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States, Institutions, Wars

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McGill University
Sociology (Arts)
SOCI 254
Uli Locher

States, Institutions, Wars States - State = monopoly on violence, can protect/aggress nation - States against nation = principle problem in many of poorest nats - Nat as nat-state has absentee on inclusion - State = freq highest concentration of econ power (at least in theory) - Almost invariably = largest employer in country - To use the state for interest of self, fam, ethnic grp = value worth fighting for - Attempts to control state + have access to state’s resources + control of state = highest prize - State = provider of services, protector of public goods (private property rights) - State can become exactly opposite  mechanism extract resources fr/pop - Est rules of game to make ppl pay + $ goes to state (indirect taxes) - Functioning contractual states - Well-def territory - Monopoly in use of phys violence - Legitimacy of instits = “legal-rational” - Impersonal rules limit power of gov + state elites - State vs. nation tension = regulated - Feudal + absolutist tendencies are controlled - Federated state (ex: Canada) - Pluralism w/in states - Mod state = product of all of these tendencies - Predatory states - Primitive states vs. anarchy - Roving bandits vs. stationary bandits  Roving bandits leave little steal b/c no incentive to accumulate  Even min social solidarity produces defences against bandits  Bandit rationality leads to more produc sys = combine security w/taxation  Rational bandit leaders will settle down, wear crown + replace anarchy w/gov  Provision of s/public goods makes econ sense for bandit govs - Public sys captured for exclu use by gov members + their friends - Organised theft of public property - Public services as tools for partisan ends - Regressive taxation - Failed states - State whose central gov is so weak/ineffective has little practical control over much of its territ - Non-provision of public services - Widespread corruption + criminality - Refugees + involuntary movement of pops - Sharp econ decline - Failed States Index 2010  12 indicators est state’s vulnerability to conflict/collapse  6 soc indicators (demog pressures, massive refugee mvmts, vengeance-seeking grp grievance, chronic human flight, grp-based inequalities, sharp econ decline)  6 poli indicators (state corruption, deterioration of pub services, violation HR, armed state w/in state, factionalized elites promo ethnic cleansing, outside intervention) - Failed vs. predatory states - Periods of failure vs. predation - Degrees of order, legitimacy, justice - Low point: ready for takeover - Predation limited in extent + location - Legitimacy of predation in public eye - “Weberian” states and economic growth - Ideal-typical bureaucracy according to Max Weber:  Meritocratic recruitment + promotion  Predictable, rewarding, long-term careers  Financial security independent of corruption  Autonomy - Having a “Weberian” bureaucracy has powerful, independent impact on econ growth - High levels of schooling facilitate the emerge of such a bureaucracy War, Peace, and Development - 2012 ranking of failed states (Guinea + Pakistan no longer on 2012 list) - Somalia: Various Islamic militant grps fighting in region  Afr organisation sent in Kenyan soldiers + virtually wiped out Al Shabab  Cost of piracy very high H: relative to shipping  70% of local pop consider pirates hero  1 aspect of nat being a failed state - Chad: Spillover effect of Darfur genocide  Large #s displaced indig w/horrible living standards  UN tries intervene H: hasn’t really stopped flow of refugees - Sudan:2 failed states b/c split N + S  In s/cases there has been successful humanitarian relief + coming in w/mili might has stopped increasing violence (temporary) H: many cases, there is not - Zimbabwe: Child soldiers  President in power 35 yrs  Disastrous sit of few yrs ago s/how stabilized  infla running 230 million%  Econ based on few goods, imports Asia H: b/c infla ppl can’t buy imports  S/ppl go to bank e/day + stand in line to change currency of prev day to new on
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