Plural Modernity

Changing Modern Institutional Forms—Disciplines and Nation-States

in Social Analysis
Author:
Filipe Carreira da Silva University of Lisbon fcs23@cam.ac.uk

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Mónica Brito Vieira University of Lisbon monica.britovieira@york.ac.uk

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The article begins with the assumption that modernity is undergoing a profound change. The focus is on the structural transformation of two typical modern institutional regimes: the academic discipline and the territorial nation-state. Their demise as the predominant institutional forms in the realms of science and politics signals the end of the modern project—or at least the need for its profound redefinition. It is suggested that such a redefinition entails a radical conceptual shift in the social sciences and that the meta-theoretical expression of this shift can be designated as 'dialogical pluralism'. At a theoretical level, both modernization theories and the recent program of 'multiple modernities' are rejected. A plural modernity, with several distinct varieties, seems a more promising perspective.

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