Interview with Victor Nee “Sociologists Always Want to Reinvent the Conceptual Map and to Come up with the New Conceptual Scheme that Identifies Something as Important” (Part 1)
Victor Nee was interviewed by Alexander Kurakin, Senior Lecturer at the Higher School of Economics. This interview was conducted during the international conference “Embeddedness and Beyond: Do Sociological Theories Meet Economic Realities?” (Moscow, 25–28 October 2012), at which Prof. Nee co-chaired the mini-conference “Organizations and Institutions in Emerging Markets.”
In the interview, Professor Nee emphasizes that economic sociology cannot be built only on the argument that networks matter. While important, this sole focus does not allow economic sociology to progress to the societal level. For that, economic sociology needs to incorporate institutional structures — both formal and informal — into its analysis, as it extends the sociological perspective to the study of economic behavior.
Professor Nee also discusses his book Capitalism from Below (co-authored with S. Opper, 2012), which puts into practice and explains through such multi-dimensional institutional analysis how private-enterprise capitalism emerged in China.
Interview with Victor Nee: Sociology Should be Open to Intellectual Trade with Ally Disciplines (Part 2)
This interview was conducted by Alexander Kurakin, a senior lecturer at National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow in October, 2012.
Professor Nee re-emphasizes the importance of developing middle-range theories in order for economic sociology to progress by obtaining external validity. He cites some examples of this, including his recent research on the rise of capitalism in contemporary China that resulted in the book Capitalism from Below [Nee, Opper 2012], and the ongoing study of the knowledge economy in New York City. Both are empirical, evidence-based studies that rely on common conceptual frameworks that take into account the salience of the relationship between formal and informal institutions.