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Björn Wittrock and Johann Arnason

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Frontiers of Sociology

The Annals of the International Institute of Sociology – Volume 11


Edited by Peter Hedström and Björn Wittrock

The 37th World Congress of the IIS focused on theory and research at the forefront of sociology and the relationship between sociology and its neighbouring disciplines. This volume constitutes a sustained effort by prominent sociologists and other social scientists to assess the current standing of sociology. It is a stocktaking of the unique nature of sociology in the light of advances within the discipline itself and within a range of neighbouring disciplines. Some of the chapters outline institutional and professional strategies for sociology in the new millennium. Others trace scholarly advances and propose ambitious research programmes drawing on recent developments not only within traditional neighbouring disciplines such as history, political science, and economics, but also within the cognitive, cultural and mathematical sciences.

Contributors include: Hans-Peter Blossfeld, Raymond Boudon, Richard Breen, Christofer R. Edling, S. N. Eisenstadt, Jack Goldstone, Philip Gorski, Peter Gärdenfors, Ulf Hannerz, Peter Hedström, Hans Joas, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, Jens Rydgren, Neil Smelser, Aage B. Sørensen, Richard Swedberg, Piotr Sztompka, Peter Wagner and Björn Wittrock.
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Peter Hedström and Björn Wittrock

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Edited by Shalini Randeria and Björn Wittrock

The 38th World Congress of ISS addressed some of the most fundamental issues of sociological inquiry in light of global processes and the development of different fields of knowledge: What does it mean to be human? What is the nature of social as opposed to natural processes? How do efforts to map the social and political world interact with that world and with traditional sociological practices? What can we say about relationships between scientific, political and religious beliefs? This volume sets the stage for a sustained look at what social science can say about the twenty-first century and to address the theme of the congress in 2008: Sociology Looks at the 21th Century. From Local Universalism to Global Contextualism.

Contributors are: Gustaf Arrhenius, Rajeev Bhargava, Craig Calhoun, Shmuel N. Eisentstadt, Yehuda Elkana, Raghavendra Gadagkar, Peter Hedström, Hans Joas, Hannes Klöpper, Ivan Krastev, Steven Lukes, Vinh-Kim Nguyen, Helga Nowotny, Shalini Randeria, Alan Ryan, Jyotirmaya Sharma, Christina Torén, Michel Wieviorka, Björn Wittrock, Petri Ylikoski.
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Eurasian Transformations, Tenth to Thirteenth Centuries

Crystallizations, Divergences, Renaissances

Edited by Johann P. Arnason and Björn Wittrock

This volume which also appeared as a special issue of Medieval Encounters deals with transformations of the major Eurasian civilizations in the early second millennium CE, and with the question of contrasts, parallels and connections between the different trajectories that took shape during this period. An introductory section discusses the theoretical problems of comparative analysis, with particular reference to formative phases of cultural crystallization. The first main thematic section focuses on European developments. The emergence of Western Christendom as a distinctive civilization is analyzed in a broader Eurasian context. Other contributions examine the Europeanization of northern and eastern peripheries, as well as the different course of events in the Byzantine world. The last section covers socio-cultural changes in non-European regions - the Islamic world, India, China and Japan - and concludes with a discussion of the Eurasian empire created by the Mongols.
With contributions by Thomas Lindkvist; Sverre Bagge; Paul Jakov Smith; Paul Stephenson; Mikael Adolphson; Dr. Michal Biran; Said A. Arjomand; Gábor Klaniczay; R. I. Moore; Sheldon Pollock.

Originally published in hardcover

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Edited by Johann P. Arnason, Shmuel N. Eisenstadt and Björn Wittrock

The overarching theme of the book is the historical meaning of the Axial Age, commonly defined as a period of several centuries around the middle of the last millennium BCE, and its cultural innovations. The civilizational patterns that grew out of this exceptionally creative phase are a particularly rewarding theme for comparative analysis.
The book contains essays on cultural transformations in Ancient Greece, Ancient Israel, Iran, India and China, as well as background developments in the core civilizations of the Ancient Near East. An introductory section deals with the history of the debate on the AxialAge, the theoretical questions that have emerged from it, and the present state of the discussion.
The book will be useful for comparative historians of cultures and religions, as well as for historical sociologists interested in the comparative analysis of civilizations. It should also help linking the fields of classical, biblical and Asian studies to broader interdisciplinary debates within the humanities sciences.