Economics

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Posted by: | Posted on: February 15, 2009

State and Society

State and Society or State in Society

State in society is concurrently under debate among political scientists. At least, there are three different schools who have initially justified their own assumption. Among those perspectives, two extreme conception of finding the distinction of state and society has been in a heated dialogue. Autonomous state and society state should be two different schools in the dialogue. I prefer these two concepts as the basic premise to get a very constructive argument. However, pure society advocates will argue that statist approaches have always regarded state as the key structure and autonomous entity in political science and they will further their reason that state itself should not be existed irrespectively. Timothy Mitchell intuitively divided the argument in an extreme way to distinguish the different between state and society, regardless of autonomous state and society state. In this extreme respect, I see the “autonomous state” is a state that has been organized in the way that state structure or state bureaucracy can play by it own autonomously and at least is has always exploited their own people in that territory. Peter Evans named this kind of state “predatory state” in case study of Zaire country. India and Brazil have shared similar development of bureaucratic structure like Zaire, but it is not common for Evans to call these two developed states as “predatory ones”. These two are more complex and sophisticated than the case of Zaire. In extent to that, the same autonomous state constituted of autonomous bureaucracy like Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, Evans, admitted the empirical success in economic development. He named these three last states as “developmental states”. Are these developmental states autonomous? Are these developmental states in or outside society? How about Zaire, that has been called a “predatory state”, is in or outside society?

While Timothy Michell tried to reflect the extreme approaches of debate on the abandoning of the state, the political scientists concurred that the term “state” itself has been vague, very subjective, unrealistic, unpractical and academically disagreeable. State itself is so skeptical about its implementation if it doesn’t connect to society, state will not exist and it will not possibly implement its policy. State is a very unfavorable for researchers in term of its terminology and practical political breeding. And when it comes to practice, the prestige of the state will be easily lost because of its despotic characteristic in itself and in case of modern state like Zaire, is a good example to the unpopularity of the term “state”. If we look back to history of political movements in the old age, the state didn’t appear. When most territories were organized under the totalitarian leadership such as absolute kings, absolute republicans or absolutely kleptocrats, the state didn’t exist in that time. The state or nation-state in modern age, at least, constitute some key manageable elements and structures such as coherent bureaucrat, intermediate judicial body, embedded public policy, and the rule of law etc. So, Timothy Michell, including Peter Evans and Joel S. Migdal have insistently suggested the middle path theory of the state and society. In their different perspectives but directing the same goal, state and society is interconnected and inseparable social entity. At the end of his article, Timothy Mitchell recommended five new approaches to deal with the controversy of state and society. He suggested that state should not be taken as a free standing entity; the distinction between state and society should nevertheless be taken seriously; subjective view of the state is essentially important for its activities of decision making and policy for the well-being of the people; the state should be addressed as an effect of detailed processes of spatial organization, temporal arrangement, functional specification and supervision and surveillance; and finally the state appears as an abstraction in relation to the concreteness of the social and as a subjective ideality in relation to the objectiveness of the material world.

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Posted by: | Posted on: February 3, 2009

Developmental States

Developmental States

The issues of developmental states have concentrated on the state intervention in building and rebuilding country economy. It has become an important part of the political economy which is the flagship of nation building in the post-cold war society. The debate in this reaction directly refers to the concept of “Bringing the State Back In” in our modern society. Implicitly, the state-centric analysis in developing the state, the government has still played important roles to build a strong economy. It has pivotally and pragmatically been relying on the state since the peasantry revolution, to industrialized innovation, and modern economic liberalization in trade and commerce. Evans skeptically stated that state is the “guardian of universal interests”. But the controversial debate that Evans made was that how effective state can take action to intervene the economy? And are there viable alternatives for state structure as well as sound policy of good governance to back up this effective intervention? Historically, we can see that each country in the reading articles is state-centered development. They shaped in different manner and policy enhancements.

First issue is the debate on state structure. First chapter, Evans elaborated the different structures that can help state intervention implement effectively. In case of governance, the state structure has been called “vertical structure” and “horizontal structure” or “vertical governance” and “horizontal governance”. Johnson has spent much of his time to articulate the developmental structure of the Military of International Trade and Industry (MITI) of Japan towards its economic miracle. In that phase, the state’s capital accumulation to growth and sustainability pursued in different strategies clearly compared the different between the United States and Japan. Regarding these two different approaches of economic development, Weber began the practice with his distinction between a “market economy” and a “planned economy”. With the same goal in this concept, Dahrendorf made distinction between “market rationality” and “plan rationality”, Dor made distinction between “market oriented systems” and “organization oriented systems”, and Kelly made distinction between a “rule governed state” and a “purpose governed state”. However, Johnson stressed that his comparison of these two economic strategies distinction is not in case of Soviet-type command economy because it is not plan rational, it is plan ideology. Soviet’s developmental economy was owned by the state and the state is the ownership of the means of production, state planning, and bureaucratic goal-setting (Evans, 1985). This is not in his dialogue to challenge the efficiency and effectiveness of plan rational conducted in Japan.

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Posted by: | Posted on: February 2, 2009

Globalization and Financialization

Globalization and Financialization

The New Approach of Best Corporate Citizenship

Abstract

Globally speaking, the politics of globalization has been enormously debated. Current financial crisis has triggered the unenthusiastic brunt of people worldwide. This phenomenon is substantially caused by the impact of globalization. This paper will seek to understand the current financial crisis of financialization under the spectrum of globalization. The ongoing financial crisis of America and other regions of the world clearly translate the interconnectedness of the new approach of financialization conundrum. This paper elaborates the effect of globalization on financial flows and discovers the casualties from this crisis. The current United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called this crisis as “Slavery Perpetuated by Global Financial Crisis”.

First, there will be an introduction and some thought of pros and cons of globalization. Second, there will be an explanation of financial crisis, its casualties in our planet. Third, there will be suggestions and recommendations including the structure design to the new approach of best corporate citizenship to shoulder force in tackling this predicament.

Background

Globalization simply refers to the integration of regions into a global sphere. Many factors are considered the substantial proponents of globalization such as political ideology, social, culture, finance, technology, economics and geography that have drastically changed its shape to fulfill the lens of globalization. Many authors have linked current globalization to the belief of it is a repeating world history. Some said globalization has evolved around the expansion of human population and the invention of civilization such as the Sindhu of India, Roman Empire, or Han Dynasty of China. Some found that the historical routs of explorers and colonial agents are initially the links of flow of globalization such as the discovery of North America by Christopher Columbus or the Silk Road of Marco Polo. But the notion of globalization clearly emerged after the World War II when economists and politicians tried to restrain from continuing declining international economic integration and intractable division. The term itself was coined by different scholars interpreting in different periods. But in modern world, globalization has been preferably reiterated to identify the flows of trade, exchange of ideas and knowledge, technology, investment, and financial exchange. In Globalization and Its Discontent, Joseph Stiglitz defines globalization as “closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world which has been brought about by the enormous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital knowledge, and (to a less extreme) people across borders” (Stiglitz, 2002). Part of this change is due to mobilization of labors and migration, but much of the larger part is due to changes in per capita income that is the “great divergence” as the ratio of per capita income of the richest to poorest nations are widened (Venables, 2006).

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Posted by: | Posted on: January 28, 2009

Reaction on States and State Formation

States and State Formation

There are numerous articles and researches digesting the states and state formation. Among those researches, I am intrigued by the book called “Understanding Nationalism” written by Margaret Hoogeveen published by McGraw-Hill Ryerson Publishing in 2008. This book explored the recipes of state actors leading to the state formation. Taking different approaches from Tilly, Moore and Skocpol, Margaret emphasized the importance of nationalism as the substantial factor having built a nation-state. But she dismissed the approach of ultranationalism. It would cause the destruction of a nation-state.

Nationalism is the by-product of sociopolitical movements in a society. It is essentially built by a collective sense of identity. This collective identity has been presumably expanded by individual identity, and it sprang to a national identity. Loyalty to their value and identity underpin the need of caring and protection. Till has collaboratively assured his thesis of the intervention of a state in making war to weaken, eliminate or neutralize rivals outside of their territory, making a state in the mission of eliminating or neutralizing those internal rivals inside their territory, making a trustworthy protection inside their state in order to convince their state-clients feel secure from enemies, and making an extraction activity to aggregate the means that can allow them to continue carrying out those three activities (Till, 1985, p.181). With this state’s monopolistic extraction activity, Skocpol elaborated the social classes of both elites and bourgeoisies have constantly played important role to shape the state formation and state’s changing phenomena particularly current modernity of state’s capitalist forms.

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