SOCIOL 1023: Political Sociology

SOCIOL 1023: Political Sociology


SOC 23: Introduction to Political Sociology 

Harvard College/GSAS: 
Spring 2022

Course Preview Sessions - all are welcome!

During Course Preview period in Spring 2022, you are welcome to swing by for a brief overview and Q&A regarding our course on Political Sociology: 

Wednesday, January 19, 1:00 pm EST

Zoom Link:


Meeting Time: 10:30 - 11:45 Tuesdays & Thursdays

Meeting Place: William James B1 (basement auditorium)

Professor: Danilo Mandić

Office Hours: Tuesdays 14:30 - 16:30 in 604 William James Hall.


Nefara Riesch (

Kyle Waldman (

Joey Wallerstein (

Thursdays, 12PM (Lyman Lab 425) & 3PM (WJH 105)


TF Office Hours: TBA

Syllabus: [right herePLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE UPDATED, SPRING 2022 SYLLABUS (throw away old versions!)

pol.soc. syllabus.doc

Course Description:

Politics is about power and authority. But the production, conservation and distribution of power and authority occur far beyond Capitol Hill: in family dynamics, neighborhoods, schools, welfare policies, social movements, nation-states and the globalized economy. In this course, we will examine such areas using the theoretical framework and analytic tools of political sociology.

            The course is divided into five parts according to major themes: (1) Foundations; (2) the Nation-State; (3) Capitalism; (4) Democracy; (5) the Big Picture: Global Processes. Firstly, we survey sociological theorists who laid the foundation for political sociology, and consider alternative ways of conceptualizing power. Secondly, we explore the origins of the modern nation-state and processes of state-formation in different contexts. Competing approaches to nationalism will be considered, as well as major research into social movements. Thirdly, we inquire about capitalism: its ideological underpinnings, its embeddedness in society and culture, and its relation to the state – especially as reflected in the evolution and variety of welfare state models in contemporary capitalist societies. Fourthly, we consider political stratification and cases of institutionalized exclusion or discrimination in democratic societies. Fifthly, we scrutinize what is known as “globalization,” weighing alternative ways to describe it and asking how regionalization differs. Finally, we conclude with some open-ended conclusions about the future potential and shortfalls of political sociology.

            Abstract, theoretical works are explored with practical applications and illustrations in specific national/historical contexts. Through the readings and written work, students will acquire proficient knowledge of the central themes, methods and empirical concerns of political sociologists. They will also become aware of criticisms and debates within the field – as well as its limitations.

Lecture slides will be uploaded weekly under "Files" in the readings' folders.



Week 2: Politics in Sociology, Sociology in Politics

Week 3: The Classics

Week 4: Conceptualizing Power


Week 5: The State & Social Cohesion

Week 6: Nationalism, Race, Ethnicity

Week 7: Social Movements


Week 8: Ideology, Networks & Embeddedness

Week 9: Welfare States & Immigration


Week 10: Stratification

Week 11: Discrimination & Exclusion


Week 12: World System & World Polity

Week 13: Globalization


Course Summary:

Date Details Due