International Political Sociology


The Kiel University Research Group on International Political Sociology (KUIPS) was established in 2010 at the Institute of Social Sciences.

As a combination of concepts, ´International Political Sociology` (lPS) suggests an aggregation of different (sub-) disciplines in social sciences, most notably International Relations, Political Science, and Sociology. At KUlPS, this conceptual triad is by no means employed as a mere addition to multiple social scientific research traditions and their subject matters. Rather, it is understood as constituted by a field of tension between the concepts of ´the International`, ´the Political`, and ´the Social`.
From this perspective, international politics (´the International`) is engaged as a mirror image of domestic politics (´the National`). For instance, notions of legitimate socio-political order and authority are commonly regarded as the normative and empirical benchmark for politics within nation-states. In contrast, the lack of the same benchmark prevails as the characteristic feature of politics between nation-states. Thus, ´the International` and ´the National` are mutually implicated. Taken together, they reinforce our basic understanding about where legitimate political authority is present or absent.

Accordingly, KUIPS regards ´the Political` as constitutive of ´the Social`; that is, the former establishes these fundamental principles on which a society rests and converges. Since those principles attain their meaning through political acts of delimiting them from what they are not, KUIPS generally advances a critical angle on the subject matter of social scientific research, emphasizing the normative aspect inherent to knowledge produced by theorizing and analyzing social relations.
Current research at KUIPS focuses on global security, comparative regionalism, climate change, ocean governance, security studies, and international relations of Asia and the European Union.

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