For a Holistic Social Science

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Risto HEISKALA, University of Tampere, Finland
Sociologists, political scientists and economists do not read each other’s work, and very few of them want to know anything about such synthetic research programmes as political economy or historical materialism not to mention the results of natural sciences such as biology. The paper deals with the questions, how did we end up to this situation and, more importantly, how can we create a holistic research programme, which shows the path away from that balkanized state toward a social science, which understands that society is one totality, treats it as such and is thus capable to face the fatal problems of our time and future? Its strategy is to make a journey from political economists and Marx through Weber to Michael Mann’s historical sociology with the so-called IEMP model for the study of ideological, economic, military and political power sources in its core. For creating capacity to properly treat the material side of society and tackle such fatal problems of our time and future as environmental crisis, violence reduction and inequality an even more extensive model is developed. In the spirit of the short-lived attempts for reconstruction of historical materialism by Habermas, Eder, Giddens and others in the turn of the 1970s and 198s that approach unifies to one conception natural, artefactual, cultural, economic, violence-related and political sources of power and thus establishes what can be called the NACEVP model of social research.