Historical Sociology of the Nation State: A Critique from the Italian Case

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Florence DI BONAVENTURA, Universite Saint-Louis - Bruxelles, Belgium
According to Andrew Abbott, the "globalization of disciplines" clearly reveals the normatively and historically situated dimension of social sciences. It is also the case of the historical and political sociology. When focused on the construction of the State, it invites us to find out if it does not convey de facto a particular vision of society, the values produced at a specific time and in a defined territory, that of Western Europe. The work of historians and sociologists has been marked for centuries by specific ideologies of the State, for instance contractarian liberalism or the various forms of nationalism.

For their part, the authors of nation-building - whether coming from Durkheimian, Weberian, Marxian or Gramscian traditions - dedicate a prominent place to political centralization. Besides, an author like Peter Sahlins has shown the importance of taking into account the periphery, the various time frames, the conflicts and the diversity of trajectories.

This contribution aims to provide a critical reflection on the historical sociology of the Nation State. In particular, it targets Italian trajectorie(s). It refers to authors such as Antonio Gramsci and Umberto Cerroni, which show the importance of historical contingency. Also, it refers to Emilio Gentile for a critique (of authors) of Italian fascism.