This volume explores a rapidly emerging paradigm in the social sciences, which assumes culturally specific forms of modernity. Modernization is thus no longer equated with homogenization. Leading scholars from history, sociology, area studies, and economics discuss the concept's implications. The first part covers a range of theoretical questions arising from the new approach. Issues such as the common features of all modernities and their interrelation with regional particularities, the reasons for antinomies of modernity, and the preconditions for a peaceful coexistence of cultures are raised. The second and third parts deal with Europe and China as two specific encounters with modernity, the tensions between universalism and cultural identities, both in past and present. The fourth part analyzes how Multiple Modernities translates into formal and informal institutions of diverse capitalisms . Authors include well-known specialists Mark Juergensmeyer, Hartmut Kaelble, Bruce Mazlish and Frederic Wakeman.