Socialization – or the process of inducting new members into the norms and rules of a given community – has a long history in the social sciences. Early work by sociologists and anthropologists was followed by a political socialization research program in political science. After a lull in the 1990s, interest has revived among political scientists. Work by both IR scholars and comparativists treats socialization as a key dynamic fostering order and disorder at the international, national and sub-national levels. A review of contemporary socialization research shows that earlier theoretical and methodological weaknesses are being addressed, and that the utility of the concept has been established. However, within political science, there is still a clear need for cross fertilization. Collaboration among IR theorists and comparativists will produce better arguments about socialization – including in studies of civil conflict.
Jeffrey T. Checkel homepage: http://www.sfu.ca/internationalstudies/checkel.html
Checkel, Jeffrey T., Socialization and Organized Political Violence: Theoretical Tools and Challenges, Simons Papers in Security and Development, No. 28/2013, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, November 2013.
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