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Taking up the invitation to reflect on the mid-1970s project that resulted in To Dwell Among Friends (1982), I review its development, my network survey of the 2010s, and lessons learned. This chapter discusses the decision to use egocentric network analysis as a tool to understand urban modernity in the first project and to study the effect of social ties on health in the second. The accounts spur discussions of several conceptual issues, such as the importance of considering burdensome ties, the notion of “social capital,” and the criteria for deciding a tie even exists, as well as several methodological issues, including the GSS “important matters” question, the reasons for using multiple and diverse name-eliciting questions, and the respondent burden this method creates.
Explanations for the successes or failures of militaries in both war and peace have traditionally focused on key factors such as technology, leadership, personnel, training, or a combination of all of these. A more recent addition to the list of possible variables contributing to military effectiveness is the concept of organizational culture – the pattern of shared assumptions that an organization learns as it solves problems, that has worked well enough to be considered valid, and that is therefore taught to new members as the correct way to approach those problems. This chapter combines the organizational culture concepts of Edgar Schein with the nine cultural dimensions of the GLOBE research program. The resulting model provides a useful framework to analyze a military’s organizational culture. Perhaps more importantly, the model also provides prescriptive actions leaders can take to align a military’s organizational culture with its mission and environment.
Culture is a key determinant in organizational effectiveness and plays an enormous role in the lives of military organizations. Cultural biases often result in unstated assumptions that have a deep impact on strategy, operational planning, doctrinal creation, and organization and training of armed forces. The impact of culture on military affairs often remains opaque for years, if not decades, after the events it has affected. Leadership is essential to creating and maintaining organizational culture. Leaders who can shape an organization’s culture from its inception have an outsized influence on its future orientation. Leaders, therefore, must be discriminating when establishing the initial culture of an organization, for once embedded, that culture will prove extraordinarily difficult to change. But even superb leaders are limited. Selection of the right subordinate leaders is critical if an organization’s culture is to survive a leadership transition. Some military organizations do change, assisted by cultures that embrace innovation and a reasonable degree of risk-taking. Organizational culture takes on the characteristics of wider societal culture, but when the military becomes a caste apart, the result can be the degradation of its ethical foundations. Military organizations often have subcultures with significant influence on the larger organization. Technology-centric forces must not allow a culture focused on technological excellence to turn into one centered on technological determinism. Professional military education is critical in sustaining organizational culture.
Strategic culture drives patterns of national statecraft, which in turn drive military strategy. Grand strategy also derives from strategic culture, which emerges from geographical, economic, and historical circumstances. A nation’s circumstances give rise to a distinctive manner of perceiving national power – including the use of military force. Strategic culture is ethnically and nationally driven, derived from a combination of factors. It may be national or subnational, and it may be based on real or imagined traits. It tends to be both enduring and unexamined. It involves intersectionality between national, subnational, and organizational cultures, and it may invoke fictive and contingent identities. It manifests in how individuals and organizations make sense of reality. Individuals and subgroups are presumed to self-ascribe to a certain identity, to absorb distinctive attitudes about force, and thus to adopt a “way of war.” Organizational and ethnic cultures coexist, and any military unit may have multiple subcultures. But strategic culture, since it derives from ethnic and national characteristics, precedes and supersedes organizational culture. Strategic culture influences the organizational culture of a national military, with ethnic and historical factors setting the parameters within which organizational culture and individual initiative operate. Ethnic culture frames strategic culture, which in turn interacts with organizational structure, institutional form, and individual incentives to create military organizational culture.
The aim of this article is to describe the evolution of the Italian regional party systems 25 years after the establishment of 15 Ordinary Statute regions and five years after the implementation of a major Constitutional reform increasing the powers of the regions and the visibility of regional political actors. The theoretical point of departure of the article is the second order election model originally applied to European elections to highlight their dependence on the national political level. The article begins by showing that this model has been applicable for regional elections only since the mid-1990s, a finding that goes against the conventional wisdom. The article then explains the structure of regional political competition through the analysis of two phenomena, fragmentation and differentiation, and the way they are correlated, stressing the changing pattern of competition before and after the breakdown of the First Republic.
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