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Lecture 2

Week 2 POLA90 (1).docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science

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 world—they all have distinct histories  Emerged in modern Europe as a result of long-drawn-out, violently competitive process  “The Coming Anarchy: o Growing numbers of people in a poverty—even 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 pyramids—under 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 territory—which created a demand for more o Eventually, these growing political entities needed to regularize the manner in which they ruled over their populations—moving from the predatory extraction of resources to taxation by consent—used 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 States—basic 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 formal—found within constitutions and bills of rights; the ‘software’ of the state… o Governments—indicates 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 society 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 arena—huge 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 group  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 representation—Clapham 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 participation—limited 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 power—shadow 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 procedures 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..  States as weak in several ways: o Weak representative links with society as whole- hence, weak legitimacy… o Weak internal coherence/multiple rules of the game- hence, weak infrastructural power o States as penetrated by external forces- hence, weak sovereignty  The Clientelistic Project o Political elites move away from the modernist project designed to promote social, economic and political mobilization o Move towards the clientelist project designed to maintain order through processes of political control and depoliticizaiton  What is clientelism?  Is a way of linking up state and society  Based upon exchanges and bargains between those with access to the state and those who want access to the state  It facilitates processes ofa ccumlation by political elite while generating the compliance of society  Baragains are ‘voluntary’  Bargagains are also inherently unequal, often underpinned by latent threats of coercion  Rules of exchange are informal and hence, political access deteremined by informal rather than rule-based institutions. In short, formal rules do not explain political behavior  System of clientelist politics are also described as ‘patrimonial’ or ‘neopatrimonial’  Clientelist dynamics have proved to be remarkably resilient –even in the face of modern institution developments  Advantages?
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