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RN29 - Social Theory

Social theory is integral to the traditions and identity of European sociology. RN29 is a vital and convivial forum committed to the systematic investigation, reflexive discussion, innovative development, and creative application of social theory.

Europe has always been the major centre of social theory. RN29 is a long-standing network that draws inspiration from all of the great traditions of European social theory. RN29 upholds the European understanding of social theory as foundational for the discipline of sociology and as concerned with all facets of the human condition. Social theory aims at developing theoretical concepts and ontologies that provide social research with conceptual and methodological tools. As such, social theory is a distinct field in itself, whilst forming a dialogue with the empirical research of modern societies.

RN29 embraces the comprehensiveness and diversity of social theory. It engages with questions and approaches that are conceptual, moral, epistemological, political, cultural and historical. RN29 is a space for constructive dialogue, critique and synthesis; it recognises that social theory can be normative and analytical, speculative and concrete, meta-theoretical and applied, traditional and critical, disciplinary and interdisciplinary.

RN29 promotes new work in social theory and endeavours to build upon and transform perspectives, including those of critical theory, phenomenology, social and communicative constructivism, systems theory, pragmatism, hermeneutics, Marxism, and post-structuralism. RN29 believes that social theory is essential for understanding the transformations shaping contemporary European modernity and the world beyond.

RN29 is a major stream of the ESA Conferences and holds intellectually stimulating mid-term conferences that provide opportunities for in-depth discussion of social theory and major themes of relevance to contemporary social life. A large body of works presented at RN29 forums have been published. RN29 facilitates collaborations and opportunities for members to interact with editors of book series, social theory journals, and reviewers of publication and grant submissions.

RN29 is committed to the development of the next generation of social theorists. It offers competitive stipends and reduced fees for graduate students to participate in mid-term conferences.

RN29 enacts the scholarly values of social theory. The research network is characterized by its deep respect, generosity and good will. RN29 opposes the political persecution of scholars and intellectuals. It seeks to facilitate a better appreciation of the situations encountered by social theory.

RN29 sustains its own website with information on its activities and that of its members: