Political Sociology: Culture, Conflict and Morality Day

Political Sociology: Culture, Conflict and Morality
Day-2 Comps, October 2012
- Answer 2 out of 5 questions. Submit answers within 48 hours
For all questions use several theorists/readings and try to generate causal and falsifiable
1) What is (are) the relationship(s) between morality and power? Consider the following
issues. What role does morality play in power struggles? Is it always important? How
does the morality of the powerful differ from the morality of the weak? When are moral
claims more common in power struggles?
2) What is (are) the relationship(s) between culture and political conflict? How would
cultural differences affect the likelihood, severity, and resolution of conflict?
3) What roles do Peter Berger’s notion of nomos and Randall Collins’ notion of interaction
ritual chains play in generating and perpetuating political and military conflict? How, if
at all, have these roles varied across countries and time over the last 100 years?
4) With few exceptions, countries with McDonalds restaurants do not go to war with each
other. Assuming this relationship—sometimes called the “McDonalds theory of conflict
prevention”—isn’t actually caused by the presence of McDonalds, theorize it in relation
to culture, morality and conflict.
5) Aspiring to global peace is dystopian nonsense.