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If economic elites are notorious for circumventing tax obligations, how can institutionally weak governments get the wealthy to shoulder a greater tax burden? This book studies the factors behind the adoption of elite taxes for public safety purposes. Contrary to prominent explanations in the literature on the fiscal strengthening of the state – including the role of resource dependence and inequality – the book advances a theory of elite taxation that focuses on public safety crises as windows of opportunity and highlights the importance of business-government linkages to overcome mistrust toward government from corruption and lack of accountability. Based on evidence from across Latin America and rich case studies from experiences in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Mexico, the book provides scholars and policymakers with a blueprint for contemporary state-building efforts in the developing world.
This study focuses on Catalan cabinet ministers in democratic Spain with a view to understanding what function they perform in the central government: regional ambassador or state agent? To this end, this analysis draws on a sub-dataset comprised of 22 Catalan cabinet ministers taken from a general pool of 220 cabinet ministers and 371 ministerial appointments from 1977 to 2021. Our findings demonstrate, first, that no Catalan cabinet minister has ever reached the position of Prime Minister and Catalans constitute a kind of ministerial “middle class” occupying intermediate positions in the cabinet. Second, the examination of career paths and publications of Catalan ministers shows that their role varied according to circumstances. Third, in this article we argue that those variations can be best interpreted as a delegation between principal and agent relying on two main variables, namely the type of party they belong to in Catalonia and the parliamentarian majority sustaining the party controlling the Spanish cabinet.
Karl Mannheim, who lectured at Dartington in 1941, argued that utopias are always in dialectical tension with the existing order; for all their ‘incongruity’ with the status quo, they remain deeply embedded within a ‘historically specific social life’. The fortunes of Dartington from its foundation to the present day exemplify the messy vitality of the exchange with the real world promised in Mannheim’s formulation. The estate offered countercultural alternatives. Yet its founders were determined that it would develop in symbiosis with the wider world rather than ‘preparing for some hypothetical community’ of the future. Dartington’s communion with the outside world was increased by the international collaborators with whom the Elmhirsts engaged in pursuing their ideal of promoting a unified life. This chapter looks at how, in the ninety-odd years since its foundation, Dartington has offered a reconfigured vision of the outside world, while being both sustained and constrained by this larger environment.
The metal-mining boom Latin America experienced in recent decades precipitated highly contentious anti-mining social movements in Central America. In this context, El Salvador became the first country in the world to ban all metal mining by law. In contrast, policy in nearby Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua remained pro-mining. These cases are compared using a most similar systems design. Comparison reveals the importance of three variables: how national economic-elite networks and interests relate to multinational corporations; national movement coordination and goals, specifically in relation to prohibition; and how parties and leaders relied on popular bases or capital. These factors shaped the contention between elites and movements that influenced state actions around mining and led to this ‘least likely case’ of extractive policy change in El Salvador.
The focus of this chapter is the gambling of the elites and primarily gambling for large financial stakes, so-called playing deep. It seeks to provide a picture of how far gambling of different kinds was firmly integrated in the lives of many among the elites, and how the landscape of elite gambling changed across the eighteenth century. However, it also emphasizes the tensions and even contradictions which existed in elite attitudes towards ‘gaming’ and the influence of different milieu on the propensity to gamble and nature of gambling. At its core are a series of case studies of individual gamblers and specific gambling coteries, including a detailed examination of a case of a junior member of a leading Scottish titled family, Lord William Murray of the Murrays of Atholl, for whom gaming was very destructive personally. Gambling, it is often emphasized, was frequently an enactment of the code of honour of the gentleman; but at stake were different, competing versions of honour and masculinity. Gambling divided as much as it united the elites, in terms of habits, conduct, and attitudes.
This paper engages with and aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion regarding the role of economic and political elites in inequality dynamics and their reproduction over time. We reconstruct the distribution of wealth employing a sample of wills from the El Colegio de Sonora database covering the period of 1871-1910. We show that the rapid industrialisation and modernisation process that occurred in northern Mexico during the late-19th and early-20th centuries led to a continuous increment in wealth concentration at the top of the distribution. The Gini index measure of 0.58 for the 1871-1885 period rose to 0.80 in 1901-1910. Rather than a natural or «Kuznetsian» inevitability fundamental (kuznetsian) necessity, however, our subsequent analysis of the wills of the upper classes suggests a critical role played by the political economy at the time and highlights the importance of control over natural resources on inequality dynamics.
In Chapter 6, we find evidence that opposition successor parties from more closed opportunity structures experience centrifugal strains caused by the amalgamation of ideological orientations and perspectives that they represent. These strains lead to elite polarization that cause movement fracture and collapse. Conversely, opposition successor parties from more open opportunity structures are ideologically more coherent and thus do not suffer the same centrifugal tensions. Second, we see that nearly all opposition successor parties experience a dramatic decline in popularity after founding elections, due the ephemerality of symbolic resources in general (oppositional credibility, in this context). The positive reputations that helped opposition groups persuade citizens to vote for them in founding elections break down under economic strain and political disfunction that so frequently plague new democracies. Finally, we see that in contexts in which authoritarian state institutions persist beyond the transition, the resurgence of state repression against opposition successor parties becomes more likely, while authoritarian successor parties, in contrast, can integrate former regime members into the new democratic political system.
Is humanitarianism a network, hierarchy, or market? This chapter argues that it combines principles of hierarchy and networks in the form of a club. It develops a sociologically inspired version of club governance to understand the rise and resilience of the Humanitarian Club. This sociological explanation illuminates how clubs, like many groups, are: distinguished by collective interests, identities, and values that create a common mentality and a sense of we-ness; and often generate a distinction from and feeling of superiority to outsiders. The chapter examines the structures of inequality and patterns of inclusion and exclusion, and traces the rise of the humanitarian elite and the creation of a Humanitarian Club that is produced and sustained by four kinds of capital and that create sharp distinctions between (Western) insiders who can deliver the goods and (Southern) outsiders who are viewed as inferior. Although the humanitarian field has attempted on countless occasions to create more inclusion and diversity, the chapter argues that these forms of capital guard the doors of the Club and maintain a humanitarian field in which Western aid organizations dominate Southern aid agencies.
This article applies a regime cycle framework to understand patterns of change and continuity in African competitive autocracies. We observe that regime change in African autocracies is rarely the result of actions carried out by rebels, opposition leaders or popular masses substantially altering the structure of power. Instead, they are more frequently carried out by senior regime cadres, resulting in controlled reshuffles of power. We argue that such regime shifts are best explained through a cyclical logic of elite collective action consisting of accommodation and consolidation, and ultimately leading to fragmentation and crisis. These dynamics indicate the stage of leader-elite relationships at a given time, and suggest when regimes may likely expand, contract, purge and fracture. We argue that, by acknowledging in which stage of the cycle a regime and its senior elites are dominant, we can gauge the likelihood as well as the potential success of a regime change. Our framework is finally applied to understand recent regime shifts in competitive autocracies across Africa.
In this chapter, I summarize my findings and discuss their implications and contributions to existing literatures. I discuss how the theory offered in this book travels to cases beyond Indonesia, such as Kenya and Kyrgyzstan. I identify remaining unanswered questions and outline possible trajectories of future research on political exclusion, institutional accommodation of excluded actors, and demobilization of participants in violence in countries in political transition.
How did Brittany get its name and its British-Celtic language in the centuries after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire? Beginning in the ninth century, scholars have proposed a succession of theories about Breton origins, influenced by the changing relationships between Brittany, its Continental neighbours, and the 'Atlantic Archipelago' during and after the Viking age and the Norman Conquest. However, due to limited records, the history of medieval Brittany remains a relatively neglected area of research. In this new volume, the authors draw on specialised research in the history of language and literature, archaeology, and the cult of saints, to tease apart the layers of myth and historical record. Brittany retained a distinctive character within the typical 'medieval' forces of kingship, lordship, and ecclesiastical hierarchy. The early history of Brittany is richly fascinating, and this new investigation offers a fresh perspective on the region and early medieval Europe in general.
The reorganization of the empire and administrative reforms of the emperor Diocletian at the end of the third century brought changes to Egypt, particularly in taxation and coinage, now more similar to those elsewhere in the empire. Alexandria suffered yet more damage in the revolt of Domitius Domitianus, and rebuilding took many years. The civic elite reached its peak of influence in this period, but by the fifth century its lower and middle ranks were losing ground to the wealthiest, and new fortunes were being founded on salaried careers in the imperial administration. The Christian church became a major institutional power after the end of persecutions, developing a large network of churches, clergy, monasteries, and then charitable institutions such as hospitals. A Christian educational culture and Coptic literary culture began to develop, as well. At the same time, there were signs of a rebirth of a visible Jewish community in Egypt.
This chapter is principally concerned with the relationship between central and local power in Byzantium. It focuses on the resources and structures characterising political elite membership, particularly land, public offices and salaries, kinship, networks, status and display. From a mainly provincial perspective, it examines changes over time in the possessions and political horizons of elites, taking note of the roles of monasteries, villages and commerce. Considerable attention is paid to the polycentric Byzantine world of the later period, which continued until, and in some cases beyond, the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and involved polities beyond the Palaiologan dynasty. While much about Byzantine political practice changed between 700 and 1500, the post-1204 evidence reveals the long-term importance of the local to power in Byzantium, a state of affairs often hinted at in earlier periods but only rarely visible in the surviving sources.
The early Islamic empire may have been the largest by land, but military reach should not be mistaken for highly centralised administrative structures: these only developed as the empire fragmented but were replicated in the tenth-century successor states, where the position of vizier gained increasing political influence. Nor should imperial success be mistaken for a stable elite, as newcomers – notably court scribes and religious scholars – challenged the military. The Abbasid caliphs’ fortunes varied with their military, fiscal and administrative structures, but they remained necessary legitimisers of other political structures, too sacred to depose. However, it was the ʿulamaʾ who established and elaborated ideological structures that long outlasted the first Muslim empires. After the mid-thirteenth-century upheavals, the ad hoc reach of Turco-Mongol and Arabo-Berber trans-regional leaderships formed an ‘archipelago’ in a ‘sea of semi-independent regions’ characterised by violent, volatile and complex power relationships. Eventual stabilisation ended centuries of political turbulence, centred around the great early modern empires of the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals.
Rich countries and their elites emit most of the greenhouse gases responsible for global climate change. Why should the poor and middle classes cut their emissions while privileged elites continue their irresponsible behavior toward the common good? This chapter draws on economic anthropology and treats the atmosphere as common property, suggesting some ways of controlling the free riding of the super wealthy.
This volume addresses current concerns about the climate and environmental sustainability by exploring one of the key drivers of contemporary environmental problems: the role of status competition in generating what we consume, and what we throw away, to the detriment of the planet. Across time and space, humans have pursued social status in many different ways - through ritual purity, singing or dancing, child-bearing, bodily deformation, even headhunting. In many of the world's most consumptive societies, however, consumption has become closely tied to how individuals build and communicate status. Given this tight link, people will be reluctant to reduce consumption levels – and environmental impact -- and forego their ability to communicate or improve their social standing. Drawing on cross-cultural and archaeological evidence, this book asks how a stronger understanding of the links between status and consumption across time, space, and culture might bend the curve towards a more sustainable future.
Chapter 9 takes note of the important role of elite formation during colonialism in defining elite spaces, particularly in Nigeria. These elite spaces are important for understanding patterns of governance and the persistence of poverty. Although this is of critical importance because so many are poor in Africa, discussions about poverty may not take sufficient note of elite attitudes and behaviors that shape policies that may contribute to or alleviate poverty. Elite formation during colonialism has been important in shaping attitudes about governance and conceptions of internal responsibility of those who govern to those over whom they rule.
This chapter offers some empirical support to a main claim in the book, namely that the capacity of the English state was higher than that of France, by examining the typical indicator of capacity, taxation. It focuses particularly on the fiscal burden of the nobility, to show that it was relatively heavy, especially if debt is also considered. Once compelled to contribute to taxation, the English nobility had greater incentives to participate in the institution where it was negotiated, as well as to accept its extension over the broader population. By contrast, the fate of the French Estates-General moved in tandem with the taxation of the nobility; when noble fiscal privileges were consolidated, the institution declined. The chapter also provides comparative data of both fiscal and military extraction, to support the claim of greater infrastructural capacity of the English crown.
This chapter explains how and why democracy, capitalism, and wealth have been correlated since 1870. It uses broadly the North, Wallis, and Weingast (2009) framework to demonstrate that representative political institutions and ready access to incorporation or similar enterprise forms have been mutually reinforcing and conducive to high living standards, widely shared. But linear development or convergence towards such ‘open access’ societies cannot be taken for granted. History suggests that the existence of workably attractive capitalist democracies is unlikely to prevent nationalist, revolutionary, and populist leaders continuing to fashion alternatives, whether by force or by democratic debate.