Pol201 Week 4: State-society relations (30.1.18)
• Authority and Legitimacy: political authority stems from 2 sources.
Legitimate authority and the second one being force
o Legit is when the govt is accepted by the state.
o This is a result of tradition
• Legitimacy can also be enhanced by the states provisions of material goods
• The other side of authority coin, however, is coercion.
o An application of violence increases the possibility that state can still
retain control over civil society even when it lacks legitimacy
o “Coercion can be defined as the use of force or threat of violence to
achieve political or social purpose”→ force can be justified
• The reality is that all states use a combination of these two basic sources of
o The only monopoly of violence, the state can use violence if they want.
• When there is good govt we folly silently
• A citizen-oriented states is usually a democratic state, and enjoys public
legitimacy. This includes the private business sector.
o Human rights and developmental rights and security
• The opposite being an elite captured govt. People come in to govern through
o Military coup, Kings, the state is taken over. It is an illegitimate govt
and the state is not stable.
o They keep the private business sector because it benefits themselves.
• Defining modern state (important)
o The classical European modern state, is defined by Max Weber:
o “as a government that has a monopoly of legitimate force over a
territory and its population, a monopoly that is acknowledged and
respected by other governments of similar kind”.
o In this model, statehood is determined by territorial power,
sovereignty is a manifestation of that power, and international
recognition is an effect and not the foundation of statehood
• Essential elements of modern state
o Historically, the modern state has been characterized, in ideal typical
▪ Public institutions
▪ Sovereignty and Hegemony
▪ Formal monopoly of violence
▪ Impartial bureaucracy
• Key characteristics of modern state
o The modern state emerged, evolved, consolidated, and was borrowed
as the centralized and organizing institutions of rule
▪ The govt can’t take away these constitutional rights
o Modern states have had to provide defence and ensure law and order,
o respond to demands for a wider set of civic rights
o Manage some redistribution of resources through tax and welfare
o The broad strategy adopted in the pursuit of economic growth has
depended crucially on the character of the political forces and
coalitions underpinning state power
• The post colonial state (Crawford Young)
o The term “Post-colonial” acquired widespread currency not long after
independence in acknowledgment of the importation into new states
of the practices, routines and mentalities of the colonial state.
o The modern state in what we now call the developed world grew
largely through complex internal p olitical processes of conflict,
consolidation, and regional contestation (nationalisms)
o But, most states in the developing world owe their existence to the
geographical definitions and institutional impositions of the colonial
era or to later adjustments.
• Non-democratic forms of government
o Many post-colonial states retained the autocratic and non-democratic
character inherited from the colonial period
o Politicians formally took over government. It was an obvious and
attractive option for the officers and top echelons of the civil
bureaucracies to take over power in many countries
o Only in a few countries was there a sufficiently developed party
system and interest organisations strong enough to counteract this
• Typology of Non-Democratic Regimes
o Military Regimes
▪ Military regimes are states “in which military officers are major
or predominant political actors by virtue of their actual or
threat use of force” (Nordlinger 1977, 2).
▪ Thus the armed forces may exercise political power either
directly or indirectly (i.e., by controlling civilian leaders behind
▪ A. Most institutional military governments pursue four broad
▪ First, whatever their real motivations, they usually justify their
seizure of power by denouncing the alleged corruption of the
government they have ousted
▪ A Second goal – one rarely publicly articulated or
acknowledged – is the advancement of military corporate
▪ A third common goal is the maintenance or restoration of
order and stability. Institutional coups often have occurred
Pol201 week 4: state-society relations (30. 1. 18: authority and legitimacy: political authority stems from 2 sources. This includes the private business sector: human rights and developmental rights and security, the opposite being an elite captured govt. People come in to govern through force: military coup, kings, the state is taken over. It is an illegitimate govt and the state is not stable: they keep the private business sector because it benefits themselves. Impartial bureaucracy: key characteristics of modern state, the modern state emerged, evolved, consolidated, and was borrowed as the centralized and organizing institutions of rule, the govt can"t take away these constitutional rights, the post colonial state (crawford young) Modern states have had to provide defence and ensure law and order: respond to demands for a wider set of civic rights. Manage some redistribution of resources through tax and welfare arrangements.