By Thomas Janoski
This guide offers the 1st whole survey of the colourful box of political sociology. half I explores the theories of political sociology. half II makes a speciality of formation, transitions, and regime constitution of the country. half III takes up quite a few features of the country that reply to pressures from civil society.
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Additional info for A handbook of political sociology : states, civil societies, and globalization
Thus rule making consists of strategies to control people through the state, whereas challenges to these rules involve defying them and working hard to change them. The theory section then flows into three chapters that update debates among the new pluralist and neofunctionalist, conflict and political economy, and state-centered or politycentered perspectives. Alexander Hicks and Frank Lechner’s chapter on neopluralism and neofunctionalism in political sociology reviews the rise of new forms of pluralist theories that have penetrated political sociology, whether with theoretical banners flying high or more covertly.
This leads toward a greater historicization of political sociological theory and method. At the same time, such awareness does not eclipse earlier concentrations on social structure and utilitarian action. Nor does it eliminate the need for generalizing theory and explanation. The Second Challenge – Rational Choice Theory The commitment to rational choice theory, currently evident in as much as, say, 40 percent of political science writing, presents a strong challenge to political sociology. Rational choice approaches politics in much more rationalistic, 11 theoretically mathematical, and individualistic ways than have been the tendency in political sociology.
Schwartz social exchange theory has not, by and large, penetrated nearly as far into political sociology as rational choice theory has into political science. Paradoxically, it may be that rational choice theory, though less ostensibly sociological than exchange theory, might have better prospects within political sociology than exchange theory ever did. However, the reasons for rational choice theory’s potential appeal to sociologists are, as we shall see, closely tied to its arguable limitations.