Much of what politics is about at the micro-level and the intersection of grassroots people and politics includes: equal access to food, housing, services, and availability of Goods (social Goods and everyday market goods).
Meaningful political participation, the structure or configuration of political institutions, real institutional practices, and international relations or security may come in a distant second for many people, as important as they are.
The blog is made up of essays in politics, political culture, & sociology of knowledge focusing on micro-level, grassroots, local, and local-national intersections in politics anywhere in the world, including the U.S. It is open as to theme.
Submissions are welcomed from scholars, professionals, and lay people and should relate to concrete examples or issues at home or abroad. Analyses and Opinions are welcomed, 500-2000 words, preferable; they should be grounded in concrete events or phenomena from specific places, or the intersection of social theory and such case materials. Blog pieces cannot include personalized attacks on local officials, or other local individuals or groups. Biography and personal experience is allowable — and even encouraged — if relevant to the argument of the blog piece. To make a blog piece contribution, see the contact page.
The blog is intended to be a mouthpiece for grounded case study, qualitative, and/or social theory based arguments relating to concrete contexts, as well as centrist and center-right political thought. In that way, it is intended to fill a lacunae in writing from centrist and center-right perspectives. The writing may be less formal than academic journals and should be, nonetheless, grounded in place (local, national, or regional) and analytically sound. The editor may elect not to publish, or may ask for some editing changes before agreeing to publish a piece in the blog. Contributions from abroad, and from people for whom English is a second or third language, are welcomed. Contributions should be in English (American or British are fine).
Dr. Patricia Sohn, Ph.D., is associate professor of Political Science and Jewish Studies, founder and editor of the blog. She is affiliate faculty in Women’s Studies and Global Islamic Studies. Dr. Sohn has been on the faculty at the University of Florida since 2001. (Go Gators!!) The blog has no association with the University. She has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, as well as at other academic institutions in Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Law, International Studies, and Public Policy in the U.S., Israel, France, and/or England. She has received fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation (Law and Social Sciences, SES#9906136), and others. She is deeply influenced by works of scholars including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Victor Turner, Erving Goffman, Samuel Huntington, Pierre Bourdieu, Michael Mann, Clifford Geertz, Edward Said, Timothy Mitchell, Nancy Hartsock, Thomas Kuhn, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, Luce Irigaray, Shane Phelan, Saba Mahmood, Judith Plaskow, Fatima Mernissi, Raphael Patai, Joseph Bastien, Bouthaina Shaaban, Jomo Kenyatta, Albert Memmi, Naguib Mafouz, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’, and others. She has interests in grassroots, micro-level, and political sociological and/or historical institutional analysis of state-society relations; qualitative and field methods. In her academic work, she writes on the intersections of courts and politics, religion and politics, and gender politics. Intellectually, she is a post-positivist engaging in scientific method based causal analysis of complex political, cultural, and socio-political phenomena — primarily in Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East — with special interests in symbolic capital, identities, as well as symbolic violence and the use of intentional forms of distortion for the performance of power plays in political interactions.
Dr. Sohn received her Ph.D. in Near and Middle East Civilizations/Modern Middle East Politics in 2001 with emphasis in Comparative Politics, Middle East Politics, Ethnicity and Nationalism, and Comparative Gender Politics (University of Washington); she received graduate certificates in Comparative Law and Society, and Women’s Studies. Her first two degrees are in Comparative Religion (Jewish Studies and Islamic Studies) (University of Florida, 1989, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi; and 1991, respectively). Dr. Sohn speaks and reads in three languages to various levels (American English, French, Hebrew); has written knowledge of a fourth (Arabic); and elementary training in several others (Haitian Creole, Palestinian spoken Arabic, German, and Turkish). She writes short stories, musicals, has written a play in French poetic dialogue, poetry, and has written one screen play; one book of poetry was considered in a national poetry contest in the 2013 competition. Until 2017, she published under her maiden name, Patricia J. Woods.