Originally published in 1990, this volume had two purposes. One was to shed some light on the impact that manipulativeness has on modern institutional processes. The other was to illustrate the importance of attempting militantly interdisciplinary work on themes that run through a variety of social sciences and related disciplines, as a way of breaking down excessively stifling disciplinary barriers.

Manipulativeness is a connotation-laden notion with shifting meanings across the variety of action contexts, levels of analysis, and disciplinary orientations. It absorbs the idea of strategic-mindedness, rule exploitation, situational advantage seeking, tampering with structure and context, and control of the action climate. In a way, it is a very contemporary interpretation of the theme of power, melding images of control with the experience of pervasive social ambiguity.