edited by Mauro Di Meglio (University of Naples L’Orientale) Massimo Pendenza (University of Salerno)
In the last decades, and more insistently in the last few years, sociology has been worldwide characterized by various calls for, and attempts at, making it somehow “global” [Smelser 1997, Gallino 2007, Burawoy 2009, Bhambra 2013, Lawson and Go 2017], with the XVIIIth ISA World Congress, held in 2014 in Yokoyama, Japan, explicitly dedicated to explore the “Challenges for Global Sociology”. And, as a matter of fact, the historical social sciences as a whole have witnessed the emergence of many “global” fields of inquiry, even leading someone to characterize the umpteenth turn in social studies as “global” [Darian-Smith and McCarty 2017].
Beyond their understandable heterogeneity, what these approaches have in common is a theoretical and methodological emphasis on socio-historical interactions and connections on a wide, even if not necessarily worldwide, geographical scale, thus problematizing the relevant spatial framework for conducting social analyses. Still, and contrary to the image of the “global” circulated by mainstream discourse, these analyses do not limit themselves to investigate manifestly large-scale macro-level processes, being equally interested in revealing the “global” dimensions of what on the surface look like small-scale and localized processes. What makes an issue, and therefore its analysis, “global” is thus the kind of questions being asked.