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Historical sociology, international relations and connected histories

By Gurminder K. Bhambra


This article addresses three recent developments in historical sociology: (1) neo-Weberian historical sociology within International Relations; (2) the 'civilizational analysis' approach utilized by scholars of 'multiple modernities'; and (3) the 'third wave' cultural turn in US historical sociology. These developments are responses to problems identified within earlier forms of historical sociology, but it is suggested each fails to resolve them precisely because each remains contained within the methodological framework of historical sociology as initially conceived. It is argued that their common problem lies in the utilization of 'ideal types' as the basis for sociohistorical analysis. This necessarily has the effect of abstracting a set of particular relations from their wider connections and has the further effect of suggesting sui generis endogenous processes as integral to these relations. In this way, each of the three developments continues the Eurocentrism typical of earlier approaches. The article concludes with a call for 'connected histories' to provide a more adequate methodological and substantive basis for an historical sociology appropriate to calls for a properly global historical sociology

Topics: HM
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3389

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