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Kenya adopted a new constitution in 2010 after a long and difficult journey. It was the result of two processes, involving different bodies, different decision-making rules, and each under significantly different political conditions. This chapter describes these linked processes, exploring why the first failed and the second led to the adoption of a new constitution. There is, of course, no simple or single answer to this question but, as the chapter shows, a central difference between them was the different ways in which they dealt with elites and ordinary citizens. In short, insisting on a "people-driven" process and failing to secure elite buy-in was fatal for the first process; requiring consensus among the elite, along with a degree of public involvement, was key to bringing the second process to a successful conclusion.
This chapter focuses on the transformation of policy instruments for co-opting minority groups: how and why Chinese approaches evolved from a maintenance-oriented approach in pre-modern times to transformative strategies aimed at egalitarianism in the socialist era. In pre-modern times, hegemonic strategies were used to induce frontier pacification and cooperation, with emphasis on elite co-optation and outer peripheral regions. This approach was practical for the minimalist imperial state with limited infrastructural and resource capacity. In modern times, the Republican regimes attempted nation building by mixing elite appeasement and mass assimilation, to little avail. The CCP turned upside down pre-modern methods by repudiating traditional ethnic elites and penetrating ethnic regions with preferential egalitarian strategies. The new approach promoted political incorporation but also ethnicized policies to fit that goal. The contradictions therein – centralization but ethnicization – created a third set of institutional sources of ethnic tensions in contemporary times.
This chapter discusses the impact of direct citizen participation and elite cooperation in constitution making on the deepening of an already existing electoral democracy. It argues that cooperation among a plurality of elected political representatives at the constitution-making stage is likely to improve the liberal dimension of democracy after the enactment of the new constitution. Inclusive constitutional agreements at the elite level and the dispersion of power that makes them possible not only facilitate the creation of legal limits on state action but also provide opposition parties and citizens alike with the means to make institutional constraints on executive power and civil liberties effective. This effect is usually observed during the early years of life of the new constitution, when the balance of power among the political forces that created the constitution tends to remain stable. The chapter shows preliminary support for this argument analyzing aggregate data and selected case studies from all episodes of democratic constitution making in the world between 1900 and 2015.
Do elites exhibit gender bias when responding to political aspirants? Drawing on theories of gender bias, group attachment, and partisan identity, I conduct the first audit experiment outside the United States to examine the presence of gender bias in the earliest phases of the political recruitment process. Based on responses from 1,774 Canadian legislators, I find evidence of an overall gender bias in favor of female political aspirants. Specifically, legislators are more responsive to female political aspirants and more likely to provide them with helpful advice when they ask how to get involved in politics. This pro-women bias, which exists at all levels of government, is stronger among female legislators and those associated with left-leaning parties. These results suggest that political elites in Canada are open to increasing female political representation and thus should serve as welcome encouragement for women to pursue their political ambitions.
Under conditions of guerrilla conflict, mass indiscriminate violence has been shown to effectively starve a guerrilla of its support. Consequently, counter-guerrilla mass violence is concentrated within territories where a guerrilla is dominant. However, in roughly 40 percent of mass violence episodes (e.g., Rwanda and Cambodia), the violence was aimed at populations within areas of secure territorial control. These episodes have therefore been explained by attributing ideological preferences to leaders or as unique cases only. I argue that leaders adopt mass indiscriminate violence against outgroups to consolidate power under conditions of elite rivalry. The violence serves two main goals. First, it helps build coalitions with constituencies that gain from violence; and second, it targets rival factions indirectly by forcing local security officials to facilitate or oppose the violence. The violence thereby provides rival supporters with an exit option, provides the regime with information on rival supporters’ private loyalties, and undermines rivals’ abilities to mount an effective resistance. These rivals can ultimately be purged from the regime. Based on newly collected original data on elite purges and on the type of mass indiscriminate violence for the years 1950 to 2004, I show that this type of mass violence, which I call “genocidal consolidation,” is intimately connected to authoritarian consolidation.
Xenophon’s interest in the role of elite Athenians in the democratic city is evident not only in his manifestly Athenian works where this is an explicit concern but also elsewhere in his corpus, most notably in his Anabasis, the focus of this chapter. Although this work tells the story of how a band of Greek mercenaries marched with Cyrus into the heart of the Persian Empire in 401 BC, Xenophon’s account is profoundly affected by his Athenian experience and interest in elite political behavior within the Athenian democracy. The Anabasis broadly evokes the political situation in Athens and the complex interactions of mass and elite as Xenophon depicts the importance of and challenges for elite leadership in the quasi-democratic setting of the Cyrean army. In setting forth how a versatile elite Athenian – Xenophon himself – succeeds as a leader of the Cyreans, it confirms in action the principles that Xenophon lays down elsewhere for effective elite leadership within the Athenian democracy. It portrays Xenophon not just as a talented general but as a capable democratic orator who wins over the Cyrean masses in deliberative and forensic contexts that recall their Athenian analogs.
Literary condemnations of manual work and commerce and trade were a discourse of social distinction that emphasized philosophical morality over avaricious money making. It did not matter socially beyond its immediate intellectual context, and neither prevented artisans and professionals from publicly displaying pride in their work nor imperial elites from treating traders, engineers, and artisans with dignity and respect in their personal interactions.
This chapter examines Xenophon’s portrayal of the Athenian elite in the opening books of the Hellenica. His presentation of the Arginusae episode (406 BC), in which the Athenian dēmos executed six of its generals without trial, focuses not so much on the behavior of the dēmos as on the essential role of elite Athenians in advising the dēmos. Despite his attraction to oligarchy as an alternative to democracy, Xenophon presents a dark picture of the regime of the Thirty and its rapid descent into violence and lawlessness and hails the restoration of the democracy as a return to normalcy and harmony. This episode is key to understanding Xenophon’s political perspective: the manifest failure of the city’s elite to offer a reasonable alternative to democracy means that for Xenophon the central political question for elite Athenians of his time is not how to overthrow the city’s democratic constitution but how to provide the democracy with the leadership it needs to succeed. Xenophon’s portrayal of several elite Athenian leaders in the opening books of the Hellenica provides some important indications of what Xenophon regards as capable and responsible elite leadership.
Supporters of the Republican Party have become much more skeptical of the science of climate change since the 1990s. This article argues that out-group cues from Democratic elites caused a backlash that resulted in greater climate skepticism. The authors construct aggregate measures of climate skepticism from nearly 200 public opinion polls at the quarterly level from 2001 to 2014 and at the annual level from 1986 to 2014. They also build time-series measures of possible contributors to climate skepticism using an automated media content analysis. The analyses provide evidence that cues from party elites – especially from Democrats – are associated with aggregate dynamics in climate change skepticism, including among supporters of the Republican Party. The study also involves a party cue survey experiment administered to a sample of 3,000 Americans through Amazon Mechanical Turk to provide more evidence of causality. Together, these results highlight the importance of out-group cue taking and suggest that climate change skepticism should be examined through the lens of elite-led opinion formation.
In Chapter 6, I argue that regional human rights courts are more likely to deter future human rights abuses when the executive is willing to adopt, administer, monitor, and enforce human rights policy as a result of elite pressure. I argue that there are two types of elites important for generating executive willingness: economic elites and political elites. With respect to economic elites, I show that the executive is more willing to adopt, administer, monitor, and enforce human rights policy following an adverse judgment when the state is vulnerable to a loss of economic benefits, like foreign direct investment. With respect to political elites, I argue that the executive is more likely to adopt comprehensive human rights policy in expectation of national judicial or legislative implementation. I find evidence that national judicial implementation and subsequently executive human rights policy change, is more likely when the national judiciary is powerful. I argue that national legislative implementation of adverse regional court judgments is more likely as the size of the legislative opposition grows. I find limited support for the role of the size of the legislative opposition, and I suggest this may be due to key institutional design features of the legislature.
In this final empirical chapter, I show that executive capacity and willingness complement one another in generating executive human rights policy change following adverse regional human rights court judgment. I show that following an adverse European Court judgment, in the face of mass public pressure, executive human rights policy change is likely regardless of the level of executive capacity. However, high-capacity European executives are more willing to engage in human rights policy change as a result of economic elite pressure than low-capacity European executives. With respect to the Americas, I show that executives are more likely to engage in human rights policy change following an adverse Inter-American Court judgment when the executive is highly willing as a result of mass public and political elite pressure, and this effect grows in the presence of high executive capacity. Similarly, following an adverse Inter-American Court judgment, highly capable executives are more likely to make human rights policy changes when the executive is highly willing as opposed to unwilling.
Although the inscriptions contain bountiful self-representations of royal performances, personas, and encounters, they by no means present an exegesis on the political system as such. To build a view of five centuries and more of societal success we must look beyond these individual expressions to the way that they synergise with other sources, revealing patterns that can only be appreciated in the assemblage. This chapter therefore moves to draw together the different themes examined in Part II so as to offer a synthetic interpretation of Classic Maya political culture, both as it was constituted in the specific unit and the interactive whole.
Chapter 5 turns to national and local leaders. Profit-sharing among leaders follows a different logic: the more economically prosperous the locality, the more personal rents they can collect as massive graft. By unpacking the career paths of two infamously fallen officials – Bo Xilai (provincial Party secretary of Chongqing) and Ji Jianye (city mayor of Nanjing) – this chapter reveals why deal-making corruption was compatible with aggressive growth promotion. It also fleshes out the structural distortions and risks brought about by access money.
Chapter 1 places the Third Front in the climate of post-Great Leap Forward policy making. When the Great Leap failed, a group of leaders centered on Liu Shaoqi reaffirmed top-down control and promoted higher consumption, lower growth targets, and coastal development. Mao Zedong viewed these policies as being dangerously close to Soviet “revisionism” and wanted to push China onto a different economic path. I argue that Mao utilized growing American and Soviet animosity to tar post-Great Leap policies as a threat to national security and launch a new Maoist approach to building socialism in China in the Third Front campaign. Mao and his colleagues set up the Third Front to be different from the Great Leap Forward, which had relied on bottom–up mass mobilization and simple technologies. In contrast, the Third Front fused low– and high–tech methods in a centrally planned project to covertly industrialize inland areas in anticipation of a future conflict with Cold War rivals.
The Conclusion speculates as to why this wonder-based aesthetic appeared in the eleventh century and briefly situates it in some broader discussions of beauty in the medieval Islamicate world. It discusses what is at stake with wonder as an experience beyond mere aesthetic pleasure, as well as the limits of this kind of aesthetic appreciation. Finally, it points to the implications of this aesthetic theory beyond Arabic literature and suggests some parallels with modern literary theory.
Legal maneuvers can help explain the rapid recent growth of privatized forms of governance, such as voucher schemes and tax expenditures. Although privatization seems to exacerbate principal-agent problems and reduce credit-claiming opportunities, attenuating the relationship between the state and the controversial policy outputs can be politically expedient for policymakers fearing legal losses, because it helps defend such policies in court. This chapter introduces readers to the concept of attenuation: the process by which policymakers in local, state, or federal government hide the state’s role in promoting a particular policy output. Anticipating constitutional challenge, elites use strategic policy design and rhetoric to advance their policy goals.
The sluggish growth of vouchers into the first decade of the twenty-first century prompted voucher supporters to reevaluate their strategy. Ballot initiatives proved fruitless, so supporters switched to state legislatures and sought to distance the state from private schools by funding vouchers through tax credits rather than direct appropriation. The full fruits of attenuated governance matured with Republican victories during Barack Obama’s presidency. This chapter shows that the doubly distanced tax credit form enabled individualist and accommodationist forces to divert public funds to private religious institutions without appearing to do so. Due to the lingering importance of communitarian public schooling and secularist approaches to church–state relations among the nation’s many judges, doubly distanced policies were safest. Statistical analysis demonstrates that they were, and are, least likely to be challenged in court or struck down as unconstitutional. Attenuation is a powerful strategy for rival forces in America’s foundational struggles because it enables policymakers to achieve their goals obliquely. The link between state and legally controversial policy outputs is plausibly deniable in crucial venues of policy contestation, provided that elites follow the attenuation strategy consistently.
This chapter aims to show with empirical evidence the veto power of business over corporate accountability. It starts discussing the underlying assumption that business veto power stems from its economic power, leading to a history of impunity. Although our judicial action data set seems to confirm patterns of impunity, it also indicates more variation than glib assumptions about economic actors’ power sustain. We explore what type of firm has proved more successful in vetoing judicial accountability, where that veto power over accountability occurs and when economic actors are most likely to successfully use their veto power over accountability. In the second part of the chapter, we explore the strategies economic actors have employed to maintain impunity, specifically legal, non-judicial, unlawful, and mobilizational. The third part of the chapter probes the notion of weakening economic actors’ veto power using our Archimedes’ Lever approach. To lift the weight of corporate accountability, either civil society actors must apply more force or the force of veto powers must be reduced. This section explores that possibility. The concluding section returns to Archimedes’ Lever to summarize the possibilities for change and what steps might contribute to reducing the power of veto players weighing down corporate accountability.
At crucial junctures European citizens spoke up to express support for or dissatisfaction with the EC, or addressed European affairs in other forums. Yet the process from which the EC and EU eventually emerged was always characterised by a degree of remoteness, and by a tension between civil society participation and elite-centric politics. Overall, the chapter argues that attitudes towards the integration process – even before the Maastricht Treaty – were much less robust than had long been believed. During the post-war decades the EC remained no bearer of great passions. The reasons for this include the Community’s economic focus, its technocratic aspect and its remoteness from everyday life. At the same time many people preferred to become involved in other things than the affairs of the EC, for example in youth exchange programmes, town twinning or Interrailing around the continent and other forms of transnational tourism. For important questions that the public had in relation to Europe, the EC at the time offered no answers and no platform for civil society engagement. Hence, European cooperation EC style was based more on toleration than on genuine approval.
The social organization of capitalism in the twenty-first-century is radically different from in the middle decades of the twentieth century. Scholars from multiple disciplines and theoretical perspectives present this historical transition as a shift from a manufacturing to a finance-based economy. Although scholars from several disciplines examine dimensions of the transition to financialization, they tend to focus on outcomes and give limited attention to the political process of enacting policies and laws that made this transition possible. As a result, the transition to financialization is often assumed to be the outcome of an inevitable historical process moving toward economic equilibrium or the actions of an autonomous state. In contrast, conflict perspectives in political sociology focus on process and demonstrate how the emergent social structure is an outcome of conflict among different power holders.