Editorial: Going Public, Going Comparative

In this issue we begin with two essays from Asia – one from the Philippines and the other from India – written by distinguished public intellectuals. Walden Bello follows a line of sociologists who have entered politics. For example, Global Dialogue interviewed Fernando Henrique Cardoso who became President of Brazil (GD3.4) and Nicolás Lynch who became Minister of Education in Peru (GD4.2). Bello describes the tensions and compromises involved in representing the Philippine opposition party, Akbayan, in parliament. An important writer on world development, Bello has had a long history of courageous interventions from breaking into the World Bank to discover its collaborations with the Marcos dictatorship to exposing the atrocities of the Philippine Communist Party whilst he was a member. Indian sociologist, Dipankar Gupta is another kind of public intellectual – a prolific scholar and at the same time a prominent member of major development organizations and national commissions that have brought him close to centers of power. Here he explores the close connection between democracy and social science.

We follow these disquisitions on public engagement with a symposium on one of the most pressing problems of our time, yet one sociology has been slow to investigate – the organization of care work. Put together by the indefatigable Brigitte Aulenbacher, the articles compare the marketization pressures on child and elderly care in Austria, Germany, Sweden, Japan, Spain, Australia, Chile, Costa Rica and South Africa. It is good to see ISA research committees nurturing such important comparative research.

Two essays from young scholars point to new directions in Russian sociology. The Public Sociology Laboratory in St. Petersburg challenges two prevailing conventions – the “instrumentalism” of policy research conducted at the behest of state or corporate clients and the “autonomism” of professionals who scurry into private obscurity. The Public Sociology Laboratory pursues a third road of critical engagement, building collaborations with civil society without sacrificing scientific rigor. The second Russian contribution is a photo essay of a district of St. Petersburg that still exhibits the socialist architecture of the early Soviet era. Time is ripe for a new generation of sociologists to recover the imagination that propelled the greatest and most tragic social experiment of the 20th century.

We have three interesting contributions from the Czech Republic – a study of Czech au pairs in England, a public exhibit of Roma migration, and the dilemmas of homeschooling. We have special columns on trade unionism in China, on a comparative study of professions, and on a novel program for promoting social science on a global scale. Finally, we say a fond good-bye to José Ignacio Reguera, aka Nacho, who has been a mainstay in the ISA office for three decades, quietly taking us into the electronic age of the 21st century. At the same time we welcome the Indonesian editorial team who will produce Global Dialogue in a 16th language.

> Global Dialogue can be found in 16 languages at the ISA website.
> Submissions should be sent to burawoy@berkeley.edu

, Volume 5, Issue 3

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