A HISTORICAL SOCIOLOGY FOR THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE? ELEMENTS OF POSTCOLONIAL THINKING IN HENRI H. STAHL’S HISTORICAL SOCIOLOGY
Drawing on historical sociology, the article sets out to sketch a research project for a so-called “sociology for the present and the futureˮ. This “sociology for the present and the futureˮ seeks to demonstrate the relevance of Henri H. Stahl for the contemporary debate in actual Romania which continues to be marked by an institutional vulnerability that one could also run into in interwar Romania, namely, institutional weakness. The general hypothesis of this research project is that the potential postcolonial elements within Stahl’s historical sociology, and also the examination of the local state transformation in the transition process to feudalism, could be used to shed light on the current state of institutional development in Romania. The article puts forward an ideal type of postcolonial thinking against which I explore the potential elements of Stahl’s border thinking. The conclusion that that text comes up with is that elements of postcolonial thinking could be identified in both Stahl’s theoretical sociology and historical sociology. The article places a particular emphasis on Stahl’s epistemological clash with certain Marxist ideas and also the dominant historical narrative of the communist regime. These aspects, however, do not automatically turn Henri H. Stahl into a postcolonial thinker. The article argues that only by exploring both the interwar and postwar intellectual fields in Romania, one could identify if Stahl really belongs – or not – to the tradition of critical sociology in Romania.
Keywords: Henri H. Stahl, historical sociology, postcolonial thinking, institutional weakness, Romania.