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Review: Polling, Policy and Public Opinion: The Case against Heeding the “Voice of the People”, Paris: Capital of Modernity, the Federalist: The Essential Essays, Health Economics: An International Perspective, Social Movements and Democracy, Social Policy Reform and Market Governance in Latin America, the Nature and Development of the Modern State, Dependent on D.C.: The Rise of Federal Control over the Lives of Ordinary Americans, Dialogue among Civilizations: Some Exemplary Voices

Polling, policy and public opinion: the case agains t heeding the ``voice of the people'' by R Weissberg;
Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hants, 2002, 232 pages »40.00 (US $45.00) ISBN 0 312 29456 6
Every weekday, the Dutch televis ion company SBS6 broadcasts a programme entitled ``the voice
of the Netherlands'' (Stem van Nederla nd) in which an independent polling company presents the
results of a poll about some newsworthy subjects. Sometimes, th e poll deals with the question of
whether or not the right candidate won the Pop Idol final, and so metimes it is about political
decisions, such as the decision to expel 26 00 0 asylum-seekers, even though some of them have
lived in the Netherlands for four or five years. Robert Weissberg probably could not care le ss
about another Pop Idol poll, but in his Polling, Policy and Public Opinion he vigorously argues
against politically informed polls, and those who argue that these polls can contribute to
(enhancing) democracy.
Weissberg's argument (in a nutshell) is that ``everyday snapshots presented by today's polls
displ aying the social welfare state's popularity are either incorrect, grossly exaggerated, or
undemons trated'' (page 14). He does not argue that the re is no such thing as a public
opinion, or that it is n ot worth learning about public opinion; what h e opposes is that these
polls have gathered an enormous political influence, even though they fail to give a good
picture of so cietal wishes and demands. Furthermore, and Weissberg makes a big point out of
this, they tend to favour liberal, left-wing pleas for more government with subsequent larger
gover nm ent expe nditures. B eing honest about his own political orientation, Weissberg has to
acknowledge that the (biased) leftist or ientation in the polls is not an inevitable characteristic
of polling in itself, but rather the resul t of the interplay between liberal ideology and leftist
social sc ientists arguing for more participation and democratisation.
This bold argument is developed, and so mewhat refined, in five chapters. In the second
chapter Weissbe rg illustrates the problem of `wishes' turning into `hard choices'. Polls are part
of the scientification of public wishes but, Weissberg argues, these public wi shes are not always
realistic. Citizens h ave little information, are neither properly informed on the trade- offs that
certain choices imply, nor are the polled citizens always the brighte st stars in the sky. The
consequence is that political leaders are often faced with unrealistic one-sided demands for
more government regulation and more government spending.
The question then is whether th is is a methodological weakne ss of existing polls, or a
fundamental problem of all kinds of polling. Weissberg discusses some more complex forms of
polling public opinion, such as contingent evaluation and willingness to pay. Although Weissberg
concludes that these forms of polling m ight offer a better insight into ``the voice of the peop le'',
he argue s that it is highly unlikely that a dramatic breakthrough in polling manners will take
place, and thus ``today's polling cannot supply the detailed information neces sary to inform
the vexing choices made by office holders'' (page 48).
In chapter 3 Weissberg takes this subject one step further, tackling the concept of civic
competence. True, this concept has gained solid ground in (leftis t) social scienc es, dealing with
questions of participation and democratisation, and there might be a point i n questioning the
limits of this concep t. The question is the following: when it comes to policymaking, are
ordinary citizens competent to make decis ions, or i s this somethi ng that needs to be left to
professional policym akers? Do not expect a discuss i on on s cientific and political uncertainties
at this point, Weissberg takes the position that, just like chefs make good meals, professional
policymakers make good policies (page 53). Civic competence requires an amount of knowledge,
insight, and intell ectual capabilities that is hardly seen among ordinary citizens.
The empirical evidence (chapters 4 and 5) to support this argument is related to two
subjects: Clinton's plans to decrease cl ass size, and the debate on children's daycare that took
place in the United States. Polls showed that there was massive support for smaller class sizes
and federal assistance for daycare. But were these polls proper illustrations of the real civil
Environment and Planning C: Government an d Policy 2004, volume 22, pages 621 ^ 632
wishes and preferences? In order to illustrate the ineffectiveness of polls, Weissberg had an
own poll carried out, dealing with these same issues. His experiences are illuminating; ordinary
citizens have a hard time thinking about complex issues, especially when they involve large
sums of money. Polling does not lead to a sensible answer, unless the pollster takes plenty of
time to explain the questionn aire, provide additional information, and discuss the different
options with the respondent.
Present polling practices do not provide these nuances; ``in today's world of telephone
dominated `quickie' surveys, these alternatives are even more impractical. If anything, the rush
to the cheap telephone poll ha s moved the enterprise away from the in-depth probing so
necessary to recovering complex, nuanced preferences'' (page 187). You might wonder what future
Weis sberg see s for polling. As the polling industry is unlikely to change its methods, the ultimate
goal of the `counterliterature' to wh ich Weissberg seeks to contribute is to make polling concer ned
with public opinion, not with advice giving.
One of the weaknesses of the book is that Weissberg more or less assu mes that these polls
have a large, disproportion ate influence on ( US) policymaking. This prior assumption is given
little attention in the further argument (any empirical evidence that this is truly the case is
absent); his criticism focuses on the fact that polls represent an uninformed or misinformed
opinion. You cannot blame Weissberg for addressing one ques tion in d epth, rather than tackling
a ser ies of questions. But if you make bold s tatements like Weissberg, the least you would expect
is some sort of justific atio n why it is necessary to attack the issue of polling so vigorously.
I have always considered the simple polling technologies that Weissberg addresses as
`funny' illustrative entertainment and would never have argued that polling technologies
(such as the ``voice of the Netherlands'') are a good basis for policymaking. If they are really
used as such (see my previous p oint), that might as well be seen as an illu stration of laziness
or indecisiveness by policym akers. Weissberg's point that polling in itself won't make a valuable
contribution to democracy thus makes sense but does not sound like a revolutionary social
scientific breakthrough. I wonder who believed that in the first case. The bigger question is
whether an analysis of polling alone justifies Weissberg blu nt argument that, in a nutshell,
citizens are not competent to decide on political issues and that we should thus leave it all to
the professionals.
The good thing about Weissberg's Polling, Policy and Public Opinion is that it got me
thinking about the issue of polling. At times Weissberg's anti-Clinton sentiments are a bit too
obvious, and his tendency to discard public participation in general, on the basis of his experi-
ences with polling alone i s a little obnoxious. But overall, a good read as it tells (part of ) the
other side of the story of public participation.
Sander van den Burg
Environmental Policy Group (175), Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
Paris : capital of modernity by D Harvey; Routledge, New York, 2003, 872 pages, $30.00 (»19.99)
ISBN 0 415 94421X
This volu me brings together some of Harvey's most important writings on 19th-century Paris;
previously they could only be found in old copies of journals and one long-out-of-print book
(Harvey, 1985). In collecting together these works, updating them, and including some new
material, Harvey has produce d a book that explores in great detail the enor mous changes Paris
(as well as France in general, and other Western European cities) experienced.
The time frame of his analysis runs from the period leading up to the end of the July
Monarchy (to 1848) to the destructive and tragic events following the Paris Commune in
1870 ^ 01. The main focus of the book is on the intervening years, where Harvey unc overs the
social, political, and e conomic forces that served to alter dramatically the city's cultural and
industrial landscape, and affe ct the lives of its diverse groups. For Harvey, like others, the
revolution of 1848 is a crucial point, and not solely because it marked the transition of France
in political term s from monarchy to republic (which soon became the authoritarian Se cond
Empire under Napoleon III), and in economic terms, towards an industrially intensive class-
entrenched system of production. Rather, he uses the transition to examine these changes through
622 Reviews
the lens of modernity, arguing (against the ideas of many) that the degree to whi ch 1848
heralded a break with the past has b een overstated. Instead, the changes we see in the after-
math, he argues, not ably in terms of the infrastructural and architectural developments of
Haussman, the id eologies underpinning these changes, as well as the s ociopolitical contexts
in which they were brought about, reflect feelings and trend s that had already been established
for years, and which the struggles of the late 1840s helped bring to the surface.
Far from denying the massive changes to Paris in the d ecades following 1848, Harvey
uses them to question the nature of modernity itself (indeed the title of the book could well have
been followed by a question mark), not just because the period preced ing the supposed ideolog-
ical revolution is shown to have contained the forces necessary for change, but that the se forces
also influenced the think ing of figures like Haussman and, ultimately, how the city's development
progressed. Two things from this are clear. First, modernity cannot be seen as producing a `blank
canvas' onto which desires may be projected an d reflected; reference to earlier periods is essential
to establish a philosoph ical and teleological connection. Second, it is b ecause of these connec-
tions that the myth of modernity can be exposed. To this end, Harvey shows that, despite (or
even because of) the changes he details, the deeper societal and political problems contained
within Paris can be neither escaped nor resolved. As such, class struggle, itself based on a variety
of economic, p olitical, and demographic factors that he deals with in su ccession (though always
drawing out thei r interconnections), is never successfully dealt with by those in power. In many
ways th e Commune and Harvey's `Coda', which closes the story, illustrate most forcefully, and
in harrowing terms, the failure of Pari s to deal with the myth of modernity.
Harvey's work is notable for the sheer diversity of sources he draws on; because he is dealing
with more than a grand narrative of urban change and surface alterations to the city, he uses
many examples of French literature (notably Balzac) and contemporary illustrations and cartoons
(drawing heavily on Daumier's very human interpretation of the absurd) to show Paris in terms
of its representations and experienc es. Only through this kind of analysis, he says, can we get
at the he art of what the city and its cultural politics are really about. It is these touches which,
more than anything, enhance the previously published material, and it is to Harvey's credit that
this book doe s not read like a collectio n of republished papers. O n the downside, this work does
demand more than a p assing knowledge of French history, and some may find this a deterrent.
In summary, Paris: Capital of Modernity is a stunning book that will engage anyone with an
interest in 19th-century politics and urbanism. In uniting the themes of governance, soc ial geogra-
phy, his tory, and architecture, and asse ssing how the ir interrelation s contributed to the violently
changing spatiality of the city (both as a concrete existence and a lived experience), it cannot help
but draw comparison s with Schor ske's (1980) Fin-de-sie
cle Vienna. In this case, the comparisons
are undoubtedly favourable, and that is perhaps the highest praise I can give. If this bo ok were
nothing more than a reprint of Co nsciousness and the Urban Experience it would still be recom-
mended reading; in reality it is much mo re: it is a definitive work on the histor ical geography of
Paris whi ch shows tremendous insight, forceful arguments, and above all, an obvious pas sion.
Tristan Clayton; e-mail: mister
Harvey D, 1985 Consci ousn ess and the Urba n Experience (Blackwell, Oxford)
Schorske C, 1980 Fin-de-sie
cle Vienna: Politics and Culture (Vintage, New York)
The Federalist : the essential e ss ays by A Hamilton, J Madison, J Jay (edited with an introduction
by J N Rakove); B edford/St Martins, Boston (distributed in th e United King dom by Macmillan,
Basingstoke, Hants), 2003, 250 pages, $14.75 paper (»10.99) ISBN 0 312 24732 X
In the introduction to this new student edition, whi ch is a selection of thirty two out of the original
eighty-five papers, Jack Rakove prefers to explain the ``proper hi storical context'' (page 3) in
which The Federalist functioned as a speech act rather than compare it to the pantheon of political
class ics. Political thought as political speech act is so mething of a US tradition, with the
Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Addre ss accorded the same
revere ntial treatment a s The Federalist in US undergraduate political science. Rakove seeks to
Reviews 623
empha sise that ``The Federalist is be st under stood as a campaign document'' (page 29) and not an
abstract work of political philosophy.
The original work con sis ted of a series of papers
it is sometimes mistakenly referred to
as the Federalist Papers
serialised in the New York press from October 1787 to May 1788
gloss ing the different articles of the proposed constitution and responding to the ongoing
criticisms expressed by opponents of the new constitutional settlement. Each paper was
address ed ``to the People of the State of New York'' to persuade public opinion that the New
York convention should ratify the constitution. It did, bu t by then enough states had already
ratified to en sure the co nstitution would repl ace the feckless Articles of Confederation. Rakove
has included only the most important and stimulating papers in this edition, wh ich at 230 pages
will be far less d aunting for students
as well as cheaper
than the 500-plus-page Cambridge
University Press textbook edition published last year.
The contextual approach favoured by Rakove is a salutary reminder that the whole debate
concerning the ratification of the federal cons titution revolved around two critical questions
that the subsequent success of the American union, at least since the Civil War, has tended to
occult. First, whether a unified American nation was indeed possible
there was talk of the
formation of regional blocks amongst the forme r colonies
and, second, whether this would
be consistent with individual liberty and what Hamilton's Federalist 1 called ``the true princi-
ples of republi can government'' (page 38), which today we would call popul ar sovereignty or
repres entative democracy.
Opponents of the proposed constitution, traditionally labelled `antifederalists' and inspired
by Montesquieu, claimed that its mixture of federal and centralised institutions would allow
the latter to accu mulate power away from the vigilance of the states and their citizens, thereby
destroying the republi can principle of accountability and responsiveness to the governed. These
critics interpreted the constitution as an ill-judged , antirepublican gamble given the size and
diversity of the former colonies, and the propensity the indirectly elected senate and president
had for constituting a new political aristocracy. The genius of James Madison was to turn
this argument on its head by as serting that in comparis on with the Union the individual states
provided fewer guarantees for the maintenance of republican freedom.
For Madison the only way to eliminate the republican vi ce of faction, which perverted
governments into serving particular interests
especially di fferent property interests due to the
``unequal distribution of prope rty'' (page 54)
rather than the general good, was to devise a
form of political organisation that could not be appropriated by factional i nterests. Federalist 10
explains how the effects of factions will be controlled (the imperfect rationality of man means
that only tyranny can abolish faction) through dilution amidst a large political space. So that
even a majority ``must b e rendered, by their numbe r and local s ituation unable to concert and
carry into effect schemes of oppression'' (page 56). I n addition, the Union was constituted to
prevent the legislative power becoming all-powerful and transferring the will of a temporary
majority directly into legislation. To achieve this, the executive was to have the independence
(election via the Electoral College not the legislature as was common amongst the states) and
interest (reelec tion) to counteract the legislative p ower. Likewise, the indirectly elected senate
was designed as a counterweight to the House of Representatives' powerful claim to speak
directly in the name of the people. Unfortunately, Rakove is silent on the m odern development
of the constitution, notably the corruption of the El ectoral College and the direct election of
senators, which h as made T he Federalist a now somewhat imperfect guide to contemporary
US politics.
In this edition, there is a headnote before each essay that highl ights the salience of the
political argument and connects the paper to a section of the constitution, to a continuation
of a previous argument, or to a particular received opinion that i s b eing refuted. Because this
is a work of serial political writing not systematic theory, these headnotes are an invaluable
reading aid, especially for the first-time reader unversed in early American history, making
Rakove's edition dis tinctive and highly recommendable.
Andrew Glencross
European University Institute, Badia Fiesolana, Via dei Roccettini 9, 5 0016 San Domenico di
Fiesole, Italy
624 Reviews
Health economics: an international perspective by B McPake, L Kumaranayake, C Norm and;
Routledge, London, 2002, 260 pages, »72.00 cloth, »26.99 paper (US $95.00, $38.00)
ISBN 0 415 27735 3, 0 415 277361
What is health ec onomics? It is apparently a flourishing f i el d for applied economists, with
research opportunities increasing at an accelerating rate as developed countries devote ever
more resources to health care at the sam e time as cost awareness is increasing. But unlike
most other subdisciplines in ec onomics, there are no methodologic al approaches and no theo-
retical p aradigms to keep the field together. On the contrary, the ideal health economist is a `jack
of all trades' who masters theoretical models of regulation just as easily as time-series an alysis.
There is not even agreement concerning the object of study: the term `health econ omi cs' is
altern atively use d in the sens es of `e conom ics of health' and `e conomics of health care'.
Given this confusion, it is impre s s ive that people are still w illing to write textbooks on
health economics. One recent contribution is Health Economics: An International Perspective
by Barbara McPake, Lilani Kumaranayake, and Charles Normand, all a ctive at the London
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The book is i ntended for undergraduate stud ents of
health economics. And if the multitude of topics claim ing to be part of health ec onom ics
were not enough, the authors also initially express an ambition to provide useful reading to
students with a variety of backgrounds and interests, and with varying levels of knowledge of
eco nomics. In addition, the author s set out to bridge the gap between health economics as
practised on either side of the Atlantic.
For these high asp irations, the book is surprisingly short. In 260 pages and 25 chapters,
the authors take us through the world of health ec onomics. But the account is indeed compre-
hensive and covers m ost impor tant topics residing under the umbrella of health e conomics.
The book is divided into four ma in parts. The first, ``Introductory health economics'', is
actually a general introduction to microeconomics and provides all the tools necessary for the
subsequent analysis. Standard economic con cepts such as demand, supply and cost functions
are explained with creditable clarity. The authors do not force the economist's perspective
upon their reader, but argue convincingly in its favour.
The second part of the book deals with economic evaluation. It is a bit daring to p ut th i s
probably the most low-brow of all fields of health economics
so early in the book.
Econom ic evaluation is a m ethod to facilitate decisionmaking in difficult prior itizing decisions,
that in turn constitute exigent moral dilemma s. But, as tends to happen, McPake et al get lost
in technicalities and treat the underlying moral problems only superficially. Hence, we get to
know a lot about things such as choosing the appropriate discount rate for costs and benefits,
but no advic e is given on the seemingly more relevant issues of how d ifferent concepts of
equality fit into the economic evaluation problem. It is as if nothing h ad b een said on this
topic since Rawls.
The third part of the book
``Further econom ics of markets and m arket intervention''
with issues of contracting an d regulation in health care. The point of departure is William son's
theories of c ontracts, after which theories of provider behaviour, regulation, and principal-agent
models are covered. The exposition is satis fac tory: in particular, the part on hospital behavi our
provides a good account of the literature to d ate. Still it is a bit surprising that the book does
not provide an integrated view of these issues; after al l the different perspectives all concern
problems of contracting between the payer or regulator and the provider. The ignorant reader
might get the impression that moral hazard and adverse selection arise in situations distinct
from those of contractual difficulties characterized by Williamson.
The fourth and la s t part is concerned with the economics of health care systems. Health
systems of the world can be divided into four main categories
public systems, private systems,
social insurance systems, and hybrid systems
and their relative pros and cons are discusse d.
The emphasis is mainly on how the systems fare in efficiency versus equity issues. I think this
is the most convincing part of the book. Here the authors apparently draw on a rich inter-
national research experience. The treatment of developing countries, which tend to be neglec ted
in comparisons of health care systems, is especially rewarding.
In conclusion, Health Economics: An International Perspective delivers what it promises. The
reader gets a quick introduction to all the relevant topics of contemporary health ec onomics,
Reviews 625
with a long list of referen ces offering further reading. Still, the book leaves me with the common
impression of health economics as an atheoretical and rather technocratic divisio n of economics.
This is despite all the good efforts of the authors to show the theoretical dim ension und erlying
all the problems encountered in the field. However, the main problem is that the book is
too wide in its scope. And perhaps a more readable textbook would be one that skipped the
introduction to standard eco nomic tools and in stead, finally, told us what health economics
really is.
Martin Karlsson
Department of Econ omic s, European University Institute, Badia Fiesolana, Via Roccettini 9,
50016 San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy
Social movements and democracy edited by P Ibarra; Palgrave Macmillan, Ba singstoke, Hants,
2003, 238 pages, »32.50 (US $ 59.95) ISBN 0 312 29318 6
Books that derive from co nferences sometimes have an element of eclectic ism to them: what gets
included i s deter mined by who happened to be at the event. The advantage of this is th at
such volumes often allow more conceptually diverging viewpoints to stand side by side than a
choreographed acade mic debate would allow. Social Movements and Democracy derives from
a conference in Santiago de Compostela, but thi s is something the readers are told only in a
footnote to the last chapter, rather than in the introduction. However, this is important infor-
mation, because it shapes expec tations: the book is less, as suggested in the introduction, a
concerted attempt to help fill a gap in the literature, namely analysing social movements in the
context of consolidated Western democracies, than it is a coll ection of ins ightful, yet concep-
tually heterogenous, contributions on social movements in various phases of democracy and as
such it is highly recommendable.
One option could be to visit this book as one would visit a conference: listen to the
welcome address by Ibarra (introduction) and make sure you he ar the keynote speaker, Tilly
(chapter 1), but then you can choose which one of the working groups (chapters 2 ^ 9) you are
most interested i n.
As Ibarra points out, so cial movements are no longer considered ``a marginal, c ircumstan-
tial or irrational actor on the political scene, but rather as one more collective actor; rational,
stable and c onsolidated'' (page 2). Western democracies, faced with the complex political conse-
quences of globalisation and routinisation of the democratic culture, suffer from severe loss
of legitimisation. Ibarra argue s that social movements live in a semisymbiotic relationship with
the ageing democratic system, one of provocation and containment.
Social movements depend on certain conditions to gu arantee their presence as critical net-
works in the space of governance. First, a social movement must be built on cr itical or alternative
social capital; it relies on a network of individuals that experience a degree of solidarity and
alternativity in discourse. Second, the social movement must either be integrated as an actor
in an existing system of governance (with issue spaces and participatory dem ocracy) or must
be seen by the public as a protagonist in a topical discourse. Whereas Ibarra argues that
the increasing incorporation of social movements in the decisio nmaking proces s leads to a
more democratic process, in the first chapter Tilly, taking a historical view, states that there
is ``no necessary conn ection between social movements and democ racy'' (page 21) and points out
that after World War I, Fas cists adopted social movement forms
marches, demonstrations, mass
to make their claim s. Tilly, whose historical accounts have become `classics' with in
social movement studies, offers a brilliant and admittedly sp eculative paper in which he analyses
the conditions under which social movements actually do promote democratisation.
In chapter 2 Diani uses a network approach to discuss the fascinating question of how
the internal democratic structures of s ocial movements work and how more relational
exchange-based forms of leadership develop in such a milieu. In a critical analysis of ethnic
movements, Ede r, in chapter 3, points out the lack of c ompatibility between certain nonnego-
tiable identity claims and the democratic principles of compromise. Th e relationship between
`fused systems' of interest mobilisation, such as political p arties, and `differentiated systems',
such as social movements, is traced through the changing context of democracy today by
626 Reviews
Kitschelt in chapter 4. The following three chapters chart s ignificant social movements in three
countries: Della Porta writes on the women, antiracism, and ecology movements in Italy;
Rootes singles out the peace movement, the movement against the poll tax, and the environ-
mental movement in Britain; Goma
et al discuss the movements for international solidarity
and the movement of conscientious objectors to military service in the Basque Country and
Catalonia. In chapter 8 Kriesi points out the effects of the denationalisation process that
Western European democracies are experiencing as globalisation continues and offers some
ideas of which alternative political potentials may be mobilised as a result. Finally, Rucht
gives an, in th e best sense of the word, unexcited account of the so-called antiglobalis atio n
movement and its problems and achievements before and after Seattle in chapter 9. The organi-
sations he mentions, espec ially the ATTAC network, c ould have served as an example of the
new organisational forms that social movements take as they reac t to and shape a globalise d
and networked world. This could have provided the perfect link to refer, in a final chapter,
back to the issues raised in the introduction, the conditions of presence in the network of
governance, which could in this case be identified as the critical and alternative social capital
in the networks of the so-called antiglobalisation movement and their relative success in
remaining a protagonist in the discourse on globalisation. As it is, we are left without a final
chapter and thus come back e arly from a diverse and thought-provoking conference experience.
Thus, the book leaves the conceptual synthesis up to the reader but provides researchers,
students, and an interested public with useful theoretical tools and country-specific case s tudies
on social movements.
Dorothea Kleine
Departm e nt of Ge ography and Environm ent, London School of E conomics and Political Scien ce,
Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, England
Social policy reform and market governance in Latin America edited by L Haagh, C Helgo;
Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hants, 2002, 279 pages, »50.00 (US $79.95)
ISBN 0 333 99865 0
Social Policy Reform and Market Governance in Latin America is an edited volume that prese nts
diverse research under the common umbrella of policy evaluation. Ten chapters dealing with
specific policy programmes in some Latin American countries provide empirical evidence
supporting the general theoretical approa ch outlined in the introduction (by Haagh). The book
is easy to read and the four sections form a very coherent ensemble.
The volume is an excellent piece of research that represents one of the most robust and
serious criticisms of the neoliberal perspective on public policy. Without losing theoretical
depth and inspiration, the bulk of empirical country-specif ic analysis of key selected poli cy
areas (especially for Chile, Mexico, and a chapter for B olivia), illustrates the complexity of
policymaking in nowadays highly interrelated economic and soci al systems. The book add resses
the connection between policy reform and welfare outputs in an explicit attempt to underscore
that the wave of state reform has not been accompani ed by a broader assessment of the general
institutional co ordination problems that may appear as a consequence.
The individual chapters generally criticise two types of general practice in policymaking
in Latin America: group targeting and the predominan ce of an economic approach over an
all-encompassing one that allows an assessment of the multiplier effects of policies in diverse
(but connected) social systems. For this latter criticism, the authors propose a creative and very
well-informed analysis of spillover effects of the specif ic policy programmes under scrutiny in each
chapter. This effort helps to widen the scope of potential readers of the b ook, because academics
and policy advisors will both find aspects of interest in it.
The country-specific contributions also bring to the forefront of the analysis the normative
implications of policymaking for coordination between political actors, social g roups, and
institutional networks. The sele cted policy areas facilitate this task, because all of them are
central (and involve hot political debate) in modern state reform in Latin America. Specifi-
cally, they are health care, education, gender programm es, labour policies, and decentralis ation.
Reviews 627
These policy areas have received priority in the political agendas of all Latin American countries,
if greater in the bigger (and also riche r) c ountries, as in the ones analysed.
A third common characteristic of the chapters is the inclusion of a ge nder perspective,
highlighting the importance of analysing potentially multilayered recipients of poverty allevia-
tion policies or equity promotion ones (such a s the sector of women with children, living in
an underdeveloped rural area, and with low educational attainment). Such a concern, the
authors co me to argue, would increa se the success of policymaking. Again, this evaluative
perspective (success or not; most of the time, mixed scenarios), brings about a stimulating view
on the connections between a specific policy and its objectives, the outcomes in welfare and
efficien cy, and the overall political sustain ability of the policym aking style. The weak point
here, perhaps, is the rather limited account of the debate on governance, despite its inclusion
in the title of the book. Although the general frame of analysis presented in the introduction
gives a good elaboration on how the debate on governance may enter the picture of policy
evaluation, the other chapters follow more of a logic of in-depth analysis (using both quantitative
and qualitative methodologie s) and focus on the normative derivations of the observed aspects.
In that sense, including some comparative analysis would have allowed the authors to make
more, and pos sibly better, claims about the consequences of various policy programmes and
the consequences for governance.
Finally, I would recommend the book to non-Latin-Americanist scholars. Although rese arch-
ers (mainly sociologists and political scientists but also economic historians) dealing with cu rrent
topics of Latin American politics will surely find the book rewarding and referential, other
scholars, policy evaluators, and advisors focusing on other market reforms in other parts of the
world wil l most possibly also benefit from the amount of insight, material, and adequate
analytical style of this volume.
In addition, given that the volume undertakes clear nor mative st andpoints, it is therefore
highly suitable for triggering debate among academics and practitioners. In particular, issues
of ins titutional instability and lack of institutional coordin ation are common for all countries
undergoing state reform, both underdeveloped and developed. International debate on these
the sources, solutions, and the political tools to address policy
may well emerge from
further research, following the line of the volume, but with greater focu s on the comparative terrain.
Natalia Ajenjo
Department of Social and Political Science, European University Institute , 50016 Florence, Italy
The nature and development of the modern state by G Gill; Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke,
Hants, 20 03, 3 01 pages, »52.50 cloth, »16.00 paper (US $75.00, $24.95) ISBN 0 333 80449 X,
0 333 804503
For so me time now, from the most diverse fields within the social and political science discipline,
a significant body of writing has dealt w ith the genesis and development of the modern state.
Among these diverse contribution s, Gill has focused on the unfolding and enlargement of
state power as the distinctive characteristics of their `modern' status. A specialist in demo-
cratisation and the former USSR/Russi a, he presents an analysis centred on the bureaucratic
and organis atio nal features as the condu cting process of state evolution. The co nstruction and
consolidation of institutionalised capacities are the essential features in h is understanding of
what the state is and how it has b ecome the universal form of polity organisation.
His insights are quite an interesting contribu tion to the line of ``statalization studies'' (Tilly
1975 ; Popitz, 1986; Poggi, 1990) and successfully link the notions of the unfolding of moder nity
with the organis ational for m of polity based on its essential prin ciples of autonomy and ration-
ality. This concep tion is develope d in chapter 1, in which he makes a fairly comprehensive
review of the different understandings of the role of state in society, building his own classification
model. His own approach is situated in the analysis of the dimension of state interdependence
and infrastructural power with their societies and territorial dimensions.
The rest of the book is organised as a six-chapter-long u nfolding of the modern state.
The author do es this by following a line of historical development starting from the ancient
628 Reviews
states (chapter 2) and the feudal and e arly modern state (chapter 3). These are defined and
characterised according to the defining elements of the modern state, establish ing an historical
continuum of the institutionalised form of government, territori ally organised and socially
interdependent. This is evaluated acco rding to a series of defining traits such as class composi-
tion, representation, bureaucratic structure, territorial control, and the variety and efficiency
of capa cities of the state. All this is studied as a dynamic process of increasing developme nt
into the verge of the dawn of the modern state.
It is the industrialisation process and its tech nical and economi cal improvements that are
going to make the difference and be the key to the consolidation and further universalisation of
the state form. This is approached in chapter 4, while the particular dimension of techni fied
advan cement of the state, embodied in the development of the m ilitary, is included in chapter 5.
This is, however, just an element of the b roader perspective of world-system theory. That allows
him to address the exterior interaction that shapes the form and functions of the state, especially
through the historical p eriod of colonialism.
The last two chapters are devoted to the challenges that the state, in its modern liberal ^ demo-
cratic form, has faced more recently. The challenges of welfare and the communist alternative
fill chapter 6, which presents a very interesting comparative perspective of the characte ristics of
each state and how they dealt with the different sectors of society and the es tablishment of new
social and economic rights. Finally, chapter 7 is dedicated to the changes and unc er t ai nty posed
by globalisation. In the general debate about its future, the author takes a strong stand for the
prevalen ce of the state form, based on the continu ing expansion and adaptability of its capacities.
The book makes an excellent literature review, quite exhaustive and well informed, especially
considering the difficulty of the topic and the wide histor ical period covered. It is a useful
contribution to the scholar and student of the state from th e perspective of public policy or
governmental studies. It centres on the economic and technological factors as major elements,
perhaps leaving the ideological or cultural areas a little behind. Th is does not affect the quality
of the study, espe cially in its approach to the interaction between internal and external factors
in the configuration of the state, which is extremely original and well based. However, the
authors faces serious difficulties addressing the historical or s ociological points that should be
underpinning his theor y. This is a setback to the book's potential as a source for other contexts
apart from Gill's own institutional and organisational field. And the length and complexity of
the topic mean that its barely 300 pages are too few to cover the wider amount of example
and evidence that would have been necessary. But generally, it can be considered as very useful,
well-structured, and student-ori ented contribution to a quite complex and highly controversial
Ceferino J Sanchez
Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute, 50016 Florence, Italy
Poggi G, 1990 The State: Its Nature, Development and Prospects (Polity Press, Cambridge)
Popitz H, 1986 Pha
nomene der Macht (Mohr, Tu
Tilly C (Ed.) , 1 975 T he Formation of National States in Western Europe (Princeton University Press,
Princeton, NJ)
Dependent on D.C.: the rise of federal control over the l ives of ordinary Americans by C A Twight;
Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hants (published in the USA by St Martin's Press, New York),
2002, 422 pages, »20.00 (US $26.95) ISBN 0 312 29415 8
In Dependent on D.C., Charlotte A Twight argues that Americans have bec ome increasingly
dependent on the federal government in all areas of their life, surren dering their individual
liberties without reflection or revolution. Her thesis is that politici ans manipulate ``political
transaction costs'', thereby lowering the incentive for individuals to protest government expansion.
In other words, politici ans regu larly deceive the people about the true purpose of government
polic ies and alter the perceived costs and benefits of government programs. Political transaction
cost manipulation can be seen in everyth ing from the ``overt distortion of information about the
Reviews 629
nature and consequenc es of government activities'' (page 39) to ``unilaterally changing the locus or
scope of governme nt decision making authority'' (page 42). Twight proceeds to show how these
political transaction costs have shaped US policy in the areas of taxation (income and social
security), edu cation, health care, and privacy.
Twight pai nts a depress ing picture of the role of the federal government in the United States.
According to Twight, government policies in these areas have fail ed in every way but in taking
individual liberties away from ordinary citizens. The federal government forces Americans to
``surrender'' their wages to finance a bankrupt social security system (p age 56), the income
tax ``inculcates subservience'' and ``pits neighbor agains t neighbor'' (page 88). Public schools,
and early education programs targeting p reschool children, are ``orches trated'' efforts to ensure
``intellectual uniformity'' (page 140) and secure ideological dominance. Proposals for sociali zed
health care would o nly serve to ``entrust m o re life-and-death decisions to r ule-bound govern-
ment bureaucrats'' (page 193). Citizens are portrayed as complacent dupes to politician's lies,
trapped i n a maze of laws and regulations so burdenso me and complex that just to walk out-
side of one's door raise s the possibility of infringing some arcane rule. Twight clearly believes
that we have entered an ``Orwellian'' e ra, one characteriz ed by gover nment surveillance and
intrusion into every aspect of our lives.
Particularly since September 11, I too have become concerned about the ways in which
US government officials have shown their propensity to lie and to deny citizens their basic
rights. I have no doubt that many of Twight's criticis ms about the effectiveness and efficiency
of state-run health care, e ducation standards, or social security are valid. The topics that she
covers are troubled areas in American society, and are deserving of critique and reformulation.
Yet Twight's dogmatic lib ertarian stance precludes the possibility of any reasoned discus-
sion about how to address these problems. Twight's failure to present any opposing viewpoints
and her biased, polemical prose made it difficult for me to believe her argume nt that less
government would lead to better outcomes. In the chapter on education, Twight does not on ce
acknowledge the potential ben efits of a public school system, or the challenges that policy-
makers face in getting the education equation right i n a multicultural, multiclas s society. Nor
does she acknowledge the work of scholar s who have shown the extent to which social services
in the United States have been privatized or d evolved to local governments. She relies heavily
on pol itician's speeches to p rove her points, but the quotes are unconvincing and often
presented out of context. Do I believe that politicians shape their arguments to convince us
that income taxes are for the public good? Yes. Do I believe that this is a valid reason to end
income taxation? No. Her worldview is a simple one where the government is the source of
all problems. Forget labor-market dynamics or racial discrimination, for Twight, society's inequal-
ities are the result of government intervention into private markets and politicians seizing power
and control to serve their own interests.
Perhaps what bothered me most was her argument that the A merican public has stood
idly by while the federal government has seeped its way into every home and business. I n
Twight's world, American citizens are passive, uneducated, and unintere sted, unaware of
government's power and powerless to change it. In my world, thousands of young protesters
in Seattle managed to stop the opaque decisionmaking proce sses and power plays of the World
Trade Organization, undocumented immigrants resist governm ent surveill ance as they fight
for a better life for themselves and their families, and low-income women find liberty and
dignity in car ing for o ne another and their communities outside of government purview. Twight
completely disregards the vast literature on struggle and resistance, social movements, and the
rise of civil society in the United States. As a result, her only hope for the future is to return
to an idealized vision of early Americ a blessed with ``civil liberty, private property rights, free
markets, and personal autonomy'' (page 3).
I recommend Dependent on D.C. to libertarians, who will perceive this book groundbreaking
in its indictment of federal policies and filled with interesting facts about the government's failings.
However, as someone who believes that the federal gover nment has a role to play in ensuring
a more equitable and sustainable society, I found the book both unconvincing and disappointing.
Carolina K Reid
Department of Geography, University of Washington, Box 3535500, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
630 Reviews
Dialogue among civilizations : some exemplary voices by F Dallmayr; Palgrave Macmillan,
Basingstoke, Hants, 2002, 282 pages, »55.00 cloth, »18.99 paper (US $75.00, $24.95)
ISBN 140396 059 3, 140396 060 7
Published soon after the events of 9/11, Fred Dallmayr's Dialogue Among Civilizations: Some
Exemplary Voices, in a ``modest way'', expresses a h ope for a new dawn in human relations,
``a Morgenro
te of more ami cable and peaceful relations between the peoples and civilizations of
this world
after a ce ntury of unspeakable horrors and brut ality'' (page ix). With deft erudition,
Dallmayr pilots a grand multidisciplinary survey of interventions spann ing several centuries with
regard to civilization, progress, development, freedom, culture, modernization (change of cognitive
perspectives), secularization (rationalizing worldviews), democracy (dialogue of ideas), religion
(moral sen sibilities), human rights (social justice), and `cosmotheandric' (divine, human, and
cosmos relationsh ips), and their relationships to multicultural dialogue.
Dialogue is organized into two parts. The first, consisting of theoretical or philosophical
perspectives on the meani ng of civilizational dialogue, addresses basic ques tions on the param-
eters and precon ditions for dialogical interaction, the status of civilization, and the spatial
(horizontal) and te mporal aspects of civilizational dialogue. The second provides concrete
examples of intra- and interc ivilizational dialogues, or encounters, based on ``exemplary voices''
located in ``distinct hi storical and cultural settings'' (such as Latin America, Mi ddle East) which
are meant to provide the ``guidepost for the i ncipient dialogue of civilizations in our time''
(page 2).
Dallmayr covers a breadth of Wes tern intellectuals, from St Augustine, Weber, Descartes, and
Kant to Heidegger, Marcuse, Gadamer, Derrida, and Habermas. Unfortunately, alternative non-
Western discourses are less obvious, except for Debipras ad Chattopadhyaya's reflective ^ po etic
thinking and Gandhi's swaraj (self-rule). Because of the preponderance of Western voices, the book
is unable to animate a dialogue with `other' (Chinese, Japanese, Indian, African) voic es. Read in
the shadow of 9/11, even the inclusion of some Muslim intellectuals (Ibn Rushd, al-Ghazali, al-Jabri)
as alternative exemplary voices seems like an apologetic rebuttal to Samuel Huntington's (1996)
Clash of Civilizations thesis on the Islami c ^ Confucian chall enge currently posed to Western
civilization, and to the `Muslim fundamentalist' counter that the leg acy of Western colonialism
and imperialism has contaminated modernization
in Iran dubbed ``westoxication'' (gharbzadegi)
(page 100). Quite apart from his stated c oncern with identifying the parameters, problematics,
and processes in civilizational dialogue, Dallmayr offers nuggets of information and analysis
pertin ent to many contemporary conc erns of social scientists, including geographers.
Dallmayr argues that Huntington's ``civilization'' thesis is an extension of the Westphali an
nation-state development (page 35), itself a construct of Western self-identity, national imaginings,
and cultural reflections. However, thi s crucially omits the wider concern about the threats to
Western civilization and su premacy articulated by Huntington and echoed in Garrett Hardin's
(1968) ``The tragedy of the commons''. Also insufficiently discussed is Edward Said's (1979)
thesis that Orientalism is less a cross-civilizational d ialogue than a hegemonic assertion of
Western cultural and imperialistic supremacy. For contrary to Said's (1994) binary views on
colonialism and imperialism (MacKenzie, 1995, page 39), other scholars have demo nstrated
that there were periods in the long East ^ West relationship where European intellectual thought
and cultural expression were products of Eastern religious ideas and phi losophies (MacKenzie,
1995; Steadman, 1969).
Dallmayr also argues that Eurocentrism, resulting from Europe's long historical role a s
commanding ruler, captain, headmaster, promontory, headland, and capital of the world
(page s 50 ^ 55), was marked by cultural relativity from the era of travel and exploration
beginning in the 16th century. The rapid development of Europe over other civilizations led to
Western voices constantly being caught in a process of ``Euro-arrogance'' and ``Euro-denial''
(page 62)
oscillating between a European supremacy and an acceptance of multiple voices that
to a large extent stil l frames the continuing dialogue between Western and other civilizations.
Though Dallmayr refers to the p rogressive shrinkage of the world and the ``spatial
contraction of the earth'' (page 85), he dwells more on the temporal/historical dimension of
the civilizational dialogue than on its geographical manifestations. In a way, this points up the
significance of the debates among geographers concerning the global and local, the universal
Reviews 631
and particular, the ``objective world'' and subjective ``lifeworld'' (page 93). The moot question
here is whether meaningful dialogue can take place in a temporal world where subjective life-
worlds, cultural diversity, mythical worldviews, inner worlds, and anthropomorphically endowed
nature reinforce post/transmodern discourses against the globalizing and totalizing syntheses
identified with Euroce ntric colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism.
In this context Dallmayr underscores the inequalities defining contemporary global economic
and intellectual landscapes: roughly four fifths of the world's scientifi c and technological output is
generated in Western societies by a conc omitant concentration of s cientists and technological
experts. Mode rn science and technology are thus invariably linked with modern Western civiliz a-
tion or culture, which ``fuels charges of neo-colonialism, Eurocentrism, or Western cultural
hegem ony'' (page 77). In this regard, if we accept Francis Fukuyama's (1992, page 8 0) assertion
that the world's science and technology are predominantly Western and that this underpins all
social, cultural, and political paradigms, then it portends an end to any meaningful cross-cultural
dialogue, because modern natural science may be regarded as a ``possible `regul ator' of directional
historical change''.
Notwiths tanding the intere sting ideas on various issues that support or thwart a dialogue
of civilizations, Dallmayr's book tends to showcase national and civilizational strands of thinking
rather than the titled promise of ``exemplary voices'' embracing dialogue. Some elements of this
dialogue are illustrated by the way Greek philosophy, history, and geography infused Islamic civi-
lization then, in turn, came to be seen as undermining indigenous Arab ^ Islamic cultures
(page 123). Yet, Bernard L ewis (2002, page 119) has demonstrated that Arab ^ Islamic civilization
added ``new knowledge'' to that body of ``scientific knowledge [inherited] from classical antiquity''.
Despite the vast range of voices from the Wes t and from the A rab world s, in only one
instance does Dallmayr overtly dem onstrate a voice that emphasizes ``not the `clash' but the peac e
of civilizations''
with Goethe, an intellectual who was ``deeply com mitted to an amicable
interaction and conversation between cultures and religions'' (p age 163 ^ 164). With such rare
voices celebrating ``the purest humanity'' and a specifically Muslim ^ Western ``cultivation of
dialogue and mutual affection'' (page 164) as Goethe's, Dallmayr 's rich, historical compi lation
augurs badly for a dialogue among civilizations after 9/11.
Victor R Savage
Department of Geography, National University of Singapore, 1 Arts Link, Kent Ridge,
Singapore 117570
Fukuyama F, 1 992 The End of History and the Last Man (Free Press, New York)
Hardin G, 1968, ``The tragedy of the commons: the population problem has no tech nical solutions;
it requires a fundamental extension in morality'' Science 162 1243^1248
Huntington S P, 1996 The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (Simon and
Schuster, New York)
Lewis B, 2002 What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East
(Perennial, New York)
MacKenzie J M, 1995 Orientalism: History, T heory and the Arts (Manchester University Press,
Said E, 1979 Orientalism (Vintage Books, New York)
Said E, 1994 Culture and Imperialism (Vintage Books, London)
Steadman J M, 1969 The Myth of Asia (Simon and Schuster, New York)
Books received
All books received by the journal for possible review are now listed on the Environment a nd
Planning website:
All books for review should be sent to th e publishers marked for the attention of the reviews
editor. Inclusion in the list of books received does not imply or preclude a full review. The
opinions given in these reviews are those of the reviewer alon e and do not n ec essar ily rep resent
the views of the editors or publishers.
632 Reviews
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
We provide a complete characterization of the set of Markov-Perfect Equilibrium (MPE) of dynamic common-property resource games a la Levhari and Mirman (1980). We find that all MPE of such games exhibit remarkably regular dynamic behavior. Surprisingly, however, and despite their memoryless nature, MPE need not result in a "tragedy of the commons", i.e., overexploitation of the resource relative to the first-best solutions. We show through an example that MPE could, in fact, lead to the reverse phenomenon of underexploitation of the resource. Nonetheless, we demonstrate that, in payoff space, MPE are always suboptimal.
The State: Its Nature
  • G Poggi
Poggi G, 1990 The State: Its Nature, Development and Prospects (Polity Press, Cambridge)
the rise of federal control over the lives of ordinary Americans by C A Twight
  • D C Dependent On
Dependent on D.C.: the rise of federal control over the lives of ordinary Americans by C A Twight; Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hants (published in the USA by St Martin's Press, New York), 2002, 422 pages, »20.00 (US $26.95) ISBN 0 312 29415 8
What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East
  • B Lewis
Lewis B, 2002 What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East (Perennial, New York)
  • E Said
Said E, 1994 Culture and Imperialism (Vintage Books, London)