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CfP: How does historical sociology see Europe?

Posted on by Stephen Mennell

3rd ISA Forum of Sociology: “The Futures We Want: Global Sociology and the Struggles for a Better World” – 10–14 July 2016 – Vienna, Austria

Host committee: Working Group 02 Historical and Comparative Sociology. For the full list of sessions planned by WG02 at the Vienna Forum, see:

Call for Papers

How does historical sociology see Europe?/Is historical sociology Eurocentric? : Critical and normative visions of nation building, Euroscepticism and transnationalism

Session organizers (all at Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles (USL-B):

Florence Delmotte (

Florence Di Bonaventura (

Christophe Majastre (

Language: English and French

From precursors Marx and Tocqueville up to contemporaries like Bartolini (Restructuring Europe, 2005) via classics (Weber, Geertz, Elias, Tilly, Wallerstein or Anderson), long-term historical sociology of the modern political has always had much to do with Europe. Wasn’t the nation state born in Europe after all?

In the twentieth century, historical sociologists, be they comparativists or not, have been seeking to move away from an evolutionism legated by nineteenth and early twentieth centuries’ social theorists Marx and Comte, as well as Spencer or Durkheim. However, historical sociology, even when closer to idiographic approaches rather than to nomothetic sociology, is still often suspected of (at least unintentional) Eurocentrism.

This session proposes to take this challenge seriously by questioning the visions of Europe that stems from classic and contemporary socio-historical analyses. It aims at tackling three issues:

  • Do comparisons between nation(s) state(s) building processes and building processes of a European political entity entail specific normative visions of Europe?
  • How can historical sociology help to understand resistances to European integration (e.g. Euroscepticism)?
  • Does historical and political sociology of the EU propose critical views on trans-nationalisation processes at work after 1945?

The session is also open to theoretical issues as such:

  • Can/should historical sociology of Europe avoid/integrate comparison?
  • Does the legacy of classics in contemporary figures of historical sociology entail particular visions about the future of European societies?
  • Finally, what can we learn from the entangled relations between historical sociology, history and political philosophy?

Please submit your abstract (300 words, in English or French) before 30 September 2015

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