POLC73H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Clientelism, New International Economic Order, Indirect Rule

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Published on 12 Apr 2013
Political Science
of 8
Weak and Failing States, Week 2
What is ‘the state’?
o What is an ‘ideal-type; state?
The modern state as a relatively new phenomenon in global affairs
States also vary quite significantly throughout the worldthey all have distinct
Emerged in modern Europe as a result of long-drawn-out, violently competitive
“The Coming Anarchy:
o Growing numbers of people in a povertyeven as growth increases
o Flattening age pyramids and rising rates of unemployment and unemployed youth…
o Deteriorating social and environmental conditions in many areas of the Global South
o Rising power of the transnational informal economy—evading state controls…
o Emergence of failed states in some parts of the Global South
Many countries in the developing world have flat age pyramidsunder the age
of 25, very young populations, putting a strain on the economy to produce
enough jobs
Measures Used by the FSI
o Social= demographic pressures, refugee flows, presence of vengeance seeking groups,
internal displacement
o Economic = uneven economic development, sharp economic decline
o Political = delegitimizaiton/criminalization of the state, deterioration of public services,
arbitrary application of rule of law, rising power of private security provision,
factionalization of elite political class, increasing penetration of external actors..
POLA90 Case Study Failed state Index Rankings
o Somalia #1
o Democratic Republic of the Congo #4
o Haiti #5
o Afghanistan #7
State formation in Europe
o Europe initially typified by high degrees of social and political fragmentation
o Each of these political units competed violently with each other
o The winners began to accumulate power, resources and territorywhich created a
demand for more
o Eventually, these growing political entities needed to regularize the manner in which
they ruled over their populationsmoving from the predatory extraction of resources
to taxation by consentused coincidently with extortion (violently forcing to give you
money, the exchange: for their life)
Charles Tilly “war made the state”
So what is the (ideal-type) state
o States as being distinct from regimes and governments…
o States as having a monopoly over the use of violence
o States as having control over a defined territory and people…
o States as having a centralized set of ‘rule-bound’ institutions (extractions, regulation,
distribution, enforcement)…
o States as being widely accepted/legitimate
o States as sovereign
Control what goes on between the borders, independent form other states,
o Statesbasic institutions of a political system; indicates the raw power or the
infrastructural power of the state; a state’s ‘hardware’
o Regimes—indicates how this ‘raw power’ organized around a set of fundamental rules;
those rules found are ideally formalfound within constitutions and bills of rights; the
‘software’ of the state…
o Governmentsindicates how power is used
What are the basic institutions of a political system? Beaurcracies, the police
force, revenue Canada
Yet, states vary tremendously in form and capacity
o Different origins (organic/imposed)
o Different regimes (authoritarian/democratic)
o Different ways of distributing power (centralized/decentralized)…
o Different forms and degrees of legitimacy (rational-legal/charismatic/nationalist)…
o Different degrees of autonomy—how separate is the from society as a whole…
o Different capacities—levels of centralized ‘infrastructural power’
Features of Weak States in Global South
o States as central to questions of power. Yet…
o Sovereign states as “fictions” (weak states, quasi-states, collapsed states)…
o States as “overdeveloped”…
o States as having “blurred” rules and lines of authority…
o States as being “captured” by particular groups—with weak institutionalized links to
o States as paradoxically ‘strong’ and weak’
Is the state central to your well-being of Canada?
How central is the state to our lives in Canada
The state as a central
o Power often leads to wealth, not visa versa
o Great social dependence on access to state resources
o State as crucal intermediary between society and the global arenahuge opportunities
for ‘rent-seeking-
o States are huge—politics as a ‘zero-sum’ game
o Hence, social actors representing private interests seek to ‘penetrate’ and ‘capture’ the
public resources of the state
o In societies characterized by scarcity, this is often even more so in the case
o Clapham: “the question for state power takes on a pathological dimension” –espicially in
weak that are more vulnerable to the penetration of private networks and interest
State as ‘Fiction’
o Sovereignty—all states as being legally equally within the UN system. Yet…
o Wide disparities between legal sovereignty and reality. These are clearly widely different
‘degrees of stateness’
o How many states have a monopoly over the use of violence?
o How many states have control over a defined territory
o Spawned notions of ‘quasi-states’
State as ‘Over-developed’
o Institutions of control more developed than institutions of social/political
representationClapham refers to the structure of control
o Powerful militaries, police forces, security forces, paramiltary forces, special courts,
special emergency laws, etc…
o Weaker institutions of political participationlimited legislative power vis a vis
executives within constitutions, under-developed *finish*
Colonial Legacies and ‘Over-developed’ States in Global South
o Many colonial states were imposed on soceities
o Emphasis on extraction of order and resources
o Powerful lines of authority and legitimacy moved globally
o Colonial systems of indirect rule- use of local traditional forms of authority to maintain
order over societies
o Underlying coercive nature to the political order (despite the relative small size of the
colonial state—the ‘thin white line’)
o Divide and rule tactics exacerbated social fragmentation- policies of divided rules,
meaning, in Rwanda
o Indirect rule strengthened informal avenues of access to political powershadow states
o Promotion of uneven economic development (regional disparities, urban-rural divides,
weak development of middle and working classes)
o Late creation of political institutions- in a rush before decolonization after WW2
o Legislative branches not given strong powers- constitutionally disadvanted…
o Abuse of democratic institutions and rules (vote rigging, gerrymandering, limited
franchise (proper, gender), use of violence)
o Hence, democracy had shallow roots in post-colonial societies, leading to states being
captured by ‘particulararistic’ groups
Weak ‘Rational-Legal’
o Blurred lines of authority within the state…
o i.e- between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the political system
o i.e between the government, the regime and the state itself (Syria?)
o Prevalence of informal, corss-cutting political networks dynamics over formal rules and
o Hence, the political system is characterized by multiple rules of the game with the state
beingmade up of “competing bundles of agencies and actors”
o In this sense, states are sometimes quite incoherent and ‘weak’
State as ‘Captured’
o Huge gaps/disparities of power between political elites and the citizenry
o i.e-concentration of economic wealth and power
o i.e- concentration of social power, preventing social mobilization of the citizenry (divide
and rule,)
o i.e-concentraion of political power (‘vetoing’ attempts at policy reforms, weak political
insititutions linking state and society)
o in this sense, states can appear to be quite strong, ‘fierce’
Conclusions- The paradox of political power in the Global south…
States as strong in terms of coercivce and autonomous power. Yet..

Document Summary

The modern state as a relatively new phenomenon in global affairs . States also vary quite significantly throughout the world they all have distinct histories. Emerged in modern europe as a result of long-drawn-out, violently competitive process. Many countries in the developing world have flat age pyramids under the age of 25, very young populations, putting a strain on the economy to produce enough jobs. Pola90 case study failed state index rankings: somalia #1, democratic republic of the congo #4, haiti #5, afghanistan #7. Software" of the state : governments indicates how power is used. Features of weak states in global south: states as central to questions of power. How central is the state to our lives in canada. State as fiction": sovereignty all states as being legally equally within the un system. Yet : wide disparities between legal sovereignty and reality.