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  • Author: Mustafa Emirbayer, Jeff Goodwin
  • Publication Date: 10-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: In 1980, Jack Goldstone wrote an influential review essay entitled "Theories of Revolution: The Third Generation." Goldstone noted that a "third generation" of theorists had emerged during the 1970s, one that placed special emphasis on the causal role of political and economic "structures" in social revolutions, especially states, transnational forces, and peasant communities. (By contrast, "second generation" theorists emphasized the role of diffuse "social strains" and their social-psychological consequences) Today, it seems increasingly apparent that this third generation, despite its impressive theoretical contributions, has largely run its course. In fact, as John Foran has recently noted, "the first signs of a new school may be appearing on the intellectual horizon." This new perspective, Foran and many other scholars agree, ought to focus much more attention on culture and ideology (as well as on agency) than did the third generation, but without losing sight of the important role played by political and economic structures.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Science and Technology
  • Author: Yagil Levy
  • Publication Date: 06-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Demilitarization and de-escalation of violent conflicts have seemed to prevail during the last decade. The most significant event -- the collapse of the Soviet Union with the end of the Cold War--has stimulated scholars of international relations (IR) to retest the power of major theories to both explain and forecast the shift in the Soviet Union' 5 foreign policy from competition to cooperation with the U.S. (similar to shifts undergone by other states). Scholars generally agree that the economic crisis in the Soviet Union in a world system dominated by the U.S. played a key role in the former superpower's failure to extract the domestic resources needed to maintain its position of rivalry vis-à-vis the U.S., thus propelling it to embark on a new road. Still, scholars have debated with respect to the shift's timing and the origins of the trajectory opted for by the Soviet Union toward cooperation relative to other options, such as further competition as a means of ongoing internal-state extraction and control. This debate also highlights the analytical weaknesses of the realism/neorealism school of thought when taken against the background of the collapse of the bipolar, competitive world system on which this school has staked so much.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Soviet Union
  • Author: Yagil Levy
  • Publication Date: 12-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Observation of state-military relations in Israel reveals an apparent paradox: Within a period of about seventy years, the more the militarization of Israeli society and politics gradually increased, the more politicians were successful in institutionalizing effective control over the Israel Defence Forces (IDF, and the pre-state organizations). Militarization passed through three main stages: (1) accepting the use of force as a legitimate political instrument during the pre-state period (1920-1948), subsequent to confrontation between pacifism and activism; (2) giving this instrument priority over political-diplomatic means in the state's first years up to the point in which (3) military discursive patterns gradually dominated political discourse after the 1967 War. At the same time, political control over the IDF was tightened, going from the inculcation of the principle of the armed forces' subordination to the political level during the pre-state period to the construction of arrangements working to restrain the military leverage for autonomous action.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Charles Tilly
  • Publication Date: 05-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: Observation of state-military relations in Israel reveals an apparent paradox: Within a period of about seventy years, the more the militarization of Israeli society and politics gradually increased, the more politicians were successful in institutionalizing effective control over the Israel Defence Forces (IDF, and the pre-state organizations). Militarization passed through three main stages: (1) accepting the use of force as a legitimate political instrument during the pre-state period (1920-1948), subsequent to confrontation between pacifism and activism; (2) giving this instrument priority over political-diplomatic means in the state's first years up to the point in which (3) military discursive patterns gradually dominated political discourse after the 1967 War. At the same time, political control over the IDF was tightened, going from the inculcation of the principle of the armed forces' subordination to the political level during the pre-state period to the construction of arrangements working to restrain the military leverage for autonomous action.
  • Topic: Education, Industrial Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Israel
  • Author: Mustafa Emirbayer, Ann Miscbe
  • Publication Date: 01-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Studies of Social Change
  • Abstract: The concept of agency has become a source of increasing strain and confusion in social thought. Variants of action theory, normative theory, and political-institutional analysis have defended, attacked, buried, and resuscitated the concept in often contradictory and overlapping ways. At the center of the debate, the term "agency" itself has maintained an elusive, albeit resonant, vagueness; it has given rise to a long list of associated (and often equally vague) terms, such as selthood, motivation, will, purposiveness, intentionality, choice, initiative, freedom, and creativity. Yet despite the growing numbers of recent theorists -- ranging from Jeffrey Alexander, Anthony Giddens, and Pierre Bourdieu to Jurgen Habermas and James Coleman -- who have addressed the so-called "structure and agency problem," the concept of agency itself has been surprisingly neglected. In the struggle to demonstrate the interpenetration of agency and structure, most theorists have failed to distinguish agency as an analytical category in its own right -- with distinctive theoretical dimensions and temporally variable social manifestations. The result has been a flat and impoverished conception that, when it escapes the abstract voluntarism of rational choice theory, tends to remain so tightly bound to structure that one loses sight of the different ways in which agency actually shapes social action.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Science and Technology
  • Author: Imtiaz Hussain
  • Publication Date: 03-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
  • Abstract: Extending a previous investigation of farm dispute settlement under the Canadian-U.S. Free Trade Agreement of 1989 to include the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994, this study inquires if regionalism in this part of the world threatens the sovereignty of national trade laws and multilateral provisions. The adjudication process, spelled out by Chapter 19 of the two free trade agreements, is singled out and disaggregated into four stages for analysis. This, in turn, allows for (a) a reassessment of the sovereignty-supranational theoretical debate; and (b) undertaking a comparative study of the national trade relief laws in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Whereas extant works, almost exclusively of disputes under G.A.T.T., find that supranational rules influence outcomes more than the pursuit of sovereign interests by states, the preliminary findings of this study suggest that both forces are equally strong in North America. By and large, they suggest that reciprocal relations between states, regional entities, and multilateral organizations are necessary for the viable operation of each; yet this necessity may, in the long-term, constrain the multilateral organization more than the regional. This interpenetrating relationship is unique, and the source of institutional innovations of relevance to the pursuit of both state sovereignty and supranationalism.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, South America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: John W. Slocum
  • Publication Date: 07-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Cornell University Peace Studies Program
  • Abstract: Practitioners of the late lamented science of Sovietology have been roundly criticized for failing to predict one of the most momentous events of the twentieth century—the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Anxious to avoid a repetition of past mistakes, post-Sovietologists have in turn devoted a good deal of attention to the question of whether the USSR's largest successor state, the Russian Federation, is itself in danger of breaking apart. Like the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation is a multinational state with ethnically-defined territorial subunits; political elites in these subunits, faced with massive political, economic and social uncertainty, may be attracted by the idea of political independence. During the first half of the 1990s, post-Soviet Russia has indeed experienced more than one crisis of center-periphery relations. The present study, however, suggests that the likelihood of a general disintegration of the Russian Federation peaked in the early 1990s and is now decreasing. In view of this analysis, the war in Chechnya is an exception to an overall trend toward consolidation, rather than an indicator of a general breakdown in center-periphery relations.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Chechnya
  • Author: Matthew Auer
  • Publication Date: 01-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Security Studies at Yale University
  • Abstract: "Estonia's environment and nature are special," the Estonian scholar observed, as we sipped coffee in a dingy cafe in Tallinn. "But to them," he said, lowering his voice, and nodding slightly toward a table of Russian-speakers, "it means nothing. To a Russian, the environment is a 100-meter square area around him and his home. He does not care...no, it's more simple—he is not aware of my country's environment."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Environment
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Stephen M. Saideman
  • Publication Date: 11-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: Is secession contagious? If so, can it be contained or quarantined to limit its spread? These two questions must be addressed to understand the challenges posed by ethnic divisions within and between states today. The end of ideological competition between the United States and the Soviet Union has not ushered in an era of global peace, but instead a period characterized by ethnic conflicts within many states. The coincidence of the disintegrations of the Soviet, Yugoslav, and Czechoslovak federations suggests that secession does spread with potentially nasty consequences.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Nationalism, Politics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Ju Guoxing
  • Publication Date: 10-1995
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: The three China Seas (the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea) are all enclosed or semi-enclosed and studded with so many offshore and mid-ocean islands that nowhere does the distance from one headland or island to another approach 400 nautical miles. With the extension of national jurisdiction over maritime resources, no seabed in the area is left unclaimed.
  • Topic: International Law, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Southeast Asia