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On a Field Trip with Bourdieu

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How can Bourdieu help us grasp international politics today? How can the concept
of ‘‘field,’’ originally coined for analyzing relations within states, provide an
understanding of emerging patterns of transnational governance? I argue that
Bourdieu provides us with sophisticated analytical tools for exploring the
strength and limits of state authority—also beyond the national territory. Moreover,
I claim that sovereign state interaction—diplomacy—has developed into a
metafield. If we are to understand emerging challenges to state authority, from
private companies to international organizations and global media, we need to
study everyday activities, which both reproduce and challenge the sovereign state
system as a meaningful reality. I illustrate this idea of competing articulations of
political authority by focusing on the EU’s new diplomatic service, which challenges
the very idea of national diplomatic representation.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftInternational Political Sociology
Vol/bind5
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)327-330
Antal sider4
ISSN1749-5679
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2011

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