Globalization and the Sociology of World Society

For a long time it has been taken for granted that sociology is primarily concerned with nation-state society. The globalization debate has called this “methodological nationalism” into question without developing a comparable alternative. The search for new approaches must overcome both theoretical and empirical obstacles: How can the basic concepts of sociology and political science be modified and reinvented to account for processes of globalization and transnationalization? Is the concept of “world society” a viable alternative and what kind of research questions follow from that paradigm? On which data can research be based, if statistical and other empirical data are still largely gathered within the framework of the national state? In addition to the elaboration of a theory of world society (based in particular on neo-institutionalism and systems theory), it is therefore important to find appropriate ways to grasp the social reality of world society.


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