Sociology and International Relations: The Future?

Andrew Linklater, Katie/K Liston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The disciplines of sociology and international relations (IR) have long followed rather different paths of development. The former’s traditional focus was on understanding the dominant patterns of social change within national societies; the latter was largely interested in explaining relations between states, and with analysing other phenomena insofar as they influence international political dynamics. The two disciplines have moved more closely together in recent years. Sociological explorations of state-formation led to the investigation of military competition between states though not necessarily to a serious engagement with international relations as an academic discipline. Students of international relations have responded to those developments by absorbing elements of historical sociology within their frameworks of analysis as John Hobson’s contribution to this issue will attest. But the number of scholars who specialise in exploring linkages between sociology or historical sociology and international relations, though increasing, still remains small.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalHuman Figurations: Longterm perspectives on the human condition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jul 2012


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