Reflexive Sociology and International Political Economy
This chapter focuses on social capital as a key to understanding the social and political struggles around fields of state power and processes of elite reproduction. Sociological inquiry examines the positions occupied in national professional spaces by all those who are implicated in the international circulation of expertise, including academics. The European imperial powers built structures abroad that put law even more strongly in the service of the reproduction of elites. The logic was similar to Europe, but the effects were exacerbated by colonial politics and their continuation in the ‘imported states’ created by independence. The US approach to imperial competition after World War II requires a similar exploration of the development of state and law. Colonialism in North America reproduced the same patterns seen paradigmatically in India, and by the time of independence lawyers were quite prominent leaders of the new nation.