This paper considers changes in the symbolic boundaries of French society under the influence of neoliberalism. As compared to the early nineties, stronger boundaries toward the poor and Blacks are now being drawn while North-African immigrants and their offsprings continue to be largely perceived as outside the community of those who deserve recognition and protection. Moreover, while the social reproduction of upper-middle class privileges has largely remained unchanged, there is a blurring of the symbolic boundaries separating the middle and working class as the latter has undergone strong individualization. Also, the youth is now bearing the brunt of France’s non-adaptation to changes in the economy and is increasingly marginalized. The result is a dramatic change in the overall contours of the French symbolic community, with a narrowed definition of cultural membership, and this, against a background of growing inequality, unemployment, and intolerance in a more open and deregulated labor market.
We are grateful to Matteo Bortolini for initiating a symposium around Social Knowledge in the Making (SKM). As a collective project, this book was with us for several years and was a welcomed opportunity for stimulating dialogue between the three co-editors. It is with pleasure that we now respond to Matteo’s invitation to reflect on the fate of the adventure two years after the book’s publication. We address how it has been received, whether the reception has met our expectations, and respond to the specific reactions of Kelly Moore, Johannes Angermuller, and Kristoffer Kropp published in this symposium. We appreciate that these talented sociologists of the social sciences and the humanities took on the challenge of engaging our work.
This essay engages with Wimmer’s Ethnic Boundary Making to consider how cultural processes feed into inequality. It describes the strengths of the book, relates it to my early work, and draws on Lamont, Beljean, and Clair (forthcoming), to describe two types of identification processes (racialization and stigmatization) and two types of rationalization processes (standardization and evaluation) that contribute to an understanding of the relationship between symbolic and social boundaries. It stresses similarities and differences between approaches and suggests possible points for convergence.
Although classical international relations theorists largely agreed that public opinion about foreign policy is shaped by moral sentiments, public opinion scholars have yet to explore the content of these moral values, and American IR theorists have tended to exclusively associate morality with liberal idealism. Integrating the study of American foreign policy attitudes with Moral Foundations Theory from social psychology, we present original survey data showing that the five established moral values in psychology—harm/care, fairness/reciprocity, authority/respect, ingroup/loyalty, and purity/sanctity—are strongly and systematically associated with foreign policy attitudes. The “individualizing” foundations of harm/care and fairness/reciprocity are particularly important drivers of cooperative internationalism and the “binding” foundations of authority/respect, ingroup/loyalty, and purity/sanctity of militant internationalism. Hawks and hardliners have morals too, just a different set of moral values than the Enlightenment ones emphasized by liberal idealists.
What motivates individuals to participate in contentious, political forms of collective action? In this article, I consider the possibility that the promise of social esteem from an ingroup can act as a powerful selective incentive for individuals to participate in contentious politics. I conducted a field experiment—the first to my knowledge to take place in the context of a political march, rally, or social-identity event—to isolate this esteem mechanism from others. Using measures of intent to attend, actual attendance, and reported attendance at a gay and lesbian pride event in New Jersey, I find evidence that the promise of social esteem boosts all three measures of participation. The article offers new theoretical and practical implications for the study of participation in nonvoting forms of collective action.
Why do stateless nationalist movements change the area they see as appropriately constituting the nation-state they aspire to establish? This article draws a number of hypotheses from the literature on nationalism and state formation and compares the predictions of each about the timing, direction, and process of change to the empirical record in two stateless national movements in the post-Ottoman space: Fatah and the Macedonian Revolutionary Organization. Based on this investigation, the article argues that shifts in the areas stateless nationalist movements seek as their nation-states occur as a byproduct of the politically competitive domestic environment in which these movements are embedded. As nationalist movements engage in the competition for mundane power and survival, their leaders may alter their rhetoric about the extent of the desired national state to meet immediate political challenges that are often only loosely related to territorial issues. If these, initially tactical, rhetorical modulations successfully resolve the short-term challenges that spurred their adoption, they can become institutionalized as comprising the new territorial scope of the desired national state.
“THERE WAS a longish period in the 1990s and the early part of this century when economic history was very much out of fashion, at least in history departments,” says Knowles professor of history Emma Rothschild. She has played a role in the recent revival of the field, originally established in the 1890s in Great Britain, the United States, and France. As director of the Joint Center for History and Economics, which is, as she puts it, “one center in two locations” (at Harvard and at Cambridge University), she has been shepherding new scholarly collaborations and directions.
A project on the history of energy (and climate change) seeks to widen perspectives on past economic, social, and environmental processes by studying energy use and transformation. The field has been pursued in Cambridge, England, for some 20 years, says Rothschild, and has recently seen “outstanding work,” by Harvard doctoral students looking at early responses to climate change in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. “Climate change was then thought to be strongly associated with desertification,” she explains, “not with atmospheric change. They are very different physical processes.” Like an earlier project that elucidated the negative impacts of past economic crises on the health of millions of people—undertaken in the midst of the recession that began in 2008-2009—the study of the history of energy aims to be relevant to the concerns of the present.
The center is also undertaking a quantitative approach to historical social networks. The idea of using network analysis—including computer-generated visualizations of social networks—came from conversations with economists, says Rothschild, “in particular Ben Golub,” a postdoctoral fellow at the center who in 2015 will join the Harvard economics faculty. Rothschild first used the technique while working on a book about the Johnstones, a Scottish family with global reach. “The book was an attempt to follow the lives of all the brothers and sisters,” both those who traveled the world and those who stayed home. Several became slave owners, while others strongly opposed the practice. The project in time expanded to follow the lives of some of the Johnstone slaves as well—and it continues to grow. “It’s an interesting example of how history is becoming more open-ended,” Rothschild reflects. “I feel the project is never going to be finished, because people keep finding new things about this large, eighteenth-century family.” Ian Kumekawa ’12 (now a doctoral student in history at Harvard), who worked with Rothschild on the project, says that what really excited him about getting involved with this story of empire, slavery, and commerce was the use of network visualization “not just [as] an infographic” but as “a research tool.”
Rothschild is now studying 83 people who signed a document in eighteenth-century provincial France. “You can’t really hold the social connections among 83 people in your head,” she notes, “because it is beyond the capacity of the human social imagination. But by visualizing some of these relationships, you can see how information is likely to spread in a social network. It’s been an exciting collaboration in all sorts of ways among historians, economists, computer scientists, and others who work on visualization techniques,” but also, she emphasizes, “among very different kinds of historians.” In addition to Rothschild’s own study of poor artisans in eighteenth-century France, there are projects on ancient Rome, early-twentieth-century economists in Cambridge, England, and the spread of political information in seventeenth-century England. Despite her colleagues’ disparate interests, she says, “We’ve been finding quite a lot to talk about—it’s a different way of thinking.”
This article examines the process of consensus formation by the international community on how to confront the problem of trafficking in persons. We analyze the corpus of UNGA Third Committee resolutions to show that (1) consensus around the issue of how to confront trafficking in persons has increased over time; and (2) the formation of this consensus depends on how the issue is framed. We test our argument by examining the characteristics of resolutions’ sponsors and discursive framing concepts such as crime, human rights, and the strength of enforcement language. We conclude that the consensus formation process in international relations is more aptly described as one of “accommodation” through issue linkage than a process of persuasion.
The regime for international investment is extraordinary in public international law and controversial in many regions of the world. This article explores two aspects of this set of rules: its decentralization and the unusual powers it gives to private actors to invoke dispute settlement. Decentralization has contributed to a competitive environment for ratification of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and has elevated the importance of dyadic bargaining power in the formation of the regime. Governments of developing countries are more likely to enter into BITs and tie their hands more tightly when they are in a weak bargaining position, which in turn is associated with economic downtowns of the domestic economy. Once committed, investors have sued governments with surprising regularity, arguably contributing disproportionately to legal awards that favor the private corporate actors who have the power to convene the dispute settlement system. One of the conclusions is that it is important not only to consider whether BITs attract capital - which hs been the focus of nearly all the empirical research on BIT effects - but also to investigate the governance consequences of the international investment regime generally.
Among the explanations for state ratification of human rights treaties, few are more common and widely accepted than the conjecture that states are rewarded for ratification by other states. These rewards are expected to come in the form of tangible benefits - foreign aid, trade, and investment - and intangible benefits such as praise, acceptance, and legitimacy. Surprisingly, these explanations for ratification have never been tested empirically. We summarize and clarify the theoretical underpinnings of "reward-for-ratification" theories and test these propositions empirically by looking for increased international aid, economic agreements and public praise and recognition following ratification of four prominent human rights treaties. We find almost no evidence that states can expect increased tangible or intangible rewards after ratification. Given the lack of empirical support, alternative explanations seem more appealing for understanding human rights treaty ratification.