Political Sociology as a Connective Social Science: Between Old Topics and New Directions


Our aim is to identify the characters of a real political sociology as a «connective social science» that studies political phenomena by creating fruitful connections with other perspectives. Modern politics may be defined as the set of activities designed to regulate human coexistence in a given social context through a prearranged establishment of a certain order. Such an order can only be guaranteed if a social group is able to acquire the power guaranteed by the exclusive use of force. From this point of view, modern politics, to be explained, must be observed in its complexity. Reasoning on the relationship between social and political structures (and between sociology and political science) is not enough. Political analysts should also pay attention to other dimensions, aware that politics is not made only of social and political-institutional relations. It is also made ​​of individuals, cultures, economic arrangements, territories. For this reason, political sociologists should also consider the typical explanatory variables of psychology, anthropology, economics and geography. The classic topics of political sociology are well known. It is a discipline that, through different approaches, has historically focused on the forms and relations of power wi­thin the territorial dimension of the nation state. The trans-nationalization of social processes, the frequent financial and economic crises, the explosion of new war zones, the crisis of classical political actors ha­ve led to new studies on the relationship between society and politics in a global society, redefining the boundaries of political sociology. The issues are always the same, but the lens through which they are investigated is different. global financial crisis, Ettore Recchi and Justyna Salamońska on the important topic of the European identity in the context of the Euro-Crisis, Juan Dìez Medrano on the individual and collective responses to crisis by providing an analytical framework for the study of social resilience, Klaus Eder on the so-called paradox of political participation that can equally produce civil and uncivil outcomes. The issue will be concluded with my article on the logical structures of comparison in social and political research.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v7i3p414

Keywords: Political sociology; Modern politics; Political Power; Political Science; Political Psychology; Political Anthropology; Political Economy; Political geography


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Papers published in this Special Issue:

de Nardis F. (2014), “The Logical Structures of Comparison: Its Forms, Styles, Problems, and the Role of History in Social and Political Research”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 7(3): 576-615, doi: 10.1285/i20356609v7i3p576.

Della Porta D. (2014), “Cycles of Protest and the Consolidation of Democracy”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 7(3): 447-468, doi: 10.1285/i20356609v7i3p447.

Eder K. (2014), “The Paradox of Political Participation: Theorizing Uncivil Society”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 7(3): 551-575, doi: 10.1285/i20356609v7i3p551.

Medrano J.D. (2014), “Individual and Collective Responses to Crisis: An Analytical Framework for the Study of Social Resilience”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 7(3): 532-550, doi: 10.1285/i20356609v7i3p532.

Recchi E., J. Salamońska (2014), “The Final Countdown? European Identity and the Euro-Crisis”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 7(3): 509-531, doi: 10.1285/i20356609v7i3p509.

Ruzza C. (2014), “The Ideology of New Public Management, Associational Representation and the Global Financial Crisis”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 7(3): 490-508, doi: 10.1285/i20356609v7i3p490.

Trenz H-J, A. Michailidou (2014), “European Integration, Democracy and Crisis: A Mass Media Perspective”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 7(3): 469-489, doi: 10.1285/i20356609v7i3p469.

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