Political Economy and Network Analysis. An Untapped Convergence
In recent years, sociologists have paid increasing attention to the economy. Two broad fields have emerged, both of which have roots in classical sociology: political economy and economic sociology. Political economy has focused primarily on the embeddedness of economic activity within larger political institutions. Economic sociology has focused primarily on the behavior of firms within product markets and the meanings that economic actors draw from the cultures in which they operate. I argue that the two approaches are fully compatible, and that network analysis has the potential to provide a synthesis between them. I illustrate this with a discussion of the field of power structure research-an area in which scholars have examined the relations between corporations and the state. I discuss the decline of power structure research, and argue that renewed attention to this area could provide a means of linking political economy, economic sociology, and the study of social networks.
- economic sociology
- political economy
- social networks