Is the National State the Appropriate Geographical Unit for Class Analysis?
Title: Is the National State the Appropriate Geographical Unit for Class Analysis?
Citation: Sociology-The Journal of The British Sociological Association, 1998, 32, 1, 1-21
Contemporary class analysis takes the national state as its unit of analysis, This convention could be challenged on at least two grounds. On the one hand, the national state might be seen as too gross an aggregation that leads to the neglect of important internal variation; on the other, the national state might be considered an irrelevant distinction for the study of processes that are best viewed on a larger canvas. In this paper we concern ourselves with this latter possibility and we assess the extent to which globalisation threatens to displace the national state's role in shaping class structure and patterns of social fluidity. In our formulation, the competing claims of national state and global system effects on class structures and mobility regimes involve matters of degree, and thus are open to empirical investigation. The existing evidence supports the continued resilience of the national state but not so emphatically as to preclude the need to take account of world-system influences. This leads us to propose an analytical strategy for integrating world-system effects into class analysis. We conclude by suggesting that a more robust challenge to the role of the national state in class analysis might yet come from the growth of the 'new regionalism' in Europe and elsewhere.
Files in this item
There are no files associated with this item.