The SAGE Handbook of Political Sociology offers a comprehensive and contemporary look at this evolving field of study. The focus is on political life itself and the chapters, written by a highly-respected and international team of authors, cover the core themes which need to be understood in order to study political life from a sociological perspective, or simply to understand the political world. The two volumes are structured around five key areas: PART 1: TRADITIONS AND PERSPECTIVES PART 2: CORE CONCEPTS PART 03: POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES AND MOVEMENTS PART 04: TOPICS PART 05: WORLD REGIONS This future-oriented and cross-disciplinary handbook is a landmark text for students and scholars interested in the social investigation of politics.

The ‘Middle East'1

The Middle East
Helen Mary Rizzo


Understanding the relationship between the discipline of sociology and the interdisciplinary area studies field of Middle East Studies is essential in order to put scholarly work in the political sociology of the ‘Middle East’ into context. Timothy Mitchell (2003) argues that both the social sciences and area studies are currently facing a crisis in maintaining their legitimacy as distinct academic fields of inquiry. He traces the origin of the crisis and the current relationship between the social sciences and area studies back to the interwar period of the 1930s where developments in the organization of the social sciences ‘shaped a particular set of assumptions about the local and the global and built ...

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