1999: The Bilderberg Group and the project of European unification

Mike Peters Introduction Despite their reputation for ’empiricism’, British academics have tended to treat political power by means of abstract concepts rather than empirical information about the actions of determinate individuals and groups (e.g. Giddens, 1984, 1985; Scott, 1986). After a brief efflorescence of empirical studies of the so-called ‘Establishment’ in the early 1960s, sociologists in Britain became diverted from empirical investigation of power, as the study of national and international power-structures became conducted under the aegis of increasingly abstract theoretical categories derived from Marxism, and in particular by a wave of concepts based on Poulantzas’s ‘structuralist’ critique of Miliband, and was followed by ever more esoteric discussions of the ‘theory’ of the state (e.g. Jessop, 1990), culminating in the hegemony of a post-Marxist version of Gramsci’s conception of ‘hegemony’ – in which ‘struggle’ is posited without any identifiable human beings as its active protagonists, and with the stakes […] Read More