Powers of Theory: Capitalism, the State, and Democracy by Robert R. Alford

By Robert R. Alford

Present theories of the character of the kingdom in Western capitalist democracies were in general propounded from one in all 3 significant theoretical views, each one emphasising a specific element of the nation: the 'pluralist', which emphasises its democratic point: the 'managerial', which emphasises its bureaucratic components: and the 'class', which specializes in its capitalistic element. every one of those theoretical views has contributed anything to our realizing of the kingdom, yet each one additionally has its boundaries. during this e-book, Alford and Friedland evaluation the strengths and weaknesses of every viewpoint and current a brand new, artificial framework for a extra accomplished idea of the nation. Impartially reviewing the key old and empirical works inside each one theoretical culture, they display how empirical research has been formed by way of theoretical assumptions. They agree that every viewpoint has a particular 'power' to appreciate a part of the truth of the fashionable nation, even though it is powerless to give an explanation for different components. In every one case, the half that may be defined is the perspective's 'home domain', or the point of the nation that it emphasises, whereas different points are both rejected or reinterpreted. The authors argue that the kingdom can't be safely understood until complete account is taken of every of those domestic domain names, and so they recommend how the contributions of every viewpoint to the reason of its personal area should be built-in right into a new, and extra robust, conception.

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S work on the relationship between capitalist development and democracy is a case in point, attempting as it does 'to develop a theoretically adequate account of the causal conditions of democracy that is sensitive to the insights of comparative historical research and capable of explaining the persistent statistical relationship between development and democracy' (1992, p. 36). Szelenyi's (1988) combination of ethnography and statistical analysis in the study of changes in Hungary's class structure could also be cited as an example of research which is sympathetic to Ragin's (19 8 7) call to move beyond a forced choice between qualitative or quantitative research strategies.

In addition to Moore's more truly global geographical perspective, Social Origins also contains important re-thinking in relation to time by virtue of its proposition that the various routes to the modern world The Making of the Modern World 33 are sequential rather than being alternatives which are open at every historical period. The description of the American Civil War of 18 61-5 as 'the last capitalist revolution' signals Moore's view that from the late nineteenth century onwards the classic modernization route of capitalist democracy was unavailable, leaving only more dirigiste options.

As a result, various combinations can be identified, such as the combination of normative and substantive elements in dependency theory (of which more will be said in Chapter 6 ). In addition to these dimensions, along which 30 Comparative Sociology and Social Theory debates tend to run in a cyclical pattern, Hettne argues that there have been long-term, secular trends away from Eurocentric perspectives towards more pluralistic models which recognize the fallacy of taking Western societies as norms, and away from theories of social change which highlight endogenous, internal factors to theories which emphasize the role of exogenous, global forces.

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