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Why is there no international historical sociology?
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:33 authored by Justin Rosenberg
Historical sociological studies in IR face a challenge similar to that discussed by Martin Wight in ‘Why is There no International Theory?’ Classical social theorists conceptualized ‘society’ in the ontological singular, leaving their successors with a ‘domestic analogy’ problem which has dogged attempts to provide a social theory of International Relations. Overcoming this problem requires an expansion of the premises of social theory to incorporate those general features of social reality which generate the phenomenon of ‘the international’. This expansion can be achieved using Leon Trotsky's idea of ‘uneven and combined development’. Specifically, the existence of ‘the international’ arises ultimately from the ‘unevenness’ of human sociohistorical existence; its distinctive characteristics can be derived from analysis of the resultant condition of ‘combined development’; and its significance, thus sociologically redefined, entails a reconceptualization of ‘development’ itself — one which removes the source of the ‘domestic analogy’ problem for historical sociology.
JournalEuropean Journal of International Relations
Department affiliated with
- International Relations Publications
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