State and society: questions of inclusion/exclusion and compliance/resistance

As long ago as the 1960s, the then influential French sociologist Raymond Aron admonished sociology for its neglect of technical instruments of state (laws, constitutions, etc.) and for ‘failing to take into account the partial autonomy of the political order’ while simultaniously doubting the feasibility of a political science that conceived of its object as disembedded from social relations and social forces. Since those criticisms were levelled much has been done to redress these weaknesses by examining the social basis of politics (e.g., the class and other cleavages that underlie voting patterns) and the ways in which the state and politics impact upon social relations (e.g. the way citizenship rights shape social identities). This research cluster seeks to contribute to this academic and empirical effort. We focus on two key areas at the intersection of the social and political: (i) inclusion and exclusion; (ii) compliance and resistance. The real-world relevance of these themes is illustrated by current developments such as the increasing volatility of political affiliations, the rise of anti-establishment populism (of both right and left), and the re-emergence of nationalism as a reaction to globalization. Such developments in turn find expression in particular events ranging from the rebuilding of (physical) national borders to Brexit. The cluster will work between and across the historically transmitted division of academic labour by focusing on transdisciplinary subfields such as social policy, political sociology, and cultural politics. Examples of work in this area include:


Globisch, Claudia. (2013), Radikaler Antisemitismus. Inklusions- und Exklusionssemantiken von rechts und links in Deutschland. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Haller, M., Eder, A. and Müller Kmet, Barbara (2015)‚ Drei Wege zur Zähmung des Kapitalismus. Die Wahrnehmung und Bewertung sozioökonomischer Ungleichheit in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz’. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 40 (1), pp. 1-31.

Rief, Silvia (2009),  Urban renewal and night-life governance: London and Istanbul, In Club Cultures. London: Routledge, pp. 20-56.

Scott, Alan (2017), The state, In Willian Outhwaite and Stephan Turner (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Political Sociology. London: Sage.

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