European Colonial Entanglements: Questions of Historical Sociology and Progress

  • Gurminder K. Bhambra School of Global Studies, University of Sussex
Schlagworte: modernity, nation-states, empires, colonialism, European values, refugee crisis

Abstract

The European project of modernity is usually associated with the development of nation-states (of citizenship bound to territoriality as Weber put it), but is better understood as founded through colonial endeavours, that is of empires rather than nations. In this context, the ‘modern’ is, in fact, the ‘colonial modern’, where territoriality involved domination and preferential inclusion for ‘domestic’ populations within a racialized political community across borders. This has implications for how we think about sociology and its associated concepts and categories. In this contribution, I question the association of Europe with progress and seek to demonstrate how the very structuring of our discipline makes it difficult to account for illiberal practices both within and outwith the continent. Whereas ethno-nationalism is usually perceived as a feature of postcolonial ‘new’ nations, we can also understand it to be a feature of Europe after (and through) empire. A ‘connected sociologies’ approach that recognizes Europe’s constitution through colonialism would provide us with more adequate resources for dealing with the problems that currently face us. 

Literaturhinweise

Bhambra, Gurminder K. 2007. Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Bhambra, Gurminder K. 2014. Connected Sociologies. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Bhambra, Gurminder K. 2016. Comparative Historical Sociology and the State: Problems of Method, Cultural Sociology 10(3):335–351.

Bhambra, Gurminder K. 2017. The Current Crisis of Europe: Refugees, Colonialism, and the Limits of Cosmopolitanism, European Law Journal 23(5):395–405.

Conrad, Stephen 2013. Rethinking German Colonialism in a Global Age, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 41(4):543–566.

Knöbl, Wolfgang 2014. The Americas, civilizational analysis, and its current competitors: Bringing (revolutionary) politics back in, In Social Theory and Regional Studies in a Global Age, SA Arjomand (ed.), 313–37. New York: Suny Press.

Margree, Victoria and Gurminder K Bhambra 2011. Tocqueville, Beaumont and the Silences in Histories of the United States: An Interdisciplinary Endeavour across Literature and Sociology, Journal of Historical Sociology 24(1):116–131.

Smith, Woodruff D. 1980. Friedrich Ratzel and the Origins of Lebensraum, German Studies Review 3(1):51–68.

Weber M 1980 [1895]. The national state and economic policy (Freiburg address), translated by Ben Fowkes, Economy and Society 9(4):428–449.

Zahra, Tara 2016. The Great Departure: Mass Migration from Eastern Europe and the Making of the Free World. New York: W. W. Norton and Company.

Zimmerman, Andrew 2006. Decolonizing Weber, Postcolonial Studies 9(1):53–79.

Veröffentlicht
2019-09-11
Zitationsvorschlag
[1]
Bhambra, G. 2019. European Colonial Entanglements: Questions of Historical Sociology and Progress. Nicole Burzan (Hg.) 2019: Komplexe Dynamiken globaler und lokaler Entwicklungen. Verhandlungen des 39. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in Göttingen 2018. . 39, (Sep. 2019).