Standing Group Activities

Reviewing Social Order and Change: Field Concepts in Political Analysis

For the 2013 General Conference in Bordeaux, the Political Sociology standing group organizes a section with 6 panels on the use of field concepts in political analysis.

Conveners: Philip Balsiger, EUI; Alexandre Lambelet, Sciences Po Paris; Daniel Gaxie, Paris I Sorbonne

Calls for papers for the different panels can be found here.

The concept of field has become an important theoretical tool in social and political analysis. Studying field dynamics situates the analysis at a meso level and promises to bring together macro-structural and micro-sociological perspectives. It means explaining social order and change as relational. Scholars have suggested different concepts account for this relational dimension: field, organisational fields, sector, arena or strategic action field. Despite their conceptual differences, all these approaches are concerned with locating actors relative to other actors and raise the question of institutionalising these locations. Furthermore, according to all concepts, units or collections of social locations are considered as structures, while processes of conflict and competition are seen as crucial to understanding the evolution of these collections of social actors.
This section provides an opportunity to discuss the progress of field approaches in political sociology. While theoretical contributions to the theory of fields are welcomed, the section encourages contributions that use field-level analysis in empirical case studies. Questions addressed could be: 1) on a theoretical level, the different conceptual notions (such as field or arena) refer to different ways of empirical object constructions and, ultimately, different theories of action. What do empirical case studies tell us about action logics? 2) On an analytical level, how does one identify fields, its boundaries and its action logics, capitals, actors? Do all participating actors share the same representations of these boundaries and of the logics that govern a field? 3) How do fields emerge, change, divide into sub-fields, or collapse?


The General Assembly of the ECPR Standing Group on Political Sociology will take place

Wednesday, August 24, 18.30-20.00, room A225, Aðalbygging.

We are very much looking forward to seeing you all in Iceland.

General Assembly

At the occasion of the ECPR General Conference in Rejkjavik, August 25-27 2011,the ECPR standing group on political sociology will hold a general assembly. This will be a great opportunity to celebrate the creation of this group and to meet fellow political sociologists.

All researchers interested in political sociology approaches in political science are kindly welcomed. More details – the exact date, time, location – will be announced later.

The social roots of political processes

For the 2011 ECPR General Conference in Rejkjavik, the Political Sociology Standing Group organizes a panel on the social roots of political processes.

Conveners: Olivier Fillieule (University of Lausanne) and Romain Bertrand (CNRS, Ceri)

See for a list of the panels

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