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Political Order: Nomos XXXVIII

Ian Shapiro
Russell Hardin
Copyright Date: 1996
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 548
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qgbwt
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    Political Order
    Book Description:

    The collapse of the Soviet empire stands as a dramatic reminder that political institutions are human creations that can be designed more or less well. The question of what constitutes a viable political order is as old as it is profound, and is a central part of the works of such thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and the American Founders. In eighteen original essays, Political Order presents the work of major scholars such as Robert Dahl, John Gray, Jennifer Nedelsky, Pasquale Pasquino, James Scott, Karen Orren, Steven Skowronek, Walter Dean Burnham, Morris Fiorina, and Norman Schofield who address some of the most pressing questions about political order. Under what conditions do we get political order rather than political chaos? How is political order sustained once it has been created? Do constitutions and electoral systems matter, and if so how much? Is there one best type of political order, and, if not, what is the range of viable possibilities and how should they be evaluated?

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-8884-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    I.S.
  4. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-16)
    IAN SHAPIRO and RUSSELL HARDIN

    What constitutes a political order? This question has exercised some of the greatest minds in the Western tradition. Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and the American Founders all saw it as central to their reflections about politics. Given the political upheavals of our own time, it is scarcely surprising that political order also preoccupies many students of contemporary politics. The momentous collapse of the Soviet empire is, after all, but the most recent reminder that political institutions are human creations that can be designed more or less well. What is necessary or sufficient for successful design is, today, as...

  6. PART I: ORDER VERSUS DISORDER

    • 1 POLITICAL THEORY, ORDER, AND THREAT
      (pp. 19-41)
      PASQUALE PASQUINO

      Political theory is about order inside the city. I suggest that it is more precisely the series of texts on the means of avoidingdisorderwhich threatens coexistence within the political community. The aim of this chapter is to show that transformations of political discourse in the West have been a function of changing conceptualizations ofthreatto the existence of political order and hence of the different ways of envisaging the origin and nature of this threat.

      In a large society, individual liberty has three kinds of enemies to fear. The least dangerous are malevolent citizens: in order to...

    • 2 STATE SIMPLIFICATIONS: NATURE, SPACE, AND PEOPLE
      (pp. 42-85)
      JAMES C. SCOTT

      Certain forms of knowledge and control require a narrowing of vision. The great advantage of such tunnel vision is that it brings into very sharp focus limited aspects of an otherwise far more complex and unwieldy reality. This very simplification, in turn, makes the phenomenon at the center of the field of vision far more legible and, hence, more susceptible to careful measurement, calculation, and manipulation.

      The invention of scientific forestry in late-eighteenth-century Prussia and Saxony serves as a model of this process.¹ While the story of scientific forestry is important in its own right, I plan to use it...

    • 3 MODELING POLITICAL ORDER IN REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACIES
      (pp. 86-110)
      NORMAN SCHOFIELD

      An extremely powerful notion to use in attempting to understand human society is that of themarket, conceived in the broadest sense. Each individual is endowed with intellectual, physical, and moral resources and uses these in a rational way to attain personal goals. Implicit in this conception is the ancillary notion of free trade: that each individual has the ability and opportunity to trade with others who are so inclined. In economic versions of the market a price vector may determine the content of permissible trades. Under certain conditions (basically to do with the extent to which individual desires are...

    • 4 INSTITUTIONS AND INTERCURRENCE: THEORY BUILDING IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME
      (pp. 111-146)
      KAREN ORREN and STEPHEN SKOWRONEK

      Theorizing about political institutions has taken as its central task the explanation of order and regularity over time. The rationale for this seems so straightforward as to appear almost definitional. Institutions persist through time, organizing politics into something more than a seamless flow of activities and events. Carrying forward objectives instilled in them at their time of origin, they infuse their environments with durable norms and predictable rules of action.

      There is no denying that without institutions stability and continuity would be in short supply. The task of uncovering the historical patterns that institutions establish is a vital one. Our...

    • 5 E PUR SI MUOVE! SYSTEMATIZING AND THE INTERCURRENCE HYPOTHESIS
      (pp. 147-155)
      WALTER DEAN BURNHAM

      As is their wont, Karen Orren and Stephen Skowronek have given us a forceful challenge in their chapter, “Institutions and Intercurrence.” Art is long, life short, and elaborate controversies often tedious; therefore my response will be brief. For a moment, the thought crossed my mind that I could confine it to a four-digit number: 1994. For “realignment theory” has never been in better shape for decades than it is just now: the behavior of the voting citizenry in this election has seen to that. Still, some further discussion seems warranted. Brevity will necessarily result in failing to give anything like...

    • 6 LOOKING FOR DISAGREEMENT IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
      (pp. 156-166)
      MORRIS P. FIORINA

      Scholars can be arrayed along many dimensions, one of which ranges from conflict to cooperation. On one end of this continuum are scholars who believe in sharpening lines of difference and disagreement—even in inventing them when necessary. On the other end are scholars who search for commonalities and complimentarities. Orren and Skowronek (hereafter OS) clearly fall into the former camp; increasingly, I find myself in the latter.

      In this note I will first correct the more important misreadings of my work that form the basis of OS’s critique. Then I turn to their multisyllabic exhortations in an attempt to...

    • 7 REPLY TO BURNHAM AND FIORINA
      (pp. 167-172)
      KAREN ORREN and STEPHEN SKOWRONEK

      We speak first to the remarks of Burnham, who has responded to our efforts with his usual graciousness. The farthest thing from our mind was to “demolish” party realignment as an organizing construct. On the contrary, the idea of intercurrence depends on the clear identification of patterns through time, and we will go so far as to say that at present realignment theory is the best-articulated and most productive pattern we have. Nor do we insist on one particular anomaly such as anti-trust to prove our point. Our argument is that there will be several patterns at work in any...

  7. PART II: DEMOCRACY AND NATIONALISM

    • 8 THINKING ABOUT DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTIONS: CONCLUSIONS FROM DEMOCRATIC EXPERIENCE
      (pp. 175-206)
      ROBERT A. DAHL

      When the Framers of the American Constitution undertook the task of designing a framework for a broadly based representative republic they had no strictly comparable body of historical experience on which to draw. Sheer necessity compelled them to reason from cases that were, at best, only weakly comparable.

      By contrast, during the intervening two centuries representative democracy and constitutional government have developed, and sometimes perished, in so many countries that conscientious members of a constitutional convention today might suffer more from an excess of relevant information than from a deficit. A score of countries exist today that have steadily maintained...

    • 9 MAJORITY RULE AND MINORITY INTERESTS
      (pp. 207-250)
      NICHOLAS R. MILLER

      The nomination in the Spring of 1993 of Lani Guinier to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and the concomitant attention focused on her law review articles,¹ might have generated a useful public discussion on the relationship between majority rule and minority interests. But the discussion that got under way was hardly constructive or enlightening and, in any case, it was aborted along with the nomination. This essay attempts, in what is surely a very limited and incomplete way, to advance such a discussion.

      In the introductory chapter to her book,The Tyranny of the Majority, Guinier discusses examples...

    • 10 DELIBERATIVE EQUALITY AND DEMOCRATIC ORDER
      (pp. 251-287)
      THOMAS CHRISTIANO

      Deliberation has acquired a privileged status in recent work in democratic theory. Many have claimed that democracy without deliberation is an unstable system wherein the desires of citizens clash without regard to the common good and even without concern for the reasonableness of the desires themselves. Some, inspired by the ideas of Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls, have argued that the process of social discussion among equals is itself intrinsically valuable and ought to be thought of as the preeminent value underlying democratic institutions.¹ Others, such as this author, give deliberation a more instrumental role in enhancing citizens’ understanding of...

    • 11 FIVE THESES ON NATIONALISM
      (pp. 288-332)
      ELIZABETH KISS

      It is a waste of breath to press the claims of common human identity on men and women prepared to die in defence of their claims of difference. There will be no end to the dying, and no time for the claim of our common species being, until each people is safe within its borders, with a sovereignty which makes them master of their needs. Only when difference has its home, when the need for belonging in all its murderous intensity has been assuaged, can our common identity begin to find its voice.

      —Michael Ignatieff,The Needs of Strangers

      Around...

    • 12 THE WORLD HOUSE DIVIDED: THE CLAIMS OF THE HUMAN COMMUNITY IN THE AGE OF NATIONALISM
      (pp. 333-344)
      DEBRA SATZ

      We live in a heterogeneous, diverse world. We differ from one another in virtue of our personal characteristics (e.g., sex, race, mental and physical abilities, vulnerabilities) and our social and cultural circumstances (e.g., country of birth, degree of national freedom and inequality). These differences are facts.

      Facts require both explanation and interpretation to establish their moral significance. For example, if a particular cultural difference were the product of oppression and ignorance, rather than a natural consequence of the free exercise of reason, we might not seek its accommodation. Instead, the waning of some cultural diversity might be a predictable, and...

    • 13. FROM POST-LIBERALISM TO PLURALISM
      (pp. 345-362)
      JOHN GRAY

      The liberal project was the project of specifying universal limits to the authority of government and, by implication, to the scope of political life. The task of liberal theory was to specify the principles, and sometimes the institutions, in which this universal limitation on political power was expressed and embodied. To be sure, as a species of the Enlightenment project, the liberal project was often associated with, and dependent on, an historical philosophy of progress, which affirmed that different political regimes were appropriate and legitimate in different historical circumstances. Nonetheless, the goal of liberal theory remained that of specifying principles...

  8. PART III: POLITICAL CULTURE

    • 14 DEMOCRATIC AUTONOMY AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: A CRITIQUE OF WISCONSIN V. YODER
      (pp. 365-411)
      RICHARD J. ARNESON and IAN SHAPIRO

      Democratic politics is constitutionally at odds with paternalism and political hierarchy. For centuries democratic theorists have studied how to structure public institutions so as to diminish inegalitarian power relations, and how to equalize voting power among diverse citizenries in the selection of public officials. Relatively little attention has been paid, however, to what democracy requires of the institutions that make up civil society. This is most notably true of religious and familial institutions which are often—and perhaps in some respects inescapably—hierarchical and inegalitarian in character. This lack of democratic theoretical attention to the structure of civil institutions derives...

    • 15 IN DEFENSE OF YODER: PARENTAL AUTHORITY AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
      (pp. 412-437)
      SHELLEY BURTT

      There is much to disagree with in the Supreme Court decision,Wisconsin v. Yoder(406 U.S. 205 [1972]). The question the Court confronted was whether to allow Amish parents to end their children’s schooling at age fourteen, rather than age sixteen as required by Wisconsin law. In ruling against the state, the Supreme Court first stressed the distinctiveness of the Amish religion and the social respectability of the religion’s members. The unfortunate impression given is that the strength of parents’ free exercise rights in relation to the education of their children will depend on the insularity of the religion, its...

    • 16 SPHERES OF POLITICAL ORDER
      (pp. 438-453)
      LAINIE FRIEDMAN ROSS and DAVID SCHMIDTZ

      This chapter examines the relation between polis and family as interacting spheres of political order. It will offer a relativistic reinterpretation of the Rawlsian concept of basic structure. A political order, as we use the term, is a kind of social organization. It may be a very loose organization, but a political order is, in any event, an order that governs itself as a distinct social organization. Democracy comes out as an example of political order, a social organization that governs itself by a democratic decisionmaking mechanism. Anarchism is the thesis that a well-functioning social order could exist without political...

    • 17 VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: CHALLENGES TO THE LIBERAL STATE AND RELATIONAL FEMINISM
      (pp. 454-497)
      JENNIFER NEDELSKY

      One of the uncontested objectives of political order in a liberal regime is the protection of its citizens from violence. Yet the liberal state has failed in this basic task with respect to women and children.¹ If we take this failure seriously, we must rethink the scope of the liberal state and the conception of rights optimal for making good on liberalism’s most basic aspirations. This rethinking flows from my central claim that violence against women² cannot be prevented until the relations between men and women are transformed—which means that transformation of these social and intimate relations must be...

    • 18 STRUCTURES OF POLITICAL ORDER: The Relational Feminist Alternatives
      (pp. 498-522)
      ROBERT E. GOODIN

      Evil has many faces, many sources.¹ Not all of them are interpersonally hurtful. Sometimes the wicked harm only themselves. Neither are all forms of evil publicly actionable. Sometimes the only remotely plausible preventives or remedies are necessarily private ones. That said, it would be widely (if not, perhaps, universally) agreed that, first and foremost, political arrangements should strive to forestall evil where they can and to rectify its effects as they are able.

      A variety of arguments converge on setting that as the first priority of political order. Some of the most compelling have to do with the “fear of...

  9. Index
    (pp. 523-532)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 533-533)