Norms, Culture, and World Politics: Insights from Sociology’s Institutionalism

Over the past two decades sociologists have developed an important new approach to the study of international institutions that poses direct challenges to realist and liberal theories in political science. The approach locates causal force in an expanding and deepening Western world culture which emphasizes Weberian rationality as the means to both justice, defined as equality, and progress, defined as wealth accumulation. These world cultural norms and ideologies constitute actors, including states, organizations, and individuals. World cultural norms also produce organizational and behavioral similarities across the globe that are not easily explained by traditional paradigms in political science. This essay provides political scientists with an overview of sociology’s “institutionalism” and explores its implications for the study of international politics.

Released: Replika 74, 97–117.
Replika block:
Zsuzsanna Kiss