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The role of the state in economic development is broad, old, and metamorphic. Drawing on historical political economy and a critical reading of new institutional scholarship, our understanding of the developmental state is contextual and complex. Successful developmental state formation is the result of stable political-economic environments, cultural legacies of earlier state-making functioning as mental maps for new statecraft, coherent institutional and policy entrepreneurship, and sustained growth that gives positive feedback in state-making. Latin American state developmentalism has always been diverse, before and after the debt crisis. In the era of state-led industrialization, the Latin American developmental state “failed” because, with domestic and regional markets small and dependence on foreign markets and financial capital high, macroeconomic policymaking did not learn to deal with crises and cyclical external conditions. Developmental state success in the 21st century depends on undertaking less volatile political-economic pathways to facilitate organizational learning by doing. In exclusionary Latin America more than in other corners of the world, developmental state success also means reconciling economic and social goals.

Article

Dominant narratives and theories developed at the turn of the 21st century to account for the links between state formation and civil wars in Africa converged around two main ideas. First was the contention that the increase in civil wars across the continent—like that in many parts of the globe, including South Asia and Central Europe—was linked to state failure or decay. Violent conflict thus came to be seen as the expression of the weakness, disintegration, and collapse of political institutions in the postcolonial world. Second, guerrilla movements, once viewed as the ideological armed wings of Cold War contenders, then came to be seen as roving bandits interested in plundering the spoils left by decaying states, and their motives as primarily, if not only, economic or personal, rather than political. However, recent research has challenged the reductionism that underlay such accounts by looking into the day-to-day politics of civil war, thus moving beyond the search for the motives that bring rebels and rebel movements to wage war against the established order. Drawing on this literature, this article argues that violent conflict is part and parcel of historical processes of state formation. Thus, in order to understand how stable political institutions can be built in the aftermath of civil war, it is essential to study the institutions that regulate political life during conflict. This implies a need not only to look at how (and if) state institutions survive once war has broken out, but also to take into account the institutions put in place in areas beyond the control of the state.

Article

Recent scholarly attention to religious establishment can be understood as a response to the crisis of secularization theory and the apparent return of religion to global politics. As a category, religious establishment represents a concrete instance of the religious touching the political, which political scientists can systematically measure and analyze to qualify the nature of religion’s return to global politics. Theoretical advances in the conceptualization of religious establishment as a combination of various policies of government regulation and favoritism of religion, in addition to the creation of cross-national databases to measure these policies, has led scholars to rediscover and categorize a broad range of patterns of religious establishment across the globe. Furthermore, these advances in conceptualization and data collection have enabled scholars to produce new political science research on the relationship between religious establishment and patterns of national religious life; cross-national levels of democracy; and the probability of political violence. Several hidden threads bind much of this scholarship together, including implicit assumptions made about normative debates on the meaning of religious liberty, as well as historical patterns of state formation. By explicitly recognizing these assumptions and linking them to future research agendas, political science scholarship on religious establishment is well placed to advance debates on the contemporary role of religion in global politics.

Article

Eritrea has a long history as a heavily militarized nation, dating back to its 30-year war for independence from Ethiopia. Militarization is a core component of Eritrean nationalism and state formation, which is arguably forged out of war but is also implicated in Eritrea’s problematic human rights record. Following Eritrea’s 1991 independence, the country was poised to democratize and liberalize. At that time, the country also began an intensive process of nation-building of which militarization was a central part. In 1995, Eritrea introduced the national service program. Eritrea’s national/military service, which requires 6 months of military training and 12 months of free military or civil service for all Eritreans (male and female), initially enjoyed widespread public support although there were always concerns about harsh living and labor conditions. In 1998, a border war with Ethiopia broke out. At this time, those who had military training in national service were recalled. Although fighting ended in 2000, the border war deepened Eritrea’s adherence to militarization as a key strategy of national defense, nation-building, and development. A condition of no-peace, no-war followed the border war. The long period of no-war, no-peace with Ethiopia allowed Eritrea’s president, Isaias Afewerki, to consolidate his power, deepen authoritarian rule, and extend the national service program indefinitely. The indefinite extension of national service meant that conscripts were not demobilized and new recruits into national service could not be assured that they would ever be released. Due to the indefinite extension of military service, harsh conditions in the military, and extreme punishments for those who try to escape the military, Eritrea’s national/military service requirement is at the center of concern about human rights and civil liberties in Eritrea. Militarization has since become fused with state control and punishment, leading to human rights and civil liberties violations and the mass flight of close to half a million Eritreans over the past decades. Despite the announcement in summer of 2018 that Eritrea and Ethiopia had finally agreed to peace, no one has been released from the military and Eritreans continue to flood out of the country to avoid national service conditions which have been equated with slavery.

Article

The Ivorian military remained confined to their barracks until December 24, 1999, when they staged a coup d’état. They had been instrumental in sustaining Félix Houphouët-Boigny’s rule, characterized by a deep culture of patronage in which they actively participated. After French colonialism used Ivorian soldiers in securing the territories they conquered, the Ivorian army, after its creation, became a pivotal element in the creation of the nascent Ivorian bourgeoisie, a class of planteurs (plantation owners) and entrepreneurs linked to the State. Houphouët-Boigny was unwilling to fund the army because he did not trust their loyalty to him. He preferred to focus on education, health, and infrastructure, arguing no external was threatening the country. As a consequence, the Ivorian military was neglected, poorly equipped, and inadequately trained. Complex relations have existed between the military, the ruling elites, and the state. In 1995, when the Baoulé elites and their new leader, Bédié, began losing their grip on power and faced competition from Northern elites that identified with Ouattara, they resorted to the dubious ideology of Ivoirité to consolidate their class position. The balance of power was shifting swiftly among ethnicized and competing members of ruling elites, ill-prepared to negotiate the fallout from their own instrumentalization of ethnicity, belonging, and autochthony for power. In 2002, a failed rebellion divided the country in two. The atrophied military could not assume their fundamental duties of keeping the country together. As militias, insurgencies, rebellions, and gangs mushroomed across the country and fought for a piece of the state, violence became their preferred strategy to advance political agendas until elections were organized in 2010. A situation of no war and no peace ensued until Laurent Gbagbo, who did not recognize his defeat, was removed from power by force in 2011. The French, with the assistance of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) in a semblance of multilateralism, intervened militarily to allow Ouattara’s troops to capture Gbagbo on April 1, 2011. Placed within a context of longue durée, an analysis is provided of how the long presence of the French military base and their experts and soldiers, under an agreement Houphouët-Boigny signed with the French government in 1961, has been a powerful deterrent and determinant of civil–military relations in Côte d’Ivoire, from independence in 1960 to the 2011 war. The presence of the French army, the Forces Nouvelles’ armed insurrection, and the weakness of the military have made possible the preservation of a “negative” peace, one that not only reshaped the class structure, but also enabled the preservation of the rentier state as the central institution in the creation and distribution of wealth. The loyalty of local ruling elites to French interests mattered significantly in the preservation of stable civil–military relations. As long as ethno-factions, political parties, and local elites are able to align their interests with powerful French interests, a semblance of stability will prevail and the military will continue exerting a reduced direct impact on Ivorian politics. As soon as that fragile equilibrium ruptures and a renewed internal struggle for primacy among ruling elites erupts, the country may descend into chaos, especially if the reconciliation process, engaged after Ouattara took power in 2011, does not yield tangible results, and if horizontal inequalities persist.