Tag Archives: Sociology

Two links for 15.5.2013

The Problem Is Not Eurozone Discipline But The Financialisation Of Everything by Saskia Sassen. A very interesting interview with an intellectual giant.

Democracy, Solidarity And The European Crisis. A lecture by Jürgen Habermas at the KU Leuven (also the university of Paul de Grauwe)

 

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“C. Wright Mills and the Power Elite”

From a review of a book about one of my favourite sociologists, C. Wright Mills:

 

‘It is in its fifth chapter that Stanley Aronowitz‘s Taking It Big – C. Wright Mills and The Making of Political Intellectuals deals with the power elite. The power elite seems an obvious concept and reality to many of us but maybe we forget how against-the-grain the idea was when Mills put it on the sociological table:

“The Power Elite is a description of the structure of power in American society that disagrees with most sociology and academic political science by denying that power is widely dispersed among a welter of interest groups. Mills argues that at the national level power is highly concentrated among large corporations, the military, and the highest political “directorate.”” (168).’

Costas Panayotakis and the sociology of journalism

As written in the concluding paragraph of this article by Costas Panayotakis

In other words, the problems that European countries face right now do not stem from the fact that Europeans refuse to be like Germans.  They rather stem from the fact that they have not, up to this point, been able to break from the destructive economic policies that German (and European) political and economic elites continue to prescribe.

This is both a critique of modernization theory (which simply doesn’t work) and a confirmation of some of the points that I (and probably many others!) have made here, here and here. Furthermore, this ties in nicely with the theory in Acemoglu and Robinson’s Why Nations Fail – bad institutions, bad politics and contingent history may put a country in a vicious circle regarding wealth and prosperity.