HomeThe concept of the State-society relationship in comparative perspective

The concept of the State-society relationship in comparative perspective

La notion de relation État-société dans une perspective comparative

Doctoral Workshop

*  *  *

Published on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 by João Fernandes

Summary

The goal of this workshop is to bring together doctoral students at any stage in their research project to explore the state-society distinction/relationship as a theoretical or heuristic framework for their research. The aim is to “pool resources” in order to aid reflection on this concept and its application in research across national/linguistic and disciplinary boundaries and to increase awareness of debates and problematizations (and resources) outside of participants’ “home” culture.

Announcement

EA 4223 – Centre d’Etudes et de Recherche sur l’Espace Germanophone – CEREG, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 / Université Paris-Nanterre

Argument

The distinction between state and society has influenced Western European thought since the 18th century, when it began to crystallize in the context of the rise of the modern nation-state. In the 18th and 19th centuries the state-society relationship was commonly articulated in terms of autonomy and emancipation, tending towards interpretations of the relationship as dichotomous or even antagonistic. This emphasis led to the eclipse of the concept from about the middle of the 19th century (being considered, against the background of the “social question” for instance, as no longer adequate to “think” the increasingly complex interpenetration of state and society), but perhaps also contributed to its rediscovery as of the 1980s, particularly in the context of struggles with totalitarian regimes. Although the dichotomous, even antagonistic understanding of the state-society relationship that was revived in view of these struggles led to renewed critique of the concept, this did not this time lead to its abandonment. Rather, an increasing body of academic literature internationally has explored, modified, and attempted to apply (usually in research on “civil society”) a notion that, however it is defined, is now widely agreed to be foundational to the democratic order (Keane 1988/2010). This new association in political theory of the state-society relationship with liberal democracy, with its role in balancing the claims of pluralism (e.g., freedom and autonomy in forming individual and group identities) and citizenship (e.g., the norms of “civility”), has undeniably normative implications (cf. Rosenblum/Post 2002; Chambers/Kopstein 2009). Nevertheless, that has not prevented the use of this concept as a theoretical or heuristic framework in academic research, not only in the political and social sciences but also as an “ideal-type” (highly debated and even contested) for the analysis and interpretation of historical developments, social structures and institutions (cf. Kocka 2000; Gosewinkel 2011).

For those interested in a comparative perspective, understanding and applying this framework becomes only more complex as they struggle to orientate themselves within the academic discussion in other cultural/linguistic contexts. In other academic cultures the discussion may be confined to other disciplines (or seemingly absent altogether), or different categorizations and terminology may be used. Different problems and critiques may be formulated, or indeed similar ones using different language or different angles of approach. This is complicated by the fact that much of recent discourse on the concept has been mediated through the English concept of “civil society”. On the other hand, the conceptual history of the state-society relationship is marked by both convergences and divergences among “national” traditions in Western Europe.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together doctoral students at any stage in their research project to explore the state-society distinction/relationship as a theoretical or heuristic framework for their research. The aim is to “pool resources” in order to aid reflection on this concept and its application in research across national/linguistic and disciplinary boundaries and to increase awareness of debates and problematizations (and resources) outside of participants’ “home” culture. This will be done, not in abstract, but through participants’ reflections on the state-society relationship in relation to their own concrete research projects. How can this notion provide a framework (or why is it not usable) for analysis and interpretation of their material? Which conceptual or practical problems are they facing in the operationalization of this concept?

Programme

vendredi 9 fév. 2018

8h30 Accueil/Welcome

8h45 Présentation/Ouverture à la thématique (avec les chercheur-e-s invité-e-s : Roman KRAKOVSKY, Université de Genève ; Sylvie LE GRAND-TICCHI, CEREG/Paris-Nanterre ; Armin OWZAR, CEREG/Paris 3)

9h15 Section 1 (Président de séance/chair: Armin OWZAR, CEREG/Paris 3)

  • Johannes NAGEL (Universität Bielefeld) Nationalism and Militarism in the US, 1880-1900

9h45 Pause/Break

10h00 Section 2 (Présidente de séance/chair: Yaneira WILSON, Université Paris-Nanterre)

  • Barthélémy BILLETTE (Université Paris-Nanterre) La vice-royauté du Pérou sous le mandat du Duc de la Palata (1681-1689) : réformer l'Etat pour protéger la société
  • Andrea AZZARELLI (Università degli Studi di Milano) Etat et société civile au quotidien : la Sécurité Publique italienne et le cas de la Sicile (1896-97)

11h00 Pause/Break

11h15 Section 3 (Président de séance/chair: Roman KRAKOVSKY, Université de Genève)

  • Daniel SCHRADER (Universität Regensburg) Between ‘State’ and ‘Society’? Delegates to Samara's City Duma and other representative institutions in Revolution and Civil War, 1917-1918
  • Victor PINEDA (Université Paris-Nanterre) Les frontières perméables entre le bureau et le territoire. Esquisse d’une ethnographie de l’Etat vénézuélien
  • Yaneira WILSON (Université Paris-Nanterre) Le « socialisme du XXIe siècle » au Venezuela et la GMVV

12h45 Déjeuner libre/Lunch break

14h15 Section 4 (Présidente de séance/chair: Sylvie LE GRAND-TICCHI, CEREG/Paris-Nanterre)

  • Lise VAN DER EYK (CEREG/Paris 3) The School between the State and Civil Society (?) in the Political Discourse during the European “Culture Wars” (Prussia, France, Netherlands)
  • Shorena ASABASHVILI (Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis) L’Etat géorgien entre le libéralisme et le conservatisme religieux

15h15 Pause/Break

15h30 Concluding remarks and round table discussion (Président de séance/chair: Armin OWZAR, CEREG/Paris 3)

16h00 Clôture/Closure

Places

  • Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle Paris 3, Institut du Monde Anglophone - Salle: Petit Amphi - 5 rue de l'Ecole de médecine
    Paris, France (75006)

Date(s)

  • Friday, February 09, 2018

Keywords

  • state, society, pluralism, citizenship, civil society, government, état, société, pluralisme, citoyenneté, société civile, gouvernement

Contact(s)

  • Lise Van der Eyk
    courriel : inger-lise [dot] vandereyk [at] etud [dot] sorbonne-nouvelle [dot] fr

Information source

  • Lise Van der Eyk
    courriel : inger-lise [dot] vandereyk [at] etud [dot] sorbonne-nouvelle [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« The concept of the State-society relationship in comparative perspective », Study days, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, https://calenda.org/430925

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal