Over the past thirty to forty years, many theorists have agreed that a sociology that explains as well as describes must be a historicalsociology. Philip Abrams went so far as to call historicalsociology ‘the essence of the discipline’, arguing that it is ‘almost natural to the modern Western mind’ to explain the contemporary world at least partly in historical terms. 1 What is historicalsociology?
Theda Skocpol listed four characteristics of historicalsociological studies:
‘They ask questions about social structures or processes understood to be
Every piece of historical writing has a theoretical basis on which evidence is selected, filtered, and understood. This book explores the theoretical perspectives and debates that are generally acknowledged to have been the most influential within the university-led practice of history over the past century and a half. It advises readers to bear in mind the following four interlinked themes: context, temporal framework, causation or drivers of change, and subjectivities. The book outlines the principles of empiricism, the founding epistemology of the professional discipline, and explores the ways in which historians have challenged and modified this theory of knowledge over the past century and a half. It then focuses upon three important dimensions of historical materialism in the work of Marxist historians: the dialectical model at the basis of Marx's grand narrative of human history; the adaptations of Marxist theory in Latin America; and the enduring question of class consciousness. The use of psychoanalysis in history, the works of Annales historians and historical sociology is discussed next. The book also examines the influence of two specific approaches that were to be fertile ground for historians: everyday life and symbolic anthropology, and ethnohistory. The roles of narrative, gender history, radical feminism, poststructuralism and postcolonial history are also discussed. Finally, the book outlines the understandings about the nature of memory and remembering, and looks at key developments in the analysis and interpretation of oral histories and oral traditions.
Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making addresses debates on liberal peace and the policies of peacebuilding through a theoretical and empirical study of resistance in peacebuilding contexts. Examining the case of ‘Africa’s World War’ in the DRC, it locates resistance in the experiences of war, peacebuilding and state-making by exploring discourses, violence and everyday forms of survival as acts that attempt to challenge or mitigate such experiences. The analysis of resistance offers a possibility to bring the historical and sociological aspects of both peacebuilding and the case of the DRC, providing new nuanced understanding of these processes and the particular case.
Shaping the body-politic via institutional charisma
historicalsociology, supplemented by a critique and reconstruction of categories of Western social theory. One of the primary fields of historicalsociology concerns how the modern state has emerged and taken form since the Late Middle Ages. This chapter approaches the concept of ‘political theology’ through the analysis of the influence of religious knowledge and symbols on state-formation. My approach does not consist in applying general theory, whether Whiggish or less so, to Asian Islamicate cases. I am rather going the opposite path. Even if tentatively referring to
appreciated, but they
and the party they created were marked by Britain’s position in the
world. Britain had been the first state to industrialise, and this too
affected Labour’s outlook and its perception of itself as a world player
in the international socialist and trade union movements. This chapter
starts by giving a brief introduction to the international context within
which the Labour Party emerged in terms of Britain’s role in the world,
before turning to the historicalsociology of the development of the
Labour Party itself.
Britain’s role in the world
this register of analysis. The Axial paradigm thus, refined, becomes a different
lens through which to view and understand problems familiar to neo-Weberian
sociologists: structural differentiation; coalescence and agency of intellectual
elites; access to and participation in the decision-making of states; religious
schism and movements of protest; and social action shaped by the balance of
worldly and transcendental religious ethics (Eisenstadt, 2002a: 256–64).
Questions about the historicalsociology of Axial civilisations surfaced in the
looking at the issues enumerated at the beginning of this introduction. In Chapter 1 , a central dispute in the theoretical literature on populism will be examined which is that between what one analyst, Kenneth Roberts termed the ‘historical/sociological perspective’ of Germani and others, and the ‘ideological perspective’ of Laclau. 14 Central to Germani’s theories was the belief that modernisation processes formed the context in which populism emerged in Latin America. Furthermore, Germani argued that populism was essentially social democratising, in that it gives
Contesting veterinary knowledge in a pastoral community
Richard Waller and Kathy Homewood
economic effects of stock control and into the area of the
historicalsociology of knowledge, drawing on the growing literature on
medicine and society for our comparisons. Taking the opening scene as
our text, we focus on the interaction between vets and the Maasai of Kenya
and Tanzania during and after the colonial period. We consider Maasai
and Western veterinary thought and practice as the products of two
. As the modern 4 Underworld tradition has evolved over approximately seven decades, the theoretical framework incorporates van der Veer’s ( 2016 ) ‘historicalsociology’. That is, as “An anthropological perspective […] based on historical materials as well as fieldwork that raises new questions and highlights differential patterns and their causes” (van der Veer, 2016 : 9).
Throughout the book, while carrying the analysis, the ethnographic narrative is intended to provide the reader with unique insights into the lived tradition and into
By adopting a historical–sociological institutionalist framework, this
chapter will go on to show, more speciﬁcally, why the problems of political
responsibility in the EU emerged: it will look at the legacy of Jean Monnet,
whose ideas and methods for European integration will be shown to have
exerted a strong inﬂuence upon the building of Europe. The main question
that will be addressed is whether there was something in Monnet’s system
of thought and action that could have caused problems for the development of political responsibility in the EU, insofar as