Theory and Society

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 505–532

Science and neoliberal globalization: a political sociological approach

  • Kelly Moore
  • Daniel Lee Kleinman
  • David Hess
  • Scott Frickel

DOI: 10.1007/s11186-011-9147-3

Cite this article as:
Moore, K., Kleinman, D.L., Hess, D. et al. Theor Soc (2011) 40: 505. doi:10.1007/s11186-011-9147-3


The political ideology of neoliberalism is widely recognized as having influenced the organization of national and global economies and public policies since the 1970s. In this article, we examine the relationship between the neoliberal variant of globalization and science. To do so, we develop a framework for sociology of science that emphasizes closer ties among political sociology, the sociology of social movements, and economic and organizational sociology and that draws attention to patterns of increasing and uneven industrial influence amid several countervailing processes. Specifically, we explore three fundamental changes since the 1970s: the advent of the knowledge economy and the increasing interchange between academic and industrial research and development signified by academic capitalism and asymmetric convergence; the increasing prominence of science-based regulation of technology in global trade liberalization, marked by the heightened role of international organizations and the convergence of scientism and neoliberalism; and the epistemic modernization of the relationship between scientists and publics, represented by the proliferation of new institutions of deliberation, participation, activism, enterprise, and social movement mobilization.


Political sociology of scienceScientizationNew knowledge economyEpistemic modernizationSocial movements

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly Moore
    • 1
  • Daniel Lee Kleinman
    • 2
  • David Hess
    • 3
  • Scott Frickel
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of SociologyLoyola University-ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Community and Environmental SociologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of SociologyWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA