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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

I introduce the five articles in this special issue of Comparative Sociology as each applies the theory of enlightened localism. First I outline the theory in question and then highlight those aspects that each of the authors deploys, the criticisms each levels at it, and the suggestions each offers toward its improvement. Lea Ypi applies the theory to human rights in a way that might reconcile universal norms with the need for individual motivation that can only be local. Jonathan White uses the theory to develop a conception of the European Union that would preserve rather than, as now, repress the partisan politicking at the core of democracy. Junmin Wang finds the theory helpful in analyzing the unintended decentralization of political power in China as a consequence of recent economic reforms. Ko Hasegawa seeks an enlightened localist solution to the problematic integration of a minority population into mainstream Japanese society. Manuel Ahedo enlists the theory in combating ghettoized schooling all too typical for immigrant children in Europe with ideas for integrating the children of immigrants with those of long-established residents. I conclude by listing some of the questions raised by the articles and to be addressed by future research ‐ concerns that might move an enlightened localist approach forward.

Affiliations: 1: University of Texas at Austin, Department of Government 1 University Station A 1800, Austin, TX 78712 USA, Email:


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