The political ideology of neoliberalism is widely recognized as having influenced the organization of national and global economies and public policies since the 1970s. In this article, we examine the relationship between the neoliberal variant of globalization and science. To do so, we develop a framework for sociology of science that emphasizes closer ties among politicalsociology, the sociology of social movements, and economic and organizational sociology and that draws attention to patterns of increasing (...) and uneven industrial influence amid several countervailing processes. Specifically, we explore three fundamental changes since the 1970s: the advent of the knowledge economy and the increasing interchange between academic and industrial research and development signified by academic capitalism and asymmetric convergence; the increasing prominence of science-based regulation of technology in global trade liberalization, marked by the heightened role of international organizations and the convergence of scientism and neoliberalism; and the epistemic modernization of the relationship between scientists and publics, represented by the proliferation of new institutions of deliberation, participation, activism, enterprise, and social movement mobilization. (shrink)
A standard problem in empirical inquiry is how to adjudicate between contending theories when they work from different fundamental assumptions. In the field of politicalsociology, several strategies are adopted, from metatheoretical and comparative historical approaches to the recent formal models of scientific growth proposed by Imre Lakatos and Larry Laudan. After considering the limitations of these approaches, I develop an alternative strategy"secondorder empiricism"based on the idea that successor theories have an onus to explain the apparent success of (...) their rivals, not only their own and their rivals' anomalies. Such a strategy, I argue, underscores some of the most effective analysis and argument in politicalsociology, yet is obscured by the appeal to other methodologies. (shrink)
This article is concerned with post-Marxism and materialism in the work of Judith Butler, Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. As `post-Marxists' these writers use `material' in a variety of ways, all of which indicate limits and constraints. The article focuses on one version of `materialism' in this work, a version that is more implied than elaborated, in which `material' is equivalent to institutionalized performativity or sedimented discourse: to `objective' social structures and institutions. Post-Marxists often use `the social' as equivalent to (...) `material' in this sense, to gesture towards the context in which politics succeeds or fails. I argue that the specificities of `the social' cannot be theorized from within the terms of post-Marxism itself and that Butler and Laclau acknowledge this limitation in their most recent work. I therefore conclude that post-Marxism needs a supplement that I call politicalsociology. This is a dangerous supplement in the Derridean sense: a necessary addition that destabilizes the value post-Marxism gives to the distinction between `social' and `political' in which the latter is the privileged term. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to explore what Bourdieu’s politicalsociology could bring to the study of European integration. I first present, very briefly, some of the traditional approaches in European integration studies. Then I move to my interpretation of Bourdieu’s structural constructivist theory of politics through a discussion of political capital and political field, drawing parallels between these concepts and some of Max Weber’s ideas. In the third part, while discussing the works of some (...) scholars inspired by Bourdieu’s theory, I present some structural constructivist studies of European integration. Structural constructivism provides theoretical tools for a critical analysis of European integration. (shrink)
The English translation of Habermas's The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere converges with a recent trend toward the revival of the "political culture concept" in the social sciences. Surprisingly, Habermas's account of the Western bourgeois public sphere has much in common with the original political culture concept associated with Parsonian modernization theory in the 1950s and 1960s. In both cases, the concept of political culture is used in a way that is neither political nor cultural. (...) Explaining this peculiarity is the central problem addressed in this article and one to follow. I hypothesize that this is the case because the concept itself is embedded in an historically constituted political culture (here called a conceptual network)-a structured web of conceptual relationships that combine into Anglo-American citizenship theory. The method of an historical sociology of concept formation is introduced to analyze historically and empirically the internal constraints and dynamics of this conceptual network. The method draws from new work in cultural history and sociology, social studies, and network, narrative, and institutional analysis. This research yields three empirical findings: this conceptual network has a narrative structure, here called the Anglo-American citizenship story; this narrative is grafted onto an epistemology of social naturalism; and these elements combine in a metanarrative that continues to constrain empirical research in politicalsociology. (shrink)
In contemporary sociology the once prominent study of public opinion has virtually disappeared. None of the leading theoretical models in the closest disciplinary subfield (politicalsociology) currently provide ample or sufficiently clear space for consideration of public opinion as a possible factor in shaping or interacting with key policy or political outcomes in democratic polities. In this article, we unearth and document the sources of this curious development and raise questions about its implications for how (...) class='Hi'>political sociologists have come to understand policy making, state formation, and political conflict. We begin by reconstructing the dismissal of public opinion in the intellectual reorientation of politicalsociology from the late 1970s onward. We argue that the most influential scholarly works of this period (including those of Tilly, Skocpol, Mann, Esping-Andersen, and Domhoff) face an underlying paradox: While often rejecting public opinion, their theoretical logics ultimately presuppose its operation. These now classical writings did not move toward research programs seeking engagement with the operation and formation of public opinion, even though our immanent critique suggests they in fact require precisely this turn. We address the challenge of reconceptualizing how public opinion might be productively integrated into the sociological study of politics by demonstrating that the major arguments in the subfíeid can be fruitfully extended by grappling with public opinion. We conclude by considering several recent, interdisciplinary examples of scholarship that, we argue, point the way toward a fruitful revitalization. (shrink)
Pierre Bourdieu developed a theory of democratic politics that is at least as indebted to civic republicanism as to Marxism. He was familiar with the civic republican tradition, and it increasingly influenced both his political interventions and sociological work, especially late in his career. Bourdieu drew above all on Niccolò Machiavelli’s version of republicanism, though the French republican tradition also influenced him via Durkheimian social theory. Three elements of Bourdieu’s work in particular—his concept of field autonomy, his view of (...) interests and universalism, and his understanding of how solidarity is generated and sustained—may be understood, at least in part, as sociological reformulations of republican ideas. By drawing attention to these republican influences, the article aims to show that the conceptual resources which some critics, including Jeffrey C. Alexander, consider indispensable to an adequate theory of democracy are not entirely absent in Bourdieu’s work. On the basis of this reassessment, the article concludes that Bourdieu and Alexander are not as opposed in their thinking about democratic politics as it might first appear. (shrink)
As rational choice theory has moved from economics into political science and sociology, it has been dramatically transformed. The intellectual diffusion of agency theory illustrates this process. Agency theory is a general model of social relations involving the delegation of authority, and generally resulting in problems of control, which has been applied to a broad range of substantive contexts. This paper analyzes applications of agency theory to state policy implementation in economics, political science, and sociology. After (...) documenting variations in the theory across disciplinary contexts, the strengths and weaknesses of these different varieties of agency theory are assessed. Sociological versions of agency theory, incorporating both broader microfoundations and richer models of social structure, are in many respects the most promising. This type of agency theory illustrates the potential of an emerging sociological version of rational choice theory. (shrink)
I present a fragment from thehistory of the Russian reception of HerbertSpencer''s sociology. The discussion concernstwo diametrically opposed but exceptionallyimportant figures in the history of Russianthought, Nikolai Mikhajlovskij (1842–1904) andKonstantin Leont''ev (1831–1891). As one of thechief ideologues of the Populist movementMikhajlovskij turned Spencer''s ideas into anegative frame of reference for his own`romantic socialist utopia''. In turn, Leont''evformulated his extremely conservative politicalviews on the basis of Spencer''s organicistsociology. Though at the opposite ends of thespectrum both standpoints succeeded inexhibiting the (...) class='Hi'>political implications of thepositivist and naturalist style of thinking. (shrink)
I don't claim that Goffman addressed the questions that animate political sociologists. He was not interested in analyzing interaction to learn how it contributed to mobilization for collective action aimed at social change. He was not interested in changing political consciousness or in how the mass media and other social institutions make such change so difficult. But for those who are interested in such questions, he is worth heeding. His is an unanticipated bequest — from the cranky uncle (...) who we always thought had no great love or admiration for our line of work.I have tried to show how Goffman's arguments about the nature of the interaction order and frame analysis can be applied to increase our understanding of micromobilization and political consciousness. The help here is concrete and empirical, aiding us in interpreting historical cases and guiding us in systematic research.But perhaps Goffman's most enduring legacy is in the moral stance that pervades his observations about social institutions. It goes beyond ideology, to the spirit of our intellectual pursuits. It is eloquently captured in words written after Goffman's death by the poet, Joseph BrodskyThe surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even — if you will — eccentricity. That is, something that can't be feigned, faked, imitated; something even a seasoned impostor couldn't be happy with .... Evil is a sucker for solidity. It always goes for big numbers, for confident granite, for ideological purity, for drilled armies and balanced sheets. Joseph Brodsky, “A Commencement Address,” New York Review of Books, 16 August 1984, 7.For Goffman, it was a lesson he knew and lived. (shrink)
This paper elaborates three approaches to the issue of state autonomy, and uses two empirical cases (British and American treasury policy during the 1930s) to illustrate them. The three approaches are the group affiliations approach, which considers the social characteristics of the individuals who work in an organization; the structural dependance approach, which considers the structural position of the organization within a network of resource flows; and a cultural approach, which considers the role of ideology in the determination of organizational (...) autonomy. The application of these three approaches to the two cases gives some support to all three, but the cultural approach proves especially useful in conjunction with the other two. (shrink)
The Routledge Companion to Social and Political Philosophy is a comprehensive, definitive reference work, providing an up-to-date survey of the field, charting its history and key figures and movements, and addressing enduring questions as ...
Even before trust became a buzzword, theoretical developments were made, which have instigated the development of two forms of trust which are described as personal trust and system trust/confidence. However, this distinction remained rather secondary in the overall literature. There is an overall lack on the historical developments of these forms of trust, their internal logic and how they interlink, overlap, or work against each other. The paper aims to advance these three aspects: first through a historical overview of the (...) semantic of this distinction, followed by a theoretical reconstruction of the historical material and third by demonstrating how these theoretical concepts can be applied to political crises (Revolutions of 1989), thus revealing their logic and mutual interlocking. (shrink)
In this collection, a leading sociologist brings his distinctive method of social criticism to bear on some of the most significant ideas, political and social events, and thinkers of the late twentieth century. In the first section, the author examines several concepts that have figured prominently in recent political-ideological controversies: capitalism, rationality, totalitarianism, power, alienation, left and right, and cultural relativism/ multiculturalism. He considers their origins, historical shifts in their meaning and the myths surrounding them, and their resonance (...) beyond their formal definitions. The second section highlights the author's lifelong interest in the relation of intellectuals to social classes and institutions. The author assesses the notion of a 'New Class', considers the implications for class structure of the increasing centring of intellectual life in the university, and assesses the relation of sociology to professional jargon. (shrink)
criticizes what he calls "bioliberalism." According to him, the social sciences are challenged on two sides: humanistic and biological. In particular, Fuller finds the biological challenge serious. Fuller tries to reinvent sociology as a socialist project to counterattack bioliberalism as the biggest threat to the social sciences. First, the author will examine Fuller's argument against bioliberalism, referring to the so-called "liberal eugenics." Then the author will criticize him. By reinventing sociology as a socialist project, Fuller seems to ignore (...) the relation between value-freedom and education. One of the reasons Max Weber argued for value-freedom was to prevent sociology teachers from imposing their particular views on their students. We must consider this problem of teaching undergraduates sociology and other subjects in a better way if we are to have better social institutions. Key Words: Steve Fuller • bioliberalism • liberal eugenics • value-freedom. (shrink)
Social and Political Philosophy introduces some of the most important topics in contemporary political philosophy and asks if they can be accommodated within the framework of liberal theory. It consists of specially written essays by prominent figures on an array of basic issues in political and social philosophy. Each essay then carefully considers both the theoretical and practical problems of a major topic. The book concludes with an attempt to respond to and reconcile a number of the (...) arguments presented in the essays. (shrink)
The critique of mechanism in the political philosophy of Herder and German romanticism -- The political function of machine metaphors in Hegel's early writings -- Mechanism in religious practice -- The mechanization of labor and the birth of modern ethicality in Hegel's Jena political writings -- Mechanism and the problem of self-determination in Hegel's logic -- The modern state as absolute mechanism : Hegel's logical insight into the relation of civil society and the state.
Beginning with the familiar -- The difference between families and political communities -- States of nature and social contracts -- Order, but not order alone -- On freedom (and liberty) -- Justice -- A brief attempt at describing good politics -- Focus on the Christian contribution -- Concluding thoughts.
Introduction -- Modernity, politics and Max Weber -- One-sided rationalization: Habermas on modernity, discourse and emancipation -- Critiquing Habermas: intersubjectivity, ethics and norm-free sociality -- The burden of our times: Arendt on modern oblivion and the promise of politics -- Judging Arendt: citizenship, action and the scope of politics -- The new dark age: MacIntyre on bureaucratic individualism and the hope for an ethical polity -- Engaging MacIntyre: flourishing, modernity and political struggle -- Closing reflections: ethics, politics and strategy (...) in the present. (shrink)
This edition of the French philosopher Auguste Comte's (1798-1857) early essays shows Comte at the heart of the political and intellectual debates of Restoration France. The young Comte forged the central features of his philosophical system in response to the central challenge of the 1820s - how to find a new foundation for political legitimacy and thus to 'close' the revolutionary era. Stuart Jones's introduction to this new edition shows how Comte grappled with problems that confronted liberals and (...) counter-revolutionaries alike, and identifies the novelty of his solution. The essays presented in this edition reveal the systematizing character of Comte's intellect, which lay at the root of his enormous appeal to nineteenth-century readers. In addition to the substantial introduction, this volume contains a chronology, biographical information on key figures, and a bibliographical note making this an accessible volume highly suitable for undergraduate use. (shrink)
Concept of African social and political philosophy -- Faces of African freedom -- African socialism and Nyerere -- African personality : a social portrait -- Negritude : a philosophy of social action -- African tribalism : social and political implications -- Apartheid and African social experience -- The African and neo-colonial predicament -- Social self in African philosophy -- Crisis of common good and political instability -- Pan-Africanism as a concept and social philosophy -- African philosophy and (...) social reconstruction. (shrink)
Social and Political Philosophy: Classic and Contemporary Readings is a comprehensive primary-source anthology of readings on social and political thought. Ranging from ancient classics to contemporary works, this unique text combines the essential classics in the field--including the work of ancient Greek political philosophers and modern social contract theorists--with a significant amount of contemporary work on issues pertaining to poverty, drug legalization, multiculturalism, race, gender, and class. It also integrates contemporary feminist perspectives.
This book explores the way in which the fear of enemies shapes political groups at their founding and helps to preserve them by consolidating them in times of crisis. It develops a theory of “negative association” that examines the dynamics captured by the maxim “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” and then traces its role in the history of political thought, demonstrating that the fear of external threats is an essential element of the formation and preservation (...) of political groups and that its absence renders political association unsustainable. (shrink)