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This article is the first to report the nationwide public support rate for the death penalty in China. Using a national representative sample with 31,664 respondents, it shows that 68 per cent of China's citizens are for the death penalty, while 31 per cent are opposed to it. These numbers suggest that support for capital punishment in China, although strong, is much weaker than in some other East Asian jurisdictions and less than first assumed by commentators. However, contrary to previous notions that public support for the death penalty derives from uninformed popular prejudice, it is the elites in China – i.e. those who receive higher education – who are more in favour of the death penalty. Further empirical analyses suggest that this is not because of political ideology or fear of crime. Rather, the reason is likely that the elites know fewer, and sympathize less with, criminal offenders, who generally come from underprivileged groups. These findings challenge a range of prevailing perceptions of public attitudes to the death penalty in China, especially the culture explanation for the Chinese public's punitiveness, and have important policy implications.
The role of citizens' collective action for the emergence and consolidation of democracy is generally analysed within bottom-up theories. However, top-down theories show that elites might impede or promote both democracy and collective action through a set of strategies which are often unobserved and vary over time. Democratic persistence and change require then to be assessed in a dynamic framework which considers both citizens and elites' strategies. For such reason, on a large sample of countries in the period 1971–2014, we jointly estimate the probability of collective action and democracy using a Structural Dynamic Model. This allows us to account for the dynamic nature of the two political phenomena under investigation by controlling for their persistence, for initial conditions and time-varying unobserved heterogeneity. We find that collective action matters for the emergence of democracy but not for its consolidation which seems to be related to more structural economic factors.
Chapter 9 focuses on succession, asking why some polities have institutionalized the process of leadership succession, while others have not. We argue that leadership succession is conditioned by (among other things) the size of a polity, with larger communities experiencing more frequent, and more regular, succession. As we discuss in the theoretical section, this is because larger polities are less cohesive, generating a greater number of veto holders. With more veto holders, the ruler will find it more difficult to hold on to power indefinitely and to pass on power to heirs. Since no extant work – at least, no work that we are aware of – is devoted to the influence of scale on leadership succession in a polity’s top office, we exclusively draw on our own analyses. We examine the question empirically using three measures of succession to the top political office: tenure in office, monarchy, and a composite index of institutionalized leadership succession. We find that tenure is shorter among leaders of larger countries, monarchs are much more likely to rule over smaller countries, and institutionalized leadership succession is inversely correlated with the size of a country.
This article proposes an analytical framework to address why implemented autonomy outcomes may differ across ethnic republics in the Russian Federation. Composed of a long-range factor, inter-ethnic boundary making, and a short-term factor, titular elites’ representation in the ethno-regional state, the framework is applied to a synchronic comparison of three republics of Russia with differing autonomy outcomes for the 2010s, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, and Yakutia, reliant upon state-generated data and fieldwork. Titular elites’ representation in the ethnoregional state is used as a proxy for titular elites’ bargaining capacity with the central state. It is argued that an “integration–distinction balance,” or rather, higher inter-ethnic integration combined with robust consciousness of inter-ethnic distinction, can contribute to titular elites’ bargaining capacity with the center, which can lead to greater autonomy outcome for the ethnic republic.
Although Europe between 1870 and 1939 enjoyed a period of long-run economic growth and unprecedented improvements in living standards, it also suffered from major social conflicts, rising nationalism, and witnessed experiments at new forms of political organization. This chapter looks at the connections between changes in political representation, economic development, and state capacity. It begins by discussing the difficulties of switching from a society run by the landed elites to one under universal suffrage and competitive party politics. This is followed by looking at the impact of the First World War on the development of state capacity. Then we consider the rapid economic growth that took place, and how a combination of rising industrial demand for unskilled labour, emigration, and international trade threatened a major switch in income distribution away from the landed elites to urban workers. The chapter concludes by examining how the economic and social problems caused by the First World War and the collapse of the international economy in the 1930s led to the strengthening of liberal democracy in some countries, but the appearance of social democracy and fascism in others.
How did the Tang political elite evolve between the seventh and ninth centuries? Using network analysis and a large prosopographic database, this article approaches this question from four perspectives: the marriage network of political elites, the backgrounds of chief ministers, the composition of the capital elite during three time slices, and the makeup of the provincial elite. Despite important continuities in the elite marriage network's basic structure, there were also significant discontinuities. Between the seventh and eighth centuries, Luoyang emerged as a secondary political center, and Luoyang-based families—including so-called “marriage-ban” clans—acquired a renewed significance, partly at the expense of old southern clans, whose political significance declined over the course of the dynasty. In addition, the political divide between capital and provinces grew over time, culminating in the ninth century with capital-based men occupying nearly all significant provincial posts and provincials serving only locally and in second-tier offices.
Chapter six investigates the economic bases of Jeddah, trade and pilgrimage. A brief overview of major trends in trade and transport is followed by a more detailed discussion of the merchants of Jeddah and their internal organisation. The political role of the merchants and their relation to the respective ruling powers forms another topic. The chapter then turns to the pilgrimage, starting by investigating the pilgrims’ guides and the way in which they organised reception, accommodation and transport for pilgrims. Given the attempts of Western powers to limit what were perceived health and political threats emanating from the pilgrimage, the ways in which such organisation played out locally through the consulates is touched upon, notably in as far it affected local water and health provision. Finally, the chapter turns to the Bedouin, a population usually residing outside of the city walls but indispensable to trade and pilgrimage and constituting a vital link between the city, its suburbs and surroundings.
Nation-states began to form, in Europe first, in the sixteenth century. The process of formation shaped the sorts of states that emerged and have endured to the present. It is best to begin by defining nation-states so that we can be clear on the objects whose emergence we want to explain. States, in Max Weber’s (1978 : 54) definition, claim a “monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force in the enforcement of its order,” to which Michael Mann adds the crucial qualifier, in “a territorially demarcated area, over which it claims a monopoly of binding and permanent rule-making” (1986: 37).
This article offers the first systematic and comparative analysis of the effects of elite communication on citizen perceptions of the legitimacy of international organizations (IOs). Departing from cueing theory, it develops novel hypotheses about the effects of elite communication under the specific conditions of global governance. It tests these hypotheses by conducting a population-based survey experiment among almost 10,000 residents of three countries in relation to five IOs. The evidence suggests four principal findings. First, communication by national governments and civil society organizations has stronger effects on legitimacy perceptions than communication by IOs themselves. Secondly, elite communication affects legitimacy perceptions irrespective of whether it invokes IOs’ procedures or performance as grounds for criticism or endorsement. Thirdly, negative messages are more effective than positive messages in shaping citizens' legitimacy perceptions. Fourthly, comparing across IOs indicates that elite communication is more often effective in relation to the IMF, NAFTA and WTO, than the EU and UN.
This chapter dons political economy glasses to review Madagascar’s economic and political history from precolonial times to the present day, drawing on the theories developed by North and his co-authors (2009 and 2012b), Acemoglu and Robinson (2005 and 2012) and Khan (2010), and applies the concepts they have fashioned (institutions, social orders, control of violence and rents, elite coalitions, etc.) to the Malagasy case. Significant changes have taken place and we have seen the gradual expansion of the elite political and economic circle. At the same time, democratic aspirations have surfaced and found a voice to speak out against the different regimes’ abuses and precipitate their fall. Yet the fact remains that the system and practices at the highest levels of the state have barely changed. Each regime has systematically sought to increase its power by concentrating it, personalising it and securing the support of a small group of influential players. Unable to think outside of the short-term box, none has sought the support of the masses by trying to meet popular aspirations.
The role of the elites in Madagascar's trajectory, especially in the formation and widening of inequalities as a known source of chronic socio-political instability, calls for a closer study of the elite group. This chapter establishes a sociography of the elites based on statistical surveys, including a unique representative survey focusing on the Red Island's elites. It provides insights into their strategies to attain and remain in power, but also their opinions on the running of society and especially their views of the obstacles to and the drivers of the country's long-term development. The majority of elites are from the old aristocracy. Social capital made up of a rich network in terms of its size, diversity and the intensity of the connections established within the elite circle and straddling is used as a strategy to access the highest hierarchical positions. This dominant class displays rather mixed attitudes to democratic principles. The main point of disagreement between elites and the rest of the population concerns the order of priorities on the political agenda. Although maintaining order counts the most for the elites, the rest of the population prioritises improved living conditions for the poor.
This chapter introduces the main scholars and institutions leading the movement for revival of Islamic rationalism. It presents evidence of their growing popularity among young educated Muslims in the West and also among Muslims from upper income groups in the Muslim majority countries. It introduces the conceptual framework outlining the importance of elites’ involvement in knowledge production. It shows how this movement's ability to bring young educated Muslims to the serious study of Islamic texts holds promise for revival of creative energy within the Islamic scholarly tradition.
Although sociological research has examined the reproduction of Chile’s elites, there is little empirical evidence of how different forms of capital operate among them. Using datasets for members of the Chilean political elite from 1990 to 2010, this country note examines and measures the effect of political, social, and cultural capital on the access of certain individuals to strategic positions in the political field, comparing the legislative and executive branches as represented by deputies and ministers. The empirical analysis includes logit models.
Many autocratic states cultivate networks of informants and operatives who have responsibility over small local cells. This chapter shows how the Chinese state has constructed a modern system of infiltration organized around sub-village cells. This decentralized system of informal control enables local officials to closely monitor local society. Case study and quantitative evidence show how village cell leaders help local officials implement policies including land confiscation and family planning quotas. Hiring more informants and putting them in charge of smaller cells, while costly, increases compliance with state policies. This strategy of infiltration is largely a substitute for cultivating and co-opting civil society.
In this concluding chapter, I briefly recap the main findings and then examine their broader implications. The case of Wukan Village shows how the strategy of informal control can be effective in the short run but backfire in the long run. The most effective check on autocratic state power is unlikely to come from the state itself, but from an adversarial relationship between local civil society and the state. Independent community leaders and activists who can mobilize their groups and threaten officials with broad-based political mobilization can even the balance of power between the state and society, and create meaningful incentives for responsiveness.
In this chapter, I turn my attention to the dynamics of co-optation of local notables. One might expect that the inclusion of communal elites in local political institutions might strengthen the voice of villagers and make local governments more responsive. By contrast, I argue that when communal elites are included in formal political institutions in rural China, they help the state control their group. Drawing on evidence from case studies, an original experiment, and a national dataset, I show how the inclusion of local elites in formal political bodies allows the state to requisition land and enforce family planning policy while forestalling collective action. Case studies from Scotland and the United States suggest that this mechanism of informal control may have applicability beyond China. When the leaders of communal groups remain outside the state, however, they can help to organize resistance against it.
Chapter 5 examines what subverts trust in elites in the European Union, which reached unpreceded lows after the last economic crisis, and finds a strong link between trust and perceived public integrity. European mechanisms to enhance integrity are poor and hypocrisy is high, even in the traditionally best-governed part of the continent. Two long-time member states, Greece and Italy, are the best examples of the limitations of European influence. This chapter traces the indicators of change and stagnation in both countries and explains why Europeanization has not made the Italian South more like the North or Greece more like Bavaria.
How important is the enforcement of political rights in new democracies? The authors use the enfranchisement of the emancipated slaves following the American Civil War to study this question. Critical to their strategy, black suffrage was externally enforced by the United States Army in ten Southern states during Reconstruction. The authors employ a triple-difference model to estimate the joint effect of enfranchisement and its enforcement on taxation. They find that counties with greater black-population shares that were occupied by the military levied higher taxes compared to similar nonoccupied counties. These counties later experienced a comparatively greater decline in taxation after the troops were withdrawn. The authors also demonstrate that in occupied counties, black politicians were more likely to be elected and political murders by white supremacist groups occurred less frequently. The findings provide evidence on the key role of federal troops in limiting elite capture by force during this period.
While there is widespread agreement in the ministerial promotion and resignation literature that experience matters, experience has typically been defined as the length of time a legislator has worked in politics or served in a legislature. This approach fails to account for the different kinds of experience legislators accumulate as they progress through their political careers prior to appointment to cabinet. We demonstrate how researchers can use sequence and cluster analysis to obtain a more complete understanding of ministerial appointment. We identify four data-driven archetypes of political careers in Canada for the period 1968–2015. We find that MPs with diverse political careers are more likely to be appointed to cabinet, while MPs with opposition experience are more successful than MPs with government experience. We also find that parliamentary secretary is not necessarily a stepping stone to a full cabinet position, calling into question traditional conceptions of parliamentary politics as a ‘ladder’.
Honour was an important and enduring element in the moral economy and mattered as much to peasants as to the nobility. ‘Honour’ retained something of the Old English notion of weorđ , entitlement. Association with a lord or estate owner could bestow weorđ but so too could ownership of a full ploughteam. Local saints were often people who were valued for what their piety could achieve for the community. Age could command respect: ‘village elders’ and ealdormann , both have ‘elder’ as their root. Peasant elites also became consolidated as a result of the countryside becoming formally organised from the mid-tenth century for the purposes of dealing with local matters, mainly crime and its policing. Townships were the political worlds of the peasantry and the sphere in which peasant elites operated. A strong emphasis was put on inheritance, a value shared across society.