Historical Sociology


1. Understanding of the inherent historicity og the objct of sociology, so as to overcome the commonsense dichotomy of history as the science of particular and sociology as science of the general;
2. Knowledge and understanding of historical sociology´s main outlooks, namely, long term social change and comparative analysis;
3. A genetic undertsanding of modernities, underpinned by complex and historical sociological causality;
4. Ability to communicate historical sociological knowledge in an accurate and significant way.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Jorge Miguel de Melo Viana Pedreira


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



To have accomplished a minimum of 48 ECTS credits


Abrams, P. (1982). Historical sociology. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Barrington Moore Jr. (2010). As origens sociais da ditadura e da democracia. Lisboa: Edições 70.
Braudel, F. (1992). A dinâmica do capitalismo. Lisboa: Teorema.
Eisenstadt, S.N. (2007). Múltiplas modernidades: Ensaios. Lisboa: Livros Horizonte.
Elias, N. (1989). O processo civilizacional: Investigações sociogenéticas e psicogenéticas. Vol 1. Lisboa: Presença.
Hobsbawm, E. (2004). A questão do nacionalismo. Lisboa: Terramar.
Polanyi, K. (2012). A grande transformação. Lisboa: Edições 70.
Smith,A.D. (2001). Nacionalismo. Lisboa: Teorema.
Weber, M. (1983). A ética protestante e o espírito do capitalismo. Lisboa: Presença.


Teaching method

Theoretical classes (50%): lectures explaining the syllabus´s contents
Practical classes (50%): tutored work on the units´ readings ; exercises and tests for formative and summative evaluation.


Evaluation method

Four individual written exercises in class, for summative evaluation. The average of the grades of the four best exercises will make up 50% of the final grade.(50%), Three written tests in class. The average of the grades in these tests will make up 50% of the final grade.(50%)

Subject matter

1. Foundations of a historical sociology. The construction of modernity(ies) as a long-term process

2. Capitalism
2.1. The historical formation of capitalism, capitalist action and the "spirit of capitalism"
2.2. Markets and world-economies
2.3. "Industrial revolutions", the "Great Transformation" and the role of States in the social order of capitalism

3. The state
3.1. Rationalisation, bureaucratisation and the monopoly of legitimate coertion
3.2. The sociogenesis of the state. From the Royal House to the Modern State
3.3. Paths to political modernisation

4. The nation and nationalisms
4.1. Modernist and Primordialist theories of nationalism
4.2. National Identity
4.3. Sociopolitical change and historical mutations of nationalism

5. Multiple modernities



Programs where the course is taught: