Book Chapter

Historical sociology in international relations


This chapter shows that Historical Sociology in IR (HSIR) is a fundamental approach that contributes to the foundations and key challenges of historical IR by grounding the discipline back to key debates in the philosophy of social sciences. It argues that HSIR should focus more on how it produces knowledge through methodological questions regarding research and pedagogy. After situating itself through the angles of modernity and granularity and presenting key developments in recent HSIR, the chapter explores the analytical device of internalism. If not necessarily constituting a problem for anti-Eurocentric projects, internalism forces more methodological conceptions of Eurocentrism and remains a useful starting point for research. Finally, the chapter explores methodological questions in terms of pedagogy, i.e. how we teach students to compare in International Relations (IR). Experimenting with how undergraduate students choose to embark on small scale comparative exercises constitutes a useful platform to explore how IR actually ‘does’ historical sociology.

The fulltext files of this resource are currently embargoed.
Embargo end: 2025-08-16


Pal, Maïa

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-04-14

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Historical Sociology in International Relations
This RADAR resource is Part of The Oxford Handbook of History and International Relations [ISBN: 9780198873457] / edited by Mlada Bukovansky, Edward Keene, Maja Spanu, and Christian Reus-Smit (OUP, 2023).


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