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"This is superior, highly innovative work, well-choreographed by the masterly hand of George Steinmetz. It makes a uniquely valuable contribution to historical and cultural sociology. Despite a growing interest in sociology's complicity in imperialism, there is nothing else like this book. It is attentive to networks and localities, as well as global concerns; contains wonderfully variegated cases, from countries including Italy, Russia, France, the Philippines, and the United States; and offers consistently brilliant field analyses. Sociology and Empire is an exceptional volume."—Peter Beilharz, La Trobe University
"From the sociology of empire to the empire in sociology, this is a book of immense erudition and encyclopedic reach. By bringing colonialism, imperialism, and empire to its center, George Steinmetz and his collaborators recalibrate the history of sociology and endow contemporary research with a badly needed global reflexivity."—Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley, and President of the International Sociological Association
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The revelation that the U.S. Department of Defense had hired anthropologists for its Human Terrain System project—assisting its operations in Afghanistan and Iraq—caused an uproar that has obscured the participation of sociologists in similar Pentagon-funded projects. As the contributors to Sociology and Empire show, such affiliations are not new. Sociologists have been active as advisers, theorists, and analysts of Western imperialism for more than a century.
The collection has a threefold agenda: to trace an intellectual history of sociology as it pertains to empire; to offer empirical studies based around colonies and empires, both past and present; and to provide a theoretical basis for future sociological analyses that may take empire more fully into account. In the 1940s, the British Colonial Office began employing sociologists in its African colonies. In Nazi Germany, sociologists played a leading role in organizing the occupation of Eastern Europe. In the United States, sociology contributed to modernization theory, which served as an informal blueprint for the postwar American empire. This comprehensive anthology critiques sociology's disciplinary engagement with colonialism in varied settings while also highlighting the lasting contributions that sociologists have made to the theory and history of imperialism.
Contributors. Albert Bergesen, Ou-Byung Chae, Andy Clarno, Raewyn Connell, Ilya Gerasimov, Julian Go, Daniel Goh, Chandan Gowda, Krishan Kumar, Fuyuki Kurasawa, Michael Mann, Marina Mogilner, Besnik Pula, Anne Raffin, Emmanuelle Saada, Marco Santoro, Kim Scheppele, George Steinmetz, Alexander Semyonov, Andrew Zimmerman