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As described in the introduction to this book, our collective inquiry was partly prompted by John Gerald Ruggie's provocative description of the European Union (EU) as the world's first “postmodern polity” and his argument that this new state of affairs was a consequence of the “unbundling of territoriality” (Ruggie 1993). Ruggie suggested that modernity transformed the “multi-perspectival” feudal world, with its parcellized authority and overlapping jurisdictions, into the “single-point perspective” modern world with its “territorially defined, fixed, and mutual exclusive enclaves of legitimate domination.” As Ruggie puts it, “The chief characteristic of the modern system of territorial rule is the consolidation of all parcellized and personalized authority into one public realm.” The EU represents the reemergence of parcellized authority and overlapping jurisdictions in a postnational (and hence postmodern) framework.
Our group agreed (and who does not?) that territoriality – the consolidation of political authority into “territorially defined, fixed, and mutually exclusive enclaves” – is a core constitutive principle of modern political organization. Indeed, territoriality is like the air we breathe – something upon which we utterly depend and yet largely take for granted. The “unbundling of territoriality” does not simply pose a challenge to sovereignty. We are familiar with those types of challenges. A weak state may have its sovereignty violated by a strong state, and even strong states do not fully control their borders. Yet the organizing principle of territoriality remains intact. States still strive to be sovereign.
This book represents the fruits of a collective inquiry begun in 1997 with the support of the Institute for European Studies and the Institute for Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the European University Institute in Florence. Our inquiry was initially prompted by John Gerard Ruggie's provocative analysis about the “unbundling of territoriality” (Ruggie 1993). Beginning with an analysis of authority relations in medieval Europe, Ruggie argues that the “medieval system of rule was structured by a non-exclusive form of territoriality, in which authority was both personalized and parcelized within and across territorial formations.” In contrast, the distinctive feature of the modern system of rule is that it “differentiated its subject collectivity into territorially defined, fixed, and mutually exclusive enclaves of legitimate domination.” Ruggie argues that, as exemplified by the project of European integration, contemporary trends represent an “unbundling of territoriality.” As the foundational principle of modern politics, territoriality is receding in favor of a nonterritorial, functional organization of political authority. While some have seen this development as a return to the medieval pattern of “overlapping authorities,” Ruggie interprets these developments as a postmodern turn.
In many respects, Ruggie's argument is simply one of the more subtle and provocative examples of an emerging genre arguing that the modern state and the modern state system are being challenged, and perhaps eroded, by a variety of forces ranging from domestic privatization to economic and cultural globalization. The conventional argument runs roughly as follows.
The bundling of political authority into mutually exclusive territorial boundaries - territoriality - is a fundamental principle of modern political organization. Indeed, it provides the foundation for other cherished institutions - national sovereignty, citizenship, the modern welfare state, and democracy. Are globalization, internationalization, and Europeanization conspiring to unbundle territoriality? If so, are sovereignty, citizenship, the welfare state, and democracy unravelling as well? Is a new post-national, non-territorial form of political organization, heralded by the European Union, being born? With a focus on Europe, this volume explores these issues from various substantive and theoretical perspectives. The authors find evidence of the diffusion of authority both within and beyond the state, producing novel institutional arrangements and new modes of governance. But the United States may provide more useful insights into the new dispensation than the idea of a post-national, non-territorial politics. Interest in contemporary challenges to democracy run throughout this volume.
Chapter 1 argued that the analogy to the structuring principles of lineage and residence in Lévi-Strauss's theory of social integration was to be found in the French labor movement in the structuring principles associated with craft communities (lineage) and territorial communities (residence). In this chapter, I introduce the “elementary” forms of these structuring principles that will then be discussed in the rest of the book. I also examine some of the historical and structural factors that explain why French workers came to shape their relations with one another in particular ways. These factors include the social organization of craft communities, the control over the reproduction of skills, the organization of production, the character of embeddedness of firms in communities, the geography of markets, and ultimately the effect of all of these factors on labor markets.
Perhaps the overriding factor shaping organizational relationships among French workers was their strong tendency to mobilize at the workplace level, which trumped the labor market or neighborhood as a focus of mobilization. This workplace focus had very important consequences. It created the possibility for cross-craft and cross-skill alliances based on workplace solidarities, and this workplace solidarity often spilled over into community-based political mobilization. This form of community mobilization was often at odds with the neighborhood mobilization championed by political parties.
At the end of the 1880s, a second wave of populist mobilization roiled the political and social terrain of France. As described in Chapter 3, populist mobilization often exhibits a pattern of rapid mobilization that peaks and then splits, fragments, or collapses as participation falls off. In the early 1890s, these splits did occur. But the outcome of this second wave of populist mobilization ultimately pointed toward a fundamental realignment and unification of the French labor movement. Eventually, the unions withdrew their allegiances to competing party sects and forged the outlines of a unified union movement. The full consolidation of this second alignment would take over a decade and would require a reinforcing structural alignment on both the union and the party side. The details of the final consolidation of the union movement and the parallel unification of the party movement will be told in the next two chapters. This chapter will focus on those developments between 1884 and 1894 that first revealed the outlines of this new alignment.
The argument of this chapter is that the common schismatic pattern of populism was redirected by a structural innovation that both coincided with and resulted from the populist mobilization of the late 1880s and early 1890s. This innovation was the creation of an institution known as the bourse du travail, or “labor exchange.” The simplest description of the bourses du travail is that they were municipal job-placement centers.