This chapter will provide a constructivist, "identity-driven" argument about transhistorical change in social orders and social institutions. I have developed this argument elsewhere in an attempt to provide a reconstructive theoretical framework for international relations that seeks to explain historical transformation of the international system (Hall 1999). Integral to the argument are interactions among social forces that operate between societies, as well as within societies. This is a "society-centric" rather than a "state-centric" analysis. This form of analysis transcends the disciplinary boundaries between comparative and international politics. Thus I hope the argument may be of value to scholars interested in constructivist approaches to understanding a range of questions central to the subdiscipline of comparative politics.