Controversies

Over the recent years, I had the pleasure and great opportunity to be invited to participate to roundtables and written symposia on mechanism-based explanations and analytical sociology. These events forced me to engage into discussion with some of the greatest contemporary social theorists in sociology and social philosophy.
In this section I list the events and the written exchanges that I regard as the most important in my intellectual maturation on these topics.
One fil rouge of these discussions concerns the theory of action and, in particular, the status of rational choice theory in contemporary sociology. To a large extent, my present interest for alternative understandings of action theory and, in particular, for heuristic-based decision making is progressively maturated thanks to the stimulating, often polemic, exchanges listed below.


Symposium on "Mechanisms and Relations" by Andrew Abbott

Sociologica -Italian Journal of Sociology on-Line (2007/2)
[Abbott's paper]  
[My reply to Abbott]  
[Abbott's reply]
[Daniel Little's appreciation of this debate]

Discussion with Neil Gross

Neil Gross's "A Pragmatist Theory of Social Mechanisms" in American Sociological Review (2009, 74:358-79).
My reply in "Analytical Sociology and Its Critics" (European Journal of Sociology, 2010, 51,1: 129-170)

Roundtable with Peter Hedström and Peter Bearman  

The panel at the University of Oxford (2010) on The Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology
My comment in European Sociological Review  (2011, 27, 6: 829-835).
My (and Gunn Birkelund's) shorter review in Acta Sociologica (2011, 54, 3: 297-300)

Discussion with Raymond Boudon

The original panel in Paris (2012).
Boudon's "Analytical Sociology and the Explanation of Beliefs" in European Journal of Social Sciences (2012, 50, 2, p. 35-65).
My “Reason-based Explanations and Analytical Sociology. A Rejoinder to Boudon” in European Journal of Social Sciences (2012, 50, 2, p. 35-65).

Symposium on "Analytical Sociology and the Rest of Sociology" by Daniel Little

Sociologica -Italian Journal of Sociology on-Line (2012/1)
[Little's paper]  
[My reply to Little]  
[Little's reply]

Symposium on "What is Analytical Sociology" by Karl-Dieter Opp

Social Science Information (2013, 52/3)
Opp's paper
My reply to Opp
Opp's reply
Sage SSI Vodcasts.

Roundtable on "Analytical approaches to the study of social mechanisms"
(Closing plenary session at the 7th Annual Meeting of the International Network of Analytical Sociology, Mannheim, June 2014) 

Panelists were asked to reply to the following question:
Which theoretical frameworks, modeling tools and research strategies are best suited to study social mechanisms?

Peter Hedström  
Gianluca Manzo (Input Statement)
Werner Raub (Input Statement)
Robert J. Sampson (Input Statement)

Interview by Wojtek Przepiorka on Rational Choice Theory and Agent-based Models 

The Interview (for AGORA, the newsletter of ASA & ISA sections on Rationality)