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The State • Behavioralists either dissolved the State in a multiplicity of agencies and institutions, or presented it as a “black box” (structural-functionalism). • Developmentalists referred to the State as if we knew exactly what it is and how it works.
The “Return of the State.” • Dependency theorists showed the decisive role of the State in the expansion of capital and industrialization (the State always intervenes, somehow). • New consensus: Politics is not a mere “reflection” of economics. • In the dependency theory version, this leads to propose breaking bonds with the center. • Instead, critics of dependency see the State as an instrument to overcome underdevelopment WITHIN the system (ex: Evans)
Bringing the State Back In (1985) • “Back In”? • Actually, comparative politics had not focused on the study of the State before. • “It is one thing to argue that a deeper study of the state is needed, however, and quite another to know in what terms or concepts the state is to be studied.” (Lane, 80) • Hegel’s ghost (State = Universal, Progressive force)
Lane: • “The new state theorists... Adopted the most banal of the questions raised by Marxists and neo-Marxists... The issue of whether the state was merely the ‘executive committee’ of the capitalist class, doing its will, or whether the state had some degree of independence from forces in the surrounding society.” (80)
The “Return of the State.” • Structuralism = the Whole is more than the addition of its parts, and the organization of the whole determines and explains the parts. • Structuralisms from Marxist and Weberian roots. • Marx: the State is an instrument of domination of the ruling classes. • Weber: the State is fundamentally a bureaucracy which develops according to an internal logic.
Main Approaches. • O’Donnell’s “Bureaucratic Authoritarian State.” • Theda Skocpol’s “autonomy” of the State. • Evans’ emphasis on the entrepeneurial aspects of the State. • The centrality of the State in Transitions to Democracy (Schmitter & O’Donnell, Linz & Stepan) • The Postmodern Critique: the State as a “metaphysical effect” of social practices (Mitchell).
Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan • Problem: to define the conditions of the Democratic State, which “requires much more than elections and markets.” • Preconditions for a consolidated democracy: • Existence of a State. • Free and contested elections • Democratic government (rule of law) “Only democracies can become consolidated democracies.”
A democratic regime is consolidated... • When democracy becomes “the only game in town.” ?
Crafting and Conditions (mutually reinforcing ARENAS ) • Precond: (Existence of a functioning State) • Free and lively civil society (associations) • Autonomous political society (parties) • Rule of law (accountability) • A functioning State bureaucracy • Institutionalized economic society (clear rules of the game)
What is first/more important? “Rightly understood, democracy is more than a regime; it is an interacting system.” -Need of achieving a balance between the different arenas
The State had been seen as... • A Subject with a unified, autonomous, and sovereign will (Hobbes’ Leviathan) • An instrument of the ruling classes (Marx) • Direct instrument of the ruling classes • Reproducing a social relationship (private property of the means of production) despite the interests of the owners of capital. • A Black Box • A decentered network of institutions and local powers Examples?
In comparative politics, the movement that focused on the State... • Postulated the existence of State autonomy (Skocpol, Evans), or at least of degrees of independence from social classes and other groups of power (ethnic, religious, etc.) • Strong/Weak States (examples?) • What makes a State strong? (military might?)
Developmentalists (Dahl, Lipset) predicted that... Sooner or later, industrialization would lead to democratization (ex: Great Britain, the U.S., Germany, France, Japan) O’Donnell: the experience of the developing world suggests such a prediction was wrong. There is no common future resembling “Anglo-Saxon democracy” (4) for all.
Guillermo O’Donnell: the Bureaucratic-Authoritarian State. • Context: Highly industrialized developing countries// Southern Cone (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile) during the 1960s and the 1970s. Also Greece, Mexico and Spain. • Urban • Large industrial working class • Modern (and transnationalized) industries (corporations favored by “desarrollista” governments)
O’Donnell: the BA • But... The structural limits of growth proper of peripheral settings lead to. • Crises (of economic growth and inclusion) • Mobilization of the popular sectors • Repression by the state (alliance of modern state bureaucrats, corporations, and businessmen/middle-classes related to corporations). Military coups (ex: Brazil in 1964, Chile in 1973, Argentina in 1966 and 1976, Uruguay in 1973).
State Industrial capital • “Bureaucratic-authoritarian” pattern of state domination associated to a particular form of (dependent) capitalist development. (p.5)
O’Donnell: Origins of the BA • “The BA state is... A reaction to extended political activation of the urban popular sector” (p. 6) (popular sector = industrial working class + a part of the middle class). • The dominant sectors felt threatened by the political participation of the popular sector. • (Films: “Missing,” “Pra Frente Brasil”)
O’Donnell: characteristics of the BA... • High governmental positions performed by private and public bureaucrats • Political exclusion (closing channels to the political participation of the popular sectors) • Economic exclusion (of the popular sector) • Depoliticization (political problems are transformed into “technical” issues) • Important transformation in the mechanisms of capital accumulation (increasing transnationalization and dependency) (modernization + Authoritarianism)
Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions Skocpol: the State is crucial to understand Revolutions • “We can make sense of social-revolutionary transformations only if we take the state seriously as a macro-structure.” (29)
Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions. • “Social revolutions are rapid, basic transformations of a society’s state and class structures; and they are accompanied and in part carried through by class-based revolts from below. (...) What is unique to social revolutions is that basic changes in social structure and in political structure occur together in a mutually reinforcing fashion.” (4-5)
Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions “The state properly conceived is no mere arena in which socioeconomic struggles are fought out. It is, rather, a set of administrative, policing, and military organizations headed, and more or less well coordinated by, an executive authority. Any state first and fundamentally extracts resources from society and deploys these to create and support coercive and administrative organizations.” (29)
Skocpol: • Where they exist, these fundamental state organizations are at least potentially autonomous from direct dominant-class control. The extent to which they actually are autonomous, and to what effect, varies from case to case.” (29-30)
Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions • Problem: “Social-scientific theories derived their explanations of revolution from models of how political protest and change were ideally supposed to occur in liberal-democratic or capitalist societies.” (xiii) • (both Marxist theories and theories of modernization)
Skocpol: • Problem: to explain revolutions occurred in “predominantly agrarian countries with absolutist-monarchical states and peasant-based social orders.” (xiv) • French Revolution (1789) • Russian (Soviet) Revolution (1917) • Chinese Revolution (1911-16) • All of these revolutions occurred in Imperial, proto-bureaucratic states (Bourbon France, Romanov Russia, Manchu China)
Skocpol... • Uses France (from 1643 to 1789) as an example of an agrarian society. • But... Huntington uses France as a pattern of political modernization (starting precisely with Absolutism). • Who is right? • What is a CASE?
Problem: What is the State?Where does it begin, and where does it end?How should we study the State empirically?