About Historical Sociology and International Relations (HSIR)

We continue a two-pronged project to reconvene historical sociology with IR hardwired into its analytical foundations, and to reinforce IR’s often neglected commitment to historicised analysis that is open to a plurality of social forms. For historical sociology, its main preoccupation - large-scale social change - is intricately intertwined with the international. Yet, far too often debates in historical sociology beyond IR about profoundly international concerns - wars, empires, state-formation/collapse, revolutions, or the spread of capitalism - fail to draw on rich veins of IR debates on these concerns.

For IR, like sociology, it has a deep association with history but, again like sociology, its relationship with history has fluctuated, important for many, but exorcised from behaviourism and much neo-realism. This has served to distance IR from historical and historicised analysis: International Relations, if you like, without international relations. We therefore promote scholarship that penetrates the constitution of an otherwise naturalised international at great historical and sociological depth, emphasising regional, cultural and geographic specificities that are forgotten by much IR scholarship.


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Dr Clemens Hoffmann
University of Stirling



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