chapter  9
10 Pages

Sociology

WithPrem Kumar Rajaram

This chapter discusses the value of sociological method, theories and concepts to the analysis of International Relations and to the emerging field of international political sociology. The aim of relational enquiry is to give an account of problems, events, social formations or actors as dynamic, processual and emergent phenomena. One of the problems with Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of fields is that it does not leave enough room for agency or for the messy and even incoherent ways that ideology works. An international political sociology would do well to move away from broad abstractions like the state or the international towards the complex multi-scalar relations that constitute these abstractions. The city is a particularly important point for understanding these globally networked assemblages that Sassen identifies because their growth is dependent in very large part on the dislocations generated by the domination of exchange value and by space-time compression.