The International Political Sociology of Security
Rethinking Theory and Practice
Routledge – 2015 – 178 pages
Series: New International Relations
This book builds a theoretical approach to the intractable problem of theory/practice in international relations (IR) and develops tools to study how theory and practice ‘hang together’ in international security.
Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s political sociology, the book argues that theory and practice take part in struggles over basic understandings (doxa) in international fields through what the book calls doxic battles. In these battles e.g. scientific facts, military hardware and social networks are mobilised as weapons in a fight for recognition. NATO’s transformation and fight for survival and the rapidly growing number of think tanks in European security in the 1990s is taken as an example of these processes. The book studies a variety of sources such as funding to science programmes in Europe; think tanks and research centres in European security; NATO’s relations with the EU, the WEU and the OSCE; and the mobilization of theory at crucial points in the transformation process.
Theory as Practice and Capital will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, security studies and critical theory.
Chapter 1: Introduction, The case of European security and IR, Chapter 2: When theory meets practice, Chapter 3: A sociology of IR. Doxic Battles and the (re)configuration of a field, Chapter 4: Field-specific capital and agency in the European field of security, Chapter 5: Practical Patterns of interaction, Chapter 6: Doxic battles in European security: the mobilisation and redefinition of capital, Chapter 7: Conclusion
Trine Villumsen Berling holds a postdoctoral position at the Centre for Advanced Security Theory, University of Copenhagen.