By Michael J. Shapiro
Throughout the 20th century, a scientifically oriented social science has dominated as the means for looking at society. Methods and Nations examines and critiques one of the primary deployments of these methods: an explanatory comparative politics whose major focus has been on "nation-building" in the "Third World", often attempting to universalize and render self-evident its own practices. Methods and Nations is essentially saying that IR theorists, operating within our dominant state, have allowed themselves to become colonized, unable to resist the "cognitive imperialism" of a state-centric social science. Shapiro seeks to bring to recognition forms of political expression - alternative modes of intelligibility for things, people(s) and spaces - that have existed on the margins of the nationhood practices of states, and the complicit nation-building and nation-sustaining conceits of social science.