On a Field Trip with Bourdieu

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How can Bourdieu help us grasp international politics today? How can the con- cept of ‘‘field,’’ originally coined for analyzing relations within states, provide an understanding of emerging patterns of transnational governance? I argue that Bourdieu provides us with sophisticated analytical tools for exploring the strength and limits of state authority—also beyond the national territory. More- over, I claim that sovereign state interaction—diplomacy—has developed into a metafield. If we are to understand emerging challenges to state authority, from private companies to international organizations and global media, we need to study everyday activities, which both reproduce and challenge the sovereign state system as a meaningful reality. I illustrate this idea of competing articulations of political authority by focusing on the EU’s new diplomatic service, which chal- lenges the very idea of national diplomatic representation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Political Sociology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)327-330
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - field, social field, Pierre Bourdieu, International Relations Theory, Political sociology

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