democratic mode of coercion evolved in the aftermath of the First World War from what they had been since the 1880s, but then did not, in turn, evolve significantly following the Second World War. The explanation rests on an analysis of the selective pressures favouring some economic, ideological, and political practices over others in an increasingly complex environment, neither predictable nor controllable by policy-makers. This is supported by a graphic account of the changes themselves and how they were experienced by different segments of English society.