Political Power and Social Theory

Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of California, Los Angeles, 1993. Includes bibliographical references (p. 324-334). Photocopy.
“For the first time in history,” the Economist proclaimed in 2009, “more than half the world is middle-class – thanks to rapid growth in emerging countries.” Unquestionably, a new middle class has become a visible global presence, changing the urban landscape in countries as different as China, Egypt, and India. From Beijing to Johannesburg, societies where a small elite was once surrounded by rural poverty have been transformed, as educated urban citizens walk through shopping malls holding their ubiquitous cell phones.
German legal historians of nineteenth and twentieth centuries defined the main characteristics of the corporations and believed that one renaissance institution, the Casa di San Giorgio at Genoa (1407-1805), was similar to the corporations of later centuries. This paper proposes to reverse this perspective: did the founders of early modern corporations know the financial model of the fifteenth century Casa di San Giorgio? The research shows the connection between the model of the Casa di San Giorgio and the Mississippi Company of John Law (1720), the famous financial scheme and bubble. The history of the Casa di San Giorgio was mainly transmitted through a passage of Machiavellis History of Florence (VIII, 29). The paper offers new biographical evidence that Law had been to Genoa and introduces sources connecting the genesis of Laws scheme for the Mississippi Company in France with the model of the Casa di San Giorgio.
From the sixteenth to eighteenth century, China underwent a commercial revolution similar to the one in contemporaneous Europe. The rise of market did foster the rise of a nascent bourgeois and the concomitant rise of a liberal, populist version of Confucianism, which advocated a more decentralized and less authoritarian political system in the last few decades of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). But after the collapse of the Ming Empire and the establishment of the Qing Empire (1644-1911) by the Manchu conquerors, the new rulers designated the late-Ming liberal ideologies as heretics, and they resurrected the most conservative form of Confucianism as the political orthodoxy. Under the principle of filial piety given by this orthodoxy, the whole empire was imagined as a fictitious family with the emperor as the grand patriarch and the civil bureaucrats and subjects as children or grandchildren. Under the highly centralized administrative and communicative apparatus of the Qing state, this ideology of the fictitious patrimonial state penetrated into the lowest level of the society. The subsequent paternalist, authoritarian, and moralizing politics of the Qing state contributed to China's nontransition to capitalism despite its advanced market economy, and helped explain the peculiar form and trajectory of China's popular contention in the eighteenth century. I also argue that this tradition of fictitious patrimonial politics continued to shape the state-making processes in twentiethcentury China and beyond.
This chapter explores the implications of patrimonial politics in the Dutch East India Company empire in the context of establishing a settlement at the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa in the mid-seventeenth century. The Cape extended the reach of Company patrimonial networks with elite Company officials circulating throughout the Indian Ocean empire and consolidating their familial ties through marriage both within the colonies and in the United Provinces. These patrimonial networks extended to the Cape as elite Company officials created families locally or married Cape-born women. As the colony grew, the Company created a class of free-burghers some the wealthiest of whom were tied directly into elite Company patrimonial networks. But from the early eighteenth century onwards these elite Company networks came into conflict with the evolving free-burgher patrimonial networks with which they were in direct competition. This paper argues that local patrimonial networks can evolve in a settler colony that challenge the elite patrimonial networks of the imperial elite.
This paper considers the East India Companys emergence as a territorial power from the 1760s until the revocation of most of its commercial functions in 1834. While this period has been a key episode for historians of the British Empire and of South Asia, social scientists have struggled with the Companys ambiguous nature. In this paper, I propose that a profitable way to grasp the Companys transformat ion is to consider it as a global strategic action field. This perspective clarifies two key processes in the Companys transition: the enlargement of its territorial possessions; and the increased exposure of its patrimonial network to intervention from British metropolitan politics. To further suggest the utility of this analytic perspective, I synthesize evidence from various sources, including data concerning the East India Court of Directors and the career histories of Company servants in two of its key administrative regions, Bengal and Madras, during this period of transition.
An important feature of the political economy of 18th century Bengal was a system of land revenue administration characterized by a complex set of patrimonial arrangements that had developed out of hundreds of years' experience with a series of foreign and indigenous rulers. The East India Company's (EIC) administration of this fiscal system during the 18th and 19th centuries shows one path toward the development of modern capitalism in the imperial context. In an effort to extract resources and consolidate political power, the EIC bureaucratized elements of Bengal's patrimonial order. The EIC carried out this process in part through the creation of property rights and contract enforcement institutions in the fiscal system.
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This chapter explores the making of the colonial state in Samoa in the 1890s. The Samoan case offers new insights into the workings of the colonial state precisely because nowhere else were Euro-American colonial projects as intertwined with and dependent on local support. In an unprecedented experiment in colonial rule, German, British, and American officials shared control over the Samoan islands from 1889 to 1899. This so-called tridominium, I argue, served as a colonial strategy of deferral for Euro-American officials anxious to diffuse escalating conflict over the distant islands. Contrary to plan, ongoing tensions among German, British, and American interests allowed Samoans to maintain considerable political and economic autonomy. The main reason for the ultimate failure of the tridominium for Euro-American policy-makers lay in the uneven and incomplete exercise of colonial power over Samoans. Limitations in geography, people, and finance made the tridominium a weak colonial state. In addition, the lack of resources the respective metropolitan governments devoted to the distant archipelago in the South Pacific increased the relative influence of Samoan leaders and of the growing number of Samoans who joined the administration. Samoa in the 1890s serves as an important reminder that colonial rule was rarely clear-cut and never complete.
Against the grain of the paradigmatic postcolonial analytics of the colonial state, this chapter presents a non-dichotomous comparison of two regimes within the late 18th century Danish empire, which are commonly presumed to be of essentially different kinds - namely the colonial state in Tranquebar in South East India and the metropolitan government of rural Danish society. By focusing, firstly, on practices of policing and, secondly, on the general technology of power that targeted these significantly different socio-political spheres, it is argued that these regimes were governing according to similar strategies: seeking, on one hand, to deploy societal mechanisms of self-regulation and, on the other, to provide a balance and order to the otherwise chaotic forces of the population. On the basis of a Foucauldian vocabulary of government, it is thereby argued that colonialism, at this time and place, had not yet clearly constituted itself as a particular form of rule.
Drawing upon recent interests in Michel Foucault's anti-essentialist conception of the state, I provide an analysis of state power in colonial slave societies that is attentive to the ongoing processes of "statification" and governmentalization of the state. This approach represents an alternative to classic state theory, which seems inadequate to describe the diverse political context of Caribbean colonial slave societies. I apply the Foucauldian conception of the state to the empirical case of the Danish West Indies in the second half of the 18th century. Here, I focus on the problem of public order and its formation in relation to growing concerns over general economic, social, demographic, and political risks that the institution of slavery posed to colonial society. I argue that the slave laws of the 18th century can be seen as a governmental strategy to manage the risks of slavery by constituting a public order that would be subject to policing by the state. I also argue, however, that the specific circumstances of colonial slavery shaped the regulative practices toward the necessities of a flexible, adjustable, responsive government. I suggest that this should be interpreted as a governmental strategy calibrated to the realities of the specificities of colonial rule, rather than simply a reflection of incoherence and incompetence on the part of colonial authorities. The larger argument is that actual state practices have to be seen as results of problems of government in a given context, and as a function of the dynamic and reciprocal processes of government.
The seminal literature on state formation proposes a model of "co-opt and expand" to explain the rise of centralized nation-states in modern and early modern Europe. Building on this literature's distinction between direct and indirect rule, other analysts have expanded the scope of this model to explain patterns of state building in the non-Western world, particularly in the construction of centralized authority in postcolonial and postimperial contexts. According to this literature, the failure of central rulers to co-opt local elites has frequently produced weak states lacking capacities of rule in their peripheries. Using archival materials to examine the Albanian state's relatively successful penetration of the country's highland communities during its early decades of national independence, this article suggests that state building can proceed along an alternative path called "co-opt and bind," in which state builders "bind" peasant communal institutions to the institutional idea of the nation-state to legitimize and implement state building goals. The article identifies three mechanisms used by early Albanian state builders to generate legitimacy and institute political order in its remote communities, including disarmament, the institution of new forms of economic dependency, and the invocation of peasant cultural codes of honor. © 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.
This chapter provides an assessment of how the late Portuguese colonial state (especially in Angola and Mozambique) responded to widespread conflict and anticolonial pressures. Focusing on its structures, idioms, and strategies of social transformation and control-especially as they relate to the domains of development and security-my assessment of state response emphasizes the coming together of: coercive repertoires of rule; planned developmental strategies of political, economic and social change; and processes of engineering sociocultural difference. The late colonial state's developmental and repressive facets are critically assessed through mobilizing theoretical perspectives and empirical analysis.
I trace and explain how the ratcheting of corporate mergers and deregulation transformed the structure of elite relations in the United States from 1960 to 2010. Prior to the 1970s there was a high degree of elite unity and consensus, enforced by Federal regulation and molded by structure of U.S. government, around a set of policies and practices: interventionism abroad, progressive tax rates, heavy state investment in infrastructure and education, and a rising level of social spending. I find that economic decline, the loss of geopolitical hegemony, and mobilization from the left and right are unable to account for the specific policies that both Democratic and Republican Administrations furthered since the 1970s or for the uneven decline in state capacity that were intended and unintended consequences of the post-1960s political realignment and policy changes. Instead, the realignment and restructuring of elites and classes that first transformed politics and degraded government in the 1970s in turn made possible further shifts in the capacities of American political actors in both the state and civil society. I explain how that process operated and how it produced specific policy outcomes and created new limits on mass political mobilization while creating opportunities for autarkic elites to appropriate state powers and resources for themselves.
Field theory is one of the most visible approaches in the new political sociology of science, and Fligstein & McAdam's (F&M) Theory of Fields is the most visible recent attempt to further it. This paper evaluates F&M's theory of field transformation by comparing it with Berman's (2012a) field-based explanation of the changes in the field of US academic science. While F&M's general framework is quite useful, their explanation, which focuses on struggles between incumbents and challengers over whose conception of the field should dominate, does not map neatly onto the changes in academic science, which saw no such fieldlevel struggles. This suggests that tools are also needed for explaining new settlements that do not result from intentional efforts to establish them. In particular, the case of US academic science shows that local innovations with practices based on alternative conceptions of the field can lead to field-level change. Attention to the interaction between local practice innovations and larger environments provides insights into how change ripples across fields, as well as the ongoing contention and dynamism within even relatively stable fields.
This chapter examines explanations for the slowdown of capital accumulation since 1980. Using Bureau of Labor Statistics data on trends on productivity and capital spending, we find that slowing productivity growth accounts for slower capital accumulation. Other explanations for the downturn, such as outsourcing, the "post-industrial" economy, and financialization, do not reflect macroeconomic trends. However, we argue that shareholder value ideology affected decisions about how to balance productivity growth and inputs such as capital and labor. We discuss the consequences of slowing accumulation on American economic hegemony.
The history of formal organizations begins earlier, but reached a critical juncture in sixteenth century Europe, where an innovative, if not entirely new, mode of social organization was widely adopted as a means to pursue long-distance overseas trade. Groups of individuals – men in company with one another – joined together to coordinate their activity in pursuit of some commercial or colonial goal by negotiating special privileges from the government, such as monopoly rights. The group was called a company, and the privileges were granted by charter – thus these collectivities are known as the chartered companies. Prominent examples include a group of English merchants interested in pursuing the spice trade with (the English East India Company, 1601) the Muscovy Company (1555), the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, 1602), the Company of One Hundred Associates (Compagnie des Cent-Associés, 1627), the Hudson’s Bay Company (1670), the Brandenburg African Company (Kurfürstliche Brandenburgisch-Afrikanische Compagnie, 1682), and the South Seas Company (1711). Research on chartered companies, of which these are but a few, forms the substantive basis for the collection of essays presented in this volume.
This chapter compares and contrasts organizing and advocacy among US domestic workers and day laborers. These two occupations share many features: both are ill-suited to conventional unionism; immigrants, many of them unauthorized, have long dominated the workforce in both; both are entry-level jobs at the bottom of the labor market (although both are also internally stratified); and both have been the focus of advocacy and organizing at both the local and national level in recent decades. Yet, there are also significant contrasts between the two. First and foremost, women are the vast majority of domestic workers while men predominate among day laborers. Another striking difference is that while domestic labor is hidden from public view inside private households, day laborers are regularly on display on street corners and other public spaces. This chapter explores the effects of such similarities and differences on the collective action repertoires of day laborers and domestic workers. In both cases, many workers have individualistic, entrepreneurial ambitions, a formidable organizing challenge; yet, orientation does not necessarily impede and sometimes even facilitates collective action. Day laborers’ demands are largely economic, and these (predominantly male) workers often hope to return to their countries of origin; domestic workers (overwhelmingly female) are more interested in improved opportunities within the US. Although women are overrepresented in the leadership of both domestic workers’ and day laborers’ organizations, male day laborers and female domestic workers have distinct experiences and aspirations, and put forward different types of demands, generating gendered collective action repertoires.
Why and how was the territorialized state form disseminated through colonial expansion? To begin to answer this question, this study proposes a relational account of the production of territorialized state space, drawing on empirical evidence from two understudied cases of colonial expansion in the early 20th century: Spain in Morocco and Italy in Libya. Drawing on colonial and local archival sources, I demonstrate how colonial territoriality resulted from a violent clash between an aspiring colonial power and a reactive, rural counter-state building movement, led by the Amir Abd al-Krim in the Rif Mountains of northern Morocco and the Sanusi leader, Omar al-Mokhtar, in Cyrenaica in eastern Libya. Territorialization was not imposed from the outside by a European colonial power. Rather, it was produced relationally through violent interactions between the colonial state and a local autonomous political entity. This analysis contributes to the still-nascent study of colonial state space and to contemporary policy debates about political order in North Africa and the Middle East by emphasizing the importance of local political mobilization, the complexity of interactions catalyzed across local and translocal scales by colonial expansion, and the high levels of physical violence endemic to the production of territorialized state space.
Analysts of modern-day sub-Saharan Africa have argued that its "neopatrimonial regimes," descending from pre-colonial polities, translate badly to the scale of the nation-state and hinder democratic accountability. In this paper, I argue by contrast that the problem with today's failed or failing states is that they are not patrimonial enough, if we understand patrimonialism in classic Weberian terms as a system based on traditions of reciprocal interdependence between rulers and citizens, and characterized by personal but malleable ruling networks. I make this argument by showing how the Asante Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries shifted from a working model, incorporating both patrimonial and bureaucratic forms of authority, to an exploitative one that reneged on its traditional commitments to the wider public. The cause of this shift was the expansion of exchange with European nations as a rival avenue to power and wealth. This problem continues today, where African rulers are incentivized by the demands of global banks, the United Nations, and G20 governments rather than internal authority traditions, thus limiting their ability to establish locally effective and publically accountable hybrids of patrimonial and bureaucratic governance.
This chapter puts practices of everyday violence at the center of its analysis of colonial order. It examines the micro-mechanisms and manifold forms of threatening and hurting people. While a quotidian part of colonial life, such practices – accepted and normal within the colonial moral economy – are not normally seen as state actions. However, they reveal the workings of a powerful state: one that was built in an improvised fashion by low-level state representatives. Based on an analysis of everyday police work in German Southwest Africa, this chapter offers a theoretical reframing of the colonial state that aims to provincialize the modern European state. It shifts the perspective away from the legal and institutional aspirations and structures of the state, instead turning attention to less rationalized processes: the idiosyncratic, makeshift, affective procedures of low-ranking officials. On this plane, everyday violence played a key role in generating a new social order. Ultimately, it had constructive effects which were a fundamental and inherent part of the colonial state’s power.
Several explanations for the Royal African Companys failure around the turn of the eighteenth century have been suggested. The paper argues that these reasons can be integrated into a more comprehensive account of the companys failure through the introduction of a modified version of principal-agent theory. Instead of focusing on abstract, dyadic relationships, the paper proposes a model that accounts for the meaningful character of principal agent interactions and for the complex networks and multiple role identities of actors within those networks that comprised principal-agent relations within the company. On the basis of this model the failure of the company can be seen as a result of contradictions between its dual role as both agent and principal. The symbolic importance of inefficient trading practices helps to explain why the companywas unable to pursue alternative strategies or otherwise benefit from its monopoly.
The main theme of this special volume is the colonial state and its governmental practices. This chapter introduces and contextualizes the contributions by providing a brief induction to recent developments within the study of the colonial state. It then presents the contributions under three perspectives which represent separate yet interrelated themes relevant for the understanding of the colonial state: practices, violence, and agency. Hereby, we also accentuate the value of a non-state-centric approach to the analysis of the colonial state.
In the periods, following the First and Second World Wars, colonial states across the British empire underwent waves of reforms that were geared toward improving human well-being, from enhancing social conditions, such as health and education, to expanding opportunities for economic and political engagement. The literature on the colonial state typically traces these state-building efforts to the agency of European colonial officials. However, evidence from a historical analysis of Trinidad and Tobago reveals a different agent driving state reform: the colonized. A local labor movement during colonialism forced the colonial state to construct a number of state agencies to ameliorate the economic, political, and social conditions in the colony, thereby resulting in an increase in state capacity. This study, therefore, provides critical intervention into the colonial state literature by showing that the agency of the colonized, as opposed to just the colonizers, is key to statebuilding, and specifying the mechanisms by which the subaltern constrained colonial officials and forced them to enact policies that improved colonial state capacity.
This chapter explores the impact of the seemingly new recognition of non-Muslims in Turkey, a historically marginalized minority. In the 2000s, the ruling AKP party, a religiously and socially conservative party, made a number of symbolic gestures toward the increasing recognition of these communities. This chapter explores this ethnographically and historically by looking at the political effects of AKP's democratization attempts on the Rum Orthodox ("Greek") community in Istanbul. It argues that these attempts paralleled a similar language of democracy within the community particularly in the aftermath of the government's permission to run elections in the non-Muslim community institutions (vakifs), following a period of time during which no elections had been held in these institutions. At the same time, these attempts occasioned old and new forms of hierarchies within the community, which emerged as a result of the competing claims within it to its representation. These seemingly ambiguous effects of democratization within the Rum community emerged in the gap between the AKP's democracy discourse that claims universal inclusion and its highly selective practice of democracy. This was so because the AKP preserved the ethnoreligious definition of national identity even while it readopted the historical legacies of the Ottoman millet system that managed society along religious confessional lines. These findings contribute to the existing theories on democratization by highlighting the inextricable link between inclusion and exclusion that emerges in the gap between the discursive claims of democracy toward universal inclusion and the selective actualization of these claims in practice. Such selective inclusion that is inherent to the politics of democracy is managed differently in different contexts due to the hybrid forms of state recognition of the population. © 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.
Field theory is waxing in the sociology of science, and Pierre Bourdieu's work is especially influential. His characterization of field structure and dynamics has been especially valuable in drawing attention to hierarchical and center-periphery relations in science and technology, and to the stability and reproduction of science and technology practices. What field theory does less well, however, is to capture the existence of multiple (including marginal) logics around a given sociotechnical object. Nor does it capture the dynamics of a specific logic of neoliberal capitalism in the US: the cultural and economic value of entrepreneurship that emphasizes the continual reconfiguration of social relations, which has its roots in a longer US history of progress-through-reinvention, and is abetted by new technologies designed to continually "update" and remix. Much better at capturing these qualities, we argue, is an institutionalist theory in which dynamism, not stasis, is foregrounded, and there is room for multiple, contradictory, and non-cognitive logics to co-exist. Using the expansion of "alternative nutrition" in the US, we show that its formation took place via the conjunction of parallel streams of social action that encompassed diverse logics and encouraged creativity and hybridity. More generally, variability in field stability and qualities, not static fields, deserve analytic attention.
This paper seeks to explain the "great continuity" in Spanish American development: The fact that territories in the region have maintained their relative levels of social development since precolonial times. It tests competing explanations associated with neo-modernization theory, geographic perspectives, and institutional approaches emphasizing property rights versus ethnicity. The paper uses comparative-historical methods to evaluate competing explanations. These methods include cross-case matching and within-case process tracing. The paper finds that patrimonial institutions of ethnic stratification are a fundamental cause of social development and the great continuity in Spanish America. These institutions help explain why areas with a dense indigenous population tend to have low levels of social development, whereas areas with a sparseindigenous population tend to have high levels of social development. This paper suggests that the institutions of ethnic stratification may be more important than the institutions of private property as a cause of development. Scholars of development need to focus more attention on the ways in which ethnic institutions shape identities and create collective groups.
To explore whether supposedly non-modern patrimonial arrangements ever advance the "modern" economy, this essay examines emergent state institutional practices in North America in relation to the domain of public lands from colonial times to the late nineteenth-century U.S. I deconstruct the Weberian model of patrimonialism into four elements - logic, setting, obligations, and resources - in order to show how state grants of land to individuals and corporations (notably railroad companies) constituted patrimonial practices embedded within modern structures. "Modern state patrimonialism" had its origins in royal patrimonialism. Monopolization of resources - by a state rather than an absolutist ruler - continued to offer the basis for patrimonial practice, but state patrimonial resource distribution became less personalistic and more connected to public goals (financing the state, rewarding state service, settlement of territory, development of a national economy, and construction of a transportation system). Recipients of patrimonial distributions often gained considerable control over disposition of resources that they received. In these patrimonialist practices, economic action was constructed in logics of action that occurred outside of "market" transactions. Future research should analyze patrimonial dynamics during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, by identifying state monopolizations of scarce and desirable resources (mineral rights; city water systems; electrical systems; telephone systems; radio, television, and other airwave bandwidth; the internet), and analyzing how the distribution of those resources are entailed, controlled, licensed, or otherwise managed. A research program in the study of modern patrimonialism helps build out an institutionalist sociology of the economy. Copyright © 2015 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
This chapter suggests that moving beyond positivism entails a recognition that the social world is made up of complex phenomena that are heterogeneous, and events are caused by contingent conjunctures of causal mechanisms. To theorize the social world as heterogeneous is to recognize that social causes, categories, and groups combine different kinds of phenomena and processes at various levels and scales across time. To speak of conjunctural causation implies not only that events are caused by concatenations of multiple, intersecting forces but also that these combinations are historically unique and nonrepeatable. Both the historical materialist conception of the “conjuncture” and the poststructuralist theory of “assemblages” take heterogeneity and multicausality seriously. I compare and contrast these formulations across three dimensions: the structure of the apparatus, causation, and temporality. I argue that these theories offer useful tools to social scientists seeking to engage in complex, multicausal explanations. I end the article with an example of how to use these concepts in analyzing a complex historical case. © 2018 by Emerald Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.
The under determination argument establishes that scientists may use political values to guide inquiry, without providing criteria for distinguishing legitimate from illegitimate guidance. This chapter supplies such criteria. Analysis of the confused arguments against value-laden science reveals the fundamental criterion of illegitimate guidance: when value judgments operate to drive inquiry to a predetermined conclusion. A case study of feminist research on divorce reveals numerous legitimate ways that values can guide science without violating this standard. © John Wiley and Sons All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.
This chapter examines how gender interacts with informal workers’ collective action strategies in the context of contemporary development scripts around economic growth. Specifically, it engages the theoretical debates on the relationship between patriarchy and capitalism as the systems of domination that organize gender and class. Drawing from a comparative analysis of informal workers’ movements in India’s domestic work and construction sectors, I find the relationship between gender and class and between patriarchy and capitalism is being reconceptualized from below and differs by occupational structures and organization histories. For domestic workers, movements assert what I call a “unitary” model of exploitation. Because domestic workers’ organizations entered the productive sphere through a focus on social reproduction, their struggles conflate gender and class to reverse the shame attached to domestic work and increase the recognized worth of women’s labor. Because construction workers’ organizations mobilize male and female workers and began as class-based organizations focusing on productive work, they articulate what I term “a dual systems” approach to patriarchy and capitalism that exposes inequalities between men and women within the sector, such as unequal pay, glass ceilings, and issues of embodiment. In both cases, global development scripts have not only shaped movement approaches, but also enabled movements to articulate gendered labor subjects in innovative ways. While domestic workers’ unitary model has had more success in increasing women workers’ dignity and leadership, construction workers’ dualist model has attained more successes in attaining material benefits in the reproductive sphere. These findings suggest that debates on unitary versus dual-systems models of exploitation present a false dichotomy and veil the reality that both are necessary for feminist theory, development models, and women workers’ struggles on the ground.
The relationship between ontology, realism, and normativity is complex and contentious. While naturalist and realist stances have tended to ground questions of normativity in ontology and accounts of human nature, critical theories have been critical of the relationship between ontological and normative projects. Queer theory in particular has been critical of ontological endeavors. Exploring the problem of normativity and ontology, this paper will make the case that the critical realist ontology of open systems and complex, contingent, conjunctural causation deeply resonates with queer theory, generating a queer ontology that both allows for and undermines ontological and normative projects. © 2018 by Emerald Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.
My research builds upon masculinity studies as well as migration and gender theory to evaluate emerging strategies of gendered labor control at work sites within temporary worker programs. In particular, my multisite ethnography consisting of 97 interviews with US guest workers, oil industry employers, and Indian labor brokers shifts focus to the recruitment of male workers into the US oil industry. The study evaluated a multi-country recruitment chain from India to the Middle East and into the US Guest Worker Program. Findings identified a relationship between the construction of masculinities and employer strategies for labor control. The article addresses the following question: how is hegemonic masculinity used as a strategy for labor control? The study identifies the double bind of hegemonic masculinity within contingent employment relationships as a means of labor control for curbing male migrant dissent.
Racialized class formation is a process in which both racial formation and class formation shape the experiences of African Americans in the stratification system. This occurs for blacks in differing social classes. However, this chapter focuses on African Americans in the professional middle class. The professional middle class as a whole has grown substantially under postindustrialism. Racialized class formation has been greatly shaped by the nature of state policy regarding citizenship rights and has varied in the transition from the pre-civil rights era to the postcivil rights era. This chapter utilizes historical, interview, and secondary data to analyze experiences of the "first generation" of black professionals to integrate employment in mainstream institutions after the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The focus is on the processes of recruitment, hiring, and promotion, as well as relations with clientele among those black professionals and how their middle class employment experiences are racialized.
The UK government's support for sustainable construction involves an explicit attempt to introduce a new institutional logic into the construction sector, while the use of Building Research Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) as a preferred policy mechanism exemplifies neoliberal use of voluntary self-regulation to promote policy goals. This paper uses the case of BREEAM to examine the role of science and scientific expertise in the exercise of neoliberal governance. More specifically, it combines a neo-institutional analysis of change with Foucault's theory of governmentality to explore the effect of BREEAM on eight construction projects. The concepts of visibility, knowledge, techniques, and identity provide an analytic grid to explore the effect of BREEAM on understandings and practices of "green building." Appeals to science and scientific authority are found to be most important in those instances where institutional logics clash and the legitimacy of BREEAM as a carrier of sustainable construction is challenged. From a theoretical perspective, the case studies highlight the role of instruments in the micro-dynamics of institutionalization. Empirically, it underlines the limited, but nonetheless significant, effect of weakly institutionalized neoliberal policy mechanisms.
We contextualize contemporary domestic worker organizing in Vancouver within a history of domestic worker organizing in Canada and then build the argument that their organizing has been structured by the gendered geographies of: international migration; the location of the work in the private home; and the prevalence of stepwise migration of Filipina domestic workers to Canada. These gendered geographies have led to a distinctive mode of organizing: in the community around a wide range of issues that enfold social reproduction into workplace issues to engage the entirety of individuals’ and families’ lives across the life course. Domestic workers’ organizing is grounded in the spatialities and materialities of their lives, and seemingly familiar gender scripts take on an active force in the domestic workers’ mobilization. Confronting the contradictions of organizing domestic workers and organizing to revalue domestic work points to the enduring undervaluation of feminized workers and their work, as well as the potential for intersectional solidarities along with the need for multisectoral strategies.
This article argues that social scientists should reconsider the analytic value of the term "capitalism." The paper argues that the two most coherent definitions of capitalism are those derived from classical Marxism and from the World System theory of Immanuel Wallerstein. Marx and Engels' formulation was basically a genetic theory in which the structure of a mode of production is determined by the mode of surplus extraction. During the course of the 20th century, however, Marxist theorists had to modify this framework and the result has been an uncomfortable hybrid. Wallerstein resolved these tensions by redefining capitalism in terms of the logic of a world system. However, his argument has difficulty in explaining the consequential variations over time in the specific rules and institutional structures that operate at the global level. The article goes on to argue in favor of Karl Polanyi's concept of market society because it focuses attention on the political governance of market societies at both the national and the global levels.
Our research is about the trade in material goods from Asia to Europe over this period, and its impact on Europes consumer and industrial cultures. It entails a comparative study of Europes East India Companies and the private trade from Asia over the period. The commodities trade was heavily dependent on private trade. The historiography to date has left a blind spot in this area, concentrating instead on corruption and malfeasance. Taking a global history approach we investigate the trade in specific consumer goods in many qualities and varieties that linked merchant communities and stimulated information flows. We set out how private trade functioned alongside and in connection with the various European East India companies; we investigate how this changed over time, how it drew on the Company infrastructure, and how it took the risks and developed new and niche markets for specific Asian commodities that the Companies could not sustain.
The Royal African Company, the Hudsons Bay Company, and the East India Company used both owned and hired ships in their seventeenth and eighteenth century trading operations. Why such critical assets were sometimes owned and sometimes rented is explored. Contrary to economic reasoning, ship rentals occurred in shipping markets that were uncompetitive. The use of hired ships was correlated instead to market power in the companies selling or output markets. The pattern of ship ownership can be attributed to the close social proximity of shipowners to decision-makers in the companies. By modeling the input hiring decision while allowing for variation in the competitiveness of output markets, it is argued that rent-seeking behavior on the part of companyinsiders may explain the ownership patterns.
Since the 1970s, many global political economists have been seeing the US as a declining hegemon. After four decades into this hegemonic decline, performance of economies having been regarded as candidates for new hegemons such as Germany/Europe and Japan fell far short of these expectations, while US share of the global economy and its military supremacy remained stable. This staying power of the US stems from the "dollar standard," under which the US dollar is the dominant foreign reserve currency and international transaction medium in the world economy. The dollar standard originated in the Cold War era when all major capitalist powers relied on the US for military protection. It persisted after the end of Cold War, thanks to the continuous mutual reinforcement of the dollar standard and the global domination of the US military. The recent rise of China, which is the first major capitalist power outside the orbit of US military protection, poses a serious dilemma to the US. On the one hand, China's export-oriented development drives China to purchase US Treasuries on a massive scale, hence lending support to the short-term viability of the dollar. On the other hand, US's skyrocketing current account deficit, much attributable to China, precipitates a crisis of confidence over the dollar's long-term prospects. China is likewise caught in a dilemma between sustaining its export-driven growth and shifting to a domestic-consumption- driven economy. The development of the US-China currency conflict, together with the transformation of the Chinese developmental model, will be the most important determinant shaping the future of the dollar standard and US global power in the years to come.
Top-cited authors
Claus Offe
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Helmut Wiesenthal
Frank Dobbin
  • Harvard University
Luis Eduardo Guarnizo
  • University of California, Davis
George Steinmetz
  • University of Michigan