Professor Jack Barbalet

ACU Researcher

Areas of expertise: economic sociology; political sociology; sociology of emotions; sociological theory; sociology of China

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full



Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

My research is focussed on a number of key themes, including social solidarity, social interaction, and institutionalization. These themes are explored across a number of sub-fields of sociology, especially in political sociology, economic sociology, the sociology of emotions and the sociology of modern China.

The approach taken in my research is conceptual refinement and theory development directed to understanding social change and societal transition.

My undergraduate degree is from Flinders University and my PhD from Adelaide University. My first academic appointment was at the University of Papua New Guinea and the longest held at the Australian National University. Since then, I have had appointments at the University of Leicester as well as Hong Kong Baptist University, before coming to the ACU.

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Select publications

  • Barbalet, J. (2023). Nation and State in Max Weber: Politics as Sociology. London: Routledge.
  • Barbalet, J. (2021). The Theory of Guanxi and Chinese Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Barbalet, J. (2017). Confucianism and the Chinese Self: Re-examining Max Weber’s China. Palgrave/Macmillan.
  • Barbalet, J. (2011). Weber, Passion and Profits: ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’ in Context. Cambridge University Press.
  • Barbalet, J. (2022). Race and its Reformulation in Max Weber: Cultural Germanism as Political Imperialism. Journal of Classical Sociology. Online First. DOI: 10.1177/1468795X221083684
  • Barbalet, J. (2021). Violence and Politics: Reconsidering Weber’s ‘Politics as a Vocation’. Sociology. 55(1): 56-70
  • Barbalet, J. (2021). The Analysis of Chinese Rural Society: Fei Xiaotong Revisited. Modern China. 47(4): 355-382.
  • Barbalet, J. (2019). Primitive Accumulation and Chinese Mirrors. Journal of Classical Sociology. 19(1), 27-42.
  • Barbalet, J. (2019). Trust: Condition of Action or Condition of Appraisal. International Sociology. 34(1), 83-98.
  • Barbalet, J. (2018). Magic and Reformation Calvinism in Max Weber’s Sociology. European Journal of Social Theory. 21(4), 470-87.
  • Barbalet, J. (2018). Guanxi as Social Exchange: Emotions, Power and Corruption. Sociology. 52(5), 934-49.

Current editorial activities

Member, Editorial Board, Sociology (from 2022).

Member, Editorial Board, Sociological Theory (from 2021).

Member, Editorial Board, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour (from 2020).

Member, Advisory Board, Emotions and Society (from 2019).


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