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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the different methods employed in historical sociology through which historical macro social outcomes are investigated — comparative, institutional, relational, and cultural — as well as the enduring tension revealed by the meso-level structures that often shape outcomes. It begins with a discussion of two major categories of historical sociology: comparative historical analysis, characterized by historical sociologists and political scientists who seek an explanation for large-scale processes, and the focus on institutionalism and networks in historical studies. It then presents examples of work in historical social science that have come closest to the requirements of analytical sociology. It also considers ways of bringing historical institutionalism and network analysis together and argues that an emphasis on analytic historical sociology can help specify the causality behind processes that have not been clearly interpreted or have been misinterpreted in historical, sociological, and culturally oriented studies.

Keywords: historical sociology, macro social outcomes, comparative historical analysis, institutionalism, networks, historical studies, analytical sociology, historical institutionalism, network analysis, analytic historical sociology

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