Summary: Tilly argues that a very small set of causal mechanisms (instead of variables) can explain the various manifestations of collective violence. Tilly builds a typology of collective violence based on two factors: the salience of short-run damage, and the extent of co-ordination among violent actors. The result is seven types of collective violence: violent rituals, co-ordinated destruction, opportunism, brawls, broken negotiations, scattered attacks, and individual aggression. Tilly’s project is to explain variation in the occurrence of these violent episodes, and to explain how certain episodes can emerge out of others.
Critique: The work is seen as weak by one reviewer due to its reliance on mechanisms (of which Tilly drags up 12-15) – it runs the risk of being mere description.