Mawani’s essay reads Julian Go’s Patterns of Empire through the politics of comparison and through a shared intellectual commitment to a postcolonial sociology. Patterns of Empire is an ambitious and challenging book that places sociology at the heart of Anglo-imperial history. Whereas Go makes important contributions to critiques of exceptionalism, his analytic approach reveals the limits of comparative historical sociology. Mawani asks to what extent sociology offers the requisite conceptual and methodological tools to study empires past and present or whether sociology itself needs to be provincialized.

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