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Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Critical Political Studies Edited by Jules Townshend

Published titles in the series

Voting Behaviour: A Radical Critique


What's Wrong with Liberalism? A Radical Critique of Liberal Political Philosophy


Forthcoming titles in the series

Analysing Public Policy: A Critique of Key Concepts PETERJOHN

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World The Doctrine for Political Development lllllllllllllll

Paul Carrack

London and Washington


Wellington House. 125 Strand, London WC2R OBB FO Box 605, Herndon VA. 20172 First published in Great Britain I 997 © Paul Cam rack 1997 Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research Cr private study or criticism or review. as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication Indy' not be reproduced, stored or transmitted. in any form or by any ricans or process, without the prior permission in writing of the copyright holders or their agents. Except for reproduction in accordance with the terms of licenses issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, photocopying of whole or part of this publication without the prior permission of the copyright holders or theN agents in

single or multiple copies whether br gain or not is illegal and expressly forbidden. Please direct all enquiries concerning copyright to the publishers.

Paul Cormack is hereby identified as the author of this work as provided under Section 7 7 of the Copyright. Designs and Patents Act 1988.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN 0-7185-0088-~1 (hardback)

G-7185-0089-X (paperback)

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Cam rack. Paul A. [Paul Anthony) Capitalism and democracy in the Third World : the doctrine for political development/Paul Cam rack. p. cm. - (Critical political studies)

Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-7185-0089-X (pack) ISBN f)~718 S-0088-l 1. Developing countries Poll£ics and government. 2. Political development.

3. Capitalism-Developing countries.

Developing countries. I. Title. 1997 ]F60.C359 32 l.8'09 172 '4-dc20

4. Democracy-~

II. Series.

"1}'peset by Action Typesetting Ltd, Gloucester Printed and Bound in Great Britain by (`reativc Print and Design Wales, Ebbw Vale.

96-34462 CIP






Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Feriod


In Search of a Theory of Political Development




Political Culture


The Doctrine for Political Development


The Comparative Historical Approach


'Political Development' and the Developing World


The Doctrine for Political Development Today


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World




Name Index


Subject Index


To John Stachniewski



This book analyses and interprets political development theory from a critical Marxist perspective. Its starting-point is that

recently announced by Ellen Meiksins Wood: the premise that the critique of capitalism is urgently needed, that llistori~ cal materialism still provides the best foundation on which to construct it,

and that the critical element in Marxism lies above all in its insistence on the historical specificity of capitalism - with the emphasis on both the specificity of its systemic logic and on its historicity. (Wood 1995: 2]

I argue that what political development theorists from the 1950s onwards took to be a universal theory of political development is better understood as a theory of political change in societies undergoing a process of capitalist modernization, and that the driving force behind it, constant through all its various theoretical twists and turns, was the desire to produce a doctrine which would aid the promotion of' capitalist rather than socialist development. There is an intimate relationship between the 'revisionist' theory of democracy associated with Schumpeter and Dahl, and political development theory: while the former is a theory of politics in already constituted capitalist states. and a doctrine aimed at maintaining the capitalist character of the societies concerned, the latter is a theory of politics in the process of capitalist modernization, and a doctrine aimed at guaranteeing the capitalist direction of change. The central theme of the book is the emergence of a separate doctrine .for political development in the wake of disillusionment with the prospects of building a universal theory. and l interpret this doctrine as a transitional programme for the installation and consolidation of capitalist regimes in the Third World. Neither the theory of political development nor the doctrine prospered in the 1960s and 19703. I attribute the difficulties each


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

encountered to a combination of confusion as to the nature of the task at hand. and the global material and ideological obstacles to

the ready acceptance of the ideas proposed. From the mid-19805, however, the doctrine was revived. and went from strength to strength in the increasingly influential literature on transitions to democracy. I explain the apparent paradox of the failure of the theory and the subsequent triumph of the doctrine in terms of the

changed global material and ideological circumstances of the period. The contemporary advocates of the doctrine for political development have dealt with the confusion which surrounded earlier efforts at theorization by simply declaring that there is no need for a theory of political development any more. This has freed

them to promote the adoption throughout the world of social and political practices and institutions conducive to capitalism under cover of a proclaimed commitment to the universal adoption of

liberal democracy. They thereby repeat the trick, central to bourgeois social theory from the start. of presenting as universal and natural what is historical, and specific to capitalism. All students of political development owe a debt - all t.oo little acknowledged for the most part - to Irene Gendzier's pioneering study, Managing Political Change: Social Scientists arid the Third World (1985). Gendzier gives an incisive account of the Cold War

climate and policy debate out of which 'political development' emerged, and pinpoints the close connections between political development theory. theories of mass society, and the revisionist theory of liberal democracy. In addition, she avoids the otherwise prevalent error of ascribing a sunny optimism to the earlier theorists of political development, and contrasting it with the skepticism and pessimism of later writers. As a result, she rightly discounts the claims of Huntington in particular to be considered a 'revisionist'. Nobody who has read the relevant literature with care could come to any other conclusions, and I confirm and build upon her analysis. She refers more than once, too, to a 'doctrine of political development' (Gendzier 1985: 6, 124). I differ from her in locating this doctrine in the Studies in Political Development series, identifying a significant break between this series and such texts as Almond and Verba's The Civic Culture (1963). and offering a somewhat different interpretation of Pye and Verbs's Political Culture and Political Development (1965). I attach more importance to instr tutional arguments than to issues of culture, psychology and personality, which I regard as a dead end that was quickly rejected.



I also attribute major significance to the 'political process' approach pioneered by Rustow and developed by Linz and Stepan . These differences are reflected in contrasting perceptions of the impasse in which political development theory found itself by the

1960s. Gendzier sees the core problem


the dilemma behind the

'impossible task' of political development theory - as being the fact

that the theorists of political development feared change yet recognized that the capitalism which they wanted necessarily generated it, and found themselves .without a way forward as a result. in contrast, I see the doctrine for political development as expounded primarily in the Studies in Political Development series as offering a coherent solution to the problem of managing the participatory challenges thrown up by capitalist development in a context of liberal democratic institutions. My argument is. rather. that the context of the 1950s and 1960s was not a propitious one for the promotion of the necessary disciplines and their introduction into

political regimes across the Third World - and that the success of the doctrine in the 19805 and 19903. despite the conclusive failure of every attempt to provide it with theoretical backing. was largely

owed to the very different context of those times.

A Summary of the Contents The political development literature is vast and varied, and connects in a number of ways to the history of its times and to other bodies of literature that are more extensive still. In addition. fundamental disagreements over the meaning or even the utility of the term 'political development' itself (reviewed in Chapter 1) make it

hard to define the limits of the core literature and much of it is little known. I have therefore provided extensive expositions of the basic arguments of key contributions to the literature as a necessary prelude to the critical analysis which follows. These outline summaries do not substitute for the originals, and are not intended to do so. They are intended to guide students unfamiliar with the

literature and to identify key arguments to which the subsequent critique returns. Throughout, I have selected and discussed in detail the texts which in retrospect appear most significant. In addition, I have provided summaries or highlighted key excerpts from particular texts where appropriate, in boxes set apart from the main text. Taken together, these provide a sequence of points of

reference to key themes in the literature .


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

The selection of" texts for detailed examination and the accounts of their basic arguments are of course at the same time interpretations of the literature in general and of the texts themselves. I hope, though, that the initial summary of key arguments is full enough, and s u f i ciently neutral in tone. to serve as an introductory expose son. I identify in the following paragraphs the substance of each chapter, and the key texts examined in detail. In Chapter 1, after a brief discussion of the historical context in

which political development theory emerged. I address the revisionist theories of liberal democracy which appeared in the wake of mass democracy, inter-war economic depression and the rise of fascism. I concentrate attention

upon Joseph Schumpeter's

Capitalism. Socialism and Democracy (1970, first published in 1942), Robert Dahl's A Preface to Democratic Theory (1956), and William Kornhauser's The Politics of Mass Society (1960). The chapter concludes with a brief overview of the way in which political development theory has been received over time. Chapter .2 offers an account of the motivation behind the search for a theory of political development and emphasizes the intertwining from the beginning of theoretical and public policy concerns. It illustrates the tone of apprehension which pervaded it from the beginning and identities the major texts which will be considered in detail in later chapters. It then outlines the ways in which political

development theorists built upon and broke with modernization theory (emphasizing the simple but important point that modernization theory and political development theory are not identical), demonstrates that Huntington was orthodox rather than revisionist in his approach,

and shows that the strand of political

development theory concerned with comparative history was present in the literature from the very beginning. The major purpose in this chapter is to establish connections between different elements in the literature and as a consequence there is little in the way of detailed discussion of particular texts. With the groundwork laid out in this way. Chapter 3 discusses Almond's early concern with functionalism and make the argument that it played a relatively insignificant part in the emergence of political development theory proper. The emergence of a comprehensive functional framework for comparative politics (rather than for the politics of the developing world) is traced through two key texts: Gabriel Almond and lames Coleman's edited collection The Politics of the Developing Areas (1960), and



Gabriel Almond and G. Bingham Powell's more systematic and elaborate Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach (19661. Chapter 4 takes up a parallel strand of the literature, in which Almond was also a key figure, concerned with the concept ofpolitical culture. Here a detailed exposition is offered of the basic arguments of two contrasting texts: Lucien Pye's Politics, Personality and Nation Building (1962). a study of Burmese politics

much influenced by ideas drawn from psychology, and (Jabriel Almond and Sidney Verba's hugely influential The Civic Culture (1963). I then give my reasons for not regarding Lucien Pye and Sidney Verba's later collection - Political Culture and Political Development (1965) - as exemplary

of the political culture

approach, and conclude with a detailed analysis of the critique of the approach subsequently included in Gabriel Almond and Sidney

Verbs's The Civic Culture Revisited (1980). I argue that the political culture approach, like the functional approach, was not at the heart of the political development literature. Chapter 5 then addresses the texts which I regard as central to the political development literature, and in particular to the delinition of the 'doctrine for political development'. These are the first six volumes of the Studies in Political Development series, published by Princeton University Press between 1963 and 1966: Communications and Politicaf Development (1963), edited by Lucien Pye; Bureaucracy and Political Development (1963), edited by Ioseph

LaPalornbara, Education and Political Development (1965), edited by Barnes Coleman: Political Modernization in Iapan and Turkey (1964), edited by Dankwart Rustow and Robert Ward; Political Culture arid Pofiticaf Development (1965), edited by Lucien Pye and

Sidney Verbs, and Political Parties and Folitical Development (1966) edited by ]oseph LaPalombara and Myron Weiner. Discussion concentrates on the doctrine for political development as revealed in these texts. and in particular on the elite model of politics most fully defined in Political Culture and Political Development. In conclusion, a detailed analysis of Samuel P. Huntington's Political Order iii Changing Societies (1968) confirms its orthodox recapitulation of already established themes. Chapter 6 turns to the strand of political development theory which concerned itself with comparative history, and in particular with the notion of 'crises' of development. As noted above, these

themes were present from the beginning. However, the first effort to provide a full account of the approach did not appear until 1971


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

in Crises and Sequences in political Development, the seventh o f the Studies in Political Development series. It is examined in detail here. along with the two final volumes of the series, which addressed the 'crises and sequences' approach in what turned out to be mortally critical terms. These were The Formation q]` National States in 'Western Europe (1975), edited by Charles Tilly. and Crises of Political Development in Europe and the United States (1978). edited by Raymond Grew. In addition. this chapter returns to Rustow and Ward's Political Modernization in fapan and Turkey, which is identified as a significant early statement of comparative historical themes, and explores a comparable effort led by Almond, published outside the Studies in Political Development series as Crisis, Choice and Change: Historical Studies of Folitical Development (1973). With Chapter 6 the exposition and initial discussion of the polit-

ical development literature of the 1960s and l970s is complete. In Chapter 7 I consider the manner in which the literature dealt with the politics of the contemporary Third World. using its treatment of Latin America as a source of illustration. After an examination of the way in which the region as a whole was handled in Blanksten's contribution to The Politics of the Developing Areas ( 1960) and Scott's essay in Political Parties and Political Development (1966). I focus on the treatment of Mexico. Four discussions are examined: The Civic Culture (1963), where it came in as a late substitute for Sweden; Scott's contribution to Political Cufture and Political Development (1965); Cornelius's account of the Cardenas period in Crisis, Choice and Change (1973): and the critique of The Civic Culture offered by Craig and Cornelius in The Civic Culture Revisited (1980). The material in this chapter confirms that the proponents of political development did not favour the rapid introduction of competitive democracy in the Third World. Chapter 8 considers the connections between the political development literature and the contemporary literature on transitions to democracy. Here I identify two texts as significant precursors of the contemporary literature: Rustow's 'genetic' approach to democratization (Rustow 1970), and Iran Linz's The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes: C Isis, Bre kd wn d Reef ifibr ii (1978). Against this background, I offer an analysis of two major contributions to the transition literature: the four-volume set edited by Guillermo O'DonnclI, Philippe Schmitter and Laurence Whitehead. Transitions from Authoritarian Rufe: Prospects for Democracy (1986), and the regional case studies (Africa, Asia and Latin America)



edited by Larry Diamond, Juan Linz and Martin Seymour Lipset in Democracy in: Developing Countries (1988. 1989). The chapter

concludes with the argument that Huntington's The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (1991) simply recapit~ ulates arguments advanced by earlier authors, as his Political Order in Changing Societies (1968) had done more than two decades earlier. Finally, Chapter 9 reflects directly on the political development

literature from a Marxist perspective, Here. I draw upon The Manifesto of the Communist Party (written by Marx and Engels and published in 1848) and on Marx's Grandrisse (written in 1857 and 1858, and. unpublished in his lifetime) to suggest that the political development literature should be regarded as largely ideological in character, and to explain why it is that the doctrine for political development triumphed in the l990s after failing so conspicuously in the ].96(Js. Of the various personal debts 1 have contracted while writing this book, the largest is owed to my friends and colleagues in the

'199U Discussion Group' which meets from time to time at the LSE: Chris Boyle, Simon Bromley, Greg Elliott, Luis Fernandes. Fred Halliday and Justin Rosenberg. They set an invigorating standard of rigorous scholarship and savage yet comradely criticism from which I hope to recover, and eventually to benefit. I am also indebted to the series editor, jules Townshend, for suggesting the book in the first place, and guiding and encouraging its progress, to Georgina Waylen. who made forthright and valuable comments on the first draft, and to graduate students at the university of Manchester who also read the first draft and offered incisive

suggestions: Junko Furukawa, Jasmine Gideon, Cipriano Heredia, Zullia Karimova, Zaini Othman, Viv Randies, Gareth Api Richards and Victor Stepanenko. This is a small contribution to a large enterprise - the restatement of a critical Marxist perspective on global politics and political

economy for the twenty-first century. It is written in the sober belief that people who call themselves social scientists should endeavour to see and describe capitalism for what it is, and to place the investigation of` it at the centre of their agenda the heady .


conviction that if they do. the true character of 'bourgeois social theory' as ideology. apologia and prejudice will be revealed. and the world will have a chance to become a better place.

Portions of earlier versions oftbis text have appeared in 'Political


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

development theory and the dissemination of democracy' Democrotization, I (3) 1994, 353-374, and in 'Domestic and international regimes for the developing world: the doctrine for political development", in P. Gum nett [ed.), Globalization and Public Policy (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. 1996), pp. 46-63.

Paul Carrack Manchester. Tune 1996

1 II-..l.ll-ll

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period

In the years immediately following the end of the Second World War the advanced capitalist countries, led by Great Britain and the United States, faced a number of daunting challenges. If global order of the kind their leaders desired was to be achieved, they needed to secure the economic recovery and political stability of those countries devastated by warfare, eliminate the sources of conflict which had led to the war itself, and put the world capitalist economy back on a sound footing. And as if this were not enough, they had to do so in the context of the enormously enhanced prestige and influence of the Soviet Union, growing pressure around the world fOr economic development and social reform, and demands for political independence in the many areas still subject to colonial rule. The 'political development theory' with which this book is concerned represented an attempt to address these issues from the perspective of the perceived interests of the leading capitalist states, and the United States in particular. This chapter describes the historical and theoretical contexts from which it emerged, and provides an outline of its rise and fall between the rnid-19508 and the late 1970s. Crisis, Cold War and Revolution

At this distance in time, it is easy to forget just how immensely difficult the tasks facing the leading capitalist states appeared as the Second World War came to an end. The three decades following the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 were more unsta» b e , and more destructive on a global scale, than any in the previous history of the world. In addition to the two periods of open world war which framed them, they witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. and the deep crisis of the global capitalist

system in the wake of the Wall Street crash of 1929. Thereafter, the


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

years leading to the outbreak of the Second World War witnessed intense economic nationalism and military rivalry, while demand for social and political change mounted in the advanced capitalist countries themselves. In this context, it should be recalled that the building of the welfare state in Britain had only just begun on the eve of the First World War, with the United States lagging further behind, and that social provision through the state was still in its infancy in I945 At the same time, experience around the world of liberal democracy with mass participation was still extremely limited. Britain had completed the introduction of the universal franchise only in the decade following the First World War, then experienced political crisis and national government in the 19305 and the suspension of political competition during the Second World War; in the United States corrupt and clientelistic political machines remained dominant in many areas, while many blacks and poor whites in the south were excluded from the franchise altogether, and in France, Germany and Italy liberal democracy was


highly unstable. and had recently lapsed into authoritarian rule .

If one thing was clear in the circumstances that prevailed once the Second World War carne to an end, it was that while a return to the circumstances of the 1930s had to be avoided at all costs. there could be no going back to the global order that had prevailed before 1914. The leaders of the advanced capitalist countries faced a new challenge: to restore global order in the context of mass social and political participation at home, with its attendant pressure for economic improvement, and growing demands for social and economic participation and political reform throughout the 'non-Western world'. What is more, a new factor and clear danger

in the situation was that the Soviet Union, with its record of unprecedented accelerated economic development, and its massive

contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany. appeared to offer a powerful and attractive alternative to capitalist development. The implications of this situation for the 'non-Western world', or

the 'Third World', as it came to be known, were complex. On the one hand, it seemed evident that the demand for social, economic and political change could not be ignored, On the other. it was not at all clear what might happen if demands for change were encouraged in the unstable context produced by Cold War, global economic instability, and great social and economic backwardness and inequality. Although the context was somewhat different, the central issue was essentially the same as that faced at home in the

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post~war Period


United States and Western Europe: it was thought to be essential that the process of change should be controlled by responsible elites committed to capitalist development, but there was no guarantee, and often no good reason. to believe. that such control could be achieved in practice.

The practical and intellectual dilemmas inherent in this situation were never resolved in the three decades following the Second World War. First, the phase of intense 'Cold War' confrontation which had marked the immediate post-war years (1946-53) gave way, alter a period of sporadic attempts to negotiate key issues. to a decade (1969-791 of sustained negotiation or detente between the United States and the Soviet Union (Halliday 1983: eh. 1). The

assumption at this point, until a 'second Cold War' was launched by the United States at the end of the 19705, was that the Soviet Union would be a permanent fixture with which the West would have to learn to live. Secondly, the period was punctuated by waves of 'Third World Revolutions' which in turn provoked counter~revolutionary responses on a global scale. The first of these waves reached a high point with the success of Mao Zedong's revolution in mainland China. saw the establishment of North Korea and North Vietnam, and subsided in the mid-1950s in the face of counterrevolutionary success in Tran and Guatemala. But almost immediately widespread decolonization and the upsurge of radical nationalism across the Third World combined to produce an explosive situation. A second wave of'llh.ird World revolutions took place

from the late 1950s on: Fidel Castro's victorious guerrilla forces entered Havana on 1 January 1959, Patrice Lumumba won the independence of Zaire (formerly the Belgian Congo) in 1960. and

in 1962 the French were finally evicted from Algeria. Once again. counter-revolution followed, destroying Lumumba and his regime, isolating Cuba, spreading a counterinsurgency blanket across Central and South America (with Brazil in 1964 seeing the imposition of the roost significant of a number of 'national security' regimes), and establishing Suharto's regime in Indonesia at the cost of enormous bloodshed. Indo-China apart, a tide of revolution was once again contained. But even before the defeat of the West was complete in Cambodia. Laos. and Vietnam (with US withdrawal in 1973 and the fall of Saigon in April 1975) a third wave of revolutions commenced in 1974 in Ethiopia and Portuguese Africa, and spread by 1979 to Iran and Nicaragua, prompting the

reopening of the Cold War (83-97).


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

By the late 1960s, too, it was becoming clear that the international economic order set up at Bretton Woods after the war was entering a phase of serious destabilization. This arose in part out of social and economic problems internal to the United States and other advanced capitalist countries, and the tensions this generated in their relations with each other. The policy responses which resulted provoked increased global instability which in turn fed back into domestic politics, giving a further twist to the process of global destabilization. At the end of the decade the United States unleashed a wave of global inflation by breaking the link between the dollar and gold. and in response to this and other developments aggressive economic nationalism replaced relatively docile subservience to the activities of' multin ational corporations across the globe. in the early 1970s the Third World. initially in the form of the oil-producing countries gathered in OPEC, mounted a substantial challenge to the right of the leading capitalist countries to dictate terms in the global economy, The successive 'oil shocks' of .1 973 and 1979, in conjunction with revolution elsewhere in the developing world. suggested that the leading capitalist powers were unable to control either the politics or the economic activity of the developing world. In the same period. of course, the politics of the United States were thrown into turmoil by successive challenges to the myth of domestic harmony: the civil rights movements, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Iohn and Bobby Kennedy, the wave of mass opposition to the Vietnam War, and the impeachment and removal from office of President Nixon. Against this background a substantial literature was produced in the United States from the mid-19505 onwards on the topic of

political change in the developed and developing world. It is with the literature on this topic, which came to be known as 'political development', that this book is concerned. It had its origins, as we shall shortly see, in an analysis of the global situation in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. and the causes of instability in Europe that had led to conflict: Almond and Verba's

The Civic Culture (1963) reflects these concerns. The first volumes of the Studies in Political Development series (1963-78), from Pye's Communications and Political Development (l963a) on, were written in the context of the first and second waves of Third World revolu» sons. The last, Tilly's The Formation of National States in Western

Europe (l975a) and Grew's Crises of Political Development in Europe


Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period

and the United States ( l $78a], were published amidst the third wave of revolution and the economic upheavals of the later 19708, and signify antly turned back from the contemporary Third World to European and US history for their subject-matter. As this outline periodization suggests. the key 'political development' texts have to be read in the context of the times in which they were written. The

pattern of wave after wave of revolution and counter-revolution. against a background of increasing economic instability and assertiveness across the periphery, and a searching critique of the extent and quality of democracy at home, was extremely uncongenial to the project to which political development theory was committed. At the same time, and perhaps for that very reason, it explains the persistence with which the conservative doctrine at its core was preached without regard for the theoretical mishaps which attended it at every turn . As we shall see during the course of the investigation, the project at the heart of political development theory was the establishment across the developing world of stable capitalist regimes, in which governing elites enjoyed sufficient authority to be able to grant a degree of participation to the masses without risking losing control over the fundamental character of the social and economic system . The subject-matter of the political development literature the attempt to specify the conditions under which such stable partici..-

patory political regimes might be established - arose from the genuine and frequently uncomfortable belief that in the end capitalist regimes could not survive unless they were based upon extended participation and consent. The introduction of such regimes, therefore, was seen as a medium- to long~terrn condition

for the solid establishment of capitalism in the areas of the world throughout which the Cold War was fought. The central dilemma at the heart of the literature, and the strategy it adopted in response, was best expressed by LaPaloinbara, writing in the early 19605. Reflecting on the problems which arose from demands for social and economic progress, he allowed himself' to speculate whether it would not be possible to manipulate demands so that goals of democratic political development enjoy a status equal to that of economic change. Less emphasis might be given to grand schemes of economic development, more to local-level development that might bring forces of local political participation into play. This might also be a means of encouraging the evolution of the kind of private economic sector that would constitute an embryonic middle class and an eventual counts-poise


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

to the power of the centralized bureaucracy. I might say that I strongly believe that it is more than historical coincidence that economic liberalism

preceded the emergence of political liberalism in the West, A similar. if not exactly duplicate, type of evolution might be encouraged in the developing nations. Some political benefits would surely derive from encode raging the kind of economic enterprise that is individually rather than collectively oriented, that exalts the place of the private entrepreneur rather than that ofarz all-embracing collectivity symbolized by large-scale. unwieldy and unbending public bureaucracies. (1963: 30; emphasis mine)

As this passage suggests, the theorists of political development

were clear about what they wanted. but not at all confident in this period that their goals could be achieved. Citizens and govern-

ments around the developing world, far from showing an interest in elite democracy with minimal social and economic content and embracing the ideology of free enterprise capitalism, tended to

favour strategies of intensive state-led development or outright socialist revolution which they hoped would rapidly bridge the gulf in standards of' living between the advanced capitalist states of the West and themselves. In these circumstances. no leading theorist of political development either favoured or advocated the wholesale and immediate introduction of competitive democratic politics in the developing world. Because the immediate prospects for democratic capitalist regimes in the developing world appeared extremely poor, the issue presented itself more as a problem than as an opportunity. This

situation was traced to two related deficiencies the lack of insula...-

tion of political institutions from social pressure, and the lack of élite authority over the masses. At the heart of political development theory, in other words. was the perception that democracy in the developing world was both essential and impossible. In these circumstances, the political development industry operated on a number of levels: as theory. as ideology, and as a lobbying and public relations exercise on behalf of capitalism and of a particular political model felt to be most appropriate to its establishment and continued success, whether in the developing world or in the more mature capitalist societies. This model, élite-led democracy with controlled and limited popular participation, operating in support of and subservience to a social and economic system based on free enterprise, was defined by revisionist behaviourists in the United States in the post-war period.

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period


Given their perception that major efforts of persuasion and of

public policy reorientation at home and abroad were required if their goals were to be achieved, the leading practitioners of polite cal development theory were committed ideologues, lobbyists and public relations executives as much as they were disinterested scholars -- yet their presentation of themselves as disinterested scholars, and perhaps their perception of themselves as such, was an essential precondition for their success as ideologues and salespersons (salesmen, to a person, in point of fact) for capitalism on a global scale. At the same time. the various roles which they adopted tended to conflict with each other. As we shall see in the following chapters, this explains characteristics of the literature which otherwise appear baffling. It erected complex theoretical superstructures on vaguely defined and intuitive foundations; it refused to modify its characterization of the politics of the developing world in terms of the 'non-Western political process' first defined in the l. 950s despite the mass of evidence which suggested that it was fundamentally misleading; it abandoned the developing world as an. area of study in the 19603 in favour of studies of the history of political development in Europe and the United States, and it triumphantly survived its failure not only to produce any coherent theory of political development, but even to decide what 'political development' was. Before we can begin to understand how this could be, we need to know something of the intellectual climate out of which political development theory emerged, and something of its own peculiar history. These issues are treated in turn in the following sections. First, I examine the evolution of theories of democracy in the inter-war and post-war periods, as they sought to come to terms with 'mass society' and with the horrors ofprcvious decades. [then turn to the trajectory of political development theory itself. Liberal Democratic Theory and Mass Society

No sense can be made of political development theory or the doctrine for political development to which it gave rise if it is assumed that they were primarily concerned with the 'nonWestern world'- They have their roots in the rethinking and rewriting of the theory of democracy in response to modern indu5~ trial society, and the experience of fascism and communism. Three texts in particular give a composite picture of the intellectual


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

climate generated by reflection on these themes ...- Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy ( 1 9 7 0 ) . Dahl's A Preface to Democratic Theory (1956). and Kornhauser's The Politics of Mass Society (1960). Their main arguments relevant to the genesis of 'political development theory' are outlined in this section . Schu.mpeter's Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy was influential

in the post-war period on account of the contrast he offered, in the course of a discussion of the relationship between socialism and democracy, between the classical doctrine of democracy on the one hand and what he termed 'another theory of democracy' on the other (Schurnpeter 1970: chs. 20-23). He described 'the classical doctrine' (actually an

amalgam of a

number of different

approaches) as holding that 'the democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions which realizes the common good by making the people itself decide issues through the election of individuals who are to assemble in order to carry out its wilT (25U). Against this view, Schumpeter argued that because ultimate values differ from one person to another there was no such thing as 'a uniquely determined common good that all people could agree on or be made to agree on by the force of rational argument' (251), and that even if there were, there would still be fundamental disagreement on the best way to achieve it. Furthermore, individual citizens were not rational and independent in forming their opinions, and their 'sense of reality' and level of commitment diminished as they turned away from local politics and issues directly related to their own interests and expertise to matters of broader national and international significance: Thus the typical citizen drops down to a lower level of mental performance as soon as he enters the political Iield. He argues and analyzes in a way which he would readily recognize as infantile within the sphere of' his real interests. He becomes a primitive again. {262)

In sum, the ordinary citizen. at the mercy of irrational prejudice and impulse, was such an easy prey to the manipulations ofprofessional politicians and other groups with axes to grind that 'the will of the people is the product and not the motive power of the politi-

cal process' (263). According to Scliuinpeter, the classical doctrine of democracy had survived despite its obvious lack of realism because it had acquired the status of a religious belief, and democracy had changed from 'a mere method that can be discussed rationally like

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period


a steam engine or a disinfectant' (266) to an ideal and a mystical symbol. This process had been reinforced by the historical association between the doctrine and the process of national liberation in Europe and the United States, and by the fact that it still appeared

to fit the case of simple societies, or those in which there was little motive for serious disagreement. In its place he offered 'another theory which is much truer to life and at the same time salvages much of what sponsors of the demo~ cratic method really meant by this term' (269). This said that the purpose of the democratic method was not to select representatives who would carry out the will of people, but to choose individuals who would govern on their behalf: To put it differently, we now take the view that the role of the people is to produce a government, or else an intermediate body which in turn will produce a national executive or government. And we define: the democratic method is that institu tonal arrangement for arriving at political decisions free which individuals acquire the power to decide by means ofa competitive struggle for the people's vote. [269; emphasis mine)

For Schumpeter, the advantages of this theory were that it associated democracy with a specific and easily identifiable procedure, rather than an abstract notion based upon dubious premises, it provided for 'proper recognition of the vital fact of leadership' (270), it drew attention to the process by which the interests of particular groups in society were worked up into elements of political programmes; it recognized reality in allowing for less than perfect competition, and the use of dubious pract.ices in 'free competition for a free vote' (271); it attached a precise if limited

meaning to the individual freedom which democracy offered (such that everyone was free to compete for political leadership in the same sense in which 'everyone was free to start another textile mill'), it included the idea that the electorate could evict the government, but not that it could control it during its period in office; and by defining elections as nothing more than a method for producing a government it gave a simple rationale for handing power over to the individual or team who commanded the most support, and cut the ground from under the case for proportional representation. Having outlined his alternative theory, Schurnpeter turned to the social conditions that were necessary for the successful

working of the democratic method in 'great industrial nations of


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

the modern type'. The first was that 'the human material . .. should be of sufficiently high quality'. which in turn required 'the existence of a social stratum, itself a product of a severely selective process. that takes to politics as a matter of course? If such a stratum be neither too exclusive nor Loo easily accessible for the outsider and if it be strong enough to assimilate most of the elements it currently absorbs. it not only will present for the political career products of stocks that have successfully passed many tests in other fields - served, as it were, an apprenticeship in private affairs ... but it will also increase their fitness by endowing them with traditions that embody experience. with a professional code and with a common fund of views. (291)

The second condition was that 'the effective range of political decision should not be extended Loo far' (291), as it would otherwise threaten the operation of non-political public agencies. The

third was that democratic government in modern industrial society must be able to command. for all purposes the sphere of public activity is to include no


matter Whether this be much or little - the services of a well~trained bureaucracy of good standing and tradition. endowed with a strong sense of duty and a no less strong esprit de corps. (293)

Fourth and last, Schumpeter required a 'set of conditions' summed up under the rubric of 'Democratic Self-Control' These conditions [Box 1.1) required. in Schuinpeter's words. 'a lot of voluntary subordination' on all sides, 'a lot of self-control on the part of the cil.izen.' and 'just the right amount not too much, not too little -


of traditionalism' in parliamentary procedure and etiquette {294¢-95).

Having outlined the 'conditions for the success of the democratic method', Schumpeter asserted that they required specific social

conditions, including agreement on the fundamental structures of society that were by no means universal: Even the necessary minimum of democratic self-control evidently requires a national character and national habits of a certain type which have not everywhere had the opportunity to evolve and which the democratic method itself cannot be relied upon to produce. And nowhere will that selfcontrol stand tests beyond a varying degree of severity. In fact the reader need only review our conditions in order to satisfy himself that democratic government will work to full advantage only ifofl the interests that matter are practically unanimous not only in their allegiance to the country but also in

their allegiance to the structural principles

of the existing society. Whenever

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period


Box 1.1 Schumpeter's conditions for 'Democratic Self-Control' 1. 2.

Electorates and parliaments must be on an intellectual and moral level high enough to resist crooks and cranks . Measures passed must have regard to the claims of others and the national situation, or democracy will be discredited and allegiance undermined.


The supporters of the government must accept its lead and allow it to frame and act upon a program, and the opposition should accept the lead of the 'shadow cabinet' at its head and allow it to keep political warfare within certain


The voters outside of parliament must respect the division of labor between themselves and the politicians they elect. They must not withdraw confidence too easily between elections and they must understand that, once they have elected an individual, political action is his business and not theirs. Finally, effective competition for leadership requires a large measure of tolerance for difference of opinion.



Source: Schumpeter 1970: 294:-5. these principles arc called into question and issues arise that rend a nation into two hostile camps. democracy works at a disadvantage. And it may cease to work at all as soon as interests and ideals are involved OH which people refuse to compromise. (295-6, emphasis mine)

On this basis, incidentally, he argued that when democracy entered 'troubled times' it was reasonable 'to abandon competitive and to adopt lnonopolistie leadership', (296) provided that it be for a short-run emergency or for a period definitely limited in time. In sum, then, Schumpeter moved the theory of liberal democracy in a frankly elitist direction. He sought to place the business of government in the hands of an experienced élite drawn from a political class with shared values, and to insulate this élite and the institutions through which it governed from direct pressure from the majority of the populationA decade later, Robert Dahl offered the first account of a 'p]ura1ist' theory of democracy, strongly influenced by Sctlumpeter's

approach. His Preface to Democratic Theory took as its point of"


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

departure the assertion that 'democratic theory is concerned with processes by which ordinary citizens exert a relatively high degree of control over leaders' (Dahl 1956: 3). it raised, by way of a discus~ sign of Madison's contribution to constitutional debate in the United States, the problem of tensions between the power ofmajorities and political equality on the one hand, and the power of minorities and limitations to popular sovereignty on the other. Dahl outlined Madison's position in the following terms: On the one band, Madison substantially accepted the idea that all the adult citizens of a republic must be assigned equal rights, including the right to determine the general direction of government policy. In this sense majority rule is 'the republican principle' On the other hand, Madison wished to erect a political system that would guarantee the liberties of certain minorities whose advantages of status, power, and wealth would, he thought, probably not be tolerated indefinitely by a constitutionally untrammeled majority. Hence majorities had to be constitutionally inhibited. Madisonianism, historically and presently. is a compromise between these two conflicting goals. (31)

Dahl, like Madison (and like Schuinpeter), opposed the 'populis-

tic' democracy of unconstrained majority rule. However, he rejected Madison's argument that the tyranny of the majority over minorities could be prevented by constitutional checks and balances. It would be prevented, if at all, by 'the inherent social checks and balances existing in every pluralistic society' (2.2) and 'internalized restraints in the individual behavior system. such as the conscience and other products of :social indoctrination' (36). Dahl argued that a 'populistic' democracy of unconstrained majority rule could not be achieved in practice for a variety of

empirical and technical reasons, and that in any case it was not desirable in principle. A populistic democracy postulated 'only two goals to be maximized political equality and popular sovereignty. -.-

Yet no one, except perhaps a fanatic, wishes to maximize two goals

at the expense of all others' (50). These goals should be assessed on purely instrumental grounds, as means to the legitimacy and stability of the government, a sense of personal wellbeing, or the realization of other desirable individual or group goals. Dahl found 'no a priori reason for supposing that populistic democracy would maximize one's goals (or the goals of others) in every culture. society, and time' (52), and no strong ethical grounds for supporting it.

He therefore expressed a preference for 'polyarchy,' a situation

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post~war Period


falling short of full democracy in which the conditions existed 'to a relatively high degree' for the adoption of the policy choice preferred by most citizens. He insisted at the same time that 'as distinguished from Madisonianism. the theory ofpolyarchy focuses primarily not on the constitutional prerequisites but on the social prerequisites for a democratic order' (82). Specifically, polyarchy required a relatively high level of agreement, secured by intensive social training, not only upon the norms which underpinned the system of government itself, but also the policy goals among which alternatives were canvassed (79). In other words. it was only possible where a prior consensus existed on both the limits within which policy choices were to be disputed, and the procedures by which choices were made. Where two large opposing groups regarded the victory of the other as a fundamental threat to something they valued highly, as in the Civil War, no constitutional machinery was likely to preserve a system of majority rule. Similarly. rules and procedures could not ensure stability when a weakly committed majority faced a strongly committed minority. I.n the particular case of the United States this end was not achieved by any of three institutional mechanisms with which it was sometimes associated . - judicial review combined with minority veto over constitutional amendments. equal state representation in the Senate, and the sharing of powers between the presidency, the two houses of Congress, and the electorate. On this basis, Dahl presented seven propositions on the theory of democracy (Box 1.2). These dropped the idea of majority rule. and suggested that in a pluralist democracy 'minorities rule' in a context of generally shared consensus. Hence:

Prior to politics, beneath it. enveloping it, restricting it, conditioning it. is the underlying consensus on policy that usually exists in the society among a predominant portion of the politically active members. Without such a consensus no democratic system would long survive the endless irritations and frustrations of elections and party competition. With such a consensus the disputes over policy alternatives are nearly always disputes over a set of alternatives that have already been winnowed down to those within the broad area of basic agreement. (132-3)

Within this context, rule by a plurality of minorities influenced 'the kinds of' leaders recruited, the legitimate and illegitimate types of political activity, the range and kinds of policies open to leaders,

social processes for information and communication

- indeed


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Box 1.2 Dahl's seven propositions on the theory of democracy


On matters of specific policy the majority rarely rules, as elections do not reveal the will of the majority on specific issues. Rather, the 'majority' they produce is made up of different minorities who have differing goals and priorities.


Elections and 'continuous political competition among individuals, parties, or both' provide for social control over leaders by vastly increasing the size, number, and variety of minorities whose preferences must be taken into account by leaders in making policy choices. The specific policies selected by a process of 'minorities rule' probably lie most of the time within the bounds of' consensus set by the important values of the politically active members of the society, of whom the voters are a key group. If majority rule is mostly a myth. then majority tyranny is mostly 8. myth too. The 'real world' issue is not majority tyranny, but 'the extent to which various minorities in a society will frustrate the ambitions of one another with the passive acquiescence or indifference of a majority of adults



or voters'.




In so far as there is any general protection in human society against the deprivation by one group of the freedom desired by another, it is probably not to be found in constitutional forms . Constitutional rules are mainly significant because they


help to determine what particular groups are tO be given advantages or handicaps in the political struggle . A central guiding thread of American constitutional development has been the evolution of a political system in which all the active and legitimate groups in the population can make themselves heard at some crucial stage in

the process of decision. Source: Dahl 1956: 132-43.

the whole ethos of society. It is in these and other effects more than in the sovereignty of" the majority that we Iind the values of H demoGratis process' (133-4t). Hence the viability of" polyarchy itself and

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period


the protection of minorities was determined by 'the extent of consensus on the polyarchal norms, social training in the norms, consensus on policy alternatives, and political activity' (135), If pluralist democracy worked in the United States it was not because the writers of its constitution had been particularly gifted or farsighted, but because the terms of the constitution had been quickly accepted, it had been adapted when necessary to fit the changing social balance o1` power, and US society itself was 'essentially democratic' in character (I43). In sum. Dahl accepted that not every group had equal control over political outcomes in a pluralist democracy, as the wealthier and better educated tended to be more active and influential, but argued that so long as its social prerequisites remained intact, the system provided a relatively efficient means for 'reinforcing agreement, encouraging moderation, and maintaining social peace in a restless and immoderate people operating a gigantic, powerful, diversified, and incredibly complex society' ($5 l ). in The Politics of Mass Society, Kornhauser reflected on the breakdown of democracy in Europe and sought to specify the social

conditions in which liberal democratic institutions could be sustained. He made a fundamental distinction, similar to that made by Dahl between populistic and pluralist democracy, between mass and pluralist society (Box 1.3). He argued that 'insofar as a society iS a mass society. it will be vulnerable to political movements destructive of liberal democratic institutions; while insofar as a society is pluralist, these institutions will be strong' (Kornhauser 1960: 7)The essential difference between pluralist and mass society was that in pluralist society multiple intermediate associations stood between the state and the citizen, and between elites and the majority of the population, whereas in mass society such intermediate associations were either weak or absent. Thus Kornhauser defined a mass society as 'a social system in which elites arc readily accessible to influence by non-elites and non-elites are readily available for mobilization by elites' (39), and contrasted it with a pluralist society in the following terms • Pluralist society requires accessible elites and unavailable non-elites if it is to sustain its freedom and diversity - as in certain liberal democracies. Elites are accessible in that competition among independent groups opens

many channels of communication and power. The population is unavailable in that people possess multiple commitments to diverse and


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Box 1.3 Kornhauser's distinction between mass society and pluralist society

Mass society

Pluralist society

Elites lack autonomy

Elites enjoy autonomy

Non-élites have no independent group life

Non-élites have independent group life

Intermediate groups are weak

Intermediate groups are strong

Atomization of non-élites makes them available to elites

Strength of community and association among non-

élites limits their availability to elites

Modes of access are direct

Modes of access are institutionalized

Democracy is populist, involving direct action of large numbers of people, resulting in the circumvention of institutional channels and invasion of individual privacy

Democracy is liberal. involving political action mediated by institutional rules. and therefore limitations on the use of power by majorities as well as minorities

Source: Adapted from Korrlhauser (1960).

autonomous groups. The mobilization of a population bound by multiple commitments would require the breaking up of large numbers of" independent organizations. as totalitarian movements have sought to do. Mass society requires both accessible elites and available non-elites if it is to exhibit a high rate of mass behaviour. Rites are accessible and nonelites are available in that there is a paucity of independent groups

between the state and the family to protect either elites or non-elites from manipulation and mobilization by the other. In the absence of social autonomy at all levels of society, large numbers of people are pushed and pulled toward activist modes of participation in vital centers of society: and mass-oriented leaders have the opportunity to mobilize this activism fOr the capture of" power. As a result, freedom is precarious in mass society. [40-1)

In a pluralist society. then, élite accessibility was high. while non-

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period


elite availability was low: in a mass society, élite accessibility and non-élite avail ability were both high. The central dilemma of representative democracy was that elites had to be accessible, but at the same time they required protection from direct pressure from nonélites. Elites in turn were indispensable, as 'in any large and complex system the protection of standards necessarily must be the work of a relatively few people who possess the requisite values and skills' (521.

Kornhauser followed Schumpeter directly in characterizing democracy as 'essentially an institutional procedure for changing leadership by free competition for the popular vote' (130, citing Schumpeter $970: 269-73). In this context 'responsiveness of elite to non-elite is the central meaning of access, and responsiveness requires non-elite participation in choosing from among competing elites (or would-be elites)' (55). Drawing on Schumpeter again, he characterized 'mass behaviour' as direct action in response to objects remote from personal experience and daily life, generally highly unstable in its intensity and focus of attention, which 'abrogates institutional procedures intended to guarantee bot.h majority choice and minority rights, and denies respect for principles of tree competition and public discussion as the bases for compromising

conflicting interests' (46). In sum the manner in which the populace intervenes in elites distinguishes mass society from pluralist society. The populace tends to intervene directly and in an unrestrained manner in the mass society. but in the pluralist society the manner of participation is less direct and unrestrained, since the popu lotion is not available for activistic modes of behavior. (59)


In conditions of mass politics, then, 'large numbers of people engage in political activity outside of the procedures and rules instituted by a society to govern political action' (227), In contrast, the existence of a plurality of independent and noninclusive groups permits liberal democratic control, which 'requires that people have access to elites, and that they exercise restraint in their participation' (81). The absence of intermediate associations between primary and national levels in mass society

gave rise to a situation in which 'the state and national organization assume the central role in the direction of all kinds of collective activity' (94), Anti-democratic mass movements emerged. according LO Kornhauser. as a consequence of 'major discontinuities in social


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

process as measured by the rate, scope, and mode of social change' (1251. These may be discontinuities in authority, community, or society. Where there are discontinuities in authority (or where

political change is sharply discontinuous). the prospects for stable democracy are poor. Thus where the state is already constitutional, the introduction of democracy will lead to a liberal regime, characterized by 'political action mediated by institutional rules, and

therefore limitations on the use of power by rnaiorities as well as minorities Where it is autocratic, it will lead to a populist regime, characterized by 'direct action of large numbers of people. which often results in the circumvention of institutional channels and the ad hoc invasion of individual privacy' 1131). Hence, Deinocratization along liberal lines requires a capacity on the part of ruling groups to accommodate new social elements, and progressively to share political rights and duties with them. Democratization along populist lines characteristically fOllows upon the failure of pre-existing governing groups to accommodate additional social elements. which thereupon seek the destruction of the old ruling groups and the institu-

tional basis for their authority. (132)

In general, then. 'the rapid introduction of democratic rule in a society that lacks a strong constitutional tradition leaves authority insecure and vulnerable to mass attacks' [134). Similarly, discontinuities may arise in 'colnmunity,' as a result of rapid and destabilizing processes of urbanization and industrialization. For the most part Kornhauser illustrates these arguments by reference to the cases of Britain, the United States, France, Italy, Germany and Russia. But in this particular case of breakdowns in community, in an isolated reference to the Third World, he gives

Argentina as an example. and comments further that to the extent that large parts of Africa and Asia are just now moving into the initial period of industrialization, these countries may expect to witness a plethora of mass movements. depending in part on the rate and mode of industrialization. [158]

From the foregoing accounts we can derive a composite statement of the revisionist theory of democracy which was influential in the post~war period (Box 1.41. This will serve as a summary of the texts discussed above, and a point of reference in subsequent chapters.

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period


Box 1.4 The revisionist theory of liberal democracy Because the great majority of citizens are neither interested in politics nor rational in their approach to it, they should confine

themselves to choosing periodically between alternative sets of leaders, and in the meantime leave government to those they have elected. If this system is to operate so as to produce stability, it requires ( l ) a political class responsive to the preferences of the electorate but resistant to direct pressure; and open to continuous renewal, but able to absorb and assimilate new elements and socialize them into its habits and modes of operation, and (2) a bureaucracy responsive to broad political

direction but sufficiently independent to operate according to impartial criteria. All actors within the political system should act with self-restraint, with citizens refraining from pressuring politicians directly, and politicians limiting their pursuit of partisan demands in order to play a co-operative part in the operation of the system as a whole, in proper recognition of the broader national interest and the need to preserve the loyalty of citizens to the system itself. The range of options open for politicai debate should be relatively narrow, and rest upon a broader framework of agreement. This state of affairs cannot be secured by constitutional means alone. It requires in its turn (1) an underlying consensus on the procedures themselves, and on the fundamental elements of social and economic structure, and (2) a plurality of autonomous organized minorities or intermediate associations between the citizens and the state. These requisites may be the product of a long process of historical development

which cannot easily be replicated. In such a system abuses and dubious practices will doubtless occur, and the wealthier, better educated and more articulate members of society will exercise disproportionate influence, but the overall result will be that governments are reasonably responsive to the preferences of their citizens.

The Trajectory of the 'Political Development' Literature

The 'political development' approach has a clear trajectory within the broader literature on the issue of political change in the developing world. It was dominant, though contested. in the 1960s, and


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

virtually abandoned in the face of mounting criticism from within and without in the 1970s. By this time there was a general consensus, among its practitioners and its critics alike, that it had failed to produce anything approaching a theory of political development, and that it was unlikely ever to produce one. This situation did not change. Nevertheless, the approach was brought back to life in the 1980s, and it enjoys greater prestige and influence today than at any time in the past. At the same time, it makes a virtue of the claim that it has no theory to offer. It is this paradox which I aim to explore. Let us begin, then. at the beginning. Over the years, political development theory has been subjected to numerous criticisms from its opponents. But the best evidence that it was founded on fundamental confusion is that the contributors tIo the literature themselves were unable to decide what 'political development' was. One of their most frequent criticisms was that the subject-

matter of the literature was never clearly delimited. The term 'political development' itself was used in different ways by different authors, and never defined in a way that would allow the clear identification of research issues, and the establishment of a research programme capable of producing cumulative results over time. Pye, for instance, noted at an early stage that the concept had first been defined by statesmen and policy-makers rather than scholars. with the result that 'considerable ambiguity and imprecision' still attended its use in academic discourse (Pye l966b: 33). He then listed ten distinct senses in which the term was used in the literature: the political prerequisite of economic development: the politics typical of industrial societies; political modernization: the

operation of a nation~statc; administrative and legal development, mass mobilization and participation; the building of democracy: stability and orderly change; mobilization and power; and finally. one aspect of a multidimensional process of social change (33-45 ). In a later attempt to persuade his colleagues to drop the term in favour of the more neutral alternative of 'political change'. Huntington upstaged Rustow, (who had remarked that ten definitions was nine too many), by suggesting that 'one should go one step further. If there are ten definitions of political development. there are ten too many, and the concept is, in all likelihood, superfluous and dysfunctional' (Huntington, 1971: 303). A decade later Riggs was able to list no fewer than 65 dilierent usages in a review

of the history of the concept. He argued that it had become a 'power

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period


word' whose meaning was secondary in importance to its use as a badge or slogan, and expressed the hope that his analysis would put an end to the tendency for the use of the concept to 'paralyze substantive analysis. provoke fruitless controversy. and confuse systematic thought' (Riggs. 1981' 338). By this time, as noted above, the term and the intellectual effort with which it was associated had both fallen into disrepute. The picture of hopeless confusion which these comments conjure up is not in the slightest misleading: reasonably like-

minded scholars can rarely have failed so conspicuously to agree upon what it was they were studying and h.ow they should go about it, yet have persevered in their labours for so long. Time after

time. new initiatives were announced as preliminary efforts herald~ in more delimitive studies in the future. only to be abandoned, and followed by new efforts from a different perspective, presented just as hopefully as a first tentative step in the direction of what would eventually be a genuine theory of political development. .lt was quite reasonable for Coleman to announce in 1960, in the conclusion to The Politics of the Developing Areas, that 'the development of a rigorous theory of political modernize son is still unfinished bus» ness' (Coleman l960b: 576). Thirteen years later, though, Almond and Mundi (1973: 619) were still describing 'Crisis, Choice and Change' as 'unfinished business, . . . work -in progress, and adding that 'the reader in search of hard theory . . . will find little comfort in this analytical framework and our collection of case studies'. Verba had similarly described Crises and Sequences in Political Development (Binder et al. 1971) as 'a lrarneworlr for the study of' political development. not yet a theory' (Verba 1971:

283), and more than a decade later he would remark that 'we have been studying political development br a long time but we are no longer confident of what it is or our ability to understand it' (Verbs 1985: 28-9). Following in the same tradition, a recent study of' 2 6 countries derived 49 tentative propositions from the following ten 'theoretical dilnensions': political culture, regime legitimacy and effectiveness: historical development (in particular the colonial experience): class structure and the degree of inequality: national structure (ethnic. racial. regional, and religious cleavage): state structure. centralization, and strength (including the

state's role in the economy. the roles of autonomous voluntary associaLions and the press, fcderafism. and the role of the armed fOrces); political and constitutional structure (parties, electoral systems, the judiciary):


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

political leadership; development performance; and international factors. (Diamond, Linz and Lipset. 19 S9a: xiv]

Having expended this massive effort. its authors conceded that their material was not integrated into 'a single. all-encompassing theory. and that it Will be some time (if ever) before the field produces one' (xv). In sum. the outcome of 25 years of Herculean labour was to move from ten alternative definitions of what political development might be to a list of ten dimensions which might

shape it, but which, in detiancc of their progenitors' fond hopes. still had nothing theoretical about them a t all.

Faced with this catalogue of impromptu starts and disappointments, it is easy to sympathize with Holt and Turner, who once

suggested that some basic questions regarding sequential models raised by Verba at the end of' Crises and Sequences of Development after seventeen years of prodigious effort, dozens of commissioned and financially supported articles, six major volumes and other published works . . . should have been raised in 1963. when the volume was conceived so that the authors of the central chapters could have addressed themselves to the issues. (Holt and Turner 1975: 988)

In fact they were - Verba's 'conclusion' was initially a position paper preparatory to the production of the volume itself but they went unanswered then and since. There is indeed something strange about the political development literature of the 1960s and 19705. It was marked by a striking combination of high

theoretical ambition, massive

sustained funding and limited achievement. Its major professed goal, the quest for a scientific theory of political development,

ended in compr€l1€I15ivt3 failure, and the bulk 01' the work produced under its label, particularly the major studies funded and carried out in the 19605, appears largely unread both then and now. Yet its major protagonists saw a strong revival in their fortunes in the late 19803 and I99()s. despite their continuing failure to produce the results expected of 'political science as science' three decades earlier. while their core values -.. élite rule, limited popular participation, and an economy based upon free enterprise - are today

dominant in both the current literature on comparative politics. and political practice around much of the developing world. This book assesses this record of theoretical failure and practical success, and concludes that the two are intimately linked. The list step in the explanation is the recognition that political development

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period


theory has had a coherent ideological commitment - a set of core values .... which has remained constant, and a set ofpoiicy objectives which were and are immune to methodological and theoretical failure, and which have been pursued consistently over the years. This consistent core is set out in Chapter 2,. The political develop-ment literature has never had a primary commitment to democracy in the developing world, despite illusions to the contrary in some quarters. Rather, its primary value has been a commitment to capitalism both as a global system and as d model of social and economic organization appropriate for the developing states themselves. The concept of the 'non-Western political process', explored in further detail in the following chapter, predated the concerted effort to produce a theory of political development, and its fundamental assumptions survived intact throughout its trajectory. As a first graphic impression of the highly dangerous character of politics in the developing world, it prompted the twin concerns behind the political development literature, the quest for a theoretical understanding of the process, and for practical proposals for policy towards and within the developing areas. in the first efforts to respond to these concerns, the functional and cultural approaches respectively, theoretical ambition was so great and theoretical advance so meagre, that little advance was made on practical policy objectives. These approaches, each a failed effort to establish a robust theory which might underpin the policy and ideological

concerns of the literature. are the subject of Chapters 3 and 4. In view of the shortcomings of these successive attempts to come up with a strong theory of political development, the emphasis was changed in the monumental core of the political development literature, the Studies in Fofitical Development series funded by the .Ford

Foundation, supervised by the Committee on Comparative Politics of the New York Social Science Research Council, and published by Princeton University Press. It was in these volumes that attention

switched from a theory of political development to a doctrine for political development, and a focus on institutions and public policy became paramount. in this period the main outlines of the doctrine briefly noted above - that 'political development' required the insulation of the political process iron social pressure and the establishment of elite authority over the masses before extended participation and reliance upon consent could be introduced were brought together and spelled out in detail. An account of its

emergence is given in Chapter 5.



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aha Thad World °-'~'-"

However, the recasting of political development concerns in a more purely policy-oriented form could not of itself bring about a satisfactory analysis of the political process in the developing world. Nor could it produce the conditions in which the end state desired by the advocates of élite control could be brought about. In their absence, th.e attention of political development theorists and

their funders switched almost entirely from 1967 onwards away from the developing world to the history of the United States and Western Europe. This switch of attention was primarily a means of continuing to pursue the ideological project at the heart of the literature. in the face of its apparent failure to fit the observed character of the developing world. lt is examined. along with the quite devastating internal critique which put an end to efforts to produce any theory of political development, in Chapter 6. The final three chapters then olTer a broader critical evaluation of the literature as a whole, focusing successively on the treatment of the developing world and the question of democracy, the refinement of a 'doctrine for political development' (in place of the abandoned theory of political development) between the mid-.l96()s and the early 1990s, and the close relationship between political development theory and doctrine and the promotion of capitalism I shall argue that the various attempts to construct a theory of political development always broke down precisely at the point at which they turned their attention from Europe and the United States to the developing world. It was at this point that the doctrine


br political development emerged from the theory. and prompted an early shift away from analysis to prescription. its most striking characteristic was an appeal to leadership in the developing world ,

and this emphasis was central to the doctrine when it was revived in the 1980s.

The true character of 'political development theorists' as lobbyists for capitalism and élite-led democracy in the developing world

explains their otherwise mysterious resurgence in the 1990s. For reasons which had nothing at all to do with the success of political development theory as theory, and a great deal to do with the dramatic evolution of the global political economy during the l970s and l980s marked by the triple process of the all but universal collapse of state socizdist regimes around the world, extended crisis in the global capitalist economy, and the parallel


collapse of state-led developrnentalism in the Third World



implementation of the ideological project at the heart of political

Capitalism and Democracy in the Post-war Period


development theory became possible in a way that it never had been in the 19605. This prompted the emergence of' a 'political development' literature very different to that which first emerged in the 1960s. This new literature dismisses the continuing absence of any theory of political development as insignificant, proclaims a normative commitment to élite-led political democracy oriented to capitalist development. and concentrates its efforts upon producing a detailed procedural guide to its implementation, notably in the 45 'guidelines for democratizers' announced by Huntington at the end of the 1980s. The reading of the doctrine for political development and the successive attempts to theorize it offered hero has a number of implications for the way in which the literature should be understood. and the significance which should be attached to it. The failure of the political development theorists to produce a theory and their success as ideologues for global capitalism are intimately linked, precisely because their. success as ideologues depends upon their drawing a veil, as much for themselves as for others. over the fact that their conception of democracy was shaped by their advocacy of capitalism and their sense of its political requirements. At the same time, there I'l1I1S through the literature a genuine diifculty arising from an inadequate understanding of issues of political economy and their implications for the characteristics of political regimes. In particular, attempts to produce a theory ofpolitical development were hampered by a failure lo identify the conditions they sought - a state insulated from direct social pressure. and élite control over the masses - as specific to democratic regimes in capitalist societies. Secondly, attempts to produce a viable doctrine for political development reveal an inability to

distinguish between permanent structural imperatives and temporary or conjectural situations in capitalist regimes. These weaknesses were not original to the theory of political development. On the contrary. they were deeply embedded in the revisionist theory of democracy itself. In part this was a consequence of the assimilation of the very different social systems of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union into the model of 'totaIitariarlism'. In part. too, it was the consequence of an aversion to Marxist theory, and in the post-war period, an ignorance of it which contrasted sharply with Schumpeter's detailed if unsympathetic knowledge. These

combined to produce the lamentable confusion on the relationship


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

between capitalism and democracy which pervades this work. Dahl, for example. having recognized at the outset that Madison's concern was to protect the privileges of status, power and wealth. and demonstrated through empirical analysis that equal state representation in the Senate f a v o r e d farmers and mineowners. and prejudiced blacks. sharecroppers, migrant workers, wage earners and coal-miners, was still obliged to confess that he found

the pattern of groups benefited and handicapped by equal representation 'entirely arbitrary' (Dahl 1956: 118). The theorists of political development have proved no more able to comprehend. let alone to theorize, the relationship between capitalism and dernoc~ racy: Diamond. Linz and Lipset, for example, throw up their hands in despair and describe the term 'capitalist economic systems' as 'in its vagueness almost meaningless' (Diamond, Linz and Lipset l989a: xx). Only an analysis grounded in Marxist political economy is able to identify the nature of the links between capitalism and

liberal democracy, and to expose the character of a literature which is simultaneously deeply ideological and deeply confused . This does not mean, however. that the political development literature should be lightly dismissed. The contemporary relevance of the literature of the 19605 and 19705 lies precisely in the fact that whatever the confusions which pervaded it, it was primarily

concerned with the issue of tailoring democracy in the 'developing world to the needs of global capitalism. It is not coincidental, therefore, that it has returned to favour at the conclusion of the 'Second Cold War,' when the focus of Western intervention in the politics of the Third World has shifted from that of preventing external .incursions hostile to capitalism to building sound capitalist regimes from

within. It might be argued that in the intervening period its initial confusion has become a deliberate strategy - the presentation of the social relations and institutions of capitalism as natural, as a foundation for the now all too familiar argument that there is no alternative to them. If this is so, it will only lose its ideological character and make possible a better understanding of the dynamics of change in the contemporary world if it is explicitly recognized that its subject-matter is in fact the particular relationship between capitalism and liberal democracy, and if students of comparative

politics set out to explore the nature of the connections between the two. and the consequent limits of liberal democracy as a form of political representation, in a systematic manner.

2 111111..11.111

In Search of a Theory of Political Development

The field of political development was established in the late 19.5 Us and early 1960s as a new area of comparative politics by a group of scholars in the United States. Its institutional origins lie in the creation in 1954 of the Social Science Research Council [SSRC) Committee on Comparative Politics alongside the already established Committee on Political Behaviour. This committee, chaired

successively by Gabriel Almond and Lucien Pye. quickly turned its attention to the politics of what it called the 'non-Western' states. While Fye sought to define the 'non-Western political process' (Kahin, Parker and Pye 1955; Pye 1958), Almond involved himself in studies of the politics of the 'developing areas' (Almond and Coleman 1960), and the comparative politics and political culture of developed and developing countries (Almond 1956: Almond and Verba 1963). By the early l 960s the committee had settled on the term 'political development' to identify its area of concern, and had secured funding for a number of' related initiatives. In particular, two grants from the Ford Foundation covering the period from l 96O to 1967 allowed a fairly cohesive group of

scholars to explore a numlaer o-ttlieoretical issues and their implications for public policy (Riggs 1981: 298-301). A major series of texts. Studies in Political Development, drawing for the most part on research presented in conferences and workshops funded by the Foundation between 1961 and 1963. was published under its auspices from 1963 onwards, while other important texts

appeared in the Little, Brown Series in Comparative Politics, with Almond, Coleman and Pye as editors. In the mid-1960s Huntington emerged as a leading influence in the literature. Some accounts (I-liggott 1983: 1 5-18: Randall and Theobald 1985, 12-3.8, Wiarda 1991: 36-9), contrast the work of Almond and Huntington. and argue that the earlier writers were generally

optimistic that liberal democracy could be easily disseminated


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

around the developing world, but that during the .I 9605 order came to be valued over democracy. This reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the literature, whose common core is missed if a primary contrast is drawn between optimists and pessimists. First, influenced as they were by the revisionist theory of' democracy discussed in the previous chapter, all the leading theorists of political development saw liberal democracy as a means of channelling and controlling restricted political participation, so the contrast between democracy and order is misplaced. Second, they all saw the central issue with which they concerned themselves the pressure for mass participation in the 'new states' -... as problem-


atic from the start. Mass participation was seen as virtually unavoidable. but fraught with enormous difficulties as it was likely to outrun the capacity of governments to channel and control it. As

a result, support for the spread of Western democracy did not lead to the advocacy of increased participation without regard for the consequences. No leading theorist of political development subscribed to an optimistic version of modern ization theory which suggested that Western liberal democratic institutions and political stability could be easily replicated throughout the new states. On the contrary, becausethey feared that these states would prove unable to cope with pressure for change. they were concerned with control and containment from the beginning. And third, as we shall see in later chapters, while all the theorists of political development felt that in principle order might be best assured by liberal democratic institutions in the longer term. none were eager to press for their widespread adoption here and now. On these points - the perception of political development as a

problem, the consequent direct concern with issues of public policy, and the reluctance to advocate the immediate adoption of competitive liberal democratic institutions there is precious little


difference between the early work of Almond and others. and the later work of Huntington. In fact Huntington's contribution has generally been that of an extremely able popularizer and polemicist a role of fundamental importance, given the tasks which the


political development theorists set themselves - rather than that of a contributor of either new perspectives or original ideas . Within the shared perspective I identify, some significant shifts did take place during the l 96(ls. An initial obsession with theoretical expcrimentatiori and innovation was moderated, and the more

elaborate theoretical frameworks were abandoned in favour of an

In Search of a Theory of Political Development


increasing emphasis upon institutions and comparative history. These shifts of focus. first seen not in the work of Huntington but in

the 'doctrine for political development' propagated in the early 1960s in the volumes of the Studies in Pofitical Development series, did not detract from the underlying continuity of perspective and purpose in the literature. Rather, they removed contradictions between the goals pursued and the analytical frameworks adopted , refining and making more coherent a project which was explicit in the literature from the start. In sum. political development theory was always policy oriented: it always valued political stability more highly than democracy: and it always saw mass participation in the new states as a problem. These aspects of the literature are

explored further in the following sections.


Political Development as a Problem The political development theorists did not think that modernization would inevitably lead to a generalization of Western political practices and institutions. They argued that modernization, although inevitable and in the long run desirable. was driven in the 'new states' (those recently emerged from colonial rule) by external forces as much as by internal evolution. and was therelbre the

source of considerable tension. The new states were identified as either traditional or transitional societies, and as such in a difficult situation in which they lacked the attributes of modernity but were exposed to its imperatives. This meant that the global forces of modernization impacted upon political structures and attitudes which were unprepared for them. Classifying such states as

'premobilized modern systems' in which 'the trappings of political modernity - parties. interest groups, and mass media - have been imposed upon highly traditional societies', Almond and Powell memorably described them as historical accidents. systems provided with a modernized elite and £i differentiated political infrastructure because of the impact of colonialism or because of the diffusion of ideas and practices from more developed parts of the world long before they would have the need or the impetus to develop such structures and cultures on their own. {Almond and Powell 1966: 284:-5: emphasis mine)

In these circumstances, for which existing theories of political ch ange were largely unprepared, enormous practical and theoreti-


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

cal efforts were felt to be necessary if instability was to be avoided. So while political development theory did set itself the task of discovering 'how democratic values and modern political institutions can be most readily transferred to new environments' (Pye 196 Sa: 5). this was not seen as an easy enterprise. On the contrary , the growth of the political development industry reflected the perception that the Idnds of political institutions and political loyalties which its proponents wished to see would not emerge naturally - they would need to be 'developed' in accordance with blueprints established by the joint efforts of theorists and practitioners of public policy. The task was made urgent by the pressure of' demands for greater participation across the Third World, and by the challenge from Marxist-Leninism: and it would be achieved. if at all, by limiting the political consequences of social and economic

modernization. The core idea driving political development theory from the start, then, was that because mass participation in the 'new states'

of the Third World was likely to be destabilizing it was essential to moderate and contain the process of political change. In the context of widespread aspirations for political participation and global competition for political loyalty it seemed essential to promote the adoption of Western institutions. But along with the perception of this need there went an awareness of the difficulty of establishing such institutions in states which had not experienced the institutional and social developments which had preceded them in the West. The resulting preoccupation with the many risks involved in the enterprise is reflected in characteristic phrases which permeate all the central texts of' the period, whether in

Almond and Verba's description of democracy as 'an overt but difficult goaT (Almond and Verba 1963: 497), or in Pye's reference to the 'new problems of crisis dimensions' which lay behind the use of such apparently positive terms as 'developing and 'emergent' in relation to 'the gloomy cases of countries that are barely holding themselves together, whose governments are shaky and archaic, and whose peoples are growing faster in numbers than in wellbeing' (Pye 1966b: 32). The source of this concern, as it began to make itself felt in the mid-1 950s. lay in 'the problem that makes the politics of the nonWestern countries a distinct category for study': unresolved cultural conflicts arising out of the uneven impact of Western influence on traditional societies facing abrupt processes of change

In Search of a Theory of Political Development


(Kahin, Parker and Pye 1955: 1023). The same idea - the perception of the desire for modernity as a problem, and the resulting need to secure the generalization throughout the new states of eoriservative strategies of nation building - was brutally articulated in the first of the Studies of Political Development series: People in the new countries aspire to have things which arc in no way consistent with their fundamental cultural patterns; . . . politically, they

want their societies quickly* to possess all the attributes of the modem nation-state. The time has clearly arrived for those who value free institu sons to face up to the very real problems of the appropriate strategies and doctrines which might facilitate the process of nation building in the new countries. (Pye. l963b: 12.---13)

Nothing could be further removed from the 'heady optimism' imagined by commentators such as Higgott (1983' xi). The theorists of political development saw good reason to look to the

eventual introduction of liberal democracy in the Third World. At the same time, they felt acutely that the conditions were not appropriate for its immediate introduction. As a result they were all but daunted by the magnitude of the task which faced them. The literature they produced was sombre in tone. and is better described as alarrnist than optimistic, as a typical summary statement by Pye (Box 2.1) reveals. Political Development and Public Policy The political development literature had a strongly practical orientation from the start. Its texts habitually coupled discussion of

theory with explicit policy concerns. and its authors valued new theoretical approaches precisely because they might both advance political science and inibrm public policy. An early document produced by the Social Science Research Council's Committee on Comparative Politics expressed the hope that 'both a scientific and a moral-political purpose may be served by the development of a systematic comparative politics' (Kahin, Parker and Pye 1955: 104 1l: Alnlond's foreword to the first of the Studies in Political Development collections declared that the series was intended 'to make a contribution to political theory as well as to enhance our

understanding of' the national and political "explosion" of our time' (Pye l963a: vii); Pye declared himself to be 'equally concerned

with both the theoretical problems which emerge from viewing


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Box 2. 1 The 'slow and difficult process' of political development We are led to the conclusion that it will be a slow and diilicult process to achieve the substance of'democratic life in most of the new states. There is much truth in the often cynically advanced generalization that these societies are 'unprepared' for democracy. This is a disturbing conclusion for many people in the West who share a basic sympathy br the struggles of the new states because personally they are committed to the democratic spirit and are naturally inclined to identify with the weak, the

poor. and the disadvantaged. At the same time our analysis suggests a ray of hope for

people who do have faith in the powers of democracy, for we have noted that advances in the direction of more democratic practices can produce strength. The advantages do not lie with totalitarian or authoritarian methods. The more political development occurs, the more the advantages of democracy will become apparent. For once people have a greater stake in their society and come to believe that progress is possible. they are more likely to appreciate the rewards of living in more open societies. The problem of working toward a more open society is above

all a test of statecraft. To simply open the door to the ever-wider popular participation in politics of illiterate and insecure citizens can easily destroy any possibility for orderly government. In the developing areas there is genuine problem of' establishing effective administrations and the threats of insurgency and revolutionary violence are endemic in many transitional societies. There is a need for firm rule if societies are going to advance toward definite goals. Source: Pye l966a: 87-8.

political development in terms of communications processes and the practical policy problems of how governments in transitional societies can best manage the communications media to facilitate modernization' (Pye l963b: 5): and LaPalombara hoped that insights derived from the study of bureaucracy would 'serve to butlrcss both the field of comparative politics and the development

of tree societies' (LaPalombara l963a: x).

In Search of a Theory of Political Development


The driving force behind the urgent desire to turn the resources of theory towards issues of international public policy was the global polarization of loyalties and values arising out. of the 'Cold War' between capitalism and communism. Almond was a student of foreign policy (Almond, 1950) and author of The Appeals QI' Communism (1954), one of the primers of Cold War politics, while Pre's first major work was Guerrilla Communism in Malaya (1956). The originators of political development theory were concerned with the implications for the United States and the 'free world' of the political choices made by the new states proliferating as a consequence of global decolonization. They therefore sought to provide a policy-oriented analysis. inevitably shaped by Cold War anti-communism. of the politics of the new states and of other established states in what was coming to be known as the 'Third World'. in doing so they aspired not only to understand but also to influence the politics of' those states. Attention was directed from the outset to the policy-making process in 'non-Western societies', as field workers were urged to make case studies of how governmental decisions were made. to follow the fate of policy decisions through the channels of administration, and to make an inventory of the public services actually provided by governments (Kahin. Pauker and Pye 1955: 1028--9). Similar appeals were made, by Almond and others, in relation to Western Europe (Almond, Cole and Macridis ] 955' 1046*- 8). The hope was constantly expressed that research findings would be of direct use to leaders in the new states, and constant emphasis was placed on the relevance of research into political development for public policy in a United States self~consciously taking on a global

political role. Thus Almond and Verba saw their exploration and

advocacy of the balanced blend of participation and deference to élite and governmental authority which made up the 'civic culture' as addressing 'the central question of public policy in the next decades' (1963: 3). Similar concerns were overt and systematic in the series of' multi-authored texts produced by the various conlerences iiznded by the Ford Foundation. The first of' thorn. Communications and Political Development, may be taken as illustra-

tive. Pye declared in his preface that the Committee for Comparative Politics felt compelled . . _ to discover the possible relevance of knowledge recently gained in cornrnunications research for understanding and influencing the prospects of political modernization in the new states. Our intellectual impulses were


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

reinforced by our cozicern over the fundamental issue of the prospects tor freedom in societies now anxiously striving to become a part of the modern world. (Pye l963a: ix)

The introduction which followed presented communications studies as a model for modern political science, precisely because of its primary focus on public policy. While generally 'Western political theory has ignored the problems of nation building as a systematic goal of' public policy'. communications research was a field in which scholars, government officials and private industry worked closely together, and in which 'there has always been a unique respect for practical policy problems and a high degree of understanding of how scholarship may be turned to policy ends without damaging the growth of knowledge'. Pye lamented. in a phrase to which I shall return, the absence of 'the necessary insights and generalized knowledge to provide the basis for a sound doctrine for political development which in turn might be of value for the policy makers in the new countries'. He then urged direct interv emotion in policy-making abroad. suggesting that students of international communications should turn their attention iron 'the problems of communicating the policies and the image of the United States to the emerging countries to the problems of domestic communications within these countries' (Pye ]963b' 12-14). It was entirely consistent with this emphasis upon the development of public policy that the conference on communications and political development which gave rise to this collection (September 1961) was followed by others on bureaucracy (Ianuary l 962) and education (June ]. 962). Other collections in the series reflected the same concern for public policy. In his introduction to Political

Culture and Political Development, Pye hoped that the analysis of different political cultures would provide 'a better understanding of the policies and necessary investments in various socializing agents which can best produce desired changes in a nation's politics' (Pye 1965a: I 1); and Verbs. reviewing the achievement of Crises and Sequences in Political Development, imagined that the 'live crises' approach might eventually 'produce findings of' great relevance to those interested in applying the findings of developmental studies to policy choice situations' (sic; Verbs 1971: 316). Some years later Almond was looking to the potential of computer simulations of political systems and developmental processes. declaring that 'as we learn how to approximate more closely the real complexity of political processes, the experimenter may play the

In Search of a Theory of Political Development


role of policy maker in a developmental game, and test the costs and benefits of alternative public policies' (Almond 1973: 38). The language and the theoretical influences had shifted. but the desire to apply the latest theoretical innovations to pressing policy concerns remained a constant. Had they not addressed such issues of international public policy, and touched upon matters of pressing current concern, the political development theorists would not have built a strong institutional position in the US political science establishment as quicldy as they did, or won such massive funding for their research efforts. Political Development and Political Theory

As we have seen. the theorists of political development were as concerned to contribute to new theory as they were to address issues of international public policy. This persistent emphasis reflected the influence of what was seen as a new scientific spirit informing the practice of comparative politics. The 'behavioural revolution' had begun, after all, at the University of Chicago. where Almond had been a graduate student for a decade before the Second World War. it emphasized the observation of actual behave jour and the application of new techniques of measurement and quantitative analysis, and its ultimate goal was to uncover new

general laws of universal validity. and establish political science as a predictive science. It was in this spirit that Almond immodestly celebrated his functional approach as 'an intimation of a major step forward in the nature of political science as science', and claimed to spot 'a probabilistic theory of politics' on the horizon (Almond

1960: 4). However, the behavioural revolution was to prove more influential for the empirical evidence regarding political behaviour which

it threw up and the revised understanding of liberal democracy to which it gave rise than for its 'scientific' outlook and methodological principles. The policy advice offered by the political development theorists on the issue of mass participation drew directly on the findings of the same behavioral analyses of politics in the United States that influenced the revisionist theorists of democracy reviewed in the previous chapter. It was the discovery that the average citizen had little interest in politics, little knowledge of the issues raised at election time, a weak commitment to

voting, and virtually no record of political participation of any


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

other kind which led the behaviouralists to question the relevance of the idea of the citizen in a liberal democracy as a 'rational activist'. and to endorse as appropriate a low level of involvement

(Almond and Verba 1963: 31-2). The theorists of political development were quick to embrace this new empirical and normative orthodoxy as they turned their attention to the new states. Of the various influences that can be traced in the political drivel» opment literature, those springing directly from the behavioural

revolution and its empirical claims regarding the political process were the most pervasive, providing the common ground on which it stood. They strongly reinforced the view that democracy was a system best controlled by elites, a core belief central to the work of all the theorists of political development. As a result, when they endorsed the adoption in the new states of the typical institutions of Western democracy, they were not advocating unbridled activism on the part of citizens. but seeking to promote the limited and éliteled pattern of participation which was understood to be the norm in Britain and the United States (Gendzier 1985).

The other principal sources upon which the theorists of' political development drew were the theory of modernization as drawn from Weber by Parsons and Shits. anthropological approaches to political culture, and the concept of the 'political system' developed by Easton. Insights from these sources were combined in an eclectic manner, and with varying emphases. The core idea, consistent with the revisionist theory 01' democracy, was that as the transfer of democratic institutions to the Third World was irzfrereritly problematic. it was essential to identify and build in mechanisms which would enhance governmental and élite authority from the start. This stance

unified the basic assumptions underlying political development theory: that the global and domestic forces of modernization were too strong to be resisted: that national political cultures were deeply embedded. and resistant to rapid change: that political systems had their own internal coherence and logic; that elites and masses (leaders and citizens) had different characteristics and roles: and that in the ideal citizen activism was tempered by the influence of traditional, nonpolitical ties and the acceptance of governmental and élite authority. As Roxborough has remarked, such ideas were not intrinsic to the notion of modernization itself, but rather stemmed loom 'a view of social structures and of social change that stressed the irnportarlce of values, asocial integration,

and of elites' (Roxborough 1988: 755). These views led from the

In Search of a Theory of Political Development


start to the promotion of elite leadership, and to conscious efforts to limit the expectations and demands of the masses. Significantly. too, they did not prompt efforts to obliterate everything that could be designated traditional. On the contrary, they led to attempts to foster political

cultures in which 'modern' and


elements were judiciously blended. Within the framework of these common themes - the conceptualization of political development as a problem, the primary concern with public policy, and the endorsement of a conservative set of' ideas regarding political participation - two broadly distinct analytical strategies were pursued from the beginning, 'the first cross-sectional and classificatory, the second longitudinal and explanatory' (Almond 1973: 4). The first sought to 'build compara-

tive theories of modernization, political culture and political development: the second scrutini7ed the logic and implications of historical and contemporary cases of' development. Each was bent

to a common purpose - to discover as a matter of urgency means of channeling and controlling the consequences of mass participation in the new states. An examination of these two strands of analysis - concerned with 'modernization' and 'crises of development' respectively - identifies the central themes of the political development literature. and confirms the substantive continuity of' argument stretching from the mid-19505 to the late 1960s and beyond. Modernization, Political Culture and Political Development

Political devilopment theory drew heavily upon modernization theory, but at the same time engaged in a critical dialogue with it. In their efforts to offer solutions to the 'problem` of political development, Almond, Pye and Huntington all drew upon the idea of modernization as a long-term process of rationalization, secularization and structural differentiation. They also compared 'Western' and 'non~Western' political systems, making use of the contrast between 'modern' and 'traditional' patterns of behaviour.

However, they rejected both the polarization of the characteristics of tradition and modernity, and the suggestion that political development either implied or required the modernization of all aspects of politics. In other words, modernization and political develop-

ment were never thought to be one and the same.


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Modernization theory was used by political development theorists in a number of ways. in relation to both the behaviour of individuals and the functioning of the political system as Ei whole. At times its use was teleological, in that it was argued that there were real tendencies towards universal and rational values at the level of individuals. and structural differentiation and functional

specificity at the level of systems; at times its use was heuristic, in that it served as a framework of an ideal-typical kind which prompted hypotheses and organized ideas: and at times its use was descriptive, in that particular 'traditional' or 'modern' elements or practices were identified in existing political systems. The contrast made by Parsons and Shits between affective, particularistic, ascriptive and functionally diffuse norms and structures in traditional societies and affectively neutral, universalistic, achievement-oriented and functionally specific norms and structures in modern societies was a standard point of reference: modernity was

seen as characterized by secular (rational, instrumental, scientific and technological) rather than sacred values; and modernization was understood in terms of structural differentiation (increasing organizational complexity and functional specificity) and cultural secularization.

First. there was undoubtedly a clearly teleological strain in the literature. For example, Pye spoke of a 'world culture' characterized by a secular rather than a sacred view of human relations, a rational outlook, an acceptance of the substance and spirit of the scicntiiic approach, a vigorous application of an expanding technology. an industrialized organization of piroduction, and a generally humanistic and popularistic set of

values for political life which the new states 'must accept if they are to survive in a world of independent nation-states' (Pye l966a: lU). Secondly. modernization theory was used in an ideal-typical fashion to set up models against which contemporary situations could be measured. Thus Almond and Powell classified a number of political systems as primitive, traditional or modern in accordance with their degree of structural differentiation and cultural secularization (Almond and Powell 1966: 215), and Pye spoke of a shared view of a 'generic' form of political development characterized by the mass participation of active citizens who accept universal laws and are sensitive to principles of equality; governmental and

In Search of a Theory of Political Development


general systemic capacity to manage public affairs, control controversy and cope with popular demands, and the structural differentiation. functional specificity, and integration of all participating institutions and organizations (Pye l965a: 13). This generic model served as a guide for case studies of political culture and political development, but was not held to exist in a pure form

in any of the cases studied. Thirdly, ideas current in modernization theory shaped early descriptions of the 'non-Western political process'. Here, though the influence of the revisionist theory of democracy was just as strongly to the fore. Kahin, Parker and Pye listed seven. 'distinctive characteristics of the political process in non-Western countries'

which rendered politics both unstable and unpredictable' a high rate of recruitment of new elements into political activity; a lack of consensus about the legitimate forms and purposes of political activities: a prevalence of charismatic leaders: a low degree of integration in the action of participants, particularly between village and national level: a high degree of' substitutability of roles: a dearth of formally and explicitly organized interests; and a tendency for unorganized and generally inarticulate segments of society. such as peasants and urban masses, to involve themselves in politics in a discontinuous, sudden. erratic and often violent way (Kahin, Parker and Pye 1955° 1024-7). Similarly, Almond (1956) argued th at 'pre-industrial political systems' were characterized by a relatively low degree of structural differentiation and a high degree of substitutability of roles. He saw these characteristics reflected in unstable and fragmented parties, poorly developed bureaucracies and a tendency for political action to be spontaneous and violent. In 1958 Pye expanded the list he first proposed with Kahin and Parker to 17 key features. in an effort to build a generalized model of the political process common in non-Western societies. His central assertion was that 'in non-Western societies the political sphere is not sharply differentiated from the spheres of social and personal relations'. and that as a result 'the affective or expressive aspect of politics tends to override the problem-solving or publicpolicy aspect of politics' (Pye 1958: 469, 4831. Organized interest groups were lacking; parties represented total ways of life rather than specific principles or policy objectives; oppositions tended to sock Lo overthrow the system rather than propose limited alterna-

tives: there were few brokers between elites and masses, leaders


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

generally represented communities rather than ideas, they tended to be charismatic: they enjoyed a high degree of freedom in determining strategy and tactics, and in the absence of differentiated publics they normally confined themselves to broad generalized statements on domestic issues, adopting clearly defined positions only on international issues. Cutting through the detail. a single key idea ran through these forkful ations: the non~Westerr1 political process was characterized by the absence of a separate and relatively autonomous public political sphere, and as a result policy-making was erratic, irrational and pervaded by private interests. The theorists of political development were picking up here on ideas that were common to modernization theory and to the revi-

sionist theory of democracy. In broad terms, their mental picture of the 'non-western political process' was the mirror image of the democratic system seen as appropriate by the revisionists. Where they drew upon modernization theory, they drew upon the broad ideas of' structural differentiation, secularization and rationalization, but their primary concern was not so much with the contrast between traditional and modern practices as with sources of social and institutional control. it is, therefore. to the issue of social control that we should look in order to identify the relationship between modernization theory and political development theory. Significantly in this respect. the theorists of political development did not endorse the idea of a dichotomy between the traditional and the modern, nor did they argue for the wholesale modernization and Westernization of all aspects of lite. Almond's very first full account of the functional approach offered an extended critique of modernization theory on this point. It argued that the diligence between Western and non-Western political systems had generally been exaggerated: 'No political system, however modern. ever fully eliminates intermittency and traditionality. It can penetrate it, regulate it. translate its particularistic and diffuse impacts into the modern political language of interest articulation. public policy, and regal ation' (Almond 1960: 19). Citing evidence from behavioural research conducted in the United

States which showed that despite the modern communications industry individuals relied heavily in forming their opinions on face-to-face communication and advice from people they knew and

trusted. Almond argued that all political systems are 'culturally 111ixed', ir1 that 'certain kinds of political structure which WE have

usually considered to be peculiar to the primitive are also to be

in Search of a Theory of Political Development


found in modern political systems, and not as marginal iristit uti oris. but having a high functional performance' (2U; emphasis mine). Pointing out that this proposition 'brings into question certain applications of Parsonian social theory to the study of political systems', he argued that 'the "pattern variable" concept has led to an unfortunate theoretical polarization' (22-3). In line with this critique, he argued that in successful cases of gradual modernization significant elements of 'traditional political culture' had been

fused with modern elements. and played a crucial stabilizing role. It followed that elements of' existing political systems in the new

states should also be retained if the aim was to achieve stability. This, as we have seen, was a point made by Schumpeter, and a central contention of the revisionist theory of democracy . The same argument pervaded The Civic Culture, which was both a contribution to revisionist theory and an early source of many key themes of political development theory. It opened with a reminder of the sorry history and precarious character of' democracy in Western Europe, and the argument that while the diffusion of Western-style industrial technology and efficient bureaucracy was likely to be straightforward. 'what is problematical about the content of the emerging world culture is its political character' (Almond and Verba 1963: 4). In this context Almond and Verbs identified a 'participation explosion' arising out of »'the almost universal pressure by previously subjected and isolated peoples for admission into the modern world' (.3): such peoples were obliged to

choose between democratic and totalitarian

alternatives. But

democracy was a matter not only of a set of institutions but also of an underlying political culture. and 'the transfer of the political

culture of the Western democratic states to the emerging nations encounters serious difficulties' (5). for two main reasons: the inherently slow and difficult character of the process of cultural change. and the 'objective problems confronting these nations', in terms of

'archaic technologies and social systems'. The 'civic culture' was a solution to these problems precisely because it was 'not a modern culture, but a mixed modernizing-traditional one' (6) - it permitted change but moderated it. Pye's position was identical. He argued that 'the political in even the most economically and socially advanced societies is the preserve of the more traditional features of the society, and that all political systems must represent a blending of the historical and the

contemporary' (Pye 1963b: 16). A modern polity must mobilize its


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

people for national efforts. widen participation, allow for the representation of a range of interests. and produce rational policies. It must also be 'capable of coping with change in the sense of being able to purposefully direct change and not just be buffeted by social forces' (iS). But at the same time it must manage the tension between 'the universal standards of the nation state and the particle ularistic qualities of national identity'. a tension stemming from 'the diffusion throughout the world of all aspects of modern life and . . . the needs of every particular culture constantly to reassert its unique identity' (19). For these reasons, he argued, it is clearly not possible to rely solely upon the distinctions between 'modern'





rural, Gerneinschaft


Gesellschaft. which the social theorists have found useful in categorizing social and economic systems. The processes by which interests and values are expressed and then combined to give form and substance to political life represent in all cases a fusion of those traits of behavior customarily identified as both 'modern' and 'traditional (18)

Similar arguments abounded throughout Pre's work. As noted above, he argued that the driving force behind global change was a

secular. rational. scientific and technological world culture which set standards which the new states were obliged to accept if they were to survive. However, he went on to argue that this created a problem. 'since the diffusion of the world culture can weaken and destroy the structure of traditional societies but cannot so easily

reconstitute a more modernized society' (18). In the individual this provoked psychological disruptions which could 'create deep feelings of ambivalence and uncertainty that can inhibit all effective

action and stimulate widespread feelings of anxiety and alienation' (13). The answer to the dilemma this created was 'to relate the parochial and the universal, to fuse basic components of the indigenous culture with the standards and practices of the modern world' (23). As argued in the opening essay in Political Culture and Political Development [1965)' The problems of development

involve less the gross elimination of old patterns and values and more the successful discovery of how traditions can contribute to, and not hamper, the realization of current national goals. Effective political development thus requires that a proper place be found for many traditional considerations iii the more modern scheme of things. (Pye 196521: 19)

In Search of a Theory of Political Development


The theorists of political development had in mind a 'generic

form' of modernization and political development at the level of society. government, and the individual, but this did not lead them

to argue that traditional elements should be eradicated from the political culture and the political system in the process of modernization. Rather, of all the fields of social activity that of politics was the one to which such ideas should not be applied: Development in some field (sic) of human organization can be usefully conceived of as being the replacement of the particularistic norms, functionally diffuse relationships. and ascriptive considerations of tradition~ based societies with the more univcrsaiistie, iimctionaliy specific, and achievement oriented patterns of action of' more modern societies. free a political culture, however. there is a constant place for particularism, fOr diffuse identifications, and for attaching importance to nationality and place of birth. (19: emphasis mine)

Pye echoed here Almond and Verba's argument for the civic culture as an amalgam of traditional and modem political orientations which might moderate the tensions inherent in the rapid and disruptive social change set in motion by modernization. Here as always, political development theory recommended not the wholesale modernization of political practices and systems. but the deliberate retention of traditional elements which might foster stability. In so doing, it echoed precisely Schumpeter's

endorsement of 'just the right amount -..- not too much, not too little of traditionalism' in parliamentary procedure and etiquette (Schumpeter 1970: 295). In other words, where political development theory marked out its differences with modernization theory .

it did so precisely along lines already laid down by the revisionist theory of democracy


Significantly, too, this was precisely the perspective adopted by the only volume in the Studies in Political Development series which

continued to speak in terms of 'modernization' rather than 'devels opment? in Political Modernization in Iapan and Turkey, Ward and Rostov noted the varying extent to which traditional features were amenable to modernization in particular historical cases, but suggested that 'with vision and intelligent management, some of the institutions and values of" traditional societies can be so manipulated that they will reinforce rather than oppose the course of modernizing change' (Ward and Rustow 1964b: 442). They concurred that no society was wholly modern, as all represented 'a


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

mixture of modern and traditional elements,' condemned as false the theory that modern and traditional elements stood in. opposition to one another, 'and that there was implicit in the social process some fOrce which would ultimately lead to the purgation of traditional "survivals", leaving as a residue the purely "modern" society.' and argued that in Japan in particular, 'the role of traditional attitudes and institutions in the modernization process has often been symbiotic rather than antagonistic' (444-5). Examined against this background, Huntington's contribution to the debate was less innovative than it sometimes appeared either

to Huntington himself or to others. The substance of 'modernization revisionism' (Huntington 1971: 293-8) was fully anticipated in both the revisionist theory of democracy and political development theory, while quibbles over the definitions and use of the term 'political development' (298-305) obscured agreement on the character of politics in the new states and a shared conservative agenda. Despite his later boast to have 'quietly dropped' the term 'political development' (304, ft. 42), the diagnosis Huntington set out in Political Order in Changing Societies ($968) was essentially the same as that reviewed above. He too regarded the extent to which the political sphere was differentiated from other spheres as

crucial. and echoed Pye's emphasis upon structural differentiation and freedom iron direct social control: In a highly developed political system. political organizations have an integrity which they lack in less developed systems. In some measure, they are insulated from the impact of' nonpolitical groups and procedures. In less developed political systems, they are highly vulnerable to outside influences. (20)


was the liindamental

difference between the 'civic politics'

of Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union and the "corrupt" or 'praetorian' polities of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Civic politics were consensual political communities with effective political institutions which enjoyed high levels of legitimacy and

'recognizable and stable patterns of institutional authority appropriate for their level of participation', while corrupt politics were distinguished by 'the fragility and fleetingness of all forms of authority' (82). Corrupt or 'praetorian' polities were characterized by uncontrolled recruitment to political positions, the pursuit of' personal and social purposes within 'public' institutions. the lack

of civil associations and intermediary structures between leaders

In Search of a Theory of Political Development


and masses. and the absence of consensus. In other words, Huntington's 'corrupt polity' was none other than Pye's 'nonWestern political process', or Kornhauser's 'mass society'. It is significant, as we shall see, that Huntington chose to speak in terms of organizations and institutions rather than political culture. However, his argument concerning the impact of modernization was identical to that put forward by Almond, Verba and Pye. Social and economic change, and the associated processes of urbanization. industrialization, the spread of education and literacy and the expansion of' the mass media extend political consciousness, multiply political demands. broaden political participation. These changes undermine traditional sources of political authority and traditional political institutions: they enormously complicate the problems of creating new bases of political association and new political institutions combining legitimacy and effectiveness. (5)

In this context, modernization involves a change in the basic values of the society. In particular it means the gradual acceptance by groups within the society of universalistic and achieveinenbbased norms. the emergence of loyalties and identifications of individuals and groups within the nation-state, and the spread of the assumption that citizens have equal rights against the state and equal obligations to the state. (59---60 )

The process breeds psychological disintegration, anomie. and

instability, with which existing institutions are unable to cope. Huntington concludes that 'modernization and social mobilization

. . . tend to produce political decay unless steps are taken to moderate or restrict its impact on political consciousness and political

involvement' (86), bringing us to exactly the position argued by Almond and Pye above. l-luntington's substitution of the term 'political decay' for 'political development' and his flair for the telling phrase should not be allowed to obscure the fact that his argument was precisely that made by political development theorists from the mid-19503 onwards. Equally. his claim that 'a basic and frequently overlooked distinction exists between political modernization defined as move-

ment from a traditional to a modern polity and political modernization defined as the political aspects and political effects of social. economic, and cultural modernization' (35) simply repeated

the message of earlier political development literature . Finally. Huntington concurred with Almond and Verbs, and


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

with Pye, in urging the retention of some elements of pre-modern systems. For example, he argued that 'corruptioN should be retained in a modern political system. Citing Leys to the effect that many areas of public lite in the United States have remained *"practices that in one sphere would be regarded as corrupt are almost taken for granted in another'. he remarked approvingly that 'the development within a society of the ability to make this discrimination is a sign of its .movement iron modernization to modernity' (63). Corruption, he argued, 'provides immediate, specific, and concrete benefits to groups which might otherwise be thoroughly alienated from society'. It 'may thus be functional to the maintenance of a political system in the same way that reform is' (641 When judiciously applied, it may speed economic development and strengthen political parties .-.-. a combination of opportunities for personal gain through corruption at lower levels of the bureaucracy with 'fairly strong national political institutions which socialize rising political leaders into a code of values stressing the public responsibilities of political leadership ... may directly enhance the stability of the political system' (68). Once again, the argument picks up on one of the core ideas of the revisionist theory of democracy. It is clear from the foregoing that Almond. Huntington and Pye diagnosed the 'problem' of political development from a common perspective. They employed modernization theory to characterize the challenge facing new states; they saw the forces of modernization as posing problems at the level of the political system, and they wished to retain and strengthen elements of 'traditional' political 1%

culture. or find other means of control, in order to provide stability.

The partial adoption of a modernization perspective did not lead to support for the wholesale dissemination of 'modern' values throughout the political system. Rather, the political system was required to absorb the pressures generated by the mismatch between modernization pressing in from outside, and pre-modern internal social and psychological attributes. By and large, this was to be achieved by retaining elements of 'traditional' political culture where possible, and by adopting policies or devising institutions which were capable of substituting new constraints for old ones where necessary. This was a reading of modernization theory which drew primarily on elements shared with the revisionist theory of democracy, and which emphasized social, political and

institutional control.

in Search of a Theory of Political Development


Comparative History and 'Crises of Development'

The efforts of the early theorists of political development were not confined to grand abstract theoretical exercises. They also sought to take account of the historical experience of political development, as they understood it. in Europe and the United States, and to apply the lessons they derived to the new states. Almond and Verba traced the development of the 'civic culture' in Britain as a result of a particular set of historical circumstances and events: early 'insular security', separation from the Church of Rome and tolerance fOr religious diversity; the emergence of a thriving and

self-confident merchant class: and the involvement of court and aristocracy in trade and commerce. As a consequence of this history, they argued. Britain entered the industrial revolution with a political culture among its éiitcs which made it possible to assimilate the gross and rapid changes in social structure in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries without sharp discontinuities .. . What emerged was a third culture. neither traditional nor modern but partaking of both: a pluralistic culture based on con mu» plication and persuasion, a culture of consensus and diversity, a culture that permitted change but moderated it. This was the civic culture. With this civic culture already consolidated, the working classes could enter into politics and, in a process of trial and error, Iind the language in which to couch their demands and the means to make them effective. (Almond and Verbs 1963: 7-8)

In contrast, difficulties arose in the political development of France, Germany and Italy as a consequence of the simultaneous presence of unsolved problems in such areas as national integra-

tion. international accommodation. political participation. and socio-economic distribution: We may say of France. Germany and Italy in the last cchtury that they

were caught in the grips of cumulative revolutions, unable to solve any of them through appropriate systemic adaptations, in considerable part

because of the simultaneity of their impact. [Almond 1970- 167: emphasis in the original)

Here Almond identified four 'problems of political growth' -national integration, international accommodation, political participation and welfare distribution ...... and argued that 'the systemic characteristies of political systems -- their structural, cultural and performance

properties - are determined by the way in which these problems or challenges are encountered and experienced' (169 ) .


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Such ideas were commonplace in the period. Almond acknowledged Neumann and Pye as sources, and attributed to successive summer workshops at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford in 1962 and 1963 the develop-

ment and elaboration of the hypothesis that the different structural and functional characteristics of European political systems could be explained by the ways in which they encountered a common set of' developmental problems, in particular those of state building (i.e. centralization and penetration), nation building (national identity and cohesion). participation, and welfare. We thought that the different order or sequence in the confrontation of' these problems and the different ways in which these problems were solved in particular national contexts. could explain the structural arrangements and performance characteristics of' different types of political systems. (Almond 1970: 21-2)

It would take eight years for the contributions to the 1963 workshop on crises in political development to reach publication (Binder et al. 1971). But in the meantime the core idea that the manner and sequence in which a number of problems or crises of' development were solved would shape the resulting political systems in signiiicant ways became standard in the political development literature


Rustow and Ward introduced Political Modernization in Iapan and Turkey with a critique of the static. equilibrium»oriented comparative method of The Politics of the Developing Areas. and argued that the efforts of former colonial or backward societies to achieve development. and the eHlorts of the West to help them to do so, would be greatly aided if regularities could be found in the developmental experiences of those countries which had been able to modernize,

and if there were 'discernible stages or sequences of change through which all or some tend to pass' (Rustow and Ward 1964: l l). In the closing section of the final chapter of Political Culture and Political Development (1965), itself the product of the 1962 Stanford summer workshop, Verba moved directly from a discussion of prospects for change in key elements of political culture to identify the five crises of national identity. integration, participation. penetration and distribution: In general one can ask of all these problems whether they are once and for all resolved or whether they persist as continuing problems in a system. And does their solution or attempted solution involve a crisis? Related to this question is that of the phasing of the problems - do they all come at the same time. or are they resolved in some serial order? Lastly. it may well be

in Search of a Theory of Political Development


that there are orders of resolution that have important effects on the political culture. (Verbs 1965b: 559-60)

Verbs's answer at this stage was that the sequence in which they

arose mattered. and that difficulty was greater if a number of them occurred simultaneously. And he concluded with the thought that the new nations 'must create new political cultures before any of these problems are solved and, indeed, while they are attempting to solve all of then at once' (560). Almond and Powell returned to the same issue at length in Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach (1966), identifying four problems or challenges which might prompt a developmental response: state building (penetration and integration), nation building, participation and distribution,

and arguing that 'relating system challenges to system responses is the way to explanation and prediction in the field of" political development (Almond and Powell 1966: 37). Two years later, Huntington's Political Order in Changing Societies (1968) offered a slightly different set of problem areas, but did no more than express the emerging consensus: The modernization of Europe and of North America was spread over several centuries, in general, one issue or one crisis was dealt with at a time. In the modernization of the non-Western parts of the world, however. the problems of the centralization of authority. national Integra


dion, social mobilization, economic development, political participation,

social welfare have arisen not sequentially but simultaneously. (46)

The lhllest discussion of the crises of` development is found in Crises and Sequences of Political Development. Although the volume was conceived in the early 1960s, as noted above, it was not published until 1971; it is perhaps this which has sometimes prompted the impression that the 'crises and sequences' approach all originated in the 1970s. Here Binder and his collaborators central contributors to the political development literature - settled on five crises - of identity, legitimacy, participation, penetration and distribution - after initially including and eventually discarding a sixth. integration. In doing so, however, they merely arrived by a different route at the consensus view outlined in the previous section regarding the vulnerability of new states to the pressures of mass participation: Countries that have clearly established their sense of national identity and

achieve broad recognition of the legitimacy of their system of government before they are confronted with the demand for universal participation in


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

public affairs are . .. significantly different from countries in which popular participation precedes either the legitimization of public institutions or the penetration of the govemmcntal system into the mass of society. (Binder of of. 1971: ix]

The comparative historical model of political development suggested hero was reflected in the one early contribution Lo the Studies in Political Development series which engaged in a detailed comparison of' historical cases, Political Modernization in: Iapan and Turkey (Ward and Rustow, 1964), and further explored in a series of collections of case studies in the 1970s (Almond. Flanagan and Mundt 1973; Tilly 1975a: Grew l978a). The essential ideas behind it were fully in place in the early l9605, and they shared the core assumptions of the functional and cultural approaches influenced by modernization theory. And once again, they echoed a

central claim of the revisionist theory of democracy, neatly summarized in Kornhauser's claim that 'democratization along liberal lines requires a capacity on the part of ruling groups to accommodate new social elements, and progressively to share political rights and duties with them' (Kornhauser 1960: 132). Conclusion If we are to understand the logical and ideological core of political

development theory, the first requirement is to correct false impressions about its character and its trajectory. The accounts o1` commentators and of some of the protagonists themselves have produced a rather distorted official history. The central theme of' this history, expressed in its most vulgar and synthetic form by Higgott, is that a first wave of theory-building unduly optimistic about the prospects for spreading Western democracy and associated with the ascendancy of Almond was replaced in the mid-lseos by a more pessimistic account, associated with Huntington and Pye, which turned from a concern with democracy to a concern with order. On this view, Huntington's Political Order in Changing Societies (1968) is reckoned to have brought about a significant change in the character of the literature. This volume. along with two influential articles (Huntington 1965, 1971), is credited with having revised' modernization theory. Adopting this interpretation, Higgott, echoed by others, claimed

that Huntington's 'importance lay in his challenge to the prevailing idea of the unilinearity of modernization theory and in his

in Search of a Theory of Political Development


stress on those issues that had been played down by earlier writers, especially the dislocations that arise in the modernisation process' (Higgott 1983: 18; also O`F$rien 1972: Randall and Theobald 1985: 34-5). This broad shift. Higgott argued, was associated with

a new concern with 'crises of development', and a general turn towards public policy (Higgott 1983: 15-21). This account is false on a number of counts, the l i s t being that none of the political development theorists adopted a unilinear theory of modernization. As early as 1955, Kahin, Parker and Pye noted 'the accumulation of overwhelming evidence proving that unilinear evolutionism was not delensible'. and concluded that 'while we no longer expect to arrange social and political systems

in an evolutionary sequence, we are vitally concerned with the patterns of political development in societies that have set as their goal the liberal democratic model of politics (Kahin, Parker and Pye 1955: 10411. LaPalornbara similarly objected to the term Modernity' because it suggested 'a single. final state of affairs - a deterministic unilinear theory of political evolution' (LaPalombara l963c: 38). while Almond and Powell prefaced their elaborate classification of political systems according to the criteria of' structural differentiation and cultural secularization with the comment that We will not repeat the naiveté of' Enlightenment theorists regarding the evolutionary progression in political systems from traditional patterns to

constitutional and democratic forms. Rather, we shall seek to argue that the earlier historical experience of political systems as well as the environmental challenges to which they are currently exposed affect their propensities for change and set limits on the ways in which they can

change. (Almond and Powell 1966: 215) Secondly, the theorists of political development saw the process of political change m the new states as problematic from the start, they were all overwh elmingly concerned with the dislocations it produced. and a concern with public policy was there from the outset precisely because the dissemin ation of Western democratic institutions was always viewed with apprehension. It is quite wrong. therefore, to talk of 'faith that the political institutions of liberal democracy could and should be imparted to the Third World' (Higgott 1983: 9). or, as another summary account has ii, of 'the early prevailing assumption . . of a relatively


unproblematic chain of causation from cultural modernisation to


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

economic development to democracy' (Randall and Theobald 1985: 13). Gendzier, in contrast, correctly identifies a pervasive 'fear of change', and relates it to a shared 'pessimistic mood about the relationship of mass society and democracy that dominated mainstream political theory' (Gendzier 1985: 109). Although every theorist of political development subscribed to a form of modernization theory, none expected the process of modernization to produce modernized political systems characterized

by harmonious relations between rational authority, differentiated structures, and mass participation, or Western political institutions which would foster democracy and guarantee stability. Rather, each saw modernization as a global social and economic phenom-

enon creating problems with which theories and policies of political development would have to deal. And in formulating their theories and policies, they were strongly influenced by a shared set of conservative and elitist values drawn from a variety of sources among which the behavioural approach was dominant. These centred on a single imperative: the need to contain the demands for mass participation to which modernization gave rise. And as we have seen, they echoed in general and in detail the principal arguments of the revisionist theory of democracy which was taking shape in the period. In this context. the adoption of' the term 'political development'

was not primarily inspired by theoretical concerns. Rather. it was an attempt to enter the policy arena and simultaneously to build a strong institutional position within political science. Whether or not Riggs (198 l : 307) is right to suggest that the term was adopted at the direct invitation of the Ford Foundation, it carried the

suggestion that interventionist Western policies should seek to 'develop' desirable political practices and institutions in the 'non-

Western world', rather than that there was an inherent dynamic of progress in the global process of political change. In these circumstances, it was as disingenuous of Pye to affect to wish to rid the concept of its conta urinating public policy connections as it was for Huntington to pose the shift from 'development' to change' at the level of theory. Such moves, necessary if the protocols of disinterested scholarship ware to be observed. glossed over the fact that political development was inherently, from the start. every bit as much a matter of public relations and public policy as it was of social theory. The fact is that the theorists of political development were

in Search of a Theory of Political Development


always sure about what they wanted, but unsure either of how to

achieve it, or how to conceptualize the theoretical issues involved . They wanted to see stable pro-Western political systems in the new states of the Third World, and they assumed that stability could not be achieved without some genuine extension of political participation to the majority of their populations. But they felt strongly that social conditions in the new states made it impossible to extend participation on Western lines without risking the weakening of

Western influence and a fatal loss of control by pro-Western elites where they existed. While this perception of the central problem remained constant, they would prove remarkably flexible in the perspectives from which they sought to address it, resorting in turn to functional, cultural, institutional and comparative historical approaches. If they made little progress in their central programmatic goal, it was because all their early explorations down these various roads seemed to lead to the same conclusion - that the new states lacked the attributes that had produced political stability in the West. This quickly prompted a pragmatic shift away from grand theory to intervention in the promotion of institutional change, first reflected in the idea of" a 'doctrine for political development' rather than a 'theory of political developments It would take two decades. however, for the 'doctrine for political development' to triumph. and it would do so only after the comprehensive failure and abandonment of the search for a parallel 'theory of political development. This trajectory would demonstrate that the roots of political development lay much more in the imperatives of committed international public policy than in those of disinterested

political theory. It would also prompt the conclusion that whether by luck or by iudgement, political development theory has been spectacularly successful in terms of its central policy objectives. Were this not so, of course, there would be little purpose in exhuming the remains of a series of painful catastrophes in what was repeatedly proc aimed as an effort in theory-building in the social sciences. Against this background of a unity of ideological vision and purpose over time, and the apparent realization of that vision in the wave of democratization across the Third World, the following four chapters examine the functional, cultural, institutional and comparative historical approaches in turn. in each chapter exposition of major contributions is followed by an analysis of the


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

intended to fundamental issues raised, and a limited crib explain the evolution of the body of literature under discussion. and its place within the literature as a whole. These chapters largely record episodes of failure in the effort to build a 'theory of political development'-. The remaining chapters then extend the range of the critique.

3 Functionalism

As we saw in the previous chapter, the theorists of political development were strongly imbued with the 'scierltif'ie' spirit of the times, and their first instinct was to contribute to the creation of a truly modern science of politics by finding a comprehensive theoretical framework within which their practical concerns regarding the need for stable, pro-Western regimes throughout the world could be addressed. This was to lead to a number of extremely elaborate ii eventually unproductive efforts, nowhere more so than in the saga of the functional' approach. As we shall see in this chapter, it failed precisely because of the very high level of general~ ization and abstr actiori which it sought to achieve - in precise terms. in seeking to devise an analytical framework which was good for all political systems at all times. it failed both to recognize the key elements of politics in modern capitalist societies in particular, and to address the specific situation of societies in transition. This effort to produce a comprehensive functional framework within which all political systems past and present could be analysed as a basis for the scientific study of comparative politics

and political development is primarily associated with the work of Almond. One of a number of approaches within political development theory, it was soon to be displaced by the cultural, institutional and comparative historical perspectives reviewed in

later chapters. In part t.his was because it was so ambitious in scope that its proponents themselves eventually despaired of turning it into a useful instrument for the analysis of developing societies. At the same time, the theoretical framework upon which it was based proved both too abstract and too specific to provide the universal framework of analysis that was sought too abstract in its deterinination to produce a universal model of the political system and


the political process divorced from the social context in which each

was embedded, but too specific in its direct derivation of the model


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

fro if the familiar political institutions of Britain and the United States. Finally. the functional approach never entirely freed itself from the static quality it derived [Rom its initially overwhelming concern with the classification of existing political systems, rather than with the dynamic processes of political change. Its classificatory power was limited as a result of its reliance upon a distinction between 'Western' and non~Western' states which was too crude to capture the character and variety of political systems across the Third World. And despite the efforts that were made to give it a dynamic or developmental orientation, and to use it to address the issue of political development directly. it proved difficult to derive practical policy-related conclusions from it. As a result, when Almond and Powell (1966) finally turned to the issue of the government of new states at the end o f Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach. they abandoned their own functionalist premises, and drew their recommendations directly from the revisionist theory of democracy. This reflects a common pattern in the history of the theory of political development: the failure of a particular attempt to provide a theoretically satisfying basis for it has generally led neither to the abandonment of the enterprise, nor to a questioning of its underlying values and policy commitments. Rather. it has prompted a restatement of both, a return to the fundamental precepts of the revisionist theory of democracy, and a promise to do better next time. Such failures led to the increasingly systematic separation of the 'doctrine for political development' from the theory, and in the end to the decision to retain the doctrine, and do without the theory. The record of the functionalist approach in the 19605



what it set out to do, how and why it failed, and how its creators reacted when it did tells us a great deal, therefore, about the ideological and doctrinal content of political development theory, and its tendency to triumph over the claims of social science as science.

The Functional Approach The basic idea behind the functional approach, stated in the opening pages of The Politics of the Developing Areas, was a simple one: that all political systems perform the same core set of fund

sons. although these functions may be performed by different structures fronl one society to the next (Aland 1960. 11). This

first sketch of the approach was followed by the more elaborate



version contained in Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach. In order to trace the development of the functional

approach and assess its significance, therefore, it is necessary to compare these texts, and the manner in which they addressed the specific issue of political development in the new states. The first version of the approach was presented in The Politics of the Developing Areas (1960). In this multi-authored volume. a lengthy introduction by Almond and a rather briefer conclusion by Coleman framed the case studies of South-East Asia, South Asia. Sulb~Saharan Africa. the Middle East and Latin America which made up the bulk of the text. For Almond and Coleman alike, the immediate purpose was to establish a framework for the comparative analysis of political systems. The application of the framework

to the problems facing 'new states' was a secondary and still distant goal. Almond hoped that the effort might eventually lead to an ability to 'predict the trend of political development in modernizing states', but believed that this implied 'a s.tate of knowledge of the performance of modern Western polities far beyond what we have attained today' (Almond 1960: 63-4; emphasis mine). Coleman reminded his readers at the very end of the book that its major purpose had been to make a contribution to the general theory of political systems by improving the capacity to 'order the phenorn~ ena of non-Western political systems. and to compare them with the Western ones, and with one another', adding that 'a second purpose, which has been fulfilled only to a very limited extent, is to improve our understanding of the processes of political change or modernization' (Coleman I96Ub: 576). In addition to this acknowledged shortcoming, there was a

conspicuous lack of integration between the individual contribu-

tions to the collection, or between the theory and the area studies offered. Almond claimed that if the project upon which he was engaged proved successful it would render area studies obsolete (Almond 1960: 64), but gave little indication that he knew anything about the politics of new states in the areas concerned. With the exception of some brief references to India, his examples were drawn either from the United States and Western Europe, or from anthropological studies of so-called 'stateless societies'. He left Coleman, Ln his conclusion, to apply the framework as best he could to the developing world. We noted in the previous chapter that Almond's introduction,

one of the first texts in which the issue of political development was


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

directly addressed, rejected the idea of a bipolar contrast between 'traditional' and 'modern' political systems. His decision to dwell upon so-called primitive bands such as the Eskimo on the one hand and contemporary 'Western' states on the other reflected his intention to demonstrate the existence of common features across all political structures. This dictated a. concern with the least developed political societies, rather than with the 'modernizin new nations with which the bulk of political development theory would concern itself. Almond and Coleman shared the assumption, perhaps not accepted by the contributors of some of the area studies, that it would not be possible to address the character of such transitional systems until a comprehensive universal frame-

work had been developed. The first requirement was to define the political system itself. With reference to Weber. Levy, Lasswell and Kaplan, and Easton, it was defined as 'that system of interactions to be found in all independent societies which performs the functions of integration and adaptation (both internally and vis-ci-vis other societies) by means of the employment, or threat of employment. of more or less legitimate physical compulsion' (7). At the same time, Almond rejected the association of the political system either with specific institutions of the state or with specific individuals holding political office: when we speak of the political system we include . . . not just the structures based on law, like parliaments, executives, bureaucracies, and courts, or just the associational or formally organized units, like parties. interest groups, and media of communication, but all of the structures in theirpolitical aspects, including undifferentiated structures like kinship and lineage, status and caste groups, as well as anomic phenomena like riots, street

demonstrations, and the like. (7-81 The boundary between the political system and other social systems was conceived not as physical, but as behavioural: individuals acting to affect the 'authoritative allocation of' values' within any society were assuming a political role, or entering the political system. Within this framework, Almond asked: 'What are the common properties of all political systems? What makes the Bergdama band and the United Kingdom members of the same universe?' and suggested that there were essentially four such properties: all political systems have political structure; all perform the same functions; all political structure is multifunctional, and all

political systems are culturally mixed (Box 3.1).



Box 3 . 1 Almond's 'common properties of political systems'


First, all political systems, including the simplest ones, have political structure- In a sense it is correct to say that

even the simplest societies have all of the types of political structure which are to be found in the most complex ones . They may be compared with one another according to the degree and form of structural specialization. 2.

Second, the same functions are performed in all political systems. even though these functions may be performed with different frequencies, and by different kinds of structures. Comparisons may be made according to the frequency of the performance of the functions, the kinds of structures performing them, and the style of their perfor-


Third, all political structure. no matter how specialized. whether it is found in primitive or in modem societies, is multifunctional. Political systems may be compared according to the degree of specificity of function in the structure; but the limiting case, while specialized, still involves substantial multi functionality. Fourth, all political systems are 'mixed' systems in the cultural sense. There are no 'all-modern' cultures and structures, in the sense of rationality, and no all-primitive ones, in the sense of tradition ality. They differ in the relative dominance of the one as against the other. and in the pattern of mixture of the two components.



Source: Almond 1960: la


The four points outlined here underline the priority given to the need to discover the universal features shared by all political systems, and the claim that all political systems have particular structures and functions in common. They also identify two impor-

tant arguments: that all structures are multifunctional, and that all systems are culturally mixed. Almond did not argue for a rigid one-to-one correspondence in which each function was exclusively performed by a particular structure. Instead, he argued (on the basis of his studies of the united States) Lhat a particular structure

regulated the manner in which that function was performed by a


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

number of structures. This linked directly to the claim, discussed in the previous chapter, that all systems were culturally mixed: 'traditional' features were never eliminated, even in the most modern societies, but rather incorporated and to a certain extent transformed by modern features which dictated the manner in which particular iimctions were performed, Thus, for example. such features as kinship, friendship and 'school ties' still affected recruitment in a modern Western political system, but 'the more thoroughgoing the political modernization, the more these ascriptive criteria are contained within or limited by achievement criteria - educational. levels, performance levels on examinations, formal records of achievement in political roles, and the like'(Al111ond 1960: 32L

Almond identified seven functions common to all political systems, of which four were concerned with 'input' (political socialization and recruitment, interest articulation, interest aggregation, and political communication) and three with 'output' (rule-making, rule application and rule adjudication). Political

socialization and recruitment operated through a range of institutions including, the family and the school, as well as through more obviously 'political' institutions. The remaining functions were identified with specific institutions in existing Western systems


interest groups, parties, mass media, legislatures, executives. and

the judiciary respectively - which were assumed to have functional counterparts in all political systems. Almond did not argue that the structures which performed these functions in 'modern' political systems were appropriate to all systems, but he did claim that as political systems approached modernity they would require them,

or something very like them. Complex modern political systems required autonomous and

differentiated structures of interest articulation and aggreg ation if the necessary functions were to be smoothly performed, regulated and integrated. In order to enjoy the necessary degree of autonomy there needed to be good boundary maintenance between the polity and society, and between the particular structures within the political system itself: otherwise. the political system would be plagued by the 'frequent eruptions of unprocessed claims without controlled direction into tlle political system' (35). This would be avoided not simply by the presence of interest groups, political parties, and mass media of some kind, but by specific types of

these institutions: associations] interest groups, secular, pragmatic,



bargaining parties, and free and neutral mass media such as type tied the homogeneous political cultures of the United Kingdom, the old Commonwealth and the United States (46). These homogeneous political cultures and specific types of interest groups, parties and mass media contrasted with the fragmented political cultures and relatively undifferentiated structures of interest articulation and aggregation of such continental systems as France and Italy, .-.

with their politicized interest groups, and their parties tied to

particular ideologies or interests . In an ideal modern system the political system is separated and appropriately insulated from direct societal pressure, and characterized by well differentiated associational interest groups and pragmatic parties. These institutions regulate but do not

monopolize the functions of interest articulation and regulation respectively. while 'an autonomous communications system "regulates the regulators" and thereby preserves the autonomies

and freedoms of the democratic polity`, helping to develop and maintain an 'active and effective electorate and citizenship' (47-8). The key features of the system are functional regulation the 'regulation of the performance of the function within the polity by a specialized autonomous structure with a boundary of its own and a capacity to "enforce" this boundary in the system as a whole', and cultural penetration - the fusion of modern and traditional cultural traits through the 'penetration of the "traditional" styles of diffuseness, particularisin, descriptiveness, and affectivity, by the "rational" styles of specificity. universalism, achievement, and affective neutrality' (63). In the effectively functioning modern Western political system, the universal traits of rnultifnnctionality and

cultural daalisrn were reflected in smooth functional regulation by differer tilted and relatively autonomous institutions, and by the jason of cultural traits by the penetration and transformation of traditional styles by modern ones. And as far as the development of theory was concerned, the way to a formal theory of political modernization would he found, if at all. through the discovery of 'reliable indicators' for these key concepts of functional regulation and cultural penetration.

Six years alter The Politics of the Developing Areas appeared, a fuller version of the functional approach was set out by Almond and Powell in Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach (1966). A11 elaborate justification for the approach was now provided: it was part of an intellectual revolution taking place in


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

the study of comparative government. Almond and Powell condemned







approaches, which they accused of being excessively concerned with the constitutions and government institutions of predominantly European political systems, and announced four related goals for their own approach: comprehensiveness (the inclusion of 'non-Western' cases), realism (the analysis of actual behaviour rather than formal rules), precision (the application of quantitative techniques) and intellectual order (the creation of a 'unified theory of politics' which would bring together the licids of comparative government, political theory and international relations). Much of the detail of the version of functionalism offered was carried over from the first sketch outlined above. but the whole approach was recast, as the book title suggested, in an effort to give it a developmental orientation. This specifically developmental framework of analysis was introduced in response to criticisms that the first version of the functional scheme had been too static. Rustow and Ward, who had studied the process of modernization over time in two specific historical cases in Political Modernization in Iapaa and Turkey, one of the early volumes in the Studies in Pofiticaf Development series, cited Almond and Coleman (1960), The Politics of the Developing Areas, as one example (in fact, as the most comprehensive and illuminating of its type) of studies which had searched for 'categories of comparison which would be applicable to political systems as they are', complaining that 'the type of comparison these studies embody is static: they analyze and compare political systems viewed in cross-section at a given point of time, and they conceive of these systems as existing essentially in a state of equi-

librium' (Rostov and Ward 1964: 10). Almond and Powell now acknowledged the justice of this criticism, and sought to respond to it (Almond and Powell 1966: 13). The new developmental version of functionalism had three elements it introduced the idea of the capabilities of political . -

systems and their development over time. it defined the remaining

six functions as conversion processes internal to the political system, and it identified the functions of political socialization and recruitment as developmental processes. These innovations allowed Almond and Powell to examine the political system from three related points of view: its transactions with domestic and foreign environments (capabilities), its

activities OF internal

processes (called conversion functions because they convert



inputs from the environments to outputs to the environments); and the mechanisms through which it survived or changed over time (developmental system maintenance and adaptation functions).

Six conversion iiinctions internal to the system were identified, each carried over from the earlier version of the approach, and linked as before to familiar 'WesLern' public or social institutions (Box 3.2).

Box 3.2 Almond and Powell's conversion functions Function

Associated Institution



Rule application Rule adjudication Interest articulation Interest aggregation Communication

Executive Judiciary Pressure groups Politic al parties Mass media

To emphasize their concern with the behaviour of individuals and the performance of institutions, Almond and Powell discarded the terms Office' and 'institution' in favour of 'role' and 'structure (or subsystem), defining structures in this context as 'sets of roles which are related to one another' (21). Finally, they argued that each individual (usually national) political system had its own distinctive political culture (and subcultures), defined as a 'psychological dimension' of 'underlying propensities' which consisted of 'attitudes, beliefs, values and skills which are current i n an entire population' (23). As we shall see in Chapter 4, the topic of political culture was treated extensively in other work in the same period. For Almond and Powell, then, the political system as a totality was made up of 'interacting roles, structures and subsystems, and of underlying psychological propensities which affect these interactions' (25)'Within this framework, the political system was now seen as subject to change and development over time. Al; the structural level, Almond and Powell argued, change took place through a continuous process of bringing new individuals into new political roles (the recruitment function). This process had a developmental character, in that the system as a whole also experienced structural

differentiation or increasing subsystem autonomy. At the cultural


Capicaiism and Democracy in the Third World

level, change took place through the inculcation of political attitudes and values through growth to adulthood and recruitment to particular roles (the socialization function). This process overall had a similarly developmental character in that over time the political culture as a whole experienced increased secularization. defined here as 'the process whereby men (sic, as throughout) become increasingly rational, analytical, and empirical in their political action' (24). In other words. the functions of recruitntnent and socialization were now introduced as dynamic processes which shaped the development of the political system as a whole over time, and moved it in the direction of increased subsystem autonomy

and rationality.

These developmental cultural and

structural aspects of the process of modernization provided a general lrarnework within which to locate the six universal

conversion functions. and to address the issue of change over time in the structures through which they were carried out. They also provided a general model in which the processes of cultural penetration and functional regulation in efficiently functioning modern

political systems could be identified as particular forms . The analysis was now supplemented by a detailed consideration of the capabilities of` the political system and their potential for development over time. These referred to the way that the system performed overall as a unit in relation to its environ» m e n , and were closely related to the inputs (demands and supports) from the system itself or the environment, and the outputs to the environment. Three of the output types identified related to specific demands and were associated with an identical capability. These were regulative, extractive, and distributive. In

addition a fourth class of symbolic outputs was recognized. and a somewhat different tburth capability, associated in particular with democracies, which were seen as being responsive to the input of demands from groups in the society (27-9). At a later point in the exposition, five capabilities were listed, including the symbolic (38). The theory of the political system as a whole was to be based upon the 'threefold classification of jUnctions', and would 'consist of the discovery of the relations between these different levels of functioning - capabilities, conversion functions, and systemmaintenance and adaptation functions and of the relation of the functions at each level' (30). Within this framework, Almond and Powell now hoped not only to be able to compare political systems in static terms, but also to . -



address the issue of their development. Political development could be explained and predicted by relating system challenges to system responses, and would be expressed in the dimensions of structural differentiation and cultural secularization. Challenges might arise from the external environment, the domestic society, or the political elites themselves, and it was argued that 'development results when the existing structure and culture of the political system is unable to cope with the problem or challenge which confronts it without further structural differentiation and cultural secul arization' (34). Four specific types of problems or challenges were identiiiedz those of state-building (penetration and integration), nation-building (loyalty and commitment), participation, and distribution. Five factors were identified as relevant to the analysis the type (in terms of intensity and of political development number at any one time) of problems faced, the resources on which the system could draw, the capabilities of other systems in the domestic or international environment, the functioning pattern of the system itself, and the response of political elites to political system challenges. Finally it was accepted, with an acknowledgement to Huntington's argument that the outcome of' political change was frequently political 'decay' rather than political 'deveIoplnent' (Huntington 1965). that development need not always be progressive. It could be negative or regressive if the political system proved unable to respond to the challenges it faced, in which case its capabilities could decline or become overloaded.

Thus Almond and Powell state clearly that 'when we use the developmental concepts "structural differentiation" and "cultural secularization", we do not imply that there is any inevitable trend in these directions in the development of political systems'

(19661 251. As this exposition reveals, the second version of the functionalist approach was considerably more elaborate than the first. In particular, an attempt was made to specify its systemic quality, and to address the issue o1` political change. Significantly, though, it retained its universal ambition and abstract analytical framework; and its authors conceded. in the very act of introducing a developmental dimension to the analysis, that no assumptions could be made about the direction that 'development' would take. Both of these aspects of the approach would have important consequences for the way in which the politics of 'developing' states would be



Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

In order to examine the manner in which the approach was

applied to these states in particular, as a contribution to the theory of' political development, we must consider first the approach adopted to structure and function in the transitional or developing

states themselves, then the extent to which the theory that first Almond and then Almond and Powell together sought to develop was successlillly integrated with the empirical data on devel oping states which these studies contained. This will bring out the

tension between the desire to construct a universal framework of analysis OI'1 the one hand, and the specific concern with the politics of countries deemed vulnerable because of their transitional status

on the other. Structure and Function in Developing States

As noted above. the theoretical and empirical chapters of The Politics of the Developing Areas (Almond and Coleman 1960) were poorly integrated, and the elaborate theoretical framework of Comparative Pofitics: A Developmental Approach (Almond and Powell 1966) was based upon the kinds of institutions most common to developed Western states. In each volume theoretical exposition took pride of place, as the principal authors argued that a better understanding of the processes of political change in transitional societies required the elaboration of a universal functional theory. However, there was more to these volumes than the attempt to develop such a theory. The ease studies in The Pofitics of the Developing Areas also provided the first extended accounts of the politics of the new states within the political development litera-

ture, while Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach offered the first attempt to make systematic reference to a wide range of 'Third World' cases in the context of a theory of political development. The treatment of` the politics of developing states in each of these accounts has an interest of its own therefore, apart from that which it derives from the theoretical approach to which it is linked. In fact, as we shall see, a number of the substantive themes addressed were either separate or in principle separable from the claims made for the functional approach itself. It is just as important to examine the treatments of the politics of' developing states themselves and the substance of the particular arguments advanced as it is to reconstruct the more abstract functional argu-

ments which were given pride of place.



The regional case studies in The Politics of the Developing Areas shared a common framework. Each had successive sections on background. processes of change, political groups and political functions, governmental structures and authoritative functions, and political integration. In addition. each addressed in turn the seven different functions identified by Almond in his introduction. For the most part, however, the common framework was used largely to organize descriptive material, and little or no account was taken of the particular functional arguments which Almond advanced. First and foremost, these contributions were survey articles written by regional experts, intended to give an overview of the politics of the region with appropriate background information. A large part of' each essay was taken up with the classification and description of political parties in the region, in accordance with

typologies which were broadly consistent with what Almond proposed in his introduction. The majority of the case studies were discussions loosely organized around themes common to the broad literature on political development, rather than direct applications of the functional approach. Blanksten's essay on Latin America insisted on the authoritarian character of its heritage: Rustow, on the Middle East, recounted a history 'punctuated by dictatorships, military coups, riots, and states of siege' (Rustow 1960° 395), stressing the weakness of liberal constitutionalism and the threat posed by communism. and Weiner. on South Asia, contrasted the fortunes and prospects of India. Pakistan, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Only Pye on South-East Asia and Coleman on Sub-Saharan Africa organized their material to address current arguments in political development theory. Coleman, writing on the eve of the major

wave of decolonization in Sub-Saharan Africa, characterized the politics of the region as 'highly transitional,' arguing that In most instances this great transformation is not occurring within the boundaries or the framework of established societies: rather, entirely new political systems and new societies are in the process of birth. Politically the essence of this dynamic movement is that power is rapidly gravitating into the hands of entirely new social groups unaccustomed to its exercise. As a consequence there is a generalized instability, and particularly an unpredictability regarding political authority. (Coleman l960a' 31 2)

In these circumstances, feelings of hopelessness, frustration and insecurity abounded; parties tended to be the instruments of groups

concerned with their relative position up the new social and political


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

system rather than with questions of public policy. while specific interests tended to be pursued through traditional groupings rather than through functionally specific interest groups, so that in associational and party development alike racial. tribal, religious and regional interests were mobilized and intensified. Even at this early

stage of the process of decolonization, Coleman saw evidence of increased roles for armies, increased pro-government partisanship in previously neutral bureaucracies, and the blocking of career paths for the younger generation as relatively young Africans monopolized the prestigious positions being hastily abandoned by European colonial officials and rulers. Overall, the situation was fluid, and the prospects for stability in the foreseeable future were unclear. Finally, Pye's lengthy contribution on South-East Asia, apparently written at about the same time as his essay on the 'non-Western political process', largely replicated the arguments developed there. Pye argued that many of the Westernized structures do not perform the same functions in Southeast Asian societies as they do in the West, while many of the functions of the political process are not performed by the type of group or organization which would perform them in a Western society. (Pye 1960; 109)

Within this framework, the arguments he advanced were perfectly familiar. The key characteristic of the region was that 'as yet there has not emerged in any of the Southeast Asian countries a distinct sphere of political relations that is clearly separated from the more basic patterns of' and personal relations' (ll8]. Political parties were either followings seeking power and positions for their leaders, or ideological movements seeking to represent

'total orientations' towards life, legist atures played very minor roles in law-making; and associational interest groups were poorly developed. In most cases. authoritative institutional groups dominated the political scene: Instead of the political parties and associational interest groups making policy decisions for the administrators and soldiers, the latter have generally taken the initiative. In several of the countries, their course of political development has resulted in the bureaucracy and the army becoming the only elicctively organized and relatively modernized groups in the entire society capable of political action. (115)

This was largely the case because the majority of the population

were motivated to participate in politics by feelings of restlessness



and insecurity arising from the disruption of their traditional patterns of life. As they were seeking participation 'in order to resolve intensely personal problems', there was 'no logic that can relate the speeiiic needs of the individual to any specific goals of public policy' (133). Rather, such individuals were drawn towards 'various deviant movements . . . and particularly to the Communist parties' (134). Thus the leaders of the Southeast Asian countries are faced with a dual task: first, they are seeking to create a viable system of intra-elite role relation ships; second, they are called upon to encourage the development of new systems of non-elite role relationships for the bulk of their peoples. (118]

In the light of these contributions, it is evident that there was a significant difference of emphasis between the theoretical exposition on the one hand. and the approach adopted in the major area studies contained in The Politics of the Developing Areas on the other. In the construction of the functional framework considerable attention had been paid to the claim that there was a universal set of poiitical functions carried out in all political systems by a variety of structures or institutions, and its theoretical implications, In the treatment of the existing political systems of' the new states, in contrast, greater attention was paid to the empirical evidence for the related but far less ambitious claim that structures or institutions familiar in Western contexts did not function as they did in those same contexts. Valuable as this insight might be, it had nothing at all to say about the possibility or the utility of devising a common framework for the analysis of all political systems. Nor did i.t require the assumption that in the end there was a single set of functions

which all political systems were bound to fulfil in one way or another. As it turned out, the approach adopted in the case studies carried forward a number of familiar arguments first encountered in discussions of the 'non-Western political process' which could feed into but did not either require or directly support the more elaborate functional argument. The manner in which the particular case of transitional societies was addressed, particularly by Coleman and Pye, showed the same gap between the arguments advanced and the full functional model. For each of them, the key characteristic which gave rise to political instability was the simple fact that the societies observed were in a state of flux. Formerly stable patterns of social and political interaction were being


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

disrupted, and new patterns had not yet been consolidated in their place. As we saw in the previous chapter, this perception was central to the concerns which gave rise to the political development

literature. However, because it was the simple fact of disruption arising from rapid change which was said to provoke instability, Coleman and Pye did not need to offer or adopt an elaborate functional theory to justify their claims. Their principal hypothesis, that rapid change had a disorienting and destabilizing effect. did not

depend upon a particular analysis of the nature of the stability that had preceded it, nor did it require them to assume that stability would be restored on a new basis at some point in the future. Least of all did it require them to subscribe to the idea that a universal set of political functions could be defined, and associated with different structures in different political systems. in the light of this imbalance between theoretical framework and substantive analytical content we need to look further, in order to see what specific conclusions regarding politics in the new states were advanced in connection with the functional approach. In the light of' what we have seen so far, we have good reason to be sceptical that they rested upon any of the grander claims of the functional approach. If they did not, the approach itself should be seen as at best purely decorative, and at worst either a self-deluding source of confusion, or a pseudo-scientific attempt to mask and justify highly partisan conclusions. Theory and Substantive Argument

in the Functional Approach

The conclusions derived from the functional approach are best understood through a reading of Coleman's conclusion to The Politics of the Developing Areas (Almond and Coleman 1960) and the parallel classification of political systems and concluding chapter in Almond and Powell's (1966) Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach. As we shall see, the classification of deveIn oping states presented particular problems, and the conclusions

drawn with regard to them did indeed owe more to the conservative elitist of the revisionist theory of democracy than to the particular claims of the functional approach. In his conclusion to The Politics of the Developing Areas, Coleman briefly summarized AlInond's functional argument, then classified the states covered in the text as competitive, semi-competitive or



authoritarian, and modern, mixed or traditional. Only three (Chile. Israel and Uruguay) of the 74 were classified as both modern and competitive. The ensuing discussion emphasized the extent to which the great majority fell short of the characteristics l`elt to be appropriate for effective modern systems. Coleman next assessed the degree oz" correlation between democracy and economic development, concluding that the connection was established when countries were compared in groups, but weakened by the appearance of negative correlations when countries were considered individually. He then offered a six-category typology of African and Asian political systems as political democracies, tutelary democracies, terminal colonial democracies, modernizing oligarchies,

traditional oligarchies and colonial or racial oligarchies. In a strange departure, considered further in Chapter 7, the Latin American states were excluded from this typology and classified separately in accordance with the criterion of the degree of party competitiveness. At the same time, the whole exercise was regarded as provisional: 'Many of the countries concerned could be regarded as marginal in the category to which they have been assigned, and approached with a different purpose. could justifiably be shifted to another' (Coleman ].960b: 562). The hook concluded with this classification, and the reminder that 'the development of a rigorous theory of political modernization is still unfinished business' (576). Whereas The Politics of the Developing Areas concluded with a tentative classification of political systems, however. Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach moved from a classification of all political systems from primitive to modern to an attempt to sketch

out a theory of political development organized around the ideas of structural differentiation, autonomy and secular-ization. and to assess its descriptive. explanatory and predictive power. The classification of political systems, based upon Dahl's development of Aristotle's sixfold typology of monarchy, tyranny, aristocracy, oligarchy, polity and democracy. distinguished between primitive. traditional and modern systems in accordance with the degree of structural differentiation and cultural secularization. Virtually all the developing states were designated as modern (or elsewhere as 'modern or rnodernizing'), along with secularized city-states such as Athens, the Soviet Union, and all the contemporary Western states (Box 3.3). Only Ethiopia, described as 'unusually undevel~

oped and isolated' (Almond and Powell 1966' 218 ft 3) was named


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World




INTERMITTENT POLITICAL STRUCTURES A. Primitive Bands (Bergdarria) B. Segmentary Systems (Newer)

C. Pyramidal Systems (Ashanti) II.


DIFFERENTIATED GOVER NMENTAL-POLITICAL SYSTEMS A. Patrimonial Systems (Ouagadoagou) B. Centralized Bureaucratic (Inca, Tudor England, Ethiopia) C. Feudal Political Systems (Twelfth-century France)

III. MODERN SYSTEMS: DIFFERENTIATED POLITICAL INFRASTRUCTU RES A. Secularized City»States: Limited Differentiation (Athens)

B. Mobilized Modern Systems: High Differentiation and Secularization


Democratic Systems : Subsystem Autonomy and Participant Culture a. High Subsystem Autonomy (Britain) b. Limited Subsystem Autonomy (Fourth

Republic France) Low Subsystem Autonomy (Mexico)



Authoritarian Systems: Subsystem Control and Subject-Participant Culture a. Radical Totalitarian (U.S.S.R) b. Conservative Totalitarian (Nazi Germany) c. Conservative Authoritarian (Spain)

d. Modernizing Authoritarian (Brazil) C. Preinobilized Modern Systems'

Limited Differentiation and Secularization l. Premobilized Authoritarian (Ghana) 2. Premobilizcd Democratic (Nigeria prior to January 1 9 6 6 )

Source: Almond and Powell 1966° 217.



as falling into the traditional category. Within the large set of modern states (leaving aside the special case of secularized citystates) a primary distinction was drawn between 'mobilized' and 'pre-mobilized' states, and within each group a distinction was made between authoritarian and democratic forms. The key distinction between traditional and modern systems was the shift from a situation in which all functions were carried out by rulers, leaders or officials, to one in which a separate political infrastructure emerged in which citizens played a part. Mobilized modern systems had in common a high degree of structural differentiation and secularized political culture. Those with autonomous infrastructures and predominant participant cultures were democratic , while those with a non-autonomous infrastructure and mixed subject-participant cultures were authoritarian. Among the demo~ cratic systems the degree of autonomy of different elements of the infrastructure (parties. media, interest groups) from one another and the degree of ascendancy of the participant culture could vary . producing cases of high, limited and low subsystem autonomy respectively. Every case, however, exhibited 'both legal and actual pluralism or autonomy in the political infrastructure'. In comparison, authoritarian and totalitarian systems were seen not as lacking all autonomy, but as 'systems in which formal autonomy is eliminated but in which some measure of real plural» ism and competitive process still persists' (272). The extent to which pluralism and competition survived varied in accordance with the character and intensity of the goals pursued by the state. being lowest in the radical totalitarian case of the USSR, somewhat higher in the conservative totalitarian case of Nazi Germany. and

higher still in the case of Spain, where the goal was stabilization in a conservative mould. and no equivalent attempt was made to transform society. Although Brazil was mentioned as an example of a fourth variant a 'modernizing authoritarian' system - no further comment was offered in support of this passing reference. From our perspective, th greatest significance attaches to the category of 'premobilized modern systems' into which the great majority of new states were placed. In contrast to the 'mobilized' ...-

modern systems, which were characterized by a differentiated infrastructure, a 'rather widespread secularized political culture'. considerable social and economic development, and the spread of instrumental and part ip E

y attitudes, the premobilized m der

systems were ones in which 'the trappings of political modernity -


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

parties. interest groups, and mass media - have been imposed upon highly traditional societies' (284), These were the familiar 'nonWestern' or 'new states,' the 'historical accidents' in which the effects of colonialism and the untimely diffusion of ideas and practices from the developed world gave political development its problematic character: Traditional and modern elites manipulate mass activity in both democratic and authoritarian variants of premobilized systems. yet the

fragmentation among the elites and the ultimate inability to satisfy aroused mass aspirations create a continuing spiral of frustration and instability. (285)

Definitive classification of such regimes, as attempted for example by Coleman in The Politics of the Developing Areas, was now judged premature, but a contrast was drawn all the same between Ghana under Nkrumah and Nigeria in the First Republic as representing authoritarian and democratic 'stances' respectively, with Almond and Powell (1966: 290) gracefully noting that the decision to use the two as examples of premobilized systems was made 'before the recent military coups (in 1966) in the two nations'. Against the background of this classification of political systems, the concluding chapter embarked upon an extended assessment of the descriptive, explanatory and predictive power of the approach to political development organized around the ideas of structural differentiation. autonomy and secularization, It offered as its central theoretical statement the claim that 'the development of' higher levels of system capabilities is dependent upon the development of greater structural differentiation and cultural

secularization' (323), adding that in structural terms this meant a 'rational' bureaucracy, 'something like a modern interest-group or party system', and 'differentiated political communication structures' (323-4). The classification system offered was defended as a basis forprediction on the grounds that as all political systems were to an extent 'prisoners of their past', it grouped them 'according to the kinds of futures they face' (302). The discussion centred upon the question of' democracy in modern systems, and suggested that the twin processes of structural differentiation and secularization eventually forced a choice between extending

or containing

subsystem autonomy. In other words, the primary contrast that Almond and Powell sought to illuminate was between modern

democratic and authoritarian systems, and the key argument



proposed was that whereas in democratic systems the level of subsystem autonomy and the responsive capacity of the state were high, in authoritarian systems both were low. The contrast was at its most extreme in the cases of 'Anglo-American democracy and Soviet totalitarianism' (312). At this point a serious break occurred in the development of the theoretical implications of the approach, with devastating implications tor the supposed connections between the functional

approach on the one hand-and the politics of the developing states on the other. Almond and Powell now turned to the 'premobilized modern systems' with the comment that 'though in form these may appear to be democratic or authoritarian systems, they are in

fact only at the beginning stages of the differentiation and secularization processes' (3l3). Thus the classification was provisional, and carried no predictive power: When one calls a political system at this stage of development 'democratic or 'authoritarian' one refers not to a Iiinctioning political system, but rather to what might be thought of as a 'stance' at the beginning of a developmental process, and one that may change quickly and without much prior warning. 1313-14)

The same breach between the development of the analytical framework and its application to developing states was repeated in the discussion which followed of the four developmental processes of state-building, nation-building, participation and distribution. This offered an extended comparison of the cases of Britain, France and Germany, but it made no reference at all to the implications of the comparison for the developing world.

with the theoretical status and the developmental dynamics of the new states both left uncertain, Almond and Powell turned to the predictive capacity of the model, and offered three generalizations. First, as noted above. the development of higher levels of system capabilities was dependent upon the development of greater structural different ation and cultural secularization. Second, all systems would encounter 'the system development problems of nation building, state building, participation, and distribution' (324). And third, systems with low subsystem autonomy would

find it difficult to develop a broad responsive capability. At this point a second break occurred in the development of the theoretic al implications of the approach. After asserting that these Lhree

'general theoretical statements' made it possible to 'move in a


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

number of directions in formulating an increasingly specific theory of political change' (325), Almond and Powell decided unceremo-

niously to abandon the line of argument. Rather than pursue it further in relation to the case of the developing societies which were ostensibly at the core of their theoretical project. they opted to invoke the hitherto unconsidered and untheorized variable of .lead~ ership, and to apply this to the specific case of their 'prernobilized modern systems'. In so doing, they again moved directly back on to the terrain covered by previous discussions of the 'non-Western political process'. Thus they turned their attention to 'political investment strategies' in the new states in the light of the dilemma posed for their leaders by the explosion of participation and 'the image of the modern and democratic state which, given the social and cultural conditions of their societies, is unattainable in the immediate future' (327). Noting the appeal of the Marxist-Leninist model and the need to find a viable alternative. they offered a 'rational choice' perspective focused on the identification of an investment strategy with the highest chance of success. In so doing, they reformulated, in suitably neutral language, Pye's more direct assertion that the new states wanted too many things which

they could not have: The approach followed in many of the new nations, which involves simultaneous investments in the development of all the capabilities including the responsive and distributive ones. seernsto be a high-risk, low-benefit strategy. The human and material resources simply are not there to produce this kind of simultaneous solution of the problems of state and nation building, participation and distribution. There must be some scheduling, some system of priorities. (329)

After all the efforts expended on the elaboration of the functional approach, then, they were back with the core ideas spelled out in the previous chapter. And it was in the light of these considerations, rather than the conclusions derived from the functional framework itself, that they turned to 'elaborating the logic of public policy as it relates to political development', and advised rulers in new states how best to proceed. The advice they offered was familiar: they should stress state- and nation-building in the first stages over participation and welfare, preserve a degree of pluralism in order to keep options open, make compensatory investments to cope with the disruptive consequences of the modernization

process, and pursue complementary investment strategies in



education, industrialization, family structure and organization. and urban and community planning. Reflecting on the enormity of

the task, Almond and Powell opined that 'the modern political scientist can no longer afford to be the disillusioned child of the Enlightment. but must become its sober trustee', (332) and it was on this suitably sententious note that the text came to an end. Conclusion

The general conclusion to be drawn from this sorry tale is that the functional approach was not only rather a mess, but also largely an irrelevance. Beyond its various deficiencies. widely noted by critics

of varying persuasions, its most striking feature was that it was declared by its own authors to be of limited value in addressing the specific case of the developing states (or 'premobilized modern systems'). These continued to be addressed within the framework of 'non-Western states'. filtered through the core assumptions of the revisionist approach to democracy. As a result, the functional approach never quite got off the ground. Almond himself has stated that his theoretical introduction to The Politics of the Developing Areas was written in virtual isolation from the accompanying case studies (Almond and Coleman 1960: viii; Almond 1970: 18); and the aineoded framework offered in Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach failed to illuminate the politics of the developing societies which were its intended target. One reason for this was that even to its authors the approach seemed both unfinished and hopelessly over-ambitious. In The

Politics of the Developing Areas, Almond looked forward to the eventual statistical treatment of the key categories of function, structure, and style. but was forced to admit that none of these had yet been appropriately identified: The set of political functions which we have proposed is most preliminary. We cannot really say that we have developed a set of functional categories which will prove satisfactory for purposes of analyzing and comparing political systems. We must be even more tentative about the structural categories. Here we have simply used the nomenclature of political and social institutions without pretending to have arrived at clearly defined, universally applicable categories of`structure. Finally. in comparing styles of performance of function by structure we have relied 111 the main upon

the pattern variable concepts of Parsons and Shils. (Almond 1960- 62)


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Even if these problems were resolved. he confessed, calculation of the possible combinations of types of function, structure and style would produce 'a matrix with several hundred cells', and 'if we were then to attempt to sample the actions of a number of politics over a given period of time in order to arrive at precise comparisons of these politics in terms of trequeneies of performance of function. by structure. by style. we should have set ourselves a research task of ridiculous proportions. (62)

Six years later, this impossible dream was, not surprisingly, no nearer realization. The conclusion to Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach described the goal of a generalizing and

predictive political science as a 'most hazardous and difficult task', and claimed no more than to have assembled some 'preliminary exercises pointing the way toward a theory of political development' (Almond and Powell 1966: 300, 322), It is not surprising, therefore. that little light was thrown on the politics of the develop» ing states themselves. The theoretical fruits of the exercise were indeed meagre. As we have seen, they were limited to the assertions that all political systems must face the challenges of nation-building, state-building, participation and distribution; that in order to develop the capabilities required to do so they must undergo processes of cultural secularization, and structural differentiation reflected in the emergence of interest groups, political parties and rational

bureaucracies: and that systems with low subsystem autonomy would not develop a high responsive capacity. At the same time, it was conceded. in the more refined version of the approach offered in 1966, that there was no reason to believe that political systems in the real world would actually tend to develop in the direction of

secularization and differentiation. Not surprisingly, the approach attracted substantial criticism. Objections were made to its ethnocentricity, its inherent conservatism, its inability to produce explanations for change, its extraordinarily pretentious and cumbersome use of jargon, and its lack of operationalization in terms of core hypotheses (Chilcote 1981: l 78-82). From my perspective, concerned as I am with the case of the devel oping states and with the insights which flow from a critical Marxist approach, these objections, weighty as they are, are not fundamental. The core problem which generated all these

failings. from the failure to produce change to the appearance of an



ethnocentric fixation on 'Western' institutions. was the treatment as universal of a process which was historical, and specific to a particular form of society. This falsely universalized 'functional' model was superimposed upon a set of assumptions, carried over more or less wholesale from the revisionist theory of democracy. which simply resurfaced and carried the argument at the crucial point at which the 'f`unctionaT model was abandoned. The problem with the functional approach was not so much that it was ethnocentric. but that it smuggled into a supposedly universal framework a set of assumptions and requirements which were specific to the logic of capitalist societies. This can be seen in three interesting features of the approach

which differentiated it from the cultural, institutional and comparative historical approaches reviewed in the following chapters. First, it abstracted away from the particular substantive goals of individuals to the political processes in which they became involved as they sought to secure them, treating those goals simply as presenting themselves to the 'system', ready-made, as input. Second, it saw different social systems (the political system itself, the economy, the religious community, the family. and so on) as

separate behavioural realms, with individuals passing from one 'system' to another as they performed different roles. In particular, it saw the polity and the economy as separate spheres. Third, although it took the idea of the legitimate use of coercion and hence the standard Weberian definition of the state as its starting-point, it blurred the distinction between the government and the citizen, or the state and society, by adopting a very broad definition of the political. and including in its set of 'conversion functions' the activ-

ities of citizens organizing politically, as well as the authoritative actions of the government itself, without making any distinction

between them. Hence the six 'conversion functions' captured the activity of three 'state' institutions - executive, legist ature and judiciary - and three 'social' institutions - . political parties, pressure

groups and the media. In its deliberate neglect of substantive goals. its separation of the economic and the political in accordance with behavioural rather than institutional criteria, and its blurring of the dividing line between state and society - the functional

approach was quite distinctive. The significance of the fact that the political systems of the developing countries defied definitive classification. and that the attempt

to explore the theoretical implications of the functional model was


Capicaiism and Democracy in the Third World

abandoned before their case was considered, is that it reveals this underlying characteristic of the literature, and confirms the funda-

mental commitment to a prescriptive model intended to promote pro-Western capitalist development, rather than to a scientific understanding of political systems. For all that they were presented as implications of the functional approach, the prescriptions addressed to leaders in new states with which the volume concluded depended upon the prior assumption that élite-led pro-capitalist liberal democracy was currently unattainable. This prompted the expedient adoption of a 'rational choice' model focused on 'political investment strategies`, centred on a familiar strategy -- an élite-led process of development focused in the Iirst instance on state- and

1'1ation~building, with increased levels of participation and welfare postponed into the indefinite future. In its essentials .... and not least in its insistence on the extent to which democratic politics required intensive preliminary social engineering ..- this reflected the practi-

cal orientation of the revisionist theory of democracy . This is scarcely surprising. The point of departure of the functionalist approach - the assertion of the need for 'good boundary maintenance' between the political and social systems - was simply a restatement in a jargonized form of the insistence by the revisionist theorists that political institutions should be protected from direct popular pressure. And the major political institutions Almond proposed to achieve this end -- associational interest groups, and pragmatic parties able to bargain and compromise within an overarching consensus - were precisely those celebrated by revisionist theory. It was quite natural, therefore, that when the

attempt to theorize the developing states through the functionalist

approach broke down, Almond and Powell should have returned to the revisionist theory and spelled out its practical implications for leaders in developing societies regardless. For all its strident oppo-

sition to institutionalism,

the functional approach

retained a

strong link with the leading institutions of Western political systems, deriving its functional categories directly from them and

endorsing them as the only possible framework for system capabil~ ity in the modern world. Seen in these terms. the 'l`unct.ional' content was an excrescence. an elaborate but ultimately irrelevant superstructure which could be discarded without damaging the underlying message. The functional approach had some important strengths, but its serious shortcomings limited the contribution it could rnake to the



understanding of political development. on the positive side. it was a genuinely systemic theory which sought to grasp the logic of the working of the political system as a whole, in conjunction with other related economic and social systems. And within this overall systemic approach it rejected the simplistic dualism which remained a constant temptation in modernization theory, and in particular advanced the important argument that apparently 'traditional' practices such as political patronage or recruitment on ascriptive criteria might persist and play highly functional roles in 'Modern' Western societies. However, its goal of a truly universal theoretical framework for the analysis of political systems was arguably fundamentally misconceived. and certainly imperfectly realized. If the dilemmas confronting the developing states arose from the pressures of global modernity, it mattered more to analyse those pressures than to establish a transhistorical framework able to encompass the very different situation of primitive and historical societies. As it was. the analytical exercises pursued were marked by substantial discontinuities, focusing at one moment upon comparisons between primitive and modern systems, at another upon 'AngloSaxon' and continental European systems, at yet another upon 'democratic and totalitarian' systems. The modernizing new states that were central to the second agenda of developing a prescriptive theory of political development rarely took centre stage. and when they did. as in the concluding pages of Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach, Almond and Powell were led to admit that the theory developed did not provide a means of assessing their developmental status, or predicting the direction in which they

might develop. As a result, after all the effort expended

upon the

creation of a universal functional framework of analysis, the politics of the developing areas were addressed in much the same terms as they had been in the mid-1950s when the 'non-Western political process' was first described. it is significant in this respect that despite the effort to build a developmental dimension into the approach, in order to capture the dynamics of change, it was precisely where political systems were undergoing such change,

and were in a state oflluidity, that the approach was declared to be incapable of grasping the characteristics of the political systems concerned. Almond and Powell constructed a theory of political development which was at its weakest when dealing with developing

political systems. In the absence of a theoretical advance, the


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

pragmatic advice that was offered mirrored the preconceptions already built into political development theory as a result of the assumptions it shared with the revisionist theory of democracy. As a result, the prescriptions offered were independent of the primary theoretical agenda. Instead of addressing issues of structure and function, they focused on questions of priorities and leadership within a given institutional framework. It is not surprising that many of Almond's contemporaries also decided that it was better to

approach these issues directly. without the enormous costs and doubtful benefits of the prior construction of a comprehensive functional framework.



Political Culture

In its attempt to find a universal framework within which political regimes could be compared and the question of political development addressed, the functional approach took the political system as a whole as its starting~poinL At the same time, however, it

recognized the existence of 'cultural' factors which lay outside the political system proper, but exerted a significant influence on the way in which it worked. The final version of Almond and Powell's approach grouped these factors under the heading of 'socialize son', or the process by which individuals acquired the attitudes and values which would orient their b e h a v i o r in society. As we saw in Chapter 2, political development theorists rejected the idea, derived from modernization theory, that political attitudes and values would have to become wholly modern' for political development to succeed. And as we shall see here and in the following chapter, the doctrine for political development came to sec the issue of 'culture' as an aspect of élite-mass relations. In both cases. 'political culture' was interpreted in terms consistent with the revisionist theory of democracy.

One of the earliest documents produced by the Committee on Research in Comparative Politics attributed the problems of developing societies to unresolved cultural conflicts arising out of the uneven impact of Western influences on traditional situations (Kahin, Paulrer and Pye 1955: l()2.31. Its authors went on to spell out succinctly what was to be the enduring core agenda of the cultural approach: The fundamental cultural conflict between traditional beliefs and Western influences has gone far toward destroying the earlier bases of political consensus, and the increasing number of participants complicates the conscious attempts at developing a new consensus. One of the basic problems for the researcher, then, is to analyze the forces that may be most

significant in contributing to or disrupting the evolution of a new pattern


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

of consensus. I 'kg will be concerned with discovering the distribution of attitudes and behavior which may in time become institutionalized, and which will provide compatible orientations on the appropriateness of means and ends of poiiticai activity. (1025; emphasis mine)

AIrnond's first discussion of the comparative analysis of political systems offered a similar perspective. It defined political culture as 'the particular pattern of orientation to political actions within which every political system is embedded', and endorsed the homogeneous, secular political culture of the Anglo~A1nerican political systems, anchored in a fundamental consensus over

values: By a secular political culture I mean a multi-valued political culture, a rational-calculating. bargaining, and experimental political culture. It is a homogeneous culture in the sense that there is a sharing of political ends and means. The great. majority of the actors in the political system accept as the ultimate goals of the political system some combination of the values

of freedom, mass welfare, and security. There are groups which stress one value at the expense of the others: there are times when one value is

stressed by all groups, but by and large the tendency is for all these values to be shared, and for no one of them to be completely repressed. (Almond 1956: 3 7 )

In both cases, the analysis of political culture focused on the extent to which political attitudes and values and resulting patterns of behaviour were both shared and conducive to political stability, and the implications when they were not. While the l`unc~ tonal approach saw the shaping of values and attitudes through political socialization as one aspect of the system as a whole, other

efforts were made from the late 19505 to develop a specifically cultural approach outside the framework of functionalism. This

gave rise in the early l9605 to two complementary yet contrasting studies: Pye's Politics, Personality and Nation Building (1962), and Almond and Verbs's The Civic Culture (1963). These texts explored the connections between individual attitudes, values and behaviour on the one hand, and prospects for political stability and democracy on the other, using basic data derived from interviews and surveys conducted with individual citizens. However, they approached the issue from opposite directions. Pye focused on the case of Burma, which he saw as a transitional regime beset with deep-seated problems. Almond and Verba, in contrast, focused on

the 'civic culture' they associated with Britain and the United

Political Culture


States, and although they introduced Mexico at the last minute as a further case study alongside Italy and Germany, they addressed the issue of countries m transition to modernity only in their closing pages.

These studies were followed by Pye and Verba's collection on Political Culture and Political Development (1965), in the Studies in Political Development series. Despite its title, it abandoned the attempt to produce a cultural theory of political development. moving the debate instead towards élite theory and comparative history. It is best understood, therefore, as a critique of the cultural approach as it stood in be early 19605. It is considered as such here, along with the set of critical essays on The Civic Culture

published by Almond and Verbs as The Civic Culture Revisited (1980), and its substantive arguments on elites and comparative history are considered in Chapters 5 and 6 respectively . After Politics, Personality and Nation-Building and The Civic Culture, then, the leading exponents of political development

theory made no further attempt to develop a specifically cultural approach. In this chapter we examine the principal arguments of these two studies, and the criticism to which they were subjected within the political development literature. As we shall see, Politics, Personality and Nation Building, a somewhat idiosyncratic text which fell outside the mainstream of political development theory, was centrally informed by a conservative version of élite theory. Equally. the enormously influential Civic Culture was a restatement of an already established theme -

the need for élite-controlled consensus. Although its ideas as to the kind of political culture appropriate to stable liberal democracy

were quickly revised, its core assumptions were those of the revisionist theory of democracy. The eventual incorporation of the issue of 'political culture' within the framework of elite theory in Political Culture and Political Development should therefore be seen as a logical development, already implicit in these earlier studies . Politics, Personality and Nation Building

In Politics, Personality and Nation Building, Pye set out to investigate 'the basic attitudes and orientations of various key groups in (Burmese) society toward the political process' (Pye 1962: xiii). and to explore their political eiiects. The political culture was said to include six significant dimensions: the scope of activities. issues,


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

and decisions perceived as relevant to the management of political power; the body of wisdom and knowledge which made it possible for people to comprehend, Iind meaning in, explain and predict behaviours perceived as being relevantly political: the faith beyond substantive knowledge which was governed by the prophetic words of those perceived as appropriate spokesmen of the future; the values assumed to be most sensitive to political actions, the standards accepted as valid for appraising and evaluating political conduct; and the legitimate identities people could assume in contending for power and the common identity which the polity provides for all (122-4). Pye's central concern was to explain why transitional societies had such great difficulties in creating an effec-

tive modern state system. To answer it, he pointed beyond manifest objective problems such as shortage of capital and absence of trained personnel to 'a level of psychological problems involving attitudes and sentiments which create equal if not more serious difficulties', and a resulting vicious circle going from fear of failure in nation-building to deep anxieties which inhibited effective action, in turn making imagined failure real and heightening anxiety further. He commented that 'the shocking fact has been that in the last decade the new countries of Asia have had more difficulties with the psychological than with the objective economic problems basic to nation building' {xv). Burma was chosen as. a case study on the grounds that the absence of objective handicaps to economic development suggested 'the extreme importance of nonobjective considerations' such as 'political relations. psychological attitudes, and cultural values' (60). but he argued at the same time that the Burmese case study provided a 'basis for appre-

ciating the general problems of political development throughout the underdeveloped world' (xvi). At the outset, Pye returned to two themes central to his account

of the 'non-Western political process' . - the psychological motivation which underlay political participation in transitional societies

as individuals responded to personal needs and sought solutions to intensely personal problems. with the consequent lack of a connection between participation, public policy preferences, and outcomes: and the tendency for leaders to insist upon the existence of conformity precisely when the elements of consensus were lacking, and to adopt authoritarian methods in response to lingering self-doubt (.6). In sum, he proposed a psychological explanation for the failure to achieve development, the irrationality of the polit-

Political Culture


cal process, and the trend towards the adoption of authoritarian

forms of rule. Pye argued that whereas in a modern society the processes of basic socialization, political socialization and recruitment to political roles tended to reinforce each other, in a transitional society

they tended to lack coherence. and give rise to crises of identity, and loss of self-confidence. Availing himself of Erikson's concept of 'ego identity', he concluded that the struggles of large numbers of peoples in any society to realize their own basic sense of identity will inevitably be reflected in the spirit of the

society's political life, and

those conscious and subconscious elements

most crucial in determining the individual's identity must have their counterparts in the shared sentiments of the polity. We must assume that in transitional societies in which the socialization process fails to give people a clear sense of identity there will be related uncertainty in the political cultures of the people. (53)

In such societies, uncertainty and lack of trust would proliferate. and people would lack the capacity to work together to create the complex organizations which development and modernization required. Drawing on secondary sources and data derived from 79 interviews with administrative officials, politicians, journalists, educators and businessmen, Pye then diagnosed the Burmese political culture as revolving around feelings of anxiety and aggression. and

a consequent tendency to look to charismatic leaders for reassurance (125-6). The political process was characterized by secretiveness and poor communications, and an unusually large

gap between public and private discourse on politics. and was intensely personal in nature. The Burmese were held to manifest a compulsive desire to be above others, to have an intense distaste and fear of criticism, and to crave warm and intimate relationships yet fear that such relationships would require submission to another (128-35). Their political behaviour reflected contradictory extremes of gentleness. religiosity and virtue on one hand, and violence, malicious scheming and devious thinking on the other. As a result of an uneasiness in human relations stemming iron the unpredictable emotional responses of Burmese mothers to their children, and the further effects of acculturation in a modernizing society, politicians would dissimulate and bide their time until in


position to destroy their enemies. then move against them rutl1~


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

lessly. Political life, as a consequence. was marked by long periods of inaction and lethargy interspersed with outbursts of frantic action (136-44). Power was pursued for the pure pleasure it gave , with no concern for the implementation of specific programmes. At the same time, the individual experienced complex impulses of' awza and ah-nah-deli. which prompted urges to exert. influence and leadership on the one hand, and to display self~abncgation on the other, thus investing the pursuit of power with contradictory

emotional overtones. Decision raking was seen as dreary and dangerous, and intentions as reflective of the inner self were valued above actions. No connections were perceived between political statements or actions and policy outcomes, with the result that programmes were announced in order to 'demonstrate purity of motive and to realize self-expression', but not followed up on the grounds that political action had little influence over fundamental developments. Similarly, there was no connection between expressed ideology and political behaviour: ideologies were adopted to lend dignity to the underlying power struggle, but politics actually revolved entirely around personalities (145-57'). The politician or administrator tended to see the political process as so complex that he suffered 'a complete paralysis of effort, usually followed by a feeling that others with malicious intentions have been frustrating his desires and making his life difficult (1 70-1). As a result, the general perception that all manner of things had occurred in his lifetime without foresight or planning bred 'a certain willingness to close (his) eyes to the future and hope for the best' (174). Pye sought to explain this picture of the Burmese political

culture by reference to aspects of infant, adolescent, and political socialization. For example, the blend of optimism and distrust in the (male) character was traced to the infant bliss of breast-feeding on demand, followed by the betrayal of the capricious alternation of affection and coldness from the mother (184-5); other manifest rations of uncertainty were attributed to suppressed homosexual feeling for fathers or for the monks who provided instruction to young boys (180, ft. 6, 192). Against this background, Pye examined the 'political accultura-

tion' of administrators and politicians. identifying at the heart of the process the tragic dilemma that 'some degree of accultur ation is necessary for a people to learn about the essentials of nation

building, and yet the process of acculturation tends to produce

Political Culture


psychological reactions which inhibit and frustrate the nationbuilding effort' (212), Politicians and administrators alike appeared, at different psychological levels. 'unable to conquer various forms of ambivalence that in their cumulative effect destroy the capacity for those forms of action necessary for nation building' (2112). In the case of administrators, ambivalence towards progress and modernization, confusion over the difference between ritual and rationality in bureaucratic operations, and a fundamental and all-pervasive lack of communication among oliicials were traced back to the psychological impact of the colonial past. Administrators with a record of service under British rule were resentful that they were given little credit for progress in the colonial period, and inflexibly committed to formal procedures as a result of their confinement to clerical roles. They were jealous of their educational status yet doubtful of their own ability, and burdened with guilt and resentment as d result of the disturbing thought that their loyalty to and admiration for their British superiors amounted to a form of treason. This left them with the shameful knowledge that if they had not entirely betrayed their country by collaboration with the colonial enemy. it was only because the British had not accepted them sufficiently as equals to give them the real responsibility they craved. Administrators were unconsciously profoundly demoralized by 'the suppressed thought that they might have become traitors had it not been for the British refusal to accept them' (224), The deep insecurity thus generated provoked a fear of innovation, an unwillingness to be open with subordinates, and a tendency to cling to procedural formality . If administrators had suffered psychological damage as a result

of their exposure to clear but counter-productive role models, politicians suffered from an absence of any realistic role model, and a consequent tendency to set themselves inappropriate and impossible standards, judge themselves as failures, and retreat into passivity. As a result, the political leadership felt powerless to act, anxious to court popularity despite the lack of challenges from below, and inclined to argue that democracy was impossible in Burma, all because of 'insecurities arising from faulty concepts of the role of the popular politician' (BSU). In addition, their role as mediators between rural and urban Burma caused them to vacil~ late between opposite images of themselves, with the result that the lack of a stable self-image raised feelings of anxiety and doubt: 'At

the core of this confused sense of profession lie deeper self-doubts


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

and an endemic fear of failure. Unable to define their role clearly in their own minds, they cannot be sure that they have not been failures' (252), In addition, they retained from their perception of colonial rule the feeling that government was both omnipotent and effortless, and were locked into a psychological pattern of political irnrnobilisrn by the belief that 'to suggest the need for effort and sacrifice after independence was to call into question one's own omnipotence' (253). These attitudes combined with deeply ambivalent feeling towards tradition and nationalism to produce the 'basic paralysis of will of the Burmese politician' (265}. In the light of this extended analysis, Pye concluded that it was necessary to face the disturbing prospect that 'not only Burnie but most transitional societies are likely to be faced in the years to come with increasingly pressing problems' as transitional peoples were 'prone to intensely human but essentially self-defeating political practices' (287). Their only hope of salvation lay in their finding meaning in a fusion of 'world culture' and their own historic cultures, an outcome which could be achieved in two general ways. The first of these was the 'grand ideological solution' offered by a charismatic leader who had first found integrity in his own quest for identity. but this was rendered unlikely by the tendency of such leaders in contemporary transitional societies to communicate confusion and uncertainty rather than confidence as a result of their failure to resolve the crisis of identity in their own persons . It would therefore have to be combined with a second approach, which entailed 'assisting individuals as individuals to find their sense of identity through the mastery of demanding skills', thus producing people able to 'meet in their daily lives the exacting but

psychologically reassuring standards of professional performance basic to the modern world' and creating 'communities of modernizers who would constitute islands of stability in an otherwise erratically changing world Despite his closing endorsement of the 'democratic ideal', therefore, Pye's concrete suggestion aimed a t the foreign policy community was that 'the test of profession may prove to be a means overcoming many of the psychological ambivalences produced by the acculturation process' (289). Pye's fascination with amateur psychology and his tendency to interpret the Burmese political process as essentially irrational for deep-seated reasons of individual psychology gave his analysis an eccentric tone which placed it outside the mainstream political

development literature. This aspect of the text is not without inter-

Political Culture


est, both for what it reveals about Pye's disposition to interpret non-Western culture as fundamentally irrational and for the

comforting ability of the approach to exclude issues of political economy in general, and imperialist and neo-imperialist exploitation in particular. But at the same time, Pye shared many of the central concerns of political development theory. Reduced to its essentials. his analysis was concerned with the character of éiites, and their ability to lead a process of pro-Western modernization. If appropriate elites were to be created, he argued, it would be through the training and advancement of Westernized professional middle classes, who would then provide the basis for ligature political stability. However, if the reasons for the absence of' such elites

came down to reasons of upbringing and personal psychology, the prospects for their creation through Western influence and intervention were remote. The Civic Culture

Almond and Verba's The Civic Culture (1963). researched and written between 1958 and 1962, was published a year after Pye's Politics, Personality and Nation Building. As noted above. it drew its model of the 'civic culture' from Britain and the United States. It sought to 'apply some of the methods developed in the field of systematic survey research to the study of comparative politics' (Almond and Verba 1963: 45). in order to investigate the prospects for the emergence of similar 'mixed modernizing-traditional' cultures in nations around the world. At first sight, the task appeared overwhelming:

HOW can a set Of arrangements and attitudes so fragile, so intricate, and so subtle be transplanted out of historical and cultural context? Or, how can these subtleties and these human etiquettes survive even among ourselves in a world caught in the grip of a science and technology run wild, destructive of tradition and of community and possibly of life itself? (9)

In order to address the policy issues concerned they would deploy the full battery of theoretical resources produced by the scientific revolution in comparative politics: If we are to come closer to understanding the problems of the diffusion of democratic culture, we have to be able to specify the content of what has to be diffused. w develop appropriate measures for it, to discover its quan-

titative incidence and demographic distribution in countries with a wide


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

range of experience with democracy. With such knowledge we can speculate intelligently about 'how much of what' must be present in a country before democratic institutions take root in congruent attitudes and expectations. (9--10)

Although many emphases were shared, their analytical frame-

work was more elaborate than that adopted by Pye, and less focused on the detail of individual psychology. And where Pye had studied a small number of élite political actors, Almond and Verbs surveyed larger groups of citizens, but sought no direct interview data from elites. Their most significant difference with Pye was that they insisted that political culture was no more determined by the 'general psychological orientation' of individuals than it was by political structure. With this departure from what they described as 'the oversimplifications of the psychocultural literature' they hoped to demonstrate that 'the importance of specific learning of orientations to politics and of experience with the political system has been seriously underemphasized' (34; emphasis in the original). If

this was so, of course, political culture was the product of political socialization and public policy, and attitudes could be changed, within limits, by purposive governmental action.

The definitional structure of The Civic Culture followed from this assumption. The term 'culture' was employed only in the strictly limited sense of 'psychological orientation to social objects', leaving aside any other sociological or anthropological usages, and the political culture of a nation was deiiried as 'the particular distribution of patterns of orientation towards political objects among the members of the nation' (14-151. Almond and Verba investigated orientations of three kinds, drawn from Parsons and Shits -

cognitive, affective and evaluative (that is. arising from knowledge, feelings and opinions respectively). Each was explored in relation to four objects -- the political system in general, its input and output aspects. and the self as political actor. On this basis, three types of culture were identified: parochial, where the individual knows little of the political system and expects nothing from it. subject. where the individual has an essentially passive awareness of the system and its outputs, and participant, where the individual is equally aware of the input and output sides of the system. and of the norm of activism (but. it should be noted, is not necessarily an activist). These three orientations were described as congruent with traditional, centralized authoritarian and democratic political

structures respectively, but there was no implication that they

Political Culture


would coincide: 'political cultures may or may not be congruent with the structures of the political system' (21). The political culture could be described as allegiant where cognitive, affective and evaluative orientations to the political structure were all positive, as apathetic where affective and evaluative orientations were neutral or indifferent. and as alienated where they were hostile or negative. Finally. and of crucial significance for the character of the 'civic culture', the three levels were cumulative. Neither the individual citizen nor the culture would be exclusively parochial, subject or participant. Participant cultures would harbour numerous minorities of parochials and subjects among their citizens. and participant citizens would exhibit some parochial and subject orientations. In addition. mixed systems combining pairs of the three basic types of political cultures - parochial-subject, subject-participant. and parochial-participant were possible. Overall, what was at issue was 'what "mix" of citizens, subjects and parochials is related to the effective performance of democratic systems' (20-l ). The most significant feature of this elaborate classification was that it deliberately left out a possible fourth model of the citizen in a democratic society - the active citizen playing a full part in debate and decision-making. For Almond and Verba, this was a step forward. and a strong point in their approach. Having laid out their massive framework, the authors outlined the civic culture (see Box 4.1 ) in terms which contrasted it directly with the rational-activist model 'that one finds described in the civics textbooks' (32). At the outset, the authors did not intend to extend the focus of their research to cover the political culture of any 'emerging . -

nation'. The original set of countries chosen for detailed investigation was Britain. Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United States. Mexico was substituted for Sweden at the last minute, but Almond and Verba recognized that it was hardly representative of the emerging nations of Africa and Asia. However, they defined the

political cultures of the 'emerging nations' within their framework as 'parochial-participant', as a result of the recent introduction of participant norms in a predominantly parochial context, and prob-

lematic as a result: It is not surprising that most of these political systems, always threatened by parochial fragmentation, teeter like acrobats on tightropes. leaning precariously at one time toward authoritarianism, at another toward democracy. There is no structure on either side to lean on. neither a bureaucracy

I 02

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Box 4.1 The 'civic culture'

The civic culture is not the political culture that one finds described in civics textbooks. which prescribe the way in which citizens ought to act in a democracy. The norms of citizen behaviour found in these texts stress the participant aspects of political culture. The democratic citizen is expected to be active in politics and to be involved. Furthermore. he is supposed to be rational in his approach to politics, guided by reason. not by

emotion. He is supposed to be well informed and to make deci-


sions - for instance, his decision on how to vote on the basis of careful calculation as to the interests and the principles he

would like to sec furthered. This culture, with its stress on rational participation within the input structures of politics. we can label the 'rationality-activist' model of political culture. The civic culture shares much with this rationality-activist model, it is, in fact, such a culture plus something else. It does stress the participation of individuals in the political input process. In the civic culture described in this volume we shall find high frequencies of political activity. of exposure to political communications, of' political discussion, of concern with political affairs. But there is something else. In the first place, the civic culture is an allegiant participant culture. Individuals are not only oriented to political input, they are oriented positively to the input structures and the input process. In other words, to use the terms introduced earlier, the civic culture is a participant political culture in which the politieal culture and political structure are congruent. More important, in the civic culture participant political

orientations combine with and do not replace subject and parochial political orientations. Individuals become participants in the political process. but they do not give up their orientations as subjects nor as parochials. Furthermore. not only are these earlier orientations maintained. alongside the participant political orientations. but the subject and parochial orientations are congruent with the

participant political

orientations. The nonparticipant, more traditional political orientations tend to limit the individual's commitment to politics and to make that commitment milder. In a sense, the subject and parochial orientations 'manage' or keep in place the participant political orientations. Thus attitudes favorable to

Political Culture


participation within the political system play a major role in the civic culture, but so do such nonpolitical attitudes as trust in other people and social participation in general. The mainte-

nance of these more traditional attitudes and their fusion with the participant orientations lead to a balanced political culture in which political activity. in volvemerit and rationality exist but are balanced by passivity, traditionality, and commitment to parochial values. Source: Almond and Verbs 1963: 31-2. Copyright 1963 by Princeton University Press. Reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press. resting upon loyal subjects, nor an infrastructure arising from responsible

and competent citizens. The problem of development from parochial to participant culture seems, on first look, to be a hopeless one; but if we remember that most parochial autonomies and loyalties survive, we may at least say that the development of participant cultures in some of the emerging nations has not yet been precluded. The problems are to penetrate the parochial systems without destroying them on the output side, and to transform them into interest groups on the input side. $26]

The content of the 'civic culture' was spelled out in more detail in the conclusion, where it was approved as 'appropriate for maintaining a stable and effective democratic process' (.493}. Here. again, the target was the 'rationality~activist' model of citizenship . and the mode of behaviour it sought to endorse. The model of the citizen as a rational activist was condemned as empirically false. Citizens in democracies 'are not well informed, not deeply involved , not particularly active; and the process by which they come to their voting decision is anything but a process of rational calculation' (4-74). For the great majority politics and political activity were not matters of great interest or concern. What is more, this was seen as entirely appropriate. Far from constituting evidence of' the malfunctioning of democracy, the 'mixed' political culture they described was central to its proper functioning: On the one hand, a democratic government. must govern; it must have

power and leadership and make decisions. On the other hand. it must be responsible to its citizens. For if democracy means anything it means that in some way governrrr entnl elites must respond to the desires and demands of citizens. The need to maintain this sort of balance between governmental power and governniontal responsiveness. as well as the need to maintain

other balances that derive from the power/reponsiveness




Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

balances between consensus and cleavage. between affectivity and affective neutrality - helps explain the way in which the more mixed patterns of political attitudes associated with the civic culture are appropriate for a democratic political system. (476, emphasis mine)

In the 'civic culture,' then, élitcs had the freedom to govern, while citizens had a reserve of influence arising from their potentiality for action; elites were aware of it, and responded accordingly, assuming that citizens would act on their demands otherwise. The stability of the system was increased if governmental elites responded effectively to the demands created when significant issues arose. In conclusion, Almond and Verha turned to the implications of

their study for the developing states. Despite their exhaustive analysis. however, or rather because of the nature of the conclusions reached, they could not in the end identify means by which the civic culture could be induced in emerging nations. It could only survive where co-operativeness. trust and actual consensus existed and individuals did not attach too much importance to politics, and 'unless the political culture is able to support a democratic system, the chances for the success of that system are slim' (498), Such a culture could not be taught, as 'a major part of political socialization . . . involves direct exposure to the civic culture and the democratic polity themselves' (499). The problem of how to create one in new nations. they acknowledged, 'takes us well beyond the scope of our data': in the West, it had been a gradual

process, 'relatively crisis-free, untroubled and unforced', marked by the fusion of old and new attitudes {500). Present conditions,

however, were not the same: The problem in the new nations of the world is that such gradualness is not possible. There is a great demand for participation in politics from many who were only recently parochials. Tremendous problems of social change

must be faced all at once. And what may be most crucial: the very acts of creating national boundaries and national identity must go on at the same time. A slow political development may foster a civic culture. but what the new nations of the world lack is the time for this gradual development. (501 )

As to whether it was possible to find substitutes for this gradual and fusional process: 'there is no clear answer . . . and one can only speculate' (SLY). Education could create some of the components

of the civic culture; other channels of political socialization (family ,

Political Culture


work. voluntary associations) might help; and there was also a need for unifying symbols and cognitive skills: 'stated in these terms, the diffic ulties confronting efforts to create effective dernoc~ ratio processes and the orientations necessary to sustain them in the developing areas may appear to be insurmountable' (5045).

Almond and Verbs were led to conclude that while education and industrialization might help to promote a democratic opportunity. there were no readily available answers to the question of what other resources might consolidate such tendencies and potentiallties. More than five hundred pages on, they were no nearer a solution to the problem identified at the outset than they were at the beginning. They closed with the assertion that if the hook could 'create a more sober and informed appreciation of the nature and complexity of the problems of democratization' it would have served its purpose (505). Even as these words were being written. however, the groundwork was being laid for the abandonment. of

the 'civic culture' as a model for developing states . The Abandonment of the 'Civic Culture' Model Despite some differences in method and emphasis. there was considerable common ground between the two major studies reviewed. In particular, each endorsed the idea of a 'mixed' political culture, in which traditional and modem elements were fused, as the best basis for political stability, and each took a pessimistic view of the capacity of the political cultures of developing societies to contribute to stability or democracy. These were. as we saw in Chapter 2, standard themes throughout the whole political development literature. However, the literature was also consistently oriented to making a contribution at the levels of theory and policy. and the authors of these studies found that notwithstanding the depth of theory on which they drew, and the elaborate analytical exercises which they carried out. there were few returns either in theoretical advances, or in the resolution o1` policy issues. They responded by abandoning the 'civic culture' as a model, and moving away from the attempt to build. a separate theory of politi-

cal culture. Almond went on with Powell to develop further the functional approach reviewed in Chapter 3, while Pye and Verba addressed the issues from a different perspective in an edited volume, Political Culture and Political Development, published 111

1965. Over a decade later, Almond and Verba (1980) returned to


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

the theme in a further edited collection, The Civic Culture Revisited.

Together, these two volumes offer an internal critique of the 'political culture' approach, of particular interest because the same authors were directly involved. At first sight, Political Culture and Political Development had a

great deal in common with the two studies reviewed above. The studies it contained arose from the same period, and from interaction between Almond, Pye and Verba in a series of conferences and meetings, Pye and others drew heavily on Almond's ideas, and Verba contributed two chapters. a case study of Germany and a comparative and theoretical conclusion. There were also frequent references to The Civic Culture in th.e text. The emphasis was squarely on the urgent and unavoidable need to come to terms with the global 'participation explosion' and the increased demands that masses placed upon governing elites. and the message that traditional political orientations must be preserved rather than swept away was reaffirmed. At the same time, though, there were such important differences of emphasis in both method and argument that the volume must be regarded as a significant departure from previous approaches. Almond and Verbs had based the bulk of' their argument on data from opinion surveys. and sought to identify and interpret patterns reflected in the responses they received. They offered only the briefest sketches of national political cultures. and made sparing use of historical data. Their primary purpose was to derive from their data a single model of a political culture appropriate for democratization. Pye also collected and analysed material from extended interviews, but he offered a detailed analysis of the

Burmese case as representative of all transitional societies. l-lis primary purpose was to depict the political culture of a typical developing state. In contrast. Political Culture and Political Development placed the emphasis upon the variety of empirical situations around the developed and developing world. Pye noted 'the various

combinations and constellations of values which may govern different patterns of development' and the variation in the potential for modernization from one 'traditional' culture to another: 'In some societies the traditional political culture appears to have provided a ready basis for democratic evolution, while in others the tendencies have been more consistent with authoritarian ways' (Pye 19€>5a- 10-1l). On this basis, he opted for an open-ended case

study approach. No attempt was made to match the analytical

Political Culture


framework of The Civic Culture, and the bulk of the collection was taken up with lengthy studies of Egypt, England. Ethiopia, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Soviet Russia and Turkey. in this one respect. the approach was more in line with the case study methodology adopted in Politics, Personality and Nation Building, but in other crucial respects Pye and his collaborators abandoned the methodology of that study too. The pervasive emphasis on ind.ividual psychology was dropped, as were sweeping claims regarding the causal role of psychological variables. And although the careful reader would pick up echoes of Pye's approach to the case study of Burma in his introduction, no attempt was made either to agree and work to a common definition of political culture, or to gather data from interviews and life histories. or even to work to a common analytical framework of any kind. as 'it seemed best to emphasize more the existing richness of area studies than the potent al advantages of systematic schemata for defining and classifying political cultures' (Pye l965a: 13). The authors were asked to include 'some historical treatment and some evaluation of the significance of" various socializing agents in shaping their particular political culture', but were otherwise given a free hand. The resulting case study chapters delivered a blend of historical narrative and analysis which reinforced the idea of different paths towards political stability, and of different cultural formations within which such stability might be achieved. Verba's conclusion to the volume as a whole confirmed the shift away from any precise concept of political culture. Using the term because 'it has some currency in the literature, and any substitute word would just introduce more confusion', Verbs commented

that 'as used in this essay, (it) refers to a rather general approach to politics and some imprecision in its definition is probably not too crucial' (Verbs 196513: 513, ft. 1). its use was further justified not in terms of an elaborate model or distinct causality. but with the bland assertion that it 'serves to focus our attention on an aspect of political life, and such a focus of attention is useful' (5l5). Against this background Verbs presented political culture, following Parsons, as 'a system of control vis-ri-vis the system of political interactions' (517), stressing that political beliefs were not fixed for all time. He thereby switched attention away from underlying sets of orientations, whether conducive or not to political stability, to the changeability of basic political beliefs, and the role

elites in changing the beliefs of the masses:



Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

The changeability of basic political beliefs is indeed a crucial question to the elites of the developing nations. It is customary to think that cultural dimensions are unchanging factors that form the setting within which politics is carried on. that culture conditions politics, but not vice versa But the situation is sharply different today. Basic beliefs have now become the object of direct concern and attempted manipulation by the political elites in many nations. (520)


This shift in perspective entailed another important change: the abandonment of the claims for the universal desirability of a civic culture. Given the set of circumstances 'new nations' faced, Verbs argued in his case study of Germany that the German case might be the crucial one for the new states, rather than those of Britain and the United States. as in 1945 Germany faced the simultaneous problems of creating new basic political attitudes, and rebuilding

an economy and a nation (Verba l96Sa: 132). He argued that as the case of Germany was one of 'the conscious manipulative change of Fundamental political attitudes, in particular of change in the direction of more democratic attitudes', the question arose of whether there was 'a set of political attitudes that is requisite for a democratic political system or, if not requisite, at least conducive to the maintenance of democracy In particular, 'is the civic culture the standard one should use in assessing the democratic potential of German political attitudes?' (133), His conclusion was that it is not. as the extended quotation highlighted in Box 4.2 makes clear. As a result of these shifts, the central arguments of the political development literature as a whole were reaffirmed and brought directly into line with the assumptions of the revisionist theory of democracy, as emphasis was squarely placed on the dangers 01' too rigid a distinction between tradition and modernity, the pattern of gradual adaptation and assimilation of traditional elements in successful cases, the virtues of the elite-mass model of participation

and the need for élite control. At the same time, the idea of a single most appropriate model of political culture which had informed The

Civic Culture and the analysis of psychological obstacles to the definition of' an appropriate national identity which informed Politics, Personality and Nation Building were both dropped. In their place, the emphasis switched directly to consideration of the means by which elites could act upon the political orientations of the masses

in ways favourable to the promotion of political stability. To put it another way, whereas Politics, Personality and Nation Building had

focused on élite psychology, and The Civic Culture had focused on

Political Culture


Box 4.2 Verba's critique of the 'civic culture' Though the civic culture is conducive to the maintenance of democracy where it is found, there have been just too few cases studied to allow one to assume that it is the only feasible pattern for democratic politics. Other patterns of political attitudes may work as well. And the appropriate set of attitudes for the United States or Britain may be a less appropriate basis for democracy in a nation which has undergone the political shocks of German political history. Furthermore the types of political attitudes that developed within the older democracies may be neither feasible nor the most useful to late-corners to the democratic scene. The pattern of relatively free economic development pursued by the nations that industrialized in the nineteenth century worked well for those nations but may not be the pattern most conducive to rapid growth in the twentieth. And the same may be true of political development as well. What led to stable democracy in an earlier age may be less relevant today . Source: Versa 196.5a: 134.

mass orientations towards politics, Political Culture and Pofiticaf Development focused on élite management of mass orientations. At the same time. in a second shift which stretched the concept of political culture to include broad patterns of historical social and economic change, the conclusion shifted the focus from the comparison of political cultures to the identification of the sequence of challenges faced over time in the process of political development. Here too the issue of the conscious management of mass participation by elites again came strongly to the fore. and it was this theme, considered in substantive terms in the following chapter. which gave the collection its unity. In a further negative reflection on the political culture approach v the dropping of the civic culture model in Political Culture and Political Development was followed 15 years later by a wide-ranging critique of The Civic Culture itself. Among the many issues raised, those relevant to the argument here concerned first, the alleged relationship between the 'civic culture', political structure and democratic stability. and second. the treatment of the one develop~

ing society, Mexico.

I 10

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Lijphart. the most sympathetic of the assembled critics. defended Almond and Verba against previous charges (Scheuch 1969; Barry 1970; Paten an 1971) that subjective opinions were used as evidence of objective facts, and that a unidirectional causation

from political structure to political culture was assumed (Lijphart 1 980: 45-9). However, he endorsed the view that Almond and Verba's reading of' causality was varied without explanation as suited their case, and that without detailed analysis of actual political structures, which was not provided, it was arbitrary to treat subjective opinions as reflections of personal psychology rather than realistic perceptions of existing structures. Barry's caustic suggestion that the responses of individuals asked about their expectations of treatment from civil servants or of their chances of changing unjust regulations might 'add up to a fairly realistic assessment of the actual state of affairs, rather than. say, projec-

tions onto political life of childhood conclaves about the best place for a picnic' (Barry l. 970, 51: in Lijphart 1980: 47) was apowerful criticism.

Finally. I ijphart was not alone in pointing out that crucial aspects of' the arguments relating to political stability were not explained by the data collected. He noted that the key argument regarding the need for a balance between the responsiveness and power of elites was not supported by any attempt 'to measure elite political culture and behaviour either by a systematic survey or by an impressionistic ranking or classification of the live national governmental elites' (Lijphart 1980: 50), and he did not dispute Pateman's claim that elite responsiveness in Britain and the United States was assumed rather than proven, as was the view that levels

of participation in Britain and the United States were optimal. Finally, he questioned the logic of Almond and Verbs's argument that low levels of civic culture led to democratic instability. Following the logic of" the British and US cases, 'passive orientations would make the governmental elites powerful and effective but not very responsive. Germany and Italy tilted further towards passive attitudes, so 'their governments should therefore be high on effectiveness and low on democratic responsiveness. In other words, this fine of reasoning finks an inadequate civic culture to the poor quality of democracy instead of to democratic instability' ( 5 2 , emphasis mine). In similar vein. Kavanagh noted that the arguments in the concluding chapter concerning the need for a balance between

Political Culture


consensus and cleavage and instrumental and diffuse types of support were not addressed in the survey questions, and were provided with only fragmentary support (Kavanagh 1980: 129). In sum. the link between the 'civic culture' and political stability, crucial claim made by Almond and Verba and one on which the success of the enterprise depended, was assumed rather than demonstrated. In addition to these fundamental criticisms of the general framework within which the studies were placed. the treatment of Mexico, as the one 'developing society' among the case studies, was heavily criticized. Lijphart found it to be 'a weak case, because it is doubtful that this country can be regarded as fully democratic' (Lijphart 1980: 44). He also noted that it had been omitted from secondary analyses of the data, and suggested that its belated inclusion. had been a mistake. Craig and Cornelius listed a number of methodological weaknesses in the study, notably the fact, on which Lijphart also commented, that the survey had been drawn from urban areas only (Craig and Cornelius 1980: 326-8). In addition, rnisintcrpretations resulting from deficiencies of phrasing and

translation in the survey cast doubt upon the validity of the alleged strong aspirational component in Mexican political culture, and symbolic attachment to the values of the revolution. These were the two central features of the picture of Mexican political culture

which Almond and Verbs presented, and they were crucial to the overall analysis of its character. Craig and Cornelius were prompted to note, in measured terms. a 'strong possibility' that many of the questions employed 'may have tapped rather different dimensions from those Almond and Verbs intended to measure'

(was). More broadly, they argued that the analysis fundamentally misinterpreted the nature of Mexican political system. It had missed crucial arenas of political participation. such as local

communities. and overlooked the relative insignificance of voting in comparison to such activities as petitioning, patron-client relationships, orchestrated regime support. and protest and antisystem activity. On this basis. they joined Liiphart in questioning Almond and Verba's assumption that Mexico could be treated as a democracy directly comparable with the others included in the study. Their own interpretation stressed the highly controlled nature of the political system, the success with which citizen input

was limited. channeled and manipulated, the accuracy of the

I 12

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

understanding individual citizens had of their relative impotence, and the functionality of a low sense of political competence for the stability of the system. This analysis complemented and reinforced the argument that Almond and Verba had confused the issues of

the quality and the stability of democracy. In broad terms, then, these criticisms pointed out that the central theme of the 'civic culture' approach was not after all the civic culture as such, but the relationship between elites and masses and its implications for democracy. And they suggested that political stability required congruence between élite and mass behaviour and expectations at some level, but by no means necessarily at the level suggested by the 'civic culture' as it had been initially defined. In other words. the critique reinforced the shift of attention to élite-mass relations which was the core of the doctrine fOr political development.


Despite a preoccupation with issues of political culture in the political development literature throughout its lifespan, no significant attempts were made within it after the early 1960s to produce an approach to political development based exclusively or centrally upon a theory of political culture. Our examination of the different efforts of Pye and of Almond and Verba to produce such approaches suggest why this was so. Although it was representative of a broader literature similarly concerned with the impact of individual psychology upon political culture, Pye's study of Burma was exceptional within the political development literature, Its limited impact can in part be attributed

to the fact that it was a case study of a little-known society, but it was also a consequence of the reductionist nature of the argument. and the apparent intractability of the problems it identified. Pye not only dismissed 'objective' problems of development with his insistence that the obstacles to development in Burma were entirely

subjective, but also located those subjective obstacles so firmly in childhood and early generational experience that no ready solution to their omnipresent influence was evident. In the circumstances, it was not surprising than the only long-term solution he could envisage was the trators, to be placed as Culture, which was far opment literature and

training of a new corps of rational adminisa bridgehead in Burmese society. The Civic

more influential within the political develin comparative politics generally, rejected

Political Culture

I 13

Pye's focus on individual psychology and childhood experience, and placed much greater emphasis on social and institutional issues. but still made a reductionist argument and concluded with an apparently insoluble problem. It argued that a 'civic culture' was a necessary prerequisite for stable democracy, but at the same time it was led to conclude that such a culture was unattainable in the great majority of new states . On closer inspection, though, these arguments proved to be muddled and misleading. Indeed, there was an unresolved paradox at the heart of its attempt to develop a theory of political culture and democ ratio stability. As Paten an noted. the book was typical of' the period in its 'celebration of the role of political apathy and disinterest' (Paternan 1980: 58), yet in terms of the comparisons which were central to the analysis, the apathetic and disinterested citizens of Britain and the United States had to be held up as models of ideally participatory citizens, while their governing elites had to be depicted as ideally responsive. in this respect, the model of the 'civic culture' was not derived directly from the empirical data produced by the systematic survey research, but was an interpretation of the data which distorted it and went beyond it in a number of respects. In fact, virtually the only firm conclusion to be drawn directly from the data was that participation in politics was extremely limited every~ where. but on this point Almond and Verba failed to present the most telling evidence. For example. evidence regarding the overall level of political activity was drawn from reports of attempts to inffu-

ence the behaviour of government exclusively iron the sphere of local government. Respondents were asked whether they had ever done anything to try to influence an act of the national legislature

(Almond and Verbs 1963: 529, app B, q 29), but no room was found in 562 pages, 129 accompanying tables, and I I ligules to report the answers given. It is possible to infer that if they had been reported, the data would have shown very low levels of activity. Inst under 64 per cent of all respondents declared themselves able to do something about an unjust local regulation, while only 48 per cent felt able to do something about an unjust national regulation (185 , table l ; my calculation, based on size of total national samples). so it can be assumed that fewer attempts were made to influence national than local politics. And even when Almond and Verba reported actual attempts to influence local government, they still gave no overall figures. Instead, they compared 'competents' and

'noncompetentS (188, table 3). The overall levels, it" one cared to

I 14

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

calculate their, were as follows' United States 27.7 per cent; (great Britain 14.6 per cent; Germany 13.7 per cent; Italy 8.5 per cent: and Mexico 5.8 per cent. In other words, even in the United States barely over one in four citizens had ever attempted to influence local government in any way, while in Britain, also upheld as a model political democracy, one in six had done so. Again, actual attempts to influence national government must be assumed to have been significantly lower. And later, when Almond and Verba constructed

a 'subjective competence' scale, it was based on five answers concerning local government only (including actual attempts to intluence). Here they reported that 'if a scale of national competence had been used. t00 many respondents would have fallen into the lower categories of subjective competence, and the scale would not have been useful to discriminate among various types of citizeris' (232, emphasis mine). In what purported to he a study of political participation, then. readers were not told how many individuals had attempted to influence national government, but were simply informed that there was no presentable evidence of 'subject competence' at this level. The paradox of low levels of participation in the 'civic cultures was formally resolved by the endorsement of the 'mixed' civic culture, between tradition and modernity, but this did not alter the fact that Almond and Verha were advancing a case for a particular balance between mass participation and élite responsiveness. when their argument logically supported the case only for a balance of some level between participation and responsiveness, whether high, moderate or low. As Lijphart shrewdly noted, their argument linked levels of participation and responsiveness to the quality rather than the stability of democracy. On close inspection the arguments relat-

ing to stability proved to bear no relationship to the question of the civic culture. but rather to depend directly upon the issue of élitcmass relations, and in particular the ability of elites to limit and control the political arena. To the extent that political stability could be achieved by the élite management of popular attitudes and hence behavior, the whole question of the 'civic culture' was irrelevant. and it made very little difference that the prospects for creating such cultures in the developing world were bleak. Indeed, the analysis o1` Mexico by Craig and Cornelius made it clear that the issues ofstability and democracy were quite separate. Had Almond and Verbs recognized this, of course, they might have noticed that the Mexican political system was both the least democratic and by far the most.

stable of the live countries studied.

Political Culture

I 15

Despite first appearances, then, The Civic Culture had much more to say about stability than about democracy, and its principal arguments revolved not around the question of the 'civic culture', but around the character of élite-mass relations. It was this realization. on Verbs's part at least. which prompted the abandonment of concern with theories of political culture. and informed the

direct focus on elite~mass relations in Political Culture and Political Development. Considered in this light. the volume marked a break with the effort to theorize political development on the basis of political culture. and a significant rationalization' of the project to produce a theory of political development. In the end, if there was more continuity between the two volumes than at first seemed apparent, it was more because the central arguments in The Civic

Culture were drawn from élite theory than because those of Pofitieal Culture and Political Development were about political culture. In sum, the functional and cultural approaches described in this chapter and the last reflected many of the core ideas and assumptions which prompted the effort to produce a theory of political

development, but they represented false starts rather than central contributions to the project. In part this was a consequence of an excessive fascination with abstract theory. It was thought essential to perfect grand theoretical frameworks before addressing the specific issue of transitional societies and the policies appropriate to them, yet the most sustained attempts to develop such theoretical frameworks - in Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach and

The Civic Culture - were regarded as no more than preliminary efforts. As a result, the effort of theory-building did not reach a stage at which detailed consideration of the politics and public poli-

cies of the new states themselves became possible. The functional approach began as an exercise in comparative politics. and when it did take on a developmental dimension, it found that it could not address the developing areas which were the intended focus of policy. Equally, the theoretical eliorts represented by the two early attempts to adopt a cultural approach came to a dead end where the specific topic of political development was concerned, as they appeared, for dilierent reasons, to cast doubt upon the possibility of the purposive development of democratic political institutions in the developing world. In part this was a consequence of the indirect way in which these analyses approached political institutions. Within Lhc functional

approach familiar 'Western' political institutions were transmuted

I 16

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

into abstract theoretical categories in a bid for universal significance, and within the cultural approach their functioning was addressed in terms of either individual psychology or the orientation of individuals to the political system. In different ways, the functional and cultural approaches saw political development as a social process heavily conditioned by variables which lay largely beyond the control of either governments or political scientists. As a consequence, while explicit public policy goals were constantly to the fore, little progress was made towards their realization. In the meantime, however, a systematic programme of research into political development was under way in the series of seminars and publications in the Studies in Political Development series funded by the Ford Foundation. These volumes turned aside from the search for a 'theory of political development' in order to identify a more pragmatic 'doctrine for political development', and conceptualized

political development not as a complex social process. but as an outcome of state policy. As a consequence of the adoption of this perspective, they addressed directly the issue of public policy and the contribution which a wide range of governmental and social institutions could make to the securing of political stability. it was in these studies, and the political project they embodied, that the model of appropriate political development which had lain beneath the surface of the studies examined so far emerged into the light. They should therefore be considered as the true core of the political development literature.

5 ll....lI.llllll

The Doctrine for Political Development

The functional and cultural studies reviewed in the previous two chapters form an essential part of the history of political development theory, but they provide only the background to its central the attempt to produce a theoretically informed component 'doctrine for political development' for the guidance of policy. -

makers in the United States and throughout the developing world. Intensive collaborative research directed to this end took place between 1961 and l96€l, under the auspices of the Ford Foundation and the Committee on Comparative Politics of the Social Science Research Council, leading to a number of publications in the Studies in Political Development series between 1963 and The emphasis in the series as a whole was squarely upon institutions and public policy. Of the six volumes published in this Communications and Political Development (Pye period, 1963a), Bureaucracy and Political Development (LaPalornbara 1963a), Education and Political Development (Coleman l9t=5a), and Political Parties and Political Development (LaPalornbara and Weiner 1 966a) - focused on specific institutions and their role in promot-

ing stability in transitional societies. A fifth volume, Political Modernization in Iapan and Turkey (Ward and Rustow l964la}, compared key institutions education, the mass media, the civil bureaucracy, the military, and leadership and political parties - in the two countries. In its preface, Almond noted that while the volumes on communication, bureaucracy, education, and political parties were intended to improve understanding of how specific institutions affect particular processes of political change, the comparison of Iapan and Turkey examined institutions in historical and cultural context in a bid to illuminate the relationships between various components of the process of modernization. The -..

result was a focus on 'two fundamental problems in the theory of

political change' °

I 18

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

First. are there necessary and recurrent sequences in political and social change which have to be respected in all planning for political development? Second, h.ow can we 'invest' most effectively in the 'growth' of particular instilutiorls in order to produce the political outcomes which we prefer? (Ward and Rustow l964a: v-vi)

The remaining volume from the period, Political Culture and Political Development (Pye and Verba 1965), integrated these concerns in a series of country case studies. and pointed ahead to future directions the research effort would take. As noted in Chapter Four, it abandoned the attempt to develop a cultural theory, despite its title, in favour of a direct concern with the élite management of mass behavior. This was the hallmark of the Studies in Political Development series as a whole, and the core of the doctrine for political development.

Except for Political Culture and Political Development, whose contents were partially reviewed by the Committee during the summer of 1962 and completed in 1963, the volumes were the product of an organized programme of conferences on 'Communication and political development' (New York, September 1961), 'Bureaucracy and political development' (the Centre for Advanced Studies in Behavioural Sciences, StanfOrd, January 1962); 'Education and political development' (Lake Arrowhead, UCLA, June 1962), 'Political modernization in Japan and Turkey' (New York, September $962), and 'Political parties and political development' (Villa Falconieri, Frascati, Italy, January 1964). There was a clear break, both in time and in orientation, between this set of studies and the next to appear in the series, Crises and Sequences in Political Development (Binder et al. 1971), although its systematic concern with comparative history, which is the subject of the next chapter, was prefigured in the closing pages of Political Culture and Political Development, and was a dominant theme in Political Modernization in Iapan and Turkey. The texts discussed here (for which short-form titles are used from this point on) represented the most sustained attempt to apply the insights of political development theory to policy-mailing in the developing world. The chapter considers the 'doctrine for political development' which they contained, and the empirical analysis and policy prescription they offered in the light of' it.

The Doctrine for Political Development

I 19

The Doctrine for Political Development

The six volumes considered here involved seven different editors, and ran to a combined length of over 3,000 pages. with over 100 individual contributions from 69 different individual authors. 02" these. 56 made only one contribution, generally on the basis of specialist knowledge of a particular country. Every single one of the 69 contributors was male. and only one came from the developing world. This common identity gave rise to a simi amity of perspective but the level of co-ordination between the practical and theoretical concerns of the series. the general introductions and conclusions and individual case studies was uneven. Repetition abounded, particularly in opening discussions of approaches to modernization and political development. At the same time, few contributors gave any sign of awareness of even the broad concerns informing the series or particular volumes. It would be misleading, then, to suggest that there was a high level of unity across individual volumes or the series as a whole. Nevertheless. it is possible to identify in them a coherent policy-oriented 'doctrine for political development,' to which Coleman, Pye and LaPalornbara were leading contributors. Pye's introduction to Communications, which opened the series complained that Western political theory had 'ignored the prob~ l e n s of nation building as a systematic goal of public policy' As a

result. in spite of the accelerating interest of political scientists in the problems of the underdeveloped areas. we have not as yet accumulated the necessary insights and generalized knowledge to provide the basis for u sound doctrine

for political development which in turn might be of value for the policy makers in the new countries. (Pye 1963b: la: emphasis mine)

At this point Pye offered his version of such a doctrine, describing political development (for which 'nation-building' and 'political modernization' were used as synonyms) in terms of a set of simultaneous requirements to be achieved through institutiowbuilding and public policy. His point of departure was 'the generally recognized gap between the Westernized, more urbanized leaders and the more tradition~bound, village-based masses, which is the hallmark of transitional societies' (8-9). This created the related problems of 'changing attitudes and reducing the gap between the ruling elites and the less modernized masses' (13). Initiatives were

required in two areas: first, in 'the domain of administration and


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

formal government' and second, in 'the political processes of the society which permeate in a diffuse fashion the entire society and provide the fundamental framework of the polity'. Political development involved 'both the strengthening of formal government and the establishment of mechanisms for giving coherence to the polity as a whole', At the same time, the 'functional requirements

of being a member of the nation-state system and the particularistic character of each nation as it reflects its cultural and social history' made it necessary to recognize 'the tension between meeting the standards of the nation-state and adhering to the particularistic standards of a cultural tradition' (16-17). Pye presented political development

as an outcome of public

policy, an operation that leaders and institutions would perform upon the mass of the people. Emphasis had shifted from a diffuse social process of political socialization to a conscious process of resocialization by and through the state. He spelled out the implications of this approach in an extended definition of political development (Box 5.1). It assigned to the governing elite a central role defined later as 'the process of organizing sentiments, articu-

lating and aggregating interests, and the orderly extension of participation' (18). These were explicitly tasks of the state rather than functions of the political system or orientations of the population. As it pursued them, the state had to contain conflict, while retaining and expanding its capacity to further the collective interest and the ability of the society to mobilize its people. To do so, it required the ability to set its own course, and-to resist direct pres-

sure from social forces


The issues of government capacity and the role of the state were

pursued further by Coleman in his introduction to Education, in a brief discussion which would appear in an expanded form i.n Crises

and Sequences in Political Development. With direct reference to Pye's discussion, Coleman suggested the notion of a development syndrome, consisting of three major subsuming principles: ( l ) differentiation. as the dominant empirical trend in the historic evolution of human society; (2) equality, as the core ethos and ethical imperative pervading the operative ideals of all aspects of modern life; and

(3) capacity. as not only the logical imperative of system maintenance, but also the enhanced adaptive and innovative potentialities possessed by man

for the management of his environment (human and non-human] through increasing rationality, applied science, and organizational technology. (Coleman l965b: 15)

The Doctrine for Political Development


Box 5. 1 Political development according to Pye Within the domain of governmental rule and authority, modernization is clearly associated with the degree of specificity

of function, the extent of universalistic norms of conduct. and the prevalence of achievement considerations. Since there is little question as to what constitutes development in this dimension of the political sphere, it is not strange that almost all conscious attempts have focused on strengthening the formal organs of government . .. It is in contrast considerably more difficult to characterize the modernization of the process of politics in the society at large. Yet it is in this domain that the ultimate test of political development must be met. It is possible. however, to identify certain minimum considerations as to what should constitute development in the purely political sense. With the modernization of a polity should go an increase in the capabilities of the society to mobilize its people for national efforts. Modernization also implies a widening of participation in ways which affect the decision-making process. Also in a developed polity there should be a wide range of interests, all freely represented and well rooted in the social and economic life of the society as a whole. A modern polity is thus one that contains conflicts and that seeks to manage controversy so that no significant interest is arbitrarily suppressed while at the same time the collective interest is guarded. We might further characterize a modern political process as one capable of coping with change in the sense of being able to

purposefully direct change and not just be buffeted by social forces. There are also such matters as stability, orderly transfer of power, respect for constituted authority, adherence to legal procedures, and a clear recognition of the rights and duties of citizens. Source: Pye l963b: 17-18.

The notion of 'political capacity' was embodied in an accompanying definition of political development as' the acquisition by a political system of a consciously sought, and qualita-

tively new and enhanced, political capacity as manifested in the successful


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World




new patterns of integration regulating and

containing the tensions and eouilicts produced by increased differentiation, and . . . new patterns of participation and resource distribution

adequately responsive to the demands generated by the imperatives of equality. {] 5)

The discussion of political capacity was extended in the introduce son to the fourth and final section of the volume, on 'Educational planning and political development'. Echoing Pre's argument that the slate elite should focus on both 'the domain of administration and formal government' and 'the process of politics in the society at large'. Coleman claimed that the development of political capacity would not come solely from 'the growth in organizational technology or efficiency in the highly differentiated administrative

structures of a modern polity' but also from 'the capacity of the total political system', derived from social institutions and political culture. This not only a function of efficient government, but also of the extcrit to which the society itself

. -

the economic, social and political

infrastructure - can absorb, dellcct, or respond to the enormous demands of a modernizing society, and thereby minimize or obviate explicit govern~ meet in vol cement. It also depends upon the character of the political culture, particularly the extent to which it restrains. moderates or postpones demands upon the government, or in other ways reduces the decisional load On formal administrative structures. (Coleman l965f:

539) As explicated here, the idea of the 'development syndrome' echoed and extended Pye's 'doctrine for political development For both, the key feature of modern society was that elites must

govern under regimes of extended participation. and consent, but at the same time retain control through both the machinery of government. and the active shaping of broader social processes. Underlying the series from the start was the fundamental idea, addressed by Pye and again in Lerner's conclusion to Communications, that the masses in the developing world had to be subjected to élite authority, and taught that their aspirations for social, economic and political progress could not yet be met. As Pye had put it, they had to learn that they could not immediately 'possess all the attributes of' the modern nation state' (Pye 1963b' I 2). Lerner gave this blunt message a pseudo-scientilic gloss, diag-

nosing the situation as one of a disparity in the 'want:get ratio'. in

The Doctrine for Political Development


which 'people are encouraged to want more than they can possibly get, aspirations rapidly outrun achievements, and frustrations spread' (Lerner 1963: 345). and describing it as the direct outcome of the willingness of unscrupulous politicians to pander to insatiable demands for instant gratification: The communication catastrophe in transitional societies has been their failure to discourage - often. indeed, their effort to encourage - the 'insatiable expectations of politics' that lead ultimately only to frustration.. Short-sighted politicians have been sowing a storm they may not be able to harvest. The policy of whipping up enthusiasm on short-run issues by creating insatiable expectations has never produced long-run payoffs. (350)

It followed that the time was not yet ripe for the final realization of the vision of a harmonious society in which elites governed with the consent of docile majorities. In conclusion, therefore, Lerner called upon the media, the schools, and community leaders to unite to 'mobilize the energies of living persons (sic)

by the rational

articulation of new interests.' and to induce a 'new process of socialization among the rising generation that will .. . recruit new participants into political life'. But the appropriate conditions for democracy would not be met until these conditions existed: the two processes of short-run mobilization and long-term socialization could 'converge, a generation later, in new aggregations of private interests which are the stuff of a democratic polity' (350; emphasis mine).

This argument, that regimes of extended participation based upon consent were essential to the political stability of the develop-

ing world but not get possible, was the principal claim of the 'doctrine for political development' and the policy pronouncements which it generated. It prompted a call for the development of responsible political elites and the creation of social and institutional mechanisms through which the masses could be subjected to their control as a necessary prelude to the organization of emerging interests and the eventual possibility of the expanded participation for which pressure was mounting throughout the world. It is in this sense that it can be described as a transitional programme for the dissemination of liberal democracy throughout the developing world. The doctrine produced by Coleman. Lerner and Pye provided


backdrop to the analysis in the volumes on Communications and


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Educritiori of the role of the mass media and education in shaping the process of political socialization. IL also suggested that it was not yet possible for the populations of the developing world to enjoy either high levels of personal consumption or the introduction of Western liberal democracy. These implications of the doctrine


relating to strategies of economic development and political participation respectively - were worked out more fully in the volumes on Bureaucracy and Political Parties, which between them produced

a strategy for transition to economic and political modernity. In so doing, they responded to the core concern which had motivated political development theorists from the beginning their percept .



of' enormous pressure for rapid economic development and

extended political participation in the developing world. in tbe context of the appeal exerted by the strategies pursued by Communist regimes. Introducing the volume on Bureaucracy, LaPalornbara emphasized the current universal demand for the massive intervention of government: The time is evidently past when public officials are expected to sit on the developmental sidelines. limiting their roles to the fixing of general rules and to providing certain basic services and incentives for those private entrepreneurs who are the major players in the complicated and exciting game of fashioning profound changes in economic and social systems. (LaPa]ombara 1963b: 4)

At one level this line of argument led LaPalonlbara to concur with ideas already familiar from Chapter 2. Thus he rejected the idea of a universal linear pattern of modernization, and called for the fusion of 'traditional' and `modern' traits in bureacrats and bureaucracies in the developing world. But his direct focus on economic devel opment as the central challenge facing boreaucra» cies in the developing world forced him to confront a central dilemma within the doctrine for political development the conflict . -

between the assumption that economic development in the developing world required state intervention on a massive scale. and the end goal of economies based on private enterprise. with limited direct government involvement in the promotion of social and economic change. The central dilemma experienced by LaPalonlbara was that the experiences of the Soviet Union and the states of Eastern Europe

suggested that rapid economic growth might be related to the

The Doctrine for Political Development


systematic harnessing of political power and ideology by the state. and 'an undemocratic pattern of social and political organization' (10). In the developing world. moreover. the bureaucracy was often the only indigenous source of entrepreneurial skills and motivation. and without its participation there was precious little prospect of satisfactory economic growth. However, if it played a leading role in initiating economic development there was a danger that it would insist on retaining that leading role indefinitely, and that the desired growth of a private entrepreneurial class would be hampered. LaPaloInbara concluded that economic development and political democracy were unlikely to emerge unless 'the bureaucracies of

the new states make quite deliberate efforts to encourage the flourishing of the private sector' (2 S). In the light of this predicament, it was necessary to check the power of bureaucracies, and push them in the direction of support for private enterprise. Bureaucratic power might be checked by 'strong and articulate local centres of political power' and by dominant single parties in preference to two-party or multi-party systems (25-6). Failing that, 'it might be possible to experiment with such mechanisms as . . . the use of democratic ideological indoctrination as a means of controlling bureaucracies', or. in view of the vital importance of the development of the private economic sector to democracy. The bureaucracy might limit its role to that of setting systemic goals and of providing the objective conditions without which economic development

is seriously hamstrung. Beyond this, the bureaucracy might exercise selfrestraint, relying as much as possible on the private sector for the performance of the function of input transformation. (27, emphasis mine).

Faced with this dilemma, and looking as Lerner had done for a transitional strategy to overcome it, LaPalo1nbara resigned himself to the fact that in the short term state bureaucracies would play a leading role in promoting national economic development, but at the same time sought to identity means by which they could be brought to back private enterprise and in the end to withdraw in its

favour. In Political Parties, he and Weiner laid out the basis for a

similar transitional strategy for the eventual achievement of liberal democracy in the developing world. In some parts of southern Asia and Africa, they argued, 'the conditions necessary for the establishrnent and maintenance of parties were absent' (LaPalombara

and Weiner l966b: 7). Such states were likely to be governed by


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

one or more 'political parties' that may be nothing more than limited cliques or oligarchies. This was the way in which most Western countries

were governed over many centuries, and no one would presume to analyze palace cabals, coups d'état, alternations in power of rival families or rival segments of a small aristocracy as the emergence or disappearance ofpolilical parties in one-party or competitive-party states. (30)

In other cases jive factors made for 'a strong impetus toward onsparty solutions' (3 l). These were the absence of an indigenous parliamentary framework, the tendency towards extremism of parties created outside such a framework, the lessons in the monolithic exercise of power taught by the colonial regimes themselves, the lack of socialization of indigenous politicians into the art of political compromise and responsible leadership as a consequence of repression and underground activity under colonial rule. and the reluctance of new elites to be displaced by younger challengers. At the same time, the concatenation of crises which leaders faced made a single~party solution understandable. and even desirable: newly active social groups may demand greater political participation for economic improvement OI' for more equitable distribution of goods and services. Simultaneously the new political elites may be confronted with the crises of legitimacy and national integration. The accumulation of these pressures is an impelling force leading to single-party solutions. (32)

Building on a distinction drawn by Coleman and Rosberg in relation to tropical African regimes, LaPalornbara and Weiner then distinguished between two types of one-party systems in the developing world, alongside the totalitarian type found in Communist, Nazi and Fascist regimes. These were authoritarian and plurrzfist

respectively. The authoritarian variety was dominated by a single, monolithic, ideologically oriented party, regarded opposition as treason, and sought to repress demands and preserve itself i.n power, while the 'one-party pluralistic' systeins were 'quasiauthoritarian systems dominated by a single party which is pluralistic in organization, pragmatic rather than rigidly ideological in outlook. and absorptive rather than ruthlessly destructive in its relationships to other groups' (38 -9; emphasis mine). While the authoritarian systems were driven to more and more totalitarian forms of control, systems which promoted pluralism within a oneparty context and did not make 'rapid regimented development' an overriding consideration suggested ' w a y s and means whereby

(traditional) structures can be peacefully harnessed to the tasks of

The Doctrine for Political Development


economic development and in the process contribute to the entrenchment of some newer but nevertheless vigorous form of democratic pluralism' (40 ). Where political parties were concerned, then, the doctrine for political development suggested that authoritarian interventions were to be expected where the conditions were not yet appropriate for parties to exist, and that single parties were in the medium term the most appropriate vehicles for political development, providing that they took the 'pluralistic' form which might eventually lead to competitive democracy, rather than the

'authoritarian' form which would lead to totalitarianism. All in all, though, there was still an unresolved contradiction at the heart of the doctrine for political development. It called for autonomous state institutions capable of' unifying elites and bringing the majority of the population in line behind them. But it required the same state elites to retrain voluntarily from too direct a role in the promotion of economic development, against the current global trend, if the longer term goal of the fostering of new interests and the eventual establishment of" a private enterprise

economy was to be achieved. At the same time, it identified competitive liberal democratic political systems as the appropriate

form of regime for such a society, but recognized that for the time being single parties were most likely to contain pressures that could take a generation to dissipate. A closer examination of the specific institutional analyses offered reveals that these related dilemmas were not resolved in the studies published in the period. Political Institutions' Communications, Education,

Bureaucracy and Parties Pye turned to communications studies because he was impressed by the close links in the field between theory and public policy. The papers collected in Communications analysed 'how investments can be made in the institutions of communications, and how communications as a distinctive industry can be advanced as a part of national development' (Pye l963b: 21). In editorial essays dispersed through the collection in order to introduce individual chapters. Pye discussed the forms such investment should take, and the rationale behind them. The mass media should bridge the gap between the ruling élitcs and the less Il'10dc1I1izt:d masses, expose the masses to new ways of thinking, and lead them to adopt


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

new attitudes. Modernization required 'the acceptance of new values and the changing of preferences' and at a deeper level 'a fundamental change in rot iv ations and in the directions in which it is felt that human energies can be properly directed' (Pye 1963a: 149). It therefore required attention to élite-mass relations, and the ability of elites to influence mass attitudes and b e h a v i o r . Investment in modern mass media focused only on small urban elites would risk further alienating the masses from the process of modernization. Instead, it should aim to draw the mass of the population into new ways of thinking and behaving, and its messages should be suitably 'packaged' in order to enhance their acceptability (121), In addition, the requisite changing of' uiass attitudes required reinforcement through direct face-to-face contact and through tradition al networks of communication and interpersonal trust. The process would be a long one. and the strengthening of

elites and reshaping o1` mass attitudes had to precede the introduce son of greater participation. While the modernized élite was small. 'the weight of communications policies should be on the side of protecting the freedom of these leaders and strengthening their influences throughout the society Once the élite had expanded the prime problem was that of mobilizing increasingly larger segments of the mass of the people through 'broad appeals and . . . the repetition of theses basic to civic education'. Only later would the problems 'centre more on facilitating adjustments among different emerging interests and on the need for providing the population with effective channels for communicating its views to the elite' (229-30). Point for point. then, Peels recommendations mirrored Lerner'e transitional programme, and at present, Pye

suggested, the gulf between the elites and masses was such that 'in treating with the mass of their people the ruling elites of some transitional societies are in a position essentially analogous to that of persons employing psychological warfare across national boundaries' (232). Other contributions to the volume supported Pfc:'s prescriptions.

Schramm thought that it was probahiy wrong . . . to expect a country which is trying to gather together its resources and mobilize its population for a great transitional effort to permit the same kind of free. competitive, and sometimes confusing communication to which we have become accustomed. [Schramm 1963: 55 )

Shils, echoing Pye on Burma. saw the creation of a °sober, task-

The Doctrine for Political Development


oriented. professionally responsible' middle class and its welding into an influential community as perhaps 'the most important precondition of the political development of the new states' {Shits 1963: 69). Such professionals, he argued. led by technologists and

the 'educated managers of the larger connnercial and industrial enterprises' (75) would form a bulwark against the demagogic politicians and ideological fanatics who preached easy solutions, and draw the working classes slowly and safely into national politics. Hyman extolled the virtues of Western advertising and subtle messages concealed in other formats. giving a glowing account of the use of cartoon movies and 'highlife music' to persuade West Africans to save with Barclays Bank (Hyman 1963* 130), and noting that an innocent arithmetic primer could instil concepts basic to capitalism and its commercial practices. McClelland linked rapid economic growth in Turkey to the adaptation by educational authorities of traditional stories to stress loyalty to one's country, honest personal achievement and public morality (McClelland 1963: 181). Pool noted the importance attached in Communist

societies to 'hortatory communications through the mass media' and their reinforcement by face-to-face leadership (Pool 19631 236~s). and concluded that The media can be a far more potent instrument of development th an has yet been recognized in almost any non-Communist developing nation or by American development planners. But for their potential to be effectively used. their development must also be linked to effective grassroots political organization. (253)

Yu (1963) provided a detailed examination of communications

policies in Communist China which reinforced the same message, while case studies of Thailand and Turkey each stressed the significance of élite-led processes of attitude-formation in which opportunities for mass participation were delayed and carefully controlled. In the case of Thailand, Mosel described a process of change 'largely initiated from within the culture', 'initiated and executed by the society's own political leadership' and 'for the most part consciously planned and under their control' , and 'made in response to leaders own perceptions of' the country's needs for the future, not ir1 response to popular pressures and discontentments in the mass society' (Mosel 1963: 1 86), while in the case of Turkey. Frey identified two stages in the 'Turkish Revolution°, the first the

modernization of the ruling élite and the strengthening of the State

I 30

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

'before plunging ahead to more grandiose ventures with the entire Turkish populace'. the second the absorption into the Turkish polity of the thousands of isolated village communities, seen as 'a regular phase of the tutelary journey to political development' (Frey 1963: 313, 319). In keeping with the overall tone of the volume, he found this second stage of the process the source of 'almost as much cause for alarm as there is for thanksgiving, noting 'the great temptation presented to all parties to pander to short-run peasant greed and political irnrnaturity', and indicating that 'short-run political development can lead to a reverse trend under certain conditions which may prevail in Turkey (and in other developing nations) at the present time' (324-5i. A constant theme running through the collection was the systematic and elective use made of communications in Communist regimes, in comparison with their neglect in the non~Communist world. At

the heart o1` the volume on Bureaucracy was a similar awareness of 'the attraction which the Soviet model of' industrial development has for many non~Cornmunist as well as Communist intellectuals in the developing countries': For minds and imaginations possessed by the mystique of industrialization, with its promise of growing power and a swift solution to pressing economic problems. the Soviet experience provides a living demonstration that a backward country can industrialize rapidly and in the space of decades take its place as a leading industrial and military power. (Fair sod 1963: 264)

The volume was addressed not to the general issue of bureaucracy as administration, but to the specific question of the role of the State in fostering economic development in the developing world in the light of the potent appeal of the Soviet example. All the

contributors recognized the pressure for rapid economic and social advance in the developing world, and argued in favour of economic

systems .based upon private enterprise. Where specific strategies of economic development were discussed, emphasis was placed upon the need to provide attractive opportunities for foreign skills and

capital (Spangler 1963). The goal of élite~led development and the containment of demands for mass political and economic participation was also strongly advocated. Eisenstadt argued that if the

bureaucracy was to maintain a 'basic service orientation' without developing inappropriate goals of its

own or


autonomous power, 'the existence of strong elites in the initial

The Doctrine for Political Development


stages of political unification and modernization' was 'to some extent more important than the existence of political groups which are strongly articulate', as 'such groups which tend to develop very intensive political demands and pressures may undermine the stability and viability of the political framework, and may also inhibit the rulers' ability to implement realistic policies' (Fjisenstadt 1963: 118). While some contributors endorsed the commonly espoused ideal of a neutral, rational, merit-oriented bureaucracy (Hoselitz 1963, Marx 1963). others questioned the supposed connection between economic modernization and such a bureaucracy. LaPalombara argued that a spoils system might 'represent the most rational way of moving the newer states along in certain developmental direc-

tions that they greatly desire' (l aPalornbara 19630 45), and that highly politicized bureaucracies willing to interfere in the policymaking process and 'rampant with particularistic behaviour' were

often better able to make fundamental contributions to national development than the Weberian ideal type (54-5). Riggs, too.

argued for a bureaucracy based on spoils as 'one of the strongest props of a nascent political party system' (Riggs 'I 963: 128). However, the central argument advanced by Riggs was that bureaucracies in the developing world tended to be over-developed in relation to other parts of the political system, and that therefore the overwhelming need was to subject them to the control ofpoliticians and local elites, as 'premature or too rapid expansion of the bureaucracy when the political system lags behind tends to inhibit the development of effective politics' (126), These and other related considerations led both Riggs and LaPalombara to argue that just as modernization did not necessary fly generate ideal Weberian bureaucracies, it did not lead automatically towards Western democratic politics. It was therefore essential for policy-makers in the United States to pay far more attention to strengthening political institutions, and to make a 'more open and conscious effort to export not merely American technical know-how but our political ideology and reasonable facsimiles of our political institutions and practices as welT (LaPalombara 1963c: 60). Elsewhere, attention was directed to the

apparently stable combination of economic development and dictatorial leadership in Eastern Europe (Beck 1963). Overall, the volume was concerned with the need tO limit the inllucnce of

bureaucracies in the developing world in order to make their


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

operation more conducive to an economic regime based upon private enterprise. At the same time, though, it recognized that they had an indispensable role to play in the short term. Coleman' introduction to the volume on Education noted the gap between the educated élite and the uneducated masses in the

developing world, the role of formal education in forming new political élitcs, and the fact that 'political scientists in general have paid very little attention to the overall character of of the educ.a~ son-policy nexus' (Coleman l965b: 8). He argued that in developing countries the formal education system was 'obviously among the most effective and potentially manipulable resocializing institutions' (22). But education stood in a problematic relationship to political development at the present time, as it could produce discontented unemployed and underemployed school~ leavers, perpetuate the élite-mass gap and, in the short term. exacerbate divisions between different national communities.

This analysis was extended in his introduction to the final planning, which first restated the case for 'devising educational strategies aimed at the potentialities of education as a manipulable instrument for control-

section of the volume. on educational

ling and guiding change while at the same time minimizing political vulnerability' (Coleman l965f: 523), then turned again to the inadequacy of existing policies. Coleman argued that education. had a crucial role to play in expanding the 'political capacity' of society. but found considerable cause for concern in current attitudes and practices. Some assumptions regarding the potential for education to boost the prospects for democracy were over-optirnistic, and major policy changes were required if short-term

dangers were to be avoided, and long-term possibilities realized. Countering 'exaggerated hopes and expectations regarding the returns on an investment in education' (523) iron such politicians

and policy advisers as Dean Rusk and Arthur Lewis, Coleman argued that an arts-based syllabus tended to produce 'large numbers of unproductive and destabilizing uneniployables' (532-3 ), while 'a predominantly scientific-technological emphasis in education is not in conflict with -- indeed, it possibly may be conducive to a non-democratic pattern of political development' . -


The long-term solution, said Coleman, lay in feeding into the educational process and particularly the training of strategic elites in the developing world the practices and findings of the newly

The Doctrine

for Political Development


resurgent 'empirical social science' as developed and taught in the United States. Here. too, though, there were obstacles to speedy progress. Its findings appeared c.ulture-hound because they drew

primarily on research conducted in the United States itself, and although they often had genuine cross-cultural relevance this had not been adequately communicated to the developing world. As a result, they were often dismissed as the irrelevant product of academic imperialism. Overall. then. Coleman concluded, 'except for economics, the relevance of social science knowledge and theory for understanding and guiding the development process is still not generally comprehended or appreciated, least of all in the developing countries themselves' (534). In Political Parties, LaPalornbara and Weiner expressed equal concern with the way in which political parties functioned in the developing world. Drawing a fundamental distinction between 'cliques. clubs, and small groups of notables' on the one hand and modern political parties as permanent organizations in search o1` popular votes and support on the other, they argued that the latter could only appear as a result of 'the occurrence of political crises of

systemic magnitude at a point in time when sufficient modernization has taken place to provide conditions for party development' (LaPalombara and Weiner 1966b: 21). They then contrasted patterns of the origins and development of parties in Western Europe and the new states respectively. The general pattern in Western Europe had been for competitive party systems to emerge gradually within legislatures under the tutelage of existing elites, and to face and manage successive crises over a protracted period of time. More radical parties appearing as challengers outside the existing political

system were socialized over time into a prevailing culture of pragmatic compromise or excluded from the system, sometimes after

considerable conflict. In the new states. in contrast (primarily in Africa, which was the focus of the discussion), parties had arisen outside such legislative institutions as existed. committed to uncom-

promisingly ideological programmes, and lacking commitment to the establishment or maintenance o l a competitive framework. Political Culture and Political Development

Political Culture and Political Development was the key text in the elaboration of the doctrine for political development.. It complemented and extended the speeiiic topics taken up in the studies

I 34

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

reviewed above, restated the case for élite control over the masses. explicated the form most appropriate for such control in the developing world, and justified the postponement of the introduction of democratic regimes. As noted in Chapter 4, it retained the label of

'political culture' for convenience, but shifted the emphasis to the ability of governments and political elites to change the basic political beliefs of the masses, and to evidence that the manipulation of such basic beliefs was commonplace. Verbs dropped Britain and the 'civic culture' as points of reference in favour of the systematic remaking of the political culture in Germany after the Second World War. and suggested that various patterns of political attitudes might prove compatible with political stability. Pye's point of departure in Political Culture was similar, and was summarized in the observation that in no society is there a single uniform political culture, and in all politics there is a fundamental distinction between the culture of the rulers or power holders and that of the masses, whether they are merely parochial subjects or participating citizens. [Pye 1965a: 15)

Within this framework a crucial shift took place as different analytical perspectives were adopted for 'less developed' and 'more advanced' countries respectively: In general for the less developed countries there is a fundamental crisis of leadership. and since the prospects for development depend so heavily upon the capabilities of leadership it is understandable that in our studies of Turkey, Egypt, and Ethiopia attention is directed more to the elite

cultures. In the more advanced countries the principal issue becomes one of whether democracy will survive and whether popular sentiments will support continuing development. (15)

In the 'less developed' countries the concern was not whether mass culture would support democracy. but whether elites could provide effective leadership. Both Pye and Verba placed the emphasis on élite capacity to provide leadership. and treated 'political culture' in terms of élite-mass relations and conscious manipulation and control. The analysis provided in Political Culture, then, flowed directly from the assumption that the objective of political elites was to manipulate the political beliefs of the masses in order to win their commitment to élite rule. This was the issue which Verba

addressed under the four headings of national identity, identification with one's fellow citizens. governmental output. and the decision-making process. These categories closely shadowed those

The Doctrine for Political Development


of The Civic Cufturc - orientations towards the political system in general, its input and output aspects, and the self as political actor but now the emphasis was placed squarely on the issue of' elite control. Verba argued that a sense of identity with the nation 'legitimizes the activities of national elites and makes it possible for them

. -

to mobilize the commitment and support of their followers' (Verbs l965b: 529), while 'if non-elites do not in some way identify with and have confidence in political elites, the elites will have to exact

obedience by more forceful and perhaps more destabilizing means ' (536]. As for governmental output. attention was drawn to the problem of overload, to which élite activity might itself contribute. Societies in which 'the culture emphasizes activist and achievement orientations are more likely to generate political beliefs that

load a heavy weight of demands on the political process' (538); in the modern world, 'expectations of social improvement involve expectations that this will be accomplished through the activities of the government', so 'the rise in expectations among the masses places pressures on the elites to satisfy them' (539), and in many cases the belief that the government ought to take responsibility for generating such change 'may have its origin in attempts by the elites to crack traditional patterns in order to mobilize the society for social changes In such cases 'elites are . . . called upon to deliver what they themselves led the masses to expect' (539). It was therefore important that citizens should acknowledge the authority of government, and its r i g h t to make demands of them, and reflect this in acceptance of government regulations and obedience to the law. Finally, the focus on the decision-making process was concerned explicitly with beliefs about 'the proper behavior ofnon-

elites', it was argued that effective participation is essential, as 'in the twentieth century the service state that administers output


no matter how successfully - may not be able to produce a deep and effective commitment to the system' (543), There was a shift of perspective here from a simple endorsement

of an elitist conception of politics to the interpretation of key issues in terms o1` the need for non~élite acceptance of élite authority and the means by which it was to be achieved. In The Civic Culture the unique logic of the civic culture itself was the centre-piece of the argument. Once its character had been established an argument was made for its ability to facilitate élite-mass relations in such a I`I1aI1I'1€l5I`

as to make delllocracy workable. Here, in contrast, the

logic of the need for élite authority and its acceptance by non-élites


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

took pride of place. with no particular preconception as to the means by which it should be achieved. For all that the collection took the apparent form of a comparison of diflierent patterns of political culture, then, its substantive content was concerned with relations between elites and non-élites and the implications for the preservation of élite authority and political stability in times of challenge and rapid political change. 'Within this perspective a consistent approach emerged' elites were judged on their ability to manage modernization while incorporating elements of tradition. Ward's essay on Japan pointed to the favorable conditions for reform inherited from the late Tokugawa period to 1868 (particularly the emergence of a unified and progressive élite), the gradual nature of the ensuing process of change (with the move from limited to full franchise over nearly six decades), the deliberate cultivation of national symbols, and the continued use of the school system as 'an active agency ofpoliticatl indoctrination' (Ward 1965 ' 45). Overall, he argued. 'the general policy of' early governments was to give as little as possible as slowly as possible in terms ofinstitutions which would make effective even limited popular participation in the political decision-making process' (76), while the LiberalDemocratic party continued to exploit 'traditional control devices' centred on personal clientelism to secure the loyalty and electoral support of the rural population. Rustow concluded that Turkey fully shared the combination of progressivism and conservatism. and continuity and change characteristic of Britain and Japan: 'when the political elite changed most drastically, political institutions remained stable in their major features; when political institutions were thoroughly refashioned, the political elite remained

unchanged in its social composition' {Rustow 1965: 197). Scott, in the case of Mexico, identified a united. effective and increasingly homogeneous set of elites emerging out of the Mexican Revolution, agreed 'upon the most basic values affecting modernization and the political process', and enjoying a relatively free hand over 'unintegrated and inarticulate masses' (Scott 1965: 372), while Binder related the success of Egypt's revolution to the fact that 'most of the prerequisites of a unified and centrally rationalized political system had been provided by the reforms and Chan gos of the preceding 1 SO years' (Binder 1965: 397), and saw the aspirations of the country's leaders as being best understood 'in terms of their desire to modernize in order to preserve a maximum of the social and personal values

associated with tradition' (403).

The Doctrine for Political Development

I 37

Where political elites had failed to modernize through the incorporation and use of traditional values, they were condemned. Weiner argued that in India elites had been too quick to reject traditional values and practices, while the emerging mass culture had managed the requisite blend with greater success. Here, thcre~ fore, leaders were needed with roots in the rural politics 01' patronage and ethnic loyalty, and capable of'making the emerging mass political culture acceptable to the national elite while at the same time modifying that culture so that it is truly conducive both to modernization and to stable democratic government' (Weiner 1965: 244). At. the other end of the spectrum Levine found the Ethiopian Ainhara élite too traditional rather than too modern in its outlook. and suggested that rationalization and dynamism would come, if at all, either by 'redefining the relevant beliefs and values of Amhara culture' or by 'more radical changes in political orientation' (Levine l 9 6 5 : 281). In sum, a common thread ran through all the case studies in Political Culture: the search for a universal 'civic culture' disappeared, to be replaced by an endorsement of the strategic utility to elites of processes of modernization which preserved their authority and secured mass consent through the retention and

manipulation of traditional values. The Public Policy Impasse Despite the switch of emphasis from abstract theory to policy rele-

vance and the enunciation

of a sound 'doctrine for political

development' in the Studies in Political Development series, little

progress was made in defining specific public policies which might realistically promote the objectives identified. This was because the 'doctrine for political development' tended to reveal with even harsher clarity the dilemma which had rendered Almond and Verbs helpless in The Civic Culture: the more precisely the conditions for appropriate political development were defined, the less they appeared to be met, or capable of realization, in the developing

world. This was particularly the case in Bureaucracy. Along with the general recognition of the potent attraction of the Soviet model of development, it was recognized that the prospects for the adop-

tion of Western models were made less likely by the 'disposition of newly emerging national bureaucracies to view private and foreign

entrepreneurs and enterprise more or less unfavourably' and the


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

unwillingness of Western firms to invest in anything other than

mineral or agricultural production in the developing world {Spengler 1963: 223, 228). Equally, in Education Coleman endorsed the value of the concepts of 'elite political culture' and

'elite-mass gap,' but pointed to the prevalence in the developing world of' situations of élite weakness. heterogeneity and disunity, and of situations in which 'political elites are still trying simultaneously to create Et basic societal consensus. to establish their own legitimacy, and to consolidate and preserve their supremacy over other elites (Coleman l965e: 35 7). In the few cases where these problems had been overcome. as in leper, it was the result of an historical process every bit as long and as specific to the particular case as the train of circumstances alleged to have produced a 'civic culture' in Britain and the United States. As a result, the switch of emphasis from civic culture to élite authority as a desired end state made it no easier to specify how that end state should be brought about. A second problem associated with the doctrines and policy perspectives canvassed in the series went beyond the fact that the developing world appeared to offer unpromising territory for unified élitcs able to exercise leadership over the masses. This was the persistent evidence which suggested that where these conditions were met, they were met by elites whose political orientation

was unwelcome to the theorists of political development. For example, the Tunisian Neo-Destour was identified as thoroughly open to Western ideas and successful in building a party which linked the political élite to a mass base, thanks to 'a group of French~trained Tunisians, mostly of modest. provincial origin, who

had the dedication and good sense to go right back their own people in organizing a mass party rather than using their education simply as an entrée into the rapidly declining Tunis elite' (Brown 1965: 153). However, as a result the party was achieving its purpose of 'broadening the base of' the elite which fully accept the leadership's idea of social revolution' (167). The Doctrine According to Huntington This is an appropriate point at which to review 1-Iuntington's work, as his primary contribution was to popularize the doctrine for political development, and draw it to the attention of policy-makers.

Little of what he had to say was original, but his flair for executive

The Doctrine for Political Development


summary and bis willingness to abandon excess theoretical baggage without ceremony made him its leading communicator. As we saw in Chapter 2, his perspective on the central issues of political development was shared with Almond. Verba and Pye. The insulation of the political sphere from social pressure and the strength of elite authority were the key elements in his distinction between 'civic' and 'corrupt' or 'praetorian' polities. He too saw modernization as posing a threat to institutions and traditional sources of authority, and called for the blending of traditional and modern practices to increase the prospects for stability. So there was little that was revisionist in his 'modernization revisionism'

(Huntington 1971- 293-8). However, he made a cleaner and earlier break than the authors of the doctrine for political development were able to do with the temptation to produce a theory to justify their position, and be proved far more able than they were to

communicate the doctrine they developed. It was his work, rather than the largely unread Studies in Political Development. which rescued the political project at the heart of political development theory from the problems created by speculative, over-zealous and

misdirected theorization. Huntington attacked the core issue directly, offering a clear and simple policy message which began and ended with institutions. Taking the view that the functional approach was indirect in its approach and ambiguous in its implications, he remarked that 'if effective political institutions are necessary for stable and eventually

democratic government and if they are also a precondition of sustained economic growth, it behooves us. as policy analysts, to suggest strategies of institutional development' (Huntington 1965:

233). If institutions were weak, the solution was simple: strengthen them. Violence and instability in Asia, Africa and Latin America were 'in large part the product of rapid social change and the rapid mobilization of new groups into politics coupled with the slow devel~ opment of political institutions', and the primary problem of politics was 'the lag in the development of political institutions behind social

and economic change' (Huntington 1968: Ll-5). Rather than dropping the term 'political development' as be later claimed, Huntington defined it institutionally, arguing that 'the level ofpolitical devel opment ofa society in large part depends upon the extent to which , . , political activists belong to and identify with a variety


of political institutions' (9). In doing so, of course, he precisely

echoed the revisionist theory of liberal democracy,


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Point by point, the analysis Huntington offered in support of this position mirrored the doctrine for political development. First, public political institutions were defined as such by their autonomy from social forces. Political institutionalization meant autonomy, or 'the development of political organizations and procedures that are not simply expressions of the interests of particular social groups. A political organization that is the instrument of a social group family, clan, class - lacks autonomy and institutionalization' (20). Thus the capacity to create political institutions was synonymous with 'the capacity to create public

interests' (24). and where the institutions o1` government had their own interests. the public interest was 'whatever strengthens governmental institutions', or in short 'the interest of public institutions' 125). Rejecting democratic. procedural or representative theories of power, Huntington argued that governmental institutions derived their legitimacy and authority 'not from the extent to which they represent the interests of the people or of any other

group, but to the extent to which they have distinct interests of their own apart from all other groups' (27). Above all else. it was 'the existence of political institutions capable of giving substance lo public interests' (28) which distinguished politically developed societies from undeveloped ones. Second, it followed directly that 'political development' was a task to be performed by the state, and one which states in the developing world could not perform, as 'social forces were strong, political institutions weak. Legislatures and executives, public authorities and political parties remained fragile and disorganized. The development of the state lagged behind the evolution of society' (1 l , emphasis mine).

Third, the process of institutionalization should focus not on elites alon e, but on the capacity of elites to incorporate the masses and control their behaviour. Thus the political organizations and procedures created to remedy the deficiencies of 'corrupt' states should extend beyond a small upper-class group to incorporate a

large segment of the population . Fourth, in terms which captured the essence of his approach to political development, Huntington applied these arguments to the question of the incorporation of' new social groups into politics under the control of an authoritative state élite: Where the political system lacks autonomy, these groups gain entry into politics without becoming identified with the established political organizations or acquiescing in the established political procedures. The political

The Doctrine for Political Development


organizations and procedures are unable to stand up against the impact of a new social force. Conversely, in a developed political system the autonorny of the system is protected by mechanisms that restrict and moderate the impact of new groups. These mechanisms either slow down the entry of new groups into politics or. through a process of political socialization. impel changes in the attitudes and behavior of the most politically active members of the new group . . . Thus the political system assimilates new social forces without sacrificing its institutional integrity. (21 ___2 )

Fifth, the circumstances of the new states demanded the development of new political institutions to meet the new challenges they faced. The political party was the 'distinctive institution of the modern polity' (89), and the single or dominant party was appropriate to the level of development of' modernizing societies. While cliques. factions and informal groups existed in all . political systems. 'parties in the sense of organizations are a product of modern politics. Political parties exist in the modern polity because only modern political systems require institutions to organize mass participation in politics' (90). Echoing the view expressed in Bureaucracy and Political Development (LaPalombara 1963c: 45). and developed at length in Political Parties and Political Development, Huntington argued that where traditional political institutions were weak or non-existent, 'strong party organization is the only long-run alternative to the instability of a corrupt or praetorian or mass society.' and concluded that 'the prerequisite of stability is at least one highly institutionalized politicalparty' (Huntington 1968: 91: emphasis mine). Sixth. Huntington shared the view that if appropriate institutions and relationships were created, democracy was an eventual

possibility, and produced his own version of the LernerLaPa1ombara-Wiener stage model of democratization. in the process of modernization. he argued, power should first be concentrated in the hands of a modernizing élite. in order to allow them to innovate, Lhen expanded, in order to assimilate new groups. At a later stage, not yet reached in the contemporary modernizing world, it could be dispersed in order to allow those new groups a greater say within the system. Praetorian systems were least and single-party and dominant-party systems most able to concentrate and expand power. while 'more competitive two-party or multiparty systems may have considerable capacity for expansion and the assimilation of groups but less capability for the concentration

of power and the promotion of reform' (147).


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Seventh, he argued, following Verba in particular and the Political Culture case studies in general, that the United States could not serve as a model for contemporary new states. as the unique circumstances of its early development made it unnecessary to concentrate power in order to overcome entrenched traditional forces. and that as a consequence the political system was plural from the start, and the expansion of power in order to include new social forces was relatively easy (Ch. 2). Eighth. he adopted the view expressed earlier by LaPalombara and Riggs that advanced bureaucratic organization was not necessarily conducive to appropriate political development. The bureaucratic states which had modernized early, by concentrating power in order to overcome resistance to modernization, were paradoxically less able to expand their political systems at a later stage than those feudal states which had retained a more dispersed power structure. As a consequence, countries judged at a, particular point in time to be more institutionally backward because they had a more dispersed power structure - Britain, the United States and leper for example - had later proved more successful at assim~ ilating new social groups and transforming their political systems. Here Huntington faithfully followed the doctrine for political development. extending the argument to identify the dilemma created for contemporary absolutist states, the 'modernizing monarchies' of the Third World- In such states - Iran and Ethiopia for example

monarchs were obliged to concentrate power in their own hands and pursue a programme of reform if they were to survive, but in doing so they greatly reduced the likelihood of a smooth extension of power to new social groups at a later stage. They therefore faced the prospect of revolt from the traditional groups they antagonized,



or revolution from below (oh. 3). Similar arguments had been advanced by McClelland (1963) and Levine (1965). Point for point, then, Huntington endorsed and repeated the central arguments of the doctrine for political development. Even his celebrated rejection of the term 'development' in favour of' Ichanget (Huntington. 1971) was fOreshadowed by LaPaIo1nbara, who had said long before that 'concern with the nature of change rather than with definition is likely to permit the development of a science of comparative politics' (LaPalombara l963c: 39). It is necessary, then, to correct the misapprehension that Huntington made an original contribution to the analysis of polite

cal development for his true contribution to become clear. He took

The Doctrine for Political Development

l 43

the ideas we have identified as the major themes of the functional

and cultural approaches. the need for an autonomous political sphere and for élite control over the process of mass participation. and made them the basis of an energetically asserted policy position. By treating them as axiomatic. and declining to develop a supplementary body of theory to support them, he avoided the trap into which other theorists fell in seeking to advance their policy goals. He offered instead selective historical illustration, and encap~ sulations of the doctrine either in epigrammatic form ('modernity breeds stability, but modernization breeds instability': 'It is not the

absence of modernity but the efforts to achieve it which produce political disorder' (Huntington 1968: 41)). or in new vocabulary

(complexity, adaptability, autonomy and coherence for the hallmarks of the modern state, concentration, expansion. and dispersion of power for the process of democratization). In essence. he argued a single point: that a political system must be able to promote change in its own interest by state action, for which it requires 'the ability to assimilate successfully into the system the social forces produced by modernization and achieving a new social consciousness as a result of modernization' (140). This precisely echoed the perspective with which Pye introduced Political Culture and Political Development. Huntington's work exemplified his own maxim that 'for reasons that are undoubtedly deeply rooted in human nature, scholars often have the same ideas but prefer to use different words for those ideas' (Huntington I99la: 114). His freedom from ties to the early protagonists of political development theory enabled him to play a crucial role in marketing the doctrine for political development. Conclusion

A number of substantive themes dominated all the contributions to the political development literature, giving it a degree of unity beyond their various theoretical orientations. Two related ideas

ran through all of them: that the political system and specific institutions within it should be separate and insulated from other aspects of society, and that mass participation should be mediated and controlled by elites. The first of these ideas was prominent in the functional approach, while the second emerged as a central theme in discussions of political culture, At the same time. these

approaches were conducted at a high level of abstraction. and


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

failed to provide the 'realistic guides to the problems of nation building' and the 'practical guides for action' fOr which Pye (196..: 101 had called. The ideas of institutional autonomy and élite control were brought together with such practical advice in the Studies in Political Development series inaugurated in 1963, and the 'doctrine for political development' which they sought to promote. The doctrine for political development reflected in the early studies in this series was designed to influence public policy towards and within developing countries. In order to achieve its ends, it called for both direct governmental action, and a broader programme aimed at shaping social processes and interactions. lt argued that the state required sufficient autonomy from social

forces to define and pursue the collective interest in freedom from the direct influence of particular private interests. Against this background it advanced the central proposition that political stability would only be achieved in the developing world if appropriately oriented governing and political elites could control mass

attitudes and behavior. Such elites should give priority to private enterprise in the promotion of economic development. and restrict the bureaucracy to a supportive rather than a leading role. Because rapid improvements were not possible either in individual economic circumstances or in overall social provision, governments and elites should seek to control the agenda of change, setting priorities in terms of nation- and state-building, and postponing or deflecting demands for increased levels of consumption. whether of private or public goods. At the same time, the immediate extension of political participation along the lines enjoyed in the most democratic Western societies should be postponed until the masses could be trusted to recognize and accept the limits to both participation and welfare which their own expectations and the exhortations of unprinoipied demagogues continually pressed them to challenge. it might be possible for the next generation to enjoy a fully democratic system, if currently interventionist bureaucracies could be persuaded to give priority to private enterprise, and if investment in the mass media and in education could reshape social attitudes. In the meantime, however, it was necessary to prevent the emergence of monolithic ideological single parties which sought rapid, regimented development through state

control of the economy, and to support 'quasi-authoritarian' single parties which had the authority to impose the appropriate agenda

for sequential reform. but also left space for the emergence of new

The Doctrine for Political Development

I 45

interests which would later take centre stage in a capitalist economy and in a consensual and competitive political system. However, the prospects for the adoption across the developing world of the agenda proposed in the doctrine for political development appeared bleak, in view of the current attachment of new leaders to massive state intervention, the expectation ori the part of citizens that the state would address their pressing social and economic needs, and the general demand for forms of political participation which would allow the masses to transmit their demands directly to their rulers. In the circumstances, the doctrine for political development was kept on hold, and attention turned directly to the historical record of political development in the


6 I




The Comparative Historical Approach

The question of how to move from static comparison and the


of typologies to a dynamic method which could

account for change over time puzzled theorists of political development from the start. In part this was a question of theorizing the internal logic of the models of development devised, so that the impact upon the whole of change in one dimension or element could be assessed. It also suggested the need to link the theoretical frameworks proposed to the actual historical experience of countries which had gone through a sufficiently protracted process of development to allow meaningful analysis of change over time. These concerns prompted a comparative historical approach which came to focus on common crises arising from a shared 'development syndrome', contrasting patterns of development arising from the varying sequences in which these crises were encountered and resolved, and detailed investing ation of particular

historical cases. The resulting attempt to develop a 'crises and sequences' model was to be the final phase of the search for a theory of political development and, in the eyes of the main contributors, it was to end in failure. With it, as we shall see, political development theory wrote its own epitaph.

As noted in Chapter 2, a comparative historical approach focused on common crises and contrasting sequences of development began to take shape in workshops held in 1962 and 1963. and figured as a minor theme in the work of leading theorists of political developrnent thereafter. As we saw there, the case for systematic comparison of development over time was addressed directly by Ward and Rustow in their study of Political Modernization in Iapan and Turkey (l964a). A further elaboration of the approach came in Verbs's conclusion to Political Culture and Political Development (19e5b), which identified live specific crises of development

(national identity, integration. participation, penetration, and

The Comparative Historical Approach


distribution) and examined them in historical context. By addressing his discussion to the 'impact of events upon beliefs' Verba kept himself formally within the terrain marked out by the political culture approach. But the enumeration of significant events themselves - wars, revolutions, the establishment of national boundaries, the trajectory of political movements. processes ofpolitical incorporation of new social groups, the development of governmental capacity and the distribution of resources throughout society - was such that it pointed towards direct concern with the substantive processes themselves, rather than with the beliefs they engendered. A third version figured briefly in comparisons of the political development of Britain, France and Germany in the

conclusion to Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach (Almond and Powell 1966: 3 l4-22). However, a full account of the 'crises and sequences' model did not appear until Binder, Coleman , LaPalombara, Pye, Verba and Weiner jointly published Crises and Sequences in Political Development in 1971. This initial exercise in 'collective theory building in the social sciences' then prompted the Committee on Comparative Politics to sponsor two sets of historical investigations, eventually published as the last two volumes in the Studies in Political Development series: The Formation of National States in Western Europe (1975a], edited by Charles Tilly, and Crises of PoliticaI Development in Europe and the United States ($978a), edited

by Raymond Grew. In the meantime, Almond and others published

Crisis, Choice and Change: Historical Studies of Pofitir'al Development, a more eclectic collection also oriented towards historical case study (Almond. Flanagan and Mundt 1973). It is to these volumes that I turn. therefore. Lo evaluate the comparative historical approach

within orthodox political development theory, and the final stage of the search for a theory of political development. According to Pye, the workshop sponsored by the SSRC Committee on Comparative Politics at the Center for Advanced

Study in the Behavioral Sciences in the summer of 1963 led to 'the analytical observation that the strains of development involve

more than just the tensions of change. for inherent within modern societies are certain fundamental and dynamic contradictions unkriowri

to traditional societies' (Binder et al. 1977: vii, emphasis mine). These fundamental contradictions were never resolved, but persisted even in the advanced industrial societies as problem areas that 'either plague a society or regime or demand the attention of

its leaders and aware citizens' (xiii). The comparative historical


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

approach to which this perspective gave rise abandoned the attempt to find a universal framework of analysis valid for all times and all places in favour of a specific focus on modernity, and it. sought to identify different paths of development to modernity and to assess their consequences. This marked a significant change of direction, as political development theory turned its attention away from universal problems of change in traditional, transitional and modern societies to a primary concern for the specific tensions and contradictions inherent in modernity itself, and the various possible paths by which modernization could be achieved . The final form taken by this approach, before it was tested to

destruction in the closing volumes of the Studies in Political Development series, was the 'crises and sequences' model. This can usefully be contrasted, however, with the somewhat different version offered at an earlier stage in the third volume in the Studies in Political Development series, Ward and Rustow's Political Modernization Fri Iapan and Turkey (l964a). This took as its starting point the challenges of late development and 'defensive modernization' and stressed the need for elites to provide appropriate leadership, but it did not make the sterile and timewonsuming mistake of narrowing the issues down to the question of whether there was a single set of crises through which every modernizing state had to pass, and, if so. whether the sequence in which the crises were tackled made any difference.

Defensive Modernization, Crisis and Leadership The conclusion to Political Modernization in Iapan and Turkey took as

its starting-point the claim that 'whatever the uncertainties about beginning dates and particular defining qualities, there are massive differences between those stages of a particular society's history which we crudely characterize as 'traditional' and those which we somewhat hesitantly and self-consciously proclaim to be 'modern' (Ward and Rustow 1964fb: 434). However, it did not go on to

indulge in lengthy descriptions of polar states of tradition and modernity. In an approach which foreshadowed the later literature on transitions to democracy, it addressed instead the way leaders managed the process of political modernization. In doing so, it identified some given circumstances with which leaders had to cope geography and geopolitics, the timing of external stimuli to

change, and the nature of the traditional heritage


and a set of

The Comparative Historical Approach


'somewhat more flexible problems' on which leaders could 'exercisc an appreciably greater degree of discretion and control' {-465).

These were the exploitability of traditional factors for purposes of modernization. problems of leadership and followership, and a total of eight 'crises' - identity, security, economic development, integration, penetration, participation, output and distribution (see Box 6.1 ).

Box 6.1 Ward and Rustow's 'ten crucial categories' for political modernization

(A) those which are set or predetermined in such a manner as to be wholly or largely beyond the control of the leaders of the modernizing society ' (1) (2) (3)

(B) (1)

(2) (3) (4=)

(5) (6)

geopolitical problems problems of timing of external stimuli for change problems relating to th.e nature of a society°s traditional heritage those which are amenable to some significant degree of' influence or control by leaders The exploitability of traditional institutions, attitudes, and behavior patterns for modernizing purposes

the crisis of identity the crisis of security problems of' leadership and followership the crisis of economic development problems of popular relationship to the political process: (a) the crisis of integration (b) the crisis of penetration

(c) (7)

the crisis of participation

the crisis of output and distribution

Source; Ward and Rustow 196413: 465-6.

Ward and Rustow's study oflJapan and Turkey constitutes. then. the first systematic use of the concept of 'crises of development' for the purpose of sustained comparative historical analysis. However. as noted above, the 'crises' themselves were not placed at the centre of the analysis. The point of departure in each case was a conscious decision on the part of leaders to commit themselves and

their country to a process of defensive modernization. And in each


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

case, it was possible in the first place because of the location of each country on the periphery of the main c e r t e s of Western imperialisni .- a location close enough to the centre of Western imperialist activity to spark off a desire to seek protection from it, but just sulliciently on the margins of it to avoid complete subordination, and allow the effort at defensive modernization to succeed (437~40). In what followed, the governing concept was leadership rather than crisis. and the key idea was that where the set of 'somewhat more flexible problems' were concerned. leadership mattered: Leaders everywhere must work with the materials presented to them by

the existing conditions of their society and people. The limits within which they can act effectively and produce significant social changes are thus very seriously conditioned by the society's heritage. Even so. however. this seems to leave an appreciable area wherein the play of leadership is important and where the factors involved are more subject to influence or control than are the aspects of geography. timing, and previous historical experience which have just been discussed. (444)

In addressing the possible comparative scope of their approach, Ward and Rustow noted some significant differences between the situation of Japan and Turkey at the time when their leaders embarked upon a conscious programme of modernization, and the circumstances of contemporary modernizing societies. These were the much greater level of constraint imposed by 'uncontrolled external forces' in the modern period, the impact of colonial status ,

and the availability of a range of models - including the Russian Communist model, the emerging Chinese Communist model, and the model of 1 apart itself. Finally. they posed the question of

whether their model should be restricted to the case of late-devel oping societies, or whether it rnighl apply, with amendment where necessary, to 'the main problems encountered at earlier stages of history by the major Western societies' (467-8). This utilization of the concept of crisis as an aid to comparative historical analysis within a process-oriented model which centred upon leadership within constraints remained marginal to the larger effort to develop a 'crises and sequences' model. In retrospect, this may have been unfortunate. As it was, however, the last great eli'ort of political development theory was aimed at the idem-» plication o1` the crises through which all modernizing states must pass, and the implications of the sequence in which those crises

were faced.

The Comparative Historical Approach


Crises and Sequences in Political Development

The central chapters of Crises and Sequences i t Political Development set out the content of the 'development syndrome' unique to the process of modernization and the condition of modernity, identified five crises of development, and considered each in turn. The collec-

tion was completed by an essay on sequences and development contributed by Verbs, originally drafted as an internal memoran~ dum to the other authors. This created a number of' difficulties by questioning the main theoretical outlines of the rest of the collection. Colernan°s discussion of the development syndrome, which underpinned the remaining chapters in a way that Binder's highly idiosyncratic introduction signally failed to do, was an amplification of the first version, set out in Education and Political Development. Coleman rejected historical and typological approaches based upon Western European history since the sixteenth century or upon


ideas of tradition and modernity in favour of an evolutionary

perspective, and described the political development process as that open-ended increase in the capacity of political man to initiate and institutionalize new structures. and supporting cultures, to cope with or resolve problems, to absorb and adapt to continuous change, and to strive purposively and creatively for the attainment of societal goals. (Coleman

1971: 731

As outlined in Chapter 5 (pp. 120-22). it consisted of 'a continuous interaction among the processes of structural differentiation, the imperatives of equality, and the integrative, responsive and adaptive capacity of a political system' (Coleman 1971: 74 ). the interaction between them constituting the 'development syndromes

Structural differentiation was defined as 'the process of progressive separation and specialization of roles, institutional spheres. and associations in societies undergoing modernization' (75), equality ,

introduced on the grounds that 'egalitarianism pervades all aspects of modern political life and culture and all forms of modern political ideology' (76-7). was reduced to three specific items: national city zenship, a universalistic legal order, and achievement norms; and capacity denoted the ability of the government to respond to the challenges thrown up by structural differentiation and the drive for equality' It is a capacity not only to overcome the divisions and manage the tensions created by increased differcnnauon. but to respond to or contain the participatory and distributive demands generated by the imperatives of


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

equality. IL is also a capacity to innovate and to manage continuous change. (78-9)

At its core, as before. was the perception that modernization. driven by the 'imperatives of equality.' created a political and orga-

nizational challenge to which the government must respond. its three elements were linked by a sysiernic logic, defined in terms which echoed the formulation offered in Education and Political Development, but recast to include the new terminology of the crises of development. with political development now described as the acquisition of a consciously sought. and a qualitatively new and enhanced political capacity as manifested in. the successful institutionalization of (1) new patterns of integration and penetration regulating and containing the tensions and conflicts produced by increased differentiation. and (2) new

patterns of participation and resource distribution adequately responsive to the demands generated by the imperatives of equality. The acquisition of' such a performance capacity is. in turn. a decisive factor in the resolution of the problems of identity and legitimacy. (74-5; compare Coleman l965h: 15)

Extending the brief analysis offered earlier in relation to the issue of education, Coleman now diagnosed the relations between these various elements in the politics of developing countries as dysfunc-

tional. The process of differentiation was typically compounded or composite (in other words. marked by intensified primordial cleavages exacerbated by subsystem fragmentation) and uneven. resulting in high integrative loads [extreme pressure upon the State and governing elites). The 'pervasive spread of the egalitarian ethos' was problematic, as it created excessive demands. activated and reinforced divisive primordial ties, and heightened the revolutionary potential of disaffected groups with limited career opportunities. Coleman argued, in terms familiar from previous

accounts. that demands 'tend to be thrust upon the polity in. an unrestrained. intermittent. unpredictable and totalistic banner', and 'the introduction of universal suffrage and the concept of the participant citizen in unintegrated pluralist societies has the perverse effect of politicizing thereby freezing and strengthening - existing parochialisms' (95-6). Finally, he returned to a key passage in Education and Political Development (Coleman 1965f: 539) with the argument that the modernizing capacity required to

overcome these problems was not just a question of bureaucratic

The Comparative Historical Approach


efficiency. but also required society itself to 'absorb, deflect, or respond to the wide range of demands generated in a modernizing country and thereby minimize or obviate explicit government involvement'. In order to achieve this it required 'a type of political culture of participation that operates to restrain. moderate, or postpone demands or in other ways reduce the decisional load upon formal administrative structures' (Coleman 1971299i

Despite the delay in publication of Crises and Sequences free Political Development until 1971, the 'development syndrome' which under~ pinned the notion of 'crises and sequences of development' reiterated. extended and generalized in its central arguments the version first published in 1965. In terms of substantive content, it identified a specifically modern crisis born of pressure for equality and expressed in an increased demand for participation: the driving forces behind it, the 'imperatives of equality' which called for increases in political and economic participation. provided the real content which linked structural differentiation on the one hand and the need for increased government capacity on the other. And the perspective taken, consistent as always with the emphases of the revisionist theory of democracy, was that such pressure represented a threat to élite control which had to be neutralized and contained. While the ' f i v e crises' approach was a reworking of ideas that had been central to the effort to build a theory of political development from the beginning, then, it focused directly on the need for the building of state capacity to withstand the pressures of mass participation. In doing so, it built much more upon the principal elements of the doctrine for political development set out in the previous chapter than the functional and cultural approaches had done. And as we shall see when we turn to the detail of the live crises themselves, it addressed directly, in a way that previous approaches had not, the specific challenges thrown up for dominant classes and governing elites in capitalist societies. Each 'crisis'. in fact, reflected a different aspect of the general problem of ensuring the reproduction of capitalist society by securing the process of accumulation itself and winning legitimacy for it in the eyes of the propertyless majority who sustained it. In other words , the 'imperatives of equality' were none other than the general imperatives of capitalism. In a contrast to which I shall return below. Ward and Rustow. with their focus on defensive moderniza-

tion as a response to Western imperialism, could be said to have


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

focused on the specific form taken by capitalist modernization in countries peripheral to the capitalist core.

The Five Crises Against the background of the 'development syndrome' set out above the joint authors of Crises and Sequences in Political Development explored five crises -.- of identity, legitimacy, participation, penetration and distribution - in turn. Each was anchored in a frankly elitist perspective, and reproduced the main terms of the doctrine for political development. Identity and legitimacy were addressed by Pye in successive chapters, in relation to 'the differences between rulers and the masses] and the need for mutually compatible orientations between citizens and leaders. Leaders 'must view politics from a significantly different perspective from those who remain prhnarily observers or only participating citizens', as 'at the heart of the problem of elite political culture and development is the question of the qualities necessary for effective political leadership in the formulation and execution of national policies' (Pye 197la: 103). There followed a familiar list of obstacles to this desired state of affairs in developing societies: 'the

absence of a widely shared understanding as to what should be the generally expected limits and potentialities of political action', 'uncertainty and confusion over what should be the persisting role of traditional values and concepts in changing societies', 'a general tendency to over-emphasize the value of words and ideologies and to discount pragmatic considerations. and 'the prevailing widespread

uncertainty about how existing roles in the political system can be eiiectively utilized' (106-10). Progress depended upon 'clarifying both individual and collective feelings of identity and the establishment of more effective authority that will have all the potency of acknowledged legitimacy' (1l0). In other words, the core issue in the crises of identity and legitimacy was the establishment of an appropriate common identity, and of élite auto-omg and authority over the masses. Weiner and LaPalombara similarly approached the crises of participation, penetration and distribution within the framework of elite theory. Weiner defined participation as any voluntary action. successful or unsuccessful, organized or unorga-

nized, episodic or continuous. employing legitimate or illegitimate

The Comparative Historical Approach


methods intended to influence the choice of public policies, the administration of public affairs. or the choice of political leaders at any level of government, local or national, (Weiner l 97l: 164)

The definition emphasized action [rather than attitude or feelings] which was voluntary and which assumed that the citizen had a choice in the selection of public officials, In line with the élite perspective, a participation crisis was defined as 'a conflict that occurs when the governing elite views the demands or behavior of individuals and groups seeking to participate in the political system as illegitimate' ( ]. 87). It was resolved when there was 'a new agreement among governing elites. contending elites and political participants on the legitimacy of demands and on the value of certain institutional procedures created to meet the demands' (194). LaPalombara. writing on penetration and distribution, commented that 'we have . . . conceptualized the devel opmental crises as involving largely elite interactions, elite aspirations. elite initiatives, and elite responses to signals from the mass environment' (LaPalombara l97lb: 272-3). He saw crises as facing elites with an institutional challenge: In the broadest sense all crises. conceived as sharp breaks with traditional processes. challenge the capability of' an existing governing elite. and indeed such challenges in each of the crisis areas we discuss place pressure on the elite to modify old institutions and/or to create new ones. (LaPalolnbara .l.9 7 l az 205 l

Thus excessive crisis loads in the developing countries involved 'an imbalance between demands on governing elites on the one

hand and the capacity or capability of elites to respond to such demands with new or modified policies and organizations on the other' (217). Within this élite theory framework, penetration was

defined as 'conformance to public policy enunciated by central government authority', or, for any political élite, 'whether they can get what they want ii-om people over whom they seek to exercise power' (2()8~9). Finally, distribution concerned situations where 'the political elite take a hand to increase the material goods available to a society or to redistribute such goods as may be available at any given time' (LaPalombara l97lb: 236). This involved both finding the means of producing more of the material things that are valued, and changing the bases upon which valued objects are distributed among the members of society. In other words,


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

LaPalombara's 'distribution' crisis involved production (or output in the Ward/Rustow version) as well as distribution. Identity

Pye ident.iilied four fundamental forms of' identity crisis, related to territory, class, ethnicity, and social change. These concerned i) the relationship of geographical space to nationalist sentiments. ii) class divisions that might preclude effective national unity; iii) conflict between ethnic or other subnational identifications and commitments to a common national identity: and iv) the psychological consequences of rapid social change and ambivalent feelings towards outsiders (Pye l 9 7 l a : l ll-12). The question of whether a profound identification of' the ruled with their rulers and with a system of rule would develop depended on the character of elite orientations. and Pye concluded with a typology in which live types of élite culture were identified: expanding, exclusive, closed, parochial, and synthetic. The expanding elite culture (Britain, the United States, Japan and Turkey) was the ideal, in which the elite 'is prepared to share its standards and norms with the mass culture', and 'insists that all members of the polity can have a meaningful place within the system if they accept the essential spirit of the elite culture' (12-4l=-5). An exclusive elite culture (Burma, Vietnam, Pakistan), in contrast, sought to provide a common basis of national identity. but did so by excluding significant minority elements of the population. A closed élite culture (South Africa, Rhodesia) upheld two separate identities in the nation, related to elite and mass culture respectively. A parochial elite culture (Ceylon, Nationalist China) was one which aggressively upheld traditional values which excluded more modernized minority elements. Finally, a synthetic elite culture

was one constructed on the basis of institutions introduced by foreign rule (Malaysia). At the limit, as in the Belgian Congo, there was no active élite culture at all. and the depth of the crisis was severe.


Peels investigation of identity in terms of élite culture and

élite-mass relations led him to stress 'the crucial role of leadership in resolving identity problems and creating the basis for national

The Comparative Historical Approach


unity' and 'the critical place of authority in politics' ( l 33-4). In this context the issue of legitimacy concerned 'the proper and accepted division of authority among various political struc tores capable of wielding power' (Pye l.97lb: 135). While the other four 'crises' might each give rise to issues of legitimacy, a legitimacy crisis proper was defined as 'a breakdown in the constitutional structure and performance of government that arises out of differences over the proper nature of' authority for the system' (136). Such crises were particularly likely in the course of political development as people who had become aware of the existence of alternative forms of government began to question their own. There were four principal sources of crises of legitimacy in developing societies: conflicting or inadequate bases for claiming authority, excessive and uninstitutionalized competition for power: the basing of' claims to authority on unacceptable readings of history or faulty predictions of future developments; and inap-

propriate socialization and feelings about authority among the people which were not functional for the efforts of leaders (138). The twin processes of differentiation and pressure for equality called traditional claims for authority into question, particularly in new states where 'the old forms of authority have lost their basis for effectively structuring life' (139). Here Pye followed Huntington in arguing that the most effective response was the establishment of a rational, secular state authority based upon law: Before there can be a question of legitimacy and authority there must he the realities of power: and the sorrow of many developing countries is that they have no institutions capable of' directing and managing all the tasks that must be accomplished if these countries are to achieve their goals of

modernization. (141) Political competition might lead to raw power struggles when there were no stable institutions for channeling and ordering poll»

tics. The lack of authority was then followed by the breakdown of élite unity, the condition identified by Huntington as 'praetorian~ ism.' Embattled leaders then appealed to historical precedents (as in Europe in the past) and to ideologies promising bright futures (as in the contemporary developing world), but found their authority undermined when precedents were questioned or promises were not realized. But the last and 'possibly most fundamental' cause of

legitimacy crisis, distinctive to rapidly changing societies, was 'the inappropriate ways in which people in a society have been taught about

I 58

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

the nature of authority' (144, emphasis mine). In cases where the appropriate lessons had not; been learned, citizens expected their leaders to be capable of resolving all problems. and leaders expected citizens to respect their authority without question or justification . As a result, the former tended to become cynical. and the latter arbitrary in the exercise of power. One element of the solution to crises of legitimacy, regardless of the immediate cause, was dynamic leadership. Despite the attention devoted to charismatic leadership, the key issues here were choice and decision-making (I49). Leaders faced three basic dilemmas in seeking to meet the challenge of accommodating their countries to the modern world: firmness versus accommodation , preserving versus rejecting, the past: and satisfaction versus sacrifice. The first concerned the response to foreign pressures, the

second the broader attitude towards national traditions, and the third the 'clash between the requirements that leadership respond to the desires and satisfactions of a people while at times compelling them to make sacrifices for goals unrelated to their immediate wishes' ( ] 54). Here a fund of legitimacy was required to enable the government to bridge the gap between the demand it made on society's resources and its ability to respond to social demands, arising from the fact that 'there is always the need for some additional resources to fulIliI the tasks of maintaining and developing the political system as a more or less independent system' (l5ei}. Particularly in cases where non-political socialization bred feelings of cynicism and mistrust, there was a constant danger of political alienation. To be alleviated, this required satisfactory performance in the areas of participation. penetration and distribution. Participation

Weiner ascribed pressures for increased participation to social mobilization, changes in social stratification, élite activity (whether the role of the intelligentsia or intra-élite conflict), and

extensions to the scope of governmental output and institutional channels for participation. The character of political participation would depend upon the precise combination of factors involved, as well as the timing of its expansion (Weiner 1971: 174-5). Its growth was examined in relation to four other kinds of changes: the development of an institutional framework for participation, the growth of central authority in relation to politically


Comparative Historical Approach


autonomous local authority: the expansion, autonomy and reach of the bureaucracy; and the growth of a sense of national identity. The prospects for appropriate and durable political institutions were improved if a sense of national identity was established before particular ethnic or other groups become politically active; if such institutions were created as a result of popular demands rather than in advance of them, and were preceded by the weakening of

t.he landed élite by land reform and the centralization of authority in a national bureaucracy: and if that bureaucracy developed along with parties. voluntary associations and representative institutions, and became politically responsive. Within this framework, Weiner was primarily concerned with the expansion of

opportunities for participation in order to admit new or hitherto excluded social classes. When he turned to the issue of sequence. he suggested that 'the order in which certain social groups began to participate in political life has had systemic consequences for the development of' democracy or for the development of stable and legitimate authority' (183). Much depended upon the order in which social classes were brought into politics, the distribution of influence between them, and the constraints imposed on policy~

makers by large-scale political participation .

Penetration While Weiner was broadly concerned with relations between classes and their incorporation into politics, LaPalombara was concerned with relations between governing elites and, citizens, and with the balance in economic development between produc-

tion and distribution: in other words with the sharing of resources between accumulation (investment for future growth) and immediate consumption. There were two dimensions to penetration, as compliance may be coerced (as with 'the capability of the central government to achieve penetration regardless of what may be the views, desires, attitudes. or predispositions of those who are the objects of governmental policy') or voluntary (as with 'the existing or modified ability and predisposition of the objects of policy to receive information regarding policy accurately and to wish to conform to such policies voluntarily'), and the choice between strategies therefore brought issues of legitimacy into play

(Laraiombara l 9 7 l a ; 209). In turn, the need for the government to extend the scope of its penetration of society was intimately



Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

connected to new demands in the area of °distribution' (or. as we have seen, production, distribution and redistribution). Distribution

LaPaloinbara conceptualized the shift from tradition to modernity as involving the transition from a system of distribution based upon low levels of technology and constant levels of production to

one based upon higher levels of technology and increasing levels of production. This shift required changes in the mentality and behaviour of éiites and masses alike, and massive investment in education. lt also required resistance to overwhelming pressures

from the domestic and international environments, particularly in avoiding

mistaken strategies of development (in particular,

LaPaloInbara questioned the rationality of the pursuit of industrialization at the expense of agriculture), and in ensuring that resources went into investment for expansion in the longer term rather than into immediate consumption. in this context, developing countries l`aced pressures far greater than the advanced countries had in their time, as a consequence of the attraction of models of industrial development elsewhere, the consensus that the State and the public sector should play a leading role in development. and the appeal of socialism. The integration and further development of the 'five crises'

model was hampered by the fact that having identified their five crises, their authors were unable to discern either the logic behind them or the connections between them. There were several loose ends, as a result, in the 'crises and sequences' model. The ambiguity in Pye's brief exposition as to whether crises were better seen as once-and~for-all events (without which the idea of sequences made little sense). or as continuing problem areas remaining unresolved. In addition, Coleman's account of the development syndrome initially identified six key problem areas, including integration alongside the jive to which reference was made in the rest of the book, and only four of them - integration, penetration, participation and distribution - were fully worked into his threefold conceptualization of political development. Finally, fundamental doubts regarding the validity of the crises and sequences model overall were raised by Verbs, in his concluding chapter to the collection. Vcrba commented that 'the relationship between the

notions of' equality, capacity and differentiation on the one hand

The Comparative Historical Approach


and the five crises of development on the other is not completely clear' (Verba l.97l: 291, ft. 7`). Stating that he preferred the term 'problem area' to crisis, he commented that while the five problem areas identified seemed to be important in relation to government capacity to make decisions, '1 can find no clear logical structure among them nor any warrant for considering the list exhaustive' (299). In view of this assessment, it is essential to treat the first exposition of the 'crises and sequences' model as somewhat tentative, and turn to the assessments provided by Tilly and Grew for a final verdict. Before doing so, however, we may examine briefly the intervening volume produced by Almond, Flanagan and Mundt.

Crisis, Choice and Change In the period in which Tilly and Grew were wrestling with the 'crises and sequences' model, similar themes were addressed by Almond, Flanagan and Mundt and other .collaborators in a collection of comparative essays entitled Crisis, Choice and Change (1973). This volume proposed an 'eclectic' model which combined the comparative historical approach with a number of other perspectives. It offered seven historical case studies (two on Britain, and one each on France, Germany, India, Japan and Mexico), along with two introductory theoretical chapters, a lengthy theoretical conclusion, and three technical appendices. It was described by one editor as the product of intensive interaction between 'area specialists who met almost weekly for over two years in an effort to

generate a common theoretical and methodological approach'

(Flanagan 1973: 44). The ultimate goal of the enterprise - as it had

been from the beginning - was the development of standardized

quantitative indexes, the application of' statistical techniques, and

the development of sophisticated mathematical models, but it was still a distant one (45). At the outset, Almond recalled early efforts to build structural-functional theories, and the subsequent emergence of 'a more historical, longitudinal thrust' leading to 'system development theory'. Identifying the common environmental challenges of state-building, nation-building, participation and welfare, he offered the following summary: This system development theory took the form of the assertion that the relationships in contemporary political systems between central and local political organs, the homogeneity and heterogeneity of the political culture, the structure of the party and interest-group systems, the


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


of the bureaucracy. and the kinds of public policies

produced by these political systems. could be explained in part by the particular ways in which these common environmental challenges had affected the political system historically ... the order in which they were experienced, their magnitude and intensity. their separate or simultaneous incidence, and the ways in which elite groups in these political systems responded to these challenges. (Almond 1973: 4)

These approaches and related debates, according to Almond, raised fundamental problems of 'causality. choice and determinacy in political development' (4). theories and theories of social mobilization based upon aggregate statistics were

over-deterministic. and did not provide causal explanations. These weaknesses could be remedied by incorporating insights from two

further bodies of theory: The first, coming t o r n economic theory and from psychological learning theory, uses rational-choice models and assumptions in explaining the structural and developmental patterns of political systems, and the second, stemming from many sources including personality theory and historical

insight, Stresses the unusual quality of individual political leaders or the cultural patterns of political elites and groups. (14)

In view of the partial merits olthese various approaches, Almond

proposed to draw in an eclectic manner on system-functional theory, social mobilization theory, rational choice (game and coalition) theory and leadership (decision-making, cultural and élite) theory to produce the 'system development' approach. Insights from these theories were to be applied to selected historical episodes. with the goal being 'to develop and try out a framework of explanation that would enable us to compare and contrast the

causes and consequences of different kinds of historical sequences' (23). Almond and his collaborators sought to identify crises and the mismatch they induced between political demands and output from the government, then to account for the process of' coalition~ building and political choices by which change came about. Coalition formation could be examined through a mode ofrationalchoice analysis which identified preferred and possible winning coalitions. but there remained a role within the process for personality and leadership variables to affect the outcome. As explained in the concluding chapter, the method was to identify and order logically possible coalitions within given structural constraints, while the leadership variable was handled impressionistically and treated

as a residual (Almond and Mundt 1973: 620-fl ). The end product,

The Comparative Historical Approach


considered further in the following chapter, was a form of analysis in which structural variables formed part but not the whole of explanations: 'Although the macro-variables of class structure give us a part of the explanation, it would seem that the micro-variables of coalition options and human choices had considerable indepen-

dent causal value' (642-3). The contributors to Crisis. Choice and Change had concerns similar to those shared by the architects of the five crises approach. But in contrast to the proponents of the 'five crises' approach they focused on specific historical processes of change, and sought to address them by bringing a number of different perspectives to bear within a single coherent analytical narrative. It is worth noting that they shared the emphasis placed by Ward and Rustow and by

Pye on leadership, and with Ward and Rustow on choices within structural constraints. At the same time, their range of case studies

reflected the fact that they shared with the proponents of the 'five crises' approach a focus on the general problem of modernization rather than on the specific case of late-developing countries which attracted the attention of Ward and Rustow. Historical Investigations

While Almond and his collaborators were occupied with their eclectic model. the efforts of the Committee on Comparative Politics to further their understanding of political development moved into a final phase with the commissioning of two volumes of historical studies: The Formation of Na.tional States in Western Europe (1975a), edited by Charles Tilly, and Crises ojlPolitical Development in Europe

and the United States ($978a), edited by Raymond Grew. As the titles suggest, the two volumes had an almost exclusively European focus, the exception being a single brief essay on the United States in the second. These were to be the final volumes in the Studies in Political Development series, and the brief forewords which Pye

contributed to each gave evidence of both the significance attached to the shift to historical studies of' developed countries, and the unsatisfactory nature of the outcome. His foreword to the Tilly collection identified the project as 'the most generously endowed enterprise in the history of the Committee on Comparative Politics' , and described both the 'return to Europe' and the 'attempt to collaborate with historians' as new departures for the series. Un the

outcome of the project he reported that

I 64

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

One of the purposes of the study . . . was to discover the extent to which a review of state-building in Europe could usefully inform contemporary efforts at advancing both the practice and the theories of political development. IL is, therefore. noteworthy that in many ways the authors highlight the fact that the circumstances of state-building in Europe were quite different from the situation which pertains today in the new states and thus great care must be exercised in generalizing from the past to the present. (Tilly l 975a: x)

in conclusion Pye made a brave show of concealing the disappointrnent prompted by the knowledge that the Committee had spent a fortune (not least in funding 'a delightful few days' at the Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio) to have cold water poured upon its ideas. He praised the contributors for having 'impressively demonstrated the complexity of their subjects', noted that 'scholars will no doubt differ in their interpretations of the matters dealt with in this book, as have the members of the Committee'. and offered the pious assurance that 'it is hoped that the ensuing dialogue will advance knowledge, which has been the sole purpose of the Committee' (x~xi). Three years later, he introduced what was announced as the

'ninth and final volume of Studies in Political Development. and was once again obliged to put a brave face on what had proved an uneasy collaboration- He noted that for reasons which seemed good at the time the collaborators in the project had discounted the problems associated with the 'inherent tension between the historian's sensitivity to the unique' and 'the commitment of political science theorists to seek universal patterns that can only be found at a level of abstraction at which the particular is no longer sover-

eign' (Grew l978a: v). He kept his own counsel as to whether that initial leap of faith had proved a wise one. but acknowledged that the assembled historians had rejected the theoretical framework offered to them in favour of 'good iudgemenf, and opined that the reader would 'find in this book new insights as well as the pleasure of agreeing or disagreeing with more authorities about the history of more countries than in any other recent work on European and American societies'. And in a conclusion which again combined faint praise with a remarkably unenthusiastic show of support for the disinterested pursuit of knowledge, he declared the Committee to be 'pleased that its theoretical concepts were in no case automatically and unthinkingly applied, but that they challenged the authors and led to new creative formulations about the histories of

The Comparative Historical Approach


countries we all thought we knew the best'. and congratulated the

authors for 'exhibiting both competence within their specializaLions and good judgment in their combining of facts and concepts' (vii). The series that Pye opened with a bang 13 years earlier, proposing to apply new concepts to novel situations, contribute to the development of a theory for comparative politics, and facilitate the quest of leaders in the new states for democratic development

(Pye and Verba 1965: ix), ended with a whimper. The tone of Pye's prefatory comments in each case, evidence in itself that all was not well with this final phase of the political development project, was amply explained by the response reported by 'Tilly and Grew to the agenda placed before them. Tilly declared that he had decided not to ask his collaborators to write 'commentaries on some particular set of theories concerning political change' as it would risk 'fixing the inquiry on invalid schemes, on problems of terminology, on issues which missed the substance of the phenomena we were trying to understands As a result, 'each participant received the invitation to write about his subject as best he knew how, so long as the treatment was synthetic and comparative' (Tilly 1975b: 6-7). Grew announced the study as an experiment in the application of some of the ideas of the SSRC's Committee on Comparative Politics. but noted that the categories had not always been used in the ways the committee intended, and that the underlying theory bad been treated as a very loose frame~ work indeed: his collaborators 'recognized that they were not dealing with anything SO grand as an integrated social scientific theory, tightly woven with prescribed regularities and predicted causes', the crises were 'really live categories of crucial social and political relationships that invite discussion of who shares in what way in what aspects of politics at any given time'; and therefore the authors had written for the most part 'as if the CommitteeS aim had merely been to provide a framework for comparative analysis

of European political history' (Grew 1978b: 8-9). These positions entailed an explicit rejection of many of the ideas addressed in Crises and Sequences in Political Development (Binder et at. 1971) and the broader literature. Tilly rejected approaches which 'caricatured the Western experience by assuming a fairly continuous rationalization of government, broadening of political participation, pacification of" the masses. and so on' (Tilly 197513: 4), and argued that nothing could be more detrimental to an

understanding of the history of state-making than 'the old liberal


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

conception of European history as the gradual creation and extension of' liberal rights' (37), as the builders of states had for a long time 'worked to stamp out or absorb existing rights, not to extend them'. In sum. he concluded that the relevant processes of political change, 'changes in staleness, patterns of mobilization, acquisi-

tions and losses of political rights - do not fit together into any single pattern we could confidently call "political development" (38). Grew noted in turn that 'the interpretations of development in this volume tend quite consistently to view it as less purposeful, its changes less marked, its stabilities less certain than is usual in the literature on development' (Grew 19 78b: 34, ft. 41). He reported that the contributing historians were sceptical of the Comnlittee's idea that political change had a direction towards greater equality, capacity and differentiation; they had made little use of these categories. and 'ha[d] not found the empirical measures of them we once imagined' (9), they found the direction of historical development further obscured by the fact that while similar challenges might evoke different responses. different challenges might just as well be met by similar responses; they lamented the lack of a cate-

gory of crises of' sovereignty, and they found the specified crises threw little light on the connections between politics on the one hand, and its environment on the other, in terms of geography, economic and military competition, the effect of foreign intl uences, the role of' ideas, social structure, economic organization and culture. Further to this, the concept of political crisis itself caused the greatest difficulty. Whether it was seen as any serious threat to the functioning of a political regime, as an important and in some way irreversible change in the way politics worked, or. (considering the set of five crises) as a typology of the problems governments faced, serious problems arose. The l i s t provided no means of telling when an apparent crisis was critical to the process of development; the second overlooked the possibility that critical changes in a political system could sometimes use old institutions without altering them, and the third, replacing the idea of crisis with that o1` problem area, 'weaken[ed] the model of development in favor of a set of categories descriptive of what governments do' (12). Even if all three definitions were used as seemed appropriate, there was no way of distinguishing major crises from minor ones. In a wry comment on the overall project, Grew concluded that 'the quantitative indicators we do not have in forms that facilitate comparison

The Comparative Historical Approach


will provide analytical power only when combined with. theories not yet elaborated' (12). As a consequence of all these difficulties. he reported that 'the concept of "crises" being "resolved" has faded; one is merely looking at problems that at a given time are (or seem) more pressing' (14). Once the idea of a passing crisis was replaced with the alternative

idea of a recurring problem or a permanent problem area, it was impossible to speak of a sequence. Tilly reported of his team of historians that 'none of us thinks the European experience will repeat itself as a set of events or sequences' (Tilly 1975b: l 7), and called for an approach based upon generalizations about recurrent relationships. If attention was to be directed to European history in such an effort, he suggested, it should focus on the degree of conflict surrounding the accumulation of state power, the characteristic coalitions between state leaders and social classes. the record of resistance to 'the extraction of scarce resources from a reluctant population' (24), and the 'powerful reciprocal relationship between the expansion of capitalism and the growth of state power' (30). Grew similarly asked whether there was for each nation a particular sequence of the live crises which could be said to describe its political development, and responded that 'the answer of the ten essays that follow is unanimous: there is not' (Grew 1978b: 28), He suggested that the 'development syndrome' should be recast in terms of relationships between the live crises themselves, and that the analysis should be 'more firmly extended

to include the relationship between a particular syndrome and class structure, the economy, political ideologies, and bureaucratic, corporate, and military institutions' (34), Each editor, in

sum, rejected the crisis model as proposed and the underlying vision of the process of political development, and called instead for an examination of the relationships between the 'crises' and other major aspects of the societies in question . As if this combined assault were not enough, Tilly's conclusion to the 1975 volume launched a savage critical onslaught on the whole body of 'political development' literature, whether produced under the auspices of the Committee on Comparative Politics or not, pointed to major omissions in its approach which placed it beyond repair, and committed the bold heresy of arguing that

'dependency theory' was closer to the facts as discovered through the analysis of state-making in Europe. He began with a bleak

asses sment of progress to date'


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Theorists of political development have not reached consensus on any single criterion: ciliciency, strength. representative institutions, nr any-

thing else. Nor have political analysts created anything remotely resembling Et standard accounting scheme . - although many an individual has proposed one general vocabulary or another. We should hardly be surprised, then, at the absence of generally accepted theories or of wellverified empirical generalizations. (Tilly 1975c: 604).

He then dismissed 'sequence and stage' theories, including the 'live crises' model [treated here as a 'six crises' model, with 'integration' still included), remarking that he and his collaborators had made no attempt to match the crises with historical data, and had rejected the historical comparisons involved in view of their unanimity on 'the immense conflict, uncertainty and failure that attended the building of national states everywhere in Europe including England' (6l0). Citing Verba's general assessment that 'neither the crises, nor the sequences, nor the connections among them, have been reliably identified', he added tersely, 'I concur' (Full), and rejected 'developmental' and 'functional' approaches

wholesale in favour of historical theories which 'account for the characteristics of any particular government through its individual relationship to some historical transformation affecting the world as a whole' (624). He then condemned political development theory for moving away from the individual state as the basic unit of analysis while remaining vague as to what replaced it, and neglecting major world-historical processes of change. The central charge leveled by Tilly at the political development literature was that its concentration on the individual unit, whether nation, political system, society or state, had drawn atten-

tion away from the international structures of power within which

development took place. He argued that the literature provided 'impressively little discussion of the way the structure of world markets, the operation of economic imperialism, and the characteristics of the international state system affect the patterns of political change within countries in different parts of the world' (620). This led him to suggest that 'something specific about the analysis of political development appeared] to have blocked the effective introduction of the proper international variables into existing developmental models'; this 'something', he felt, was 'the implicit policy aims of the models', the possibility that 'the incentive

to offer guidelines for the

present and

the future has

encouraged the analysts to concentrate on the single national

The Comparative Historical Approach


states and on the decisions within the reach of its managers' (620). Hence, perhaps, its neglect of national and international structures of power. along with 'the view from below', and 'the paths to alternatives the managers do not desire' (621). Tilly's critique identified the ideological project at the heart of the political development literature. pinpointing the tension between

the search for a 'theory of political development' on the one hand, and the aspiration to produce a 'doctrine for political development '

on the other. It crossed a boundary which the political development theorists had been determined to police at all costs, and coinniitted the ultimate heresy of proposing that important lessons could be learned from theliterature on dependency and exploitation (Box 6. l ). Box 6.2 Lessons from the literature of dependency and exploitation What, then, do we have to learn from the literature of depend dency and exploitation? First, the recognition that the nature of the international structure of power, and the relations ofparticular countries to that structure, account for a major part of the form, change, and variation of the national economic lives of poor countries, there is no obvious reason why that should be less true of political life. Second, the hypotheses of close (but imper-

fect) interdependence between the international structures of economic and political power, the changes oflboth being important determinants of the process called state~rnaking. Third. the argument that the class structure of a particular state depends to a large degree on the relations of each major class to the international organization of production 01° [sic] distribution, and strongly affects the form of government within the state. Fourth, the more specific historical hypothesis of the interdependence of a state system forming and growing up in Europe, spreading from there under the promotion and coercion of the European states , eventually encompassing the entire world: according to dependency theory, the process began with the combinations of territory and population open, opportunities for territorial expansion available, multiple political forms feasible, and so on. but it ended with a closed situation: great restraints on the territory, population, governmental form, external relations and development policies of the new member states .

Source: Tilly 1975c° 630-1.


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Overall, then. the upshot of the two-stage attempt to develop a crises and sequences model of political development in the l. 9705 was to generate a call for a comprehensive research agenda running from basic social structures and processes through to policy-making: exactly the agenda which the theorists of political development had announced two decades earlier. The original protagonists of political development theory had ended back where they started, and to add insult to injury, they found the historians to whom they had turned for support urging them to turn their attention to national and international structures of power, and to explore the issues of capitalism, imperialism, conflict and class

raised by the theorists of dependency and exploitation. Conclusion

The attempt to bring comparative history to the centre of the stage proved disastrous for the protagonists of political development

theory. Having relinquished control themselves, they found that the historians upon whom they had called were determined to write their own scripts. and highlight some glaring deficiencies in the manner in which the theory had previously addressed the historical record. The resulting production revealed them with such clarity that political devel opment theory never recovered from the experience. This was doubly ironic, first because there was in fact virtually no 'history' in Crises and Sequences in Political Development in the first place. and secondly because it was left to the historians to point out that none was actually required. The 'crises and sequences'

model of political development, as spelled out by Coleman. LaPalombara, Pye and Weiner. was no more than the doctrine for political development organized under five new headings. Pye analysed identity and legitimacy in terms of the qualities needed for effective. political leadership in the formulation and execution of national policies, and the need for elites to enjoy sufficient authority to win acceptance for the postponement of the gratification of immediate demands in favour of the in vestment of resources in the national interest; Weiner saw participation crises as occurring

when the demands or behavior of individuals and groups seeking to participate in the political system appeared illegitimate to elites, and saw them as resolved when agreement, was restored among

elites and masses on the demands which were legitimate and the

The Comparative Historical Approach


institutional procedures through which they would be processed: and LaPalotnbara saw penetration as the ability of elites to get what they wanted from citizens, and returned with the issue of distribution to Pye's emphasis on the need to strike an appropriate balance between investment and consumption. In terms of content, the 'crises and sequences' model was embedded in the familar framework of explicit élite theory, and produced variations on the theme of the need for providing strong élite leadership and making it acceptable to the masses. Guided as it was by Coleman's analysis of the interaction between differentiation, capacity and equality (from an evolutionary rather than an historical perspective), the volume was not an exercise in comparative history, but an analysis of the logic of' capitalist modernity from the perspective of ruling elites, as indeed was the 'doctrine for political development' itself. Coleman sought to identify the means by which governments in the modern world could 'respond to or contain the participatory and distributive demands generated by the imperatives of equality'. His identiiication of the pressure for equality and the need for governments to develop particular capacities to meet it as the defining problematic of modernity was reflected in the specific content attached to each of the five 'crises' - the centralization of authority over a given territory, the recognition of" that authority as legitimate by citizens, the incorporation of the peasantry and the working class into politics under elite control, the extension of the authority of the Stale into new areas in order to secure appropriate behaviour from citizens, and the organization of production and distribution systems in such a way as to obtain the appropriate balance between satis-

factory economic development in the longer term. and the immediate satisfaction of the wants of citizens. Although these could all be examined as historical processes, the authors of Crises and Sequences in Political Development thought from the start that they reflected permanent requirements of modern states. or characteristic challenges of modernity. The confusion this provoked over the issues of 'crises' versus 'problem areas' and over the validity of the idea of sequences was noted by Verba in his initial memorandum to the joint authors but never resolved, and it was ruthlessly exposed in the final volumes of the series of Studies in Political Development. The root cause of the problem, identified by the protagonists in the exercise as much as by their critics, then, was a profound


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

confusion over what it was that they were trying lo do, and what was required in order to do it. The primary object of the exercise appears to have been to specify the internal logic of modernity. This appeared to its authors to require an investigation into its histo rical origins, which in turn called for an attempt to interpret specific trajectories of national historical change. But the attempt to specify the internal logic of modernity in terms of relationships between interlinked elements, laid out in somewhat abstract form in Coleman's development syndrome, was not carried through in the treatment of the five crises, which were discussed one after another as separate items. Secondly, the failure to provide an account of the historical origins of modernity made it impossible to trace a link between the internal logic of modernity on the one hand, and specific trajectories of national historical change on the other. As a consequence, the theorists of political development persistently sought to draw too direct a connection between the two. somehow expecting that the enumeration of a set of crises which appeared arbitrary even to them would itself identify historical sequences of change from which lessons for the developing world could be drawn directly. Hence the fatal conjunction (present iron very early on) of attempts to link the specification of Syndromes' of' modernity (8 la Coleman) to specific historical sequences in which

crises were encountered and resolved. AI] this embarrassment could have been avoided. In the absence in fact of any serious examination of the historical origins of modernity - an absence painfully highlighted by Tilly in particular -- the theorists of political development would have been better advised, and more consistent, if they had examined the relationships between their 'crises,' understood as persistent 'problem areas' in modern society, as part of a deeper analysis of interconnections within modern society itself. As we have seen, Grew and Tilly both pointed this out. Indeed, once the theorists of political development had decided, as Pye reported that they had by 1963, that modern societies were marked by 'certain fundamental and dynamic contradictions unknown to traditional societies' (Binder et al. l9:F"': 7) which were never resolved. it should have occurred to them that the central issue was not necessarily one of accounting for change over time, but rather one of identifying those contradictions and their sources in modern society. At first sight it is puzzling that they did not. However, the extended critique offered by Tilly in the conclusion

to The Formation of National States in Western Europe suggests a

The Comparative Historical Approach

I 73

solution to the puzzle. If the primary motivation of political development theorists was to intervene in the policy-rnaking arena on behalf of the managers of developing states, theory was only required to play a supporting role, and the form it should take was dictated by the nature of the proposed policy agenda. The constant objective of 'political development theory' was to justify preferred policy options, not to illuminate either the historical origins of modernity. or its internal logic. Indeed, if they had done either they

would very quickly have required. as Tilly had no difficulty in pointing out, to examine directly such historical and social realities as capitalism, imperialism, class, conflict, and national and international power. Instead, the theorists of political development adopted an ideology supportive of" the most powerful interests at

the centre of those realities, encapsulated in the doctrine for political development, and made successive attempts to devise 'theories ' to support it, of which the foray into comparative history was the last. The two final volumes of' the Studies in Political Development series exposed this strategy. and brought the enterprise to a halt. it is now clear why Pye could muster only faint praise for them, and why Almond, an initial collaborator, did not eventually figure

as a co-author of Tilly's concluding chapter to The Formation of National States in Western Europe. Ti1Iy's comment that '(as will no doubt be obvious to a careful reader) Professor Almond bears no responsibility for the way the essay finally came out' (Tilly 19756: 601) was a reminder. fit were needed, that the progenitors of political development theory had lost control of their progeny. In its final phase, spread out over a decade from the late 1960s on, political development theory had turned away from the developing world altogether, in an extended exploration of the history and logic of the political systems of Europe and the United States. Subsequent developments would coniirrn that greater significance attached to the pragmatic 'doctrine for political development' than to any theory which might be advanced in its support, for while the effort to theorize political development

was abandoned, the

doctrine for political devel opment lived on, and came to enjoy its greatest dominance precisely as the attempt to produce an accompanying theory evaporated without trace. I have argued, then, that the architects of the 'five crises' approach were fundamentally confused about what it was that they were doing. Their efforts would have made more sense if they

had recognized that they were dealing with interconnected facets



Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

of 'modernity'. and explored the connections between them, leaving abstract historical speculation aside. They would have made more sense still if they had grasped the simple fact that the logic of modernity for which they were grasping was in fact the

logic of capitalism. As Tilly shrewdly observed. however, to have done so would have entirely undermined the broader project to which they were committed. Beyond this, however. there was another fundamental problem: their persistent assumption that it was appropriate to derive their crisis model from the experience

(however stylized or crudely interpreted) of the core capitalist countries. They lacked a sense of the uneven history and unequal dynamics of the developing world system shaped by imperialism and capitalism, and as a result they had no means of theorizing the particular case of the 'developing countries' which were supposedly their primary concern. As we saw, Tilly pointed this out with devastating consequences. We may return at this point to the framework proposed in 1964 by Ward and Rustow, which as we saw above. took as its startingpoint the world-historical process of imperialist expansion. and sought to theorize the response of 'defensive modernization' among late~developing countries. It did so, as we saw, from the perspective of leaders bent upon asserting national sovereignty and catching up on their competitors, and it failed as comprehensively as did the 'five crises' model to explore the material roots of tension between leaders and followers, but at least it proposed, from within the logic

of the doctrine for political development, an approach that was capable of capturing the specific circumstances of particular latedeveloping countries at a particular historical conjuncture. It

showed a clear awareness, at the same time, that in different places at different times, the same logic might not apply. This degree of awareness remained an exception, as did the explicit focus on developing rather than developed countries. In the mainstream literature, the developing countries disappeared entirely from view,

as the concentration on Europe and the United States in the final volumes of the Studies in Political Development series demonstrates. In the following chapter, therefore, I examine this strange disappearance of the 'developing world' from the political development literature, as a prelude to tracing the triumphant emergence of the

doctrine for political development out of the ruins of the theory.

7 -1111-111111

'Political Development' and the Developing World

The analysis of the comparative historical approach completes our review of the major texts which sought to advance a theory of polite cal development in the 1960s and 19705, It might have been assumed at the outset that the developing world would be the

central concern of the literature. but this has turned out not to be the case. On the contrary, one of its most striking characteristics is that it was not exclusively or even primarily concerned with developing states at all. In fact, the more the effort to produce a theory of political development came to the fore, the more attention shifted away from them, and towards Europe and the United States. With this in mind, this chapter reflects on the literature as a whole,

drawing attention to some of its most significant characteristics and asking in particular what it did have to say about the developing world. It returns to the notion of the 'non-Western political process' and assesses both its relationship to other elements of political development theory, and the way in which it informed analyses of the developing countries which were given extended

treatment in the literature. It is a peculiar fact about the literature on political development

which we have reviewed th at the only volume devoted entirely to case studies from the 'Third World'. The Politics of the Developing Areas (Almond and Coleman 1960), appeared before the political development approach proper was clearly defined, as part of a projected functional approach which was intended to have universal validity. What is more, it appeared when the functional approach itself was at an early stage and, as we saw in Chapter 3, there was little interaction between the theoretical project outlined in Almond'

introduction, and the majority of the area contribu-

tions. By the time that functionalism was worked out in a more elaborate form, in Con ggrative Politics:

(Almond and Powell 1966).

the focus

gevdopmental Approach

of its attention had shifted


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

sharply away from the developing countries caught in transition between tradition and modernity. towards a contrast between the simplest and most complex societies, and a dominant concern with the different types of modernity represented by 'deinocraticf and 'totalitarian' states. in the meantime, The Civic Culture (Almond and Verba 1963) offered detailed analysis of Britain, Germany, Italy and the United States alongside Mexico, while Political Culture and Political Development (Pye and Verbs 1965) adopted a global perspective, offering case studies of England, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union alongside those of Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Mexico (again) and Turkey. This mixing of 'Third World' :and other cases was also a feature of the other early volumes in the Studies in Political Development series. in the 1970s, as we saw in the previous chapter, the shift away from developing societies was even more marked. Although the attempt to arrive at a crises and sequences model of political development began with a locus which ranged similarly across the developed and developing world, albeit at a level olrelative abstract son from specific cases (Binder et al., 1971), it generated sets of case studies devoted exclusively to Europe (Tilly 1975a) and to Europe and the United States (Grew l978a). In the intervening period Almond headed, in Crisi5. Choice and Change, an effort at historical inquiry in which India and Mexico featured alongside Britain, France. Germany and Iapan (Almond. Flanagan and Mundt 1973). To the extent that the developing world did remain an object of study in the literature, it continued to be addressed within the terms of the 'non-Western political process' as defined in the

l9503, with its emphasis upon the deficiencies peculiar to the 'new states' emerging from recent colonial rule. Theorists of political development relied for their understanding of politics in the developing world on a set of ideas proposed in the 1950s in advance of either theoretical work or detailed investigations of developing societies themselves. These were then interpreted in the light of propositions drawn from a revisionist theory of democracy which was primarily inspired by the twentieth-century experience of Europe and the United States. The successive attempts that were

made to build theories of political development on this basis proceeded with little direct reference to the particular conditions of the developing world. Developing states were judged in accordance with preconceptions about their empirical circumstances derived

'Political Development' and the Developing World


unaltered from the idea of the 'non-Western political process'. and found wanting. As a result. the pragmatic 'doctrine for political development' advocating responsible élite leadership in the developing world was anchored from start to finish in the space between the revisionist theory of democracy on the one band and the opposite image of the non-Western political process on the other. It emerged alongside but separate from the various theories of political development proposed, and it did not depend upon any of them for its validation. In sum, the marginalization of the experience of the states of the developing world from the effort to theorize political development ran parallel to the growing breach between theory and doctrine. The developing countries were seen throughout, then, in terms of the assumed features of the non~Western political process. rather than in terms of any new perspective thrown up by the successive attempts to theorize political development. We should ask, therefore, to what extent this notion was capable of capturing the character and circumstances of the developing countries in the post-war period. As an examination of the way in which the case of Latin America was treated in the literature will show, it had serious limitations. Although the area contained by far the largest bloc of independent 'Third World' states in the period after the Second World War, it scarcely figured in the output of theorists of political

development between the mid-195 Us and the late 1970s. Given its long history of political independence, and its relatively advanced levels of urbanization and economic development, it did not fit at all easily into the framework of ideas proposed for the 'nonWestern political process At the same time, close examination of its experience raised issues of class politics and international politi-

cal economy similar to those to which Tilly would eventually draw attention for Europe. Examination of successive treatments of Latin America and of" the individual case of Mexico in the literature will reveal that these issues were noted, skirted and suppressed. and suggest that continued reliance on the ideas summarized in the notion of the non-Western political process required their suppression. Finally, the separate pursuit of a theory of political development which increasingly discounted the experience of the developing world and of a pragmatic doctrine for political development primarily addressed to the issue of achieving political stability in the developing world was reflected in the separation of the issue of


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

democracy (for the 'Western' world) from that of leadership (for the 'developing' world). While the question of democracy remained central to the theory of political development, it was quickly declared to be an inappropriate form of politics for the developing states to adopt under existing circumstances. Emphasis was placed in their case upon the need br responsible élite leadership, pending the emergence of circumstances which might allow democratization Lo proceed. The marginal status of the developing world in political development theory, the rift between theory and doctrine. and the equivocal attitude towards democratization in the developing world were therefore intimately linked in the political development literature. This chapter explores those links. examining in turn in its principal sections the persistent influence of the ideas central to the 'non-Western political process,' the significance of the manner in which Latin America and the individual case of Mexico within it were addressed, and the consequences for the elevation of élite leadership over democracy in the developing world. A brief detour to the curious case of the Philippines after consideration of Mexico will identify some of the most instructive confusions in the literature, with particular relevance for the failure either to address the implications of colonial rule, or to bring together into a single coherent analysis the various aspects of' the revisionist theory of democracy on the one hand and the principal components of the 'non-Western political process' on the other. The Non-Western Political Process

The marginal importance assigned to the developing world in the political development literature reflected its basic ideas and

assumptions. As we saw in Chapter 2, the theorists of political development in the United States were primarily concerned with the prospects for political stability in Europe in the wake of the Second World War, and in the emerging 'Third World' in the wake of decolonization. Their concerns in these areas were unified by two related perspectives: the tendency to interpret the issues in the light of a presumed universal conflict. between East and West, and the assumption that the United States, with new-found economic superiority and freedom iron ties of formal empire, could and should take the lead in promoting a new global political order. This combination of' circunlstanoes produced


Lendency to focus on

areas of the Third World in a broad global context. and to direct

'Political Development' and the Developing World

I 79

attention to the issues of decolonization an d overt East-West confrontation. At the same time, the influence of rnodernization theory prompted the analysis of the particular condition of the developing world in the terms codified as the 'non-Western political process'. This approach emphasized the strength of non-

'Western cultural traditions and the distinctive socio-political features of village society, and was primarily derived from the perceived experience of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The seminal early article written by East and South-East Asian specialists Kahin, Parker and Pye, spoke of societies 'developing out of a past in which their governmental activities were limited primarily to the actions of traditional autocratic rulers or the few practitioners of colonial rule', and pointed to a legacy of 'restricted participation in the making of political decisions, at least above the village level' (Kahin. Parker and Pye 1955: 1024). Pye's later summary and more systematic view of' the non»Western political process (Pye 1958) reinforced the picture of a form of politics shaped by sudden transition to political independence. deep ethnic

and communal differences. and sharp conflicts between 'Western' and 'non-Western' value systems. To the extent that specific references were made, the focus throughout was on such cases as Burma, China, India. Malaya and Indonesia. The assertion that the politics of such countries could not be understood in terms of a policy formulation approach appropriate to developed Western states was central to the conception of the non-Western political process: the political sphere was seen as permeated by social and personal relations, and therefore by affective or expressive concerns rather than issues of policy, as a result 'interests' as known in the West were not represented either by interest groups , which were absent, or by parties, which reflected 'ways of life' rather than principles or policy objectives; leaders represented communities rather than ideas, and failed to adopt clear positions on domestic issues; representation was based on community rather than class, and policy-making as understood in the political process in the West was non-existent - such as it was, it was erratic, irrational, and pervaded by communal and personal interests. One consequence of this vision of the non-Western political process was the neglect of the nature of the historical and contemporary links between the economies of the developing world and those of the developed world, most dramatically reflected in Pye's


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

assertion that there were no structural impediments to rapid social and economic development in Burma, and that the causes of the lack of progress must therefore be 'cultural' or psychological. Another was the failure to pursue the hypothesis that the policymaking process was shaped by the clash of organized social forces seeking to install their representatives in power in order to pursue determinate projects explicable in terms of domestic and international political and economic circumstances. These were persistent features of the literature. As we saw in the previous chapter. Ward and Rustow were unusual in turning their attention directly upon the case of late-developing societies and focusing on the context of

Western imperialist expansion, and even then they classified this aspect of" geopolitics as a given which could not be affected by policy, and went on to advocate the responsible leadership central to the doctrine for political development- As a general rule in the literature, as Tilly pointed out, issues relating to the past and present character of the international political economy were simply ignored. As noted above, these failings, which permeated the literature, were most transparent in the case of Latin America.

The Case of Latin America In part, the relative lack of detailed attention to Latin America in the political development literature may be explained, albeit somewhat circuitously, by the fact that none of the major contributors to political development theory had a specialist knowledge of the area. Almond and Verba almost invariably focused their attention on Europe and the United States, despite the brief cross-border raid

into Mexico in The Civic Culture, to which I return below. Coleman and Pye had extensive specialist knowledge of Sub~Saharan Africa and East and South-East Asia respectively. For these and other reasons, detailed consideration of Latin American cases in the political development literature was restricted to the essay on the region in The Politics of the Developing Areas (Blanksten 1960), a short piece on Brazil in a collection on Education and Poli.tical Development (Bonilla 1965), an essay on political parties in Latin America (Scott 1966), and three different treatments of Mexico: its inclusion in The Civic Culture, the essay by Scott in Political Culture and Political Development (Scott 1965), and the essay on Cardenas by Cornelius in the collection edited by Almond, Flanagan and

Mundt (Cornelius 1973 }. In addition, a brief discussion drawing on

'Political Development' and the Developing World


Scott appeared in Comparative Politics! A Developmental Approach (Almond and Powell 1966: 266-71), and the treatment of Mexico in The Civic Culture gave rise to a response (Craig and Cornelius 1980) published in The Civic Culture Revisited (Almond and Verbs 19801 Clearly, the relatively minor role played by Latin American

specialists in the analysis of political development snot an explanation in itself. Rather, it directs attention to the need to explain the failure to conceive of the issues in a way which identified the full consideration of Latin American experience as central to the theoretical effort undertaken. It proved difficult from the start to encapsulate the Latin American experience within the confines of the non-Western political process. The insignificance in Latin America of religious and other cultural traditions falling entirely outside the 'Western' experience limited the extent to which the area could be seen as culturally distinct. while the long history of political independence and relatively advanced urban and commercial development made it difficult to approach it in terms of conflict between the forces of modernity on the one hand and traditional institutions and 'village' culture on the other. The problems created by the attempt to approach Latin America within the analytical framework derived from this generalized picture of the 'non~Western world' were demonstrated in The Politics of the Developing Areas. As noted above, Blanksten contributed a lengthy account of Latin American politics. However. as we saw in Chapter 3, the Latin American

cases did not fit the analytical framework within which the book was conceived, and as a result they were unceremoniously excludedfrom the typology of political regimes in the developing world offered in Coleman's conclusion to the volume as a whole. In the process. insights into the specific features shaping the politics of Latin American states were first recognized, then suppressed. In his opening pages, Blanksten identified four key characteristics of the economies of the region: underdevelopment. the

disproportionately large role of land, the salience of the production of raw materials and particularly minerals for export, and the leading role of foreign companies and capital (Blanksten 1960: 458-9). At the same time, he argued that the timing and character of political independence in the region set it apart from the 'nonWestern' world:


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

In the so-called 'non-Western' areas, nationalist movements frequently accompany struggles for political independence from colonial powers. Most of Latin America not only has been independent since the l8203, but acquired that status more as an outcome of international politics than through internal movements within colonies fighting for national identifieation. {=_L93)

On this basis he claimed that there was little functional role for nationalism in the independence period, and little evidence in the present day of the broad-based nationalist movements typical of Southeast Asia, the Middle East. and Africa. Such Nationalist' movements as existed, he argued, reflected a class rather than a national perspective, whether of the indigenous lower classes or. in the case of neo-fascist movements, of the white and Creole elite. He also contended that 'whites', 'mestizos' and Indians' should be seen as the basic classes in the region rather than as 'races' or 'castes'. as movement between them was possible. if not easy, and as they reflected the distribution of political power that separated the rulers from the ruled. In other words. Blanksten argued clearly that the idea of a 'non~Western political process' revolving around communal politics and anti-colonial nationalism within which it was inappropriate to speak of 'class' politics, did not fit the Latin American case. Having laid out this promising framework, which seemed to identify precisely the issues which would facilitate an analysis of Latin America in the light of its history of insertion in an emerging international economy and its social and political implications, Blanksten abruptly changed tack. He did not pursue either the issue of the character of class politics in the region, or the implica-

tions of the form of incorporation into the global economy sketched out in his opening pages. Instead, he fell back regardless onto the general framework of modernization theory, arguing that 'in Latin America, the rural civilization is non-Western and the urban civilization is Western' (470), and identifying economic

development as the motor which would eventually transform the traditional countryside. Despite his identification of features which gave the region a distinct character. his analysis of the standard elements addressed within the functional approach - political processes of recruitment. communication, Qmterest articulation, interest aggreg ation and rule making, rule application and rule adjudication - was conducted in terms of' this dichotomy between tradition and modernity. As a result, the idea that the Latin

'Political Development' and the Developing World


American countryside and social and political relationships within it might in fact have been shaped by the thoroughly modern

process of export-led development was lost to view. Blanksten gave numerous pointers to quite significant historical and structural, contrasts between Latin America and the other regions from whose experience the shaping ideas of political development theory were drawn, but in the end still addressed the region within the framework proposed by the exponents of the 'non-Western political process As a result, he did not explore on its own terms the logic in the contemporary period of broad nationalist movements responding to the collapse of export-Ied development in the 19305 . and the 'economic imperialism' emanating from the United States. This meant in turn that he failed to grasp the logic of the political ideologies of class compromise and state-led developmentalisrn characteristic of the region after 1930, and to identify the distinctive 'economic nationalism' characteristic of the region in the period. lt is symptomatic of this failing that he dismissed Vargas and PerOn as the peddlers of 'spurious ideologies' based upon a superficial borrowing of vocabulary and slogans in which the leaders themselves did not believe (492), where an analysis in tune with the factors he had introduced at the outset would. have sought to relate their politics to the regional and global political economy of the post~war period. Despite its promising beginnings, then, his account still revolved around the 'fundamentally authoritarian political tradition of the area' (525), the continuing power of the Roman Catholic Church, the prevalence of personalism, and the routine neglect of constitutional norms. At this point political development theory was still an infant

industry. But no further comprehensive attempt would be made to address the specificity of Latin American political development throughout its trajectory. Instead, the region was either ignored, or incorporated within analytical frameworks which took little account of its character. The only other general essay covering the whole of Latin America was Scott's contribution on parties and policy-making in Political Parties and .Political Development (1966). This too addressed the region from within the functional perspective, omitting even an initial gesture of recognition of the specificity of regional social and economic structures, and confirming the failure to relate political processes and institutions to domestic and international political economy. Scott organized his analysis

around the two features central to the non-Western political


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

process . - the absence of an autonomous public sphere, and the irrational nature of the policy-making process. Most Latin American states, he argued, lacked the internal political structures which would permit 'prompt and adequate representation of new and developing interests produced by proliferating change, while their policy-making processes were marked by 'confusion, immobilism, and a tendency to supply symbolic, affective decisions rather than positions of concrete and positive action' (Scott 1966: 331). The functions of executives, legislatures and parties were not effectively separated; within the political system authority resided

in the executive (or in constituent parts of the bureaucracy), and the executive dominated not a political party proper but 'a person-

alistic following that calls itself a political party'. Most important, the executive itself did not enjoy genuine authority over social groups: The political style of many Latin American countries places a larger share of public policy determination under the control of what might be called 'private governments' - chambers of commerce and industry, bankers' associations, commercial agriculturalists' groups. even labor unions. Decisions concerning their particular interests may never reach the formal units of government or, if they do, may be presented as accomplished facts to be ratified rather than considered in terms of general welfare. Where this occurs, the role of political parties as such is negligible, and all of the traditional panoply of nominations, elections, and confessional maned verify by party blocs has little real significance for the policy-making

process. (332) Neither parties nor executives, then, played a central role in

policy-making. Echoing Blanksten, Scott attributed this situation to the virtual absence in Latin America of 'mass parties of national integration and explained it not by reference to specific patterns of regional economic and social development, but by a broad-brush picture of modernization, recast in terms of the emerging cate glories of the 'five crises' approach: Evolution from a pattern of traditional values, subsistence agriculture,

and primarily local orientation toward a system of more nearly universal values reflecting industrial technology, a national society, and an absorptive central government with increasingly specialized functions seems to evoke similar problems in every country. These crises ...- of foreign relations, legitimacy, integration, participation, and distribution - appear to aliect every people as they pass through the process of nation building. (333)

'Political Development' and the Developing World

I 85

Scott's analytical framework dissociated the character of political parties and political systems in Latin America from the specific social and economic circumstances from which they arose, again obliterating the record of protracted export-led development. and presented them as victims of the generic problem of a cumulative 'crisis of development. Then, in a move characteristic of the whole literature, the failure to identify the links between patterns of social and economic change and political developments was transposed into an assertion that the observed 'proliferation of development crises' was 'artificial and unhealthy' as it reflected an external

rather than an internal dynamic: insofar as crises appear in less developed countries. such as most of those of Latin America, not as a natural result of social and economic change but artificially induced by observation of foreign models. the environmental conditions under which effective control devices might evolve do not obtain. (334)

It is essential to grasp the structure and implications of this contorted brr of argument. At the outset, the character of specific Latin American patterns of social and economic change were ignored. Then an externally derived analysis was imposed upon the region. Finally, the fictitious account of the dynamics of politics

and policy raking thus identified was used as evidence that the observed phenomena were not the 'natural result of social and economic change'. In essence, this turned the failure to understand the specific dynamics of social and economic change in the region into the claim that such dynamics had little explanatory power. Finally, Scott's summary of the adverse 'environmental condi-

tions' which prevented the emergence of 'effective control devices' reflected arguments for élite-controlled incorporation of the masses

into politics familiar from Political Culture and Political Development (Pye and Verba 1965). They were: insufficient

physical and

psychological integration to attain either optimum economic output or a national society; masses who demanded political participation and the distribution of material benefits but were unready to assume the political responsibilities and the work discipline such rights entailed; and traditional governing elites unable

to accept the loss of social status and political influence that would accompany basic structural change. The only solution, short of the government 'putting down the challenging elements which precipitate the crises', was the creation of 'some omnibus political


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

structure which can seek to resolve certain of the development crises while holding others in abeyance' (334 This conclusion. forced by the framework of ideas within which Scott was operating,

led him Lo advocate 'integrating-nationalizing parties' as the best hope for bridging the gap between traditional and modern sectors oisociety. Such parties would be able to perform 'the dual function of integrating the masses into the nation and legitirnizing the activities of a central government for them'. In their absence, however, the political .systems of Latin America were badly overloaded, and decision-making authority fell upon 'already burdened executive agencies or into the hands of "private governments" with little or no responsibility to society as a whole' (335). The most common type of party was 'a carry-over of old-style coteries of privileged notables who hide behind a facade of apparently democratic political structures and practices', and its members were both psychologically and organizationally unprepared for change, and 'Llrlwilling, perhaps even unable emotionally. to share political

power and material wealth with the emergent masses' (338-9). Scott's account of politics in Latin America faithfully reflected the broad assumptions of the literature of the period regarding the pathological character of the non-Western political process, and the absence of an autonomous public political sphere and of parties able to provide channels of communication between responsible elites and appropriately socialized masses. It did so, however. by interpreting aspects of the politics of the region such as the incapacity of élite-dominated parties to secure popular support as consequences of psychological or organizational failings, rather

than of specific features of domestic and international political economy. And as we shall see in the following section, Scott and others approached the specific case of Mexico, the only Latin American country to receive extended and detailed consideration within the political development literature, in similar terms. The Case of Mexico As noted above, the political development literature offered successive treatments of Mexico over the period between 1963 and 1980. But in each of the versions offered, as in the treatment of the region by Blanksten and Scott, insights into the specific dynamics of its political development were distorted or suppressed

in favour of the core assumptions and values of political develop-

'Political Development' and the Developing World


men theory and its distorted perception of the non-Western political process. The first version of Mexico came in The Civic Culture (Almond and Verba 1963). As we saw in Chapter 4. the study focused on the orientation of individuals to political objects, and took little direct account of the history or contemporary socio-political structure of the countries from which data was drawn. Its approach was shaped by the assumption that Britain and the USA were 'civic cultures', and on the contrast between these two cases and the more troubled continental European cases of West Germany and Italy (itself a late substitute i`or France). Although Mexico was introduced at the last minute in place of Sweden, the switch

prompted no reconsideration of the analytical framework. On the basis of the survey conducted for them in Mexico, Almond and Verba interpreted its political culture as marked by the contradictory elements of alienation and aspiration: low expectations of government output alongside pride in the presidency and the revolution, and high self-evaluations of civic competence alongside low indic atoms of actual involvement (Almond and Verba 1963: 414-15). The typical Mexican, as they saw it. was an alienated subject, and an aspiring citizen. As noted in Chapter 4, their approach was subsequently questioned by Craig and Cornelius (1980). Misinterpretations resulting from deficiencies of phrasing and translation in the survey cast doubt upon the validity of both the alleged strong aspirational component in Mexican political culture, and symbolic attachment to the values of the revolution.

while the classification of Mexico as a defective democracy overlooked the highly controlled nature of the political system, the

success with which citizen input was limited, cliannelled and manipulated. and the functionality of a low sense of political competence for the stability of the system. Craig and Cornelius argued, against this view. that it was an effective authoritarian system. The marginal significance attached to the developing world in political development theory was strikingly illustrated by the lack of interest shown by Almond and Verbs, in The Civic Culture Revisited (1980), in the critique of their inclusion and treatment of Mexico. Alinond's opening chapter simply confirmed his overwhelming concern with classical and contemporary social, psychological and political theory, and the absence of any consid-

eration of the specifics of developing societies in general, let alone

I 88

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

of Mexico in particular. in the framing or reconsideration of the research. He acknowledged a debt to Schumpeter as the source of his notion of successful democracy in the contrast between Britain and the United States on the one hand, and France, Germany and Italy on the other (Almond 1980: 21-2.), but made virtually no reference to Mexico. except to note in passing that it was included at the last minute because Sweden 'bad no survey organization with experience in political research' (22). Verba's conclusion was similarly cavalier, remarkably making no reference to the critique offered, or to Mexico. or even to the problematic of` democracy in developing countries. Throughout. there was no indication that either author attached significance to the Mexican case or felt any

concern over the issues it might have raised. Long before the Craig and Cornelius critique of Almond and Verba's version of Mexico was published, an account with similar emphases appeared in Political Culture and Political Development (Pye and Verbs 1965). As will be recalled, the functional scheme of analysis was dropped in this volume, and the emphasis turned to the need for élite authority over non-élites (itself a principal

component of the 'civic culture' argument), and to the ways in which this could be secured, where it did not exist, by the overt manipul ation of political attitudes. Emphasis shifted, for the developing countries, from democracy to élite leadership. Within this framework, Scott presented Mexico as a case of successful modernization, but one in which change in the political system had not kept pace with modernization overall: government remained in the hands of a small group, the strength of centralizing authority hampered the emergence of pluralism, and the success of the single dominant party and the presidency in providing stability through political structures managed by the state blocked the development of a participant or 'civic' political system. This was a more realistic picture of the national Mexican political system than that presented by Almond and Verba. However, it was still approached and explained in terms of the 'political culture' frame-

work which they had proposed, rather than in terms of the dynamics of revolutionary and post~revolutionary politics. Scott (1965) justified authoritarian structures in terms of the supposed personal traits of the Mexican population, simply replacing the picture of an 'aspiration' to civic culture with an apologia for élite domination behind a semi-democratic facade. He explained this in

terms of 'basic factors inherent in the Mexican psyche and rein-

'Political Development' and the Developing World


forced by the socialization process' (354), among them 'the anomie growing out of a lack of self-esteem produced by the difficulties of resolving the personal identity problem' (337). the 'sense of stoic fatalism' deriving from the efforts of the Catholic Church, and the yearning among displaced peasant folk for the 'sweet and simple dependency of their earliest years' (3551, In these circumstances, he remarked, 'the social and political mechanisms for enforcing self-adjusting and peaceful compromise among the contending interests of the society are not quite strong enough to act automatically, so the ruling group provides the ultimate sanction to require cooperation' (380). A more consistent approach on the parts of Scott himself and the editors of the volume would have

explored the strong parallels between the Mexican case and the record of élite management of political attitudes in Germany, but Scott avoided the issue by reverting to a stereotypical explain ation for Mexican authoritarianism. while Verba typically made nothing of it at all, including only three passing references to Mexico in his concluding chapter. The most detailed investigation ofl\/lexican political development was offered in the extended essay by Cornelius in Almond, Flanagan and Mundt's Crisis, Choice and Change (1973). Unlike Scott. Cornelius focused on competing political projects, examining successive developmental strategies in terms of their policy content and the social coalitions behind them. He contrasted the pro~ capitalist orientation of the preceding regimes, dominated by former President Calles and stressing class harmony, private enterprise, and foreign investment, with the orientation of the Cardenas regime to 'class struggle, collectivism, and state involvement

in social and economic development' (Cornelius 1973; 420). However, none of this analysis affected the overall interpretation of' the Mexican case, or the way in which it was addressed by Almond and Mundt in their analytical conclusion. Cornelius himself offered an interpretation which shifted the emphasis away from issues of political economy to leadership and choice, announcing at the outset that this 'exemplary case of large~scale elite-initiated structural and performance change' demonstrated above all 'the importance of choice, chance, political skill, and creativity in developmental causation' (393, 483). Cardenas was depicted as having secured profound social and economic reforms not by responding to pressures from outside government, but by taking initiatives of his own

in advance of such pressure, 'creating effective demand for new


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

policies and programmes within the society at large, as well as within the revoiuticnary family'. The Cardenas regime thus offered a dramatic example of the importance of 'creative leadership`: In some episodes examined in this book, 'political skill' or propensities for effective political leadership may constitute no more than a residual variable explaining fairly miner discrepancies between controlled resources and political outcomes. In Mexico under Cardenas, the 'skill factor' is all-

pervasive. a key determinant not only of coalition formation but of demand and resource creation as well. (394-5)

The Mexican case, then. was explained in the end entirely in terms of creative leadership. and it was this rather than the political economy of Mexican development which was stressed in comparative discussion elsewhere in the collection. Overall, the successive versions of Mexico examined here either

ignored issues of domestic and international political economy altogether, or raised and then suppressed them. At the same time, they shifted their perspective on the character of the political system, identifying Mexico first as a defective democracy, then as a successful authoritarian regime. This shift was accompanied, by

the time Cornelius collaborated with Almond to contribute a chapter to Crisis, Choice and Change, with the identification of lead~ ership as the key variable in the explanation of Mexican political development. These shifts reflected a general trend in the literature as a whole. at least as far as th.e developing world was

concerned. A Brief Detour to the Philippines

Put simply, the theorists of political development failed to under-

stand Mexico, because the perspective within which they viewed it was incapable of identifying either the essential elements of its political economy or the systemic logic of its political process. The way in which the case of the Philippines was treated in the literature reveals precisely the same weakness' various elements of its politics were identified in accordance with perspectives prevailing

within the political development literature. but the logic of the whole was not grasped. The Philippine case, like that of Mexico. reveals the inability of political development theory to understand the supposed objects of its enquiry, the countries of the developing world.

'Political Development' and the Developing World


This failure was striking in the presentation of the Philippines in Education and Political Development (Coleman 1965) as a case, like the USSR and ]apart. in which successful educational policy had proved able to 'build a national political culture congruent with and supportive of existing political institutions' and 'contain or avoid the politically destabilizing consequences of an unemployed educated class' (Coleman l 965d: 225). The case study by Laude on which Coleman drew for evidence provided a fervent endorsement of the US colonial policy of indoctrination in the values of a free society, and the crucial role still played by US Iesuits at the Ateneo (university) 'in inculcating in the sons of the Filipino elite the spirit of capitalism which Max Weber associated with the Protestant ethic' (Lands 1965: 328). Lands's central theme, an approving account of the pluralism of Filipino society, emphasized the absence of a 'small cohesive, self-conscious elite group which regards itself, and is accepted as being. especially qualified to govern the nation'. He described politics in the country under the US occupation as having taken the form of 'an amiable, profitable, and socially undisruptive competition for office among the gentry ' (341, 3481. At this point, a significant gap began to open up between Landé's account on the one hand, and the general precepts of the doctrine for political development (and Colernan's development syndrome) on the other. As Laude saw it, the consequence of gentry politics in the Philippines was that in contemporary politics patronage was prevalent, and the state enjoyed no authority over society. The gentry had 'refused to cooperate with what sometimes appeared to be centrally directed attempts to restrict or terminate the game' (338). there was no elite

administrative corps, parties were weak, and politicians were obliged to bow to pressures from interest groups. Only a degree of tenderness to the Philippines as the oiiSpring of US colonial rule could explain Coleinan's ability to overlook the extent to which the Philippine case as described transgressed the two central principles

of the authority of elites and insulation of the political system from social pressure which were cardinal features of political development theory and of the doctrine for political development. In more

general terms, the failure here was the same as in the case of Mexico - a n inability to grasp the connections between the various

factors identified, and to understand the political system in terms of its own systemic logic.


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Political Development, Liberal Democracy and Leadership

Although the suppression of issues relating to domestic and international political economy and the assimilation of the area to the generic 'non-Western political process' were most transparent in the treatment of Latin America, they were common to the whole of the developing world. There is an intimate connection in the political development literature between the initial perception of the developing world as unprepared for Western-style liberal democracy, its marginalization from the theoretical debates of the 19608

and 19708, the emergence of a pragmatic doctrine for political development, and the attachment of central importance to élite leadership rather than democratization. in terms of policy preferences, the most significant reflection of this syndrome is that enthusiasm for the adoption in the developing world of competitive party systems and alternation in power was weak in early contributions such as The Politics of the Developing Areas, The Civic Culture. and Politics, Personality and Nation Building, and absent in such products of the mid-1960s as Pofitical Culture and Political Development, Political Parties and Folitical Development, and Comparative Politics: A Developmental Approach. In terms of the relationship between policy preferences and theory, its most significant aspect is that the attempts to theorize political development repeat~ edly broke down when the developing world was addressed, and that the issue of élite leadership was consistently invoked precisely at the point at which they broke down. In view of the common but false perception that political development theory was initially

positive regarding the prospects for the introduction of democracy in the developing world, it is necessary to set the record straight, and reflect upon the implications for the political development liter-

ature as both doctrine and theory. Scepticisrn regarding the immediate prospects for liberal democracy was expressed throughout The Politics of the Developing Areas. Pye began his essay on South-East Asia by remarking that although the leaders of new states in the area had committed their peoples Lo the task of' establishing representative institutions of government, 'the possibility of failure is great, and leaders and citizens can be troubled with self-doubts. Already the tendency toward more authoritarian practices is widespread. for example, armies

are coming to play roles that were originally reserved for democra-

'Political Development' and the Developing World


tic politicians' (Pye 1960: 66). He argued, as always. that the prevalence of authoritarian rule reflected the lack of élite unity and élite control of mass participation, and the particular danger that the irrational masses, motivated to participate in politics not by particular policy concerns but by feelings of restlessness and insecurity arising out of the disruption of traditional ways of life, were

an easy prey to such deviant movements as communism, His conclusion, not surprisingly consistent with his broader view of the non-Western political process, was not that the establishment of democracy was likely, but that it was essential to develop 'receptive is and integrating political processes' because 'the alternative the growth of various authoritarian movements and particularly Communism' (152). Coleman saw power in Sub-Saharan Africa rapidly gravitating into the hands of entirely new social groups unaccustomed to its exercise, leading to generalized instability. unpredictability regarding political authority, and 'fear and

despair among groups less favored, or among those clearly destined for displacement' (Coleman l9b(]a: 312). Rustow argued in the same vein that the prospects for liberal constitutionalism in the

Near East 'looked far brighter fifty years ago than they do today' (Rustow 1960: 420), and that even among its dedicated supporters it frequently served 'as a self-interested posture of those temporar-

ily out of power rather than as a vehicle for systematic articulation of organized interests' (42. ). Blanksten saw the process of national unification in Latin America as consisting of 'an expansion of" the hold of the upper class . .. upon the rest of the country. which grad~ rally becomes subject to the greater control, influence, and cultural direction of the ruling group' (Blanksten .1960: 529), and,

as we saw above, identified the integrative function in the region with 'a strongly authoritarian political tradition' (530). Weiner, on South Asia, expressed the measured view that 'the growth of mass communication, political parties, popular elections, interest

groups, and literacy do not ensure that all the new values will prosper or even that national unity is likely to result. They only indicate that political awareness is likely to grow' (Weiner 1960: 244). He then gave an emphatic statement of the importance of appropriate leadership: Much depends upon the extent to which there is leadership in all segments of society, in government, political parties, trade unions, business, peasant

association. newspapers, etc., which supports the leading institutions and emerging values and is committed to their preservation by ties of interest,


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

ideology, or organization. The kinds of" leadership which emerge, the values and élan which they share. and their relationship to the groups they lead may be as decisive in the success or failure of these countries as the policies pursued by governments. (245)

A similar spirit informed Politics, Personality and Nation Building. Pye spoke there of the need for 'a doctrine of democratic development,' but argued that the stress on democratic ideals rather than methods of democratic nation building was counterproductive, as it led to the rejection of the idea that unstable countries 'need not, indeed should not, necessarily conform to our methods but should follow practices more in tune with their own traditions' (Pye .1962' 6). He noted that over the previous decade there had been 'a secular (sic) trend from optimism to pessimism, from an expectation of democratic performance to E111 acceptance of authoritarian ways' (8). and declared that the enormity of the problems of nation building appeared to 'make the development of practical guides for action dependent on the expansion of knowledge about the mysteries of social, economic and political change' (10). And as we saw in Chapter 4, he concluded that the best response would be the training of a new élite of rational bureaucrats. rather than an immediate adoption of democratic institutions . In The Civic Culture, Almond and Verba adopted a similar point of view. Although they presented the political systems of Britain and the United States as approaching the ideal, they attached little weight to either competitive party politics or alternation in power as central requirements of democracy, and they conspicuously refrained from advocating their adoption in the 'emerging nations'. Competition and alternation in power were addressed within the

general context of élite control, and the need for a competitive party system was qualified: For a system (designed to turn power over to a particular elite for a limited period of time) to work, there must obviously be more than one party (or at least some competitlg elite group with the potentiality of gaining power) to make the choice among elites meaningful. [Almond and Verba 1963: 477, emphasis mine)

This broad assertion was given little weight in the overall argument, and did not lead either to specific recommendations for the early broadening of political competition, or to the application of such criteria for the classification of regimes as democratic. Italy

and Mexico were classified as democracies, despite the dominance

'Political Development' and the Developing World

I 95

of the Italian Christian Democrats and the continuity of the Mexican PRI in power (in part through blatant fraud to which passing reference was made) since the 19205. And in their conclusion Almond and Verbs remarked, after rehearsing the many obstacles to the emergence of 'civic cultures' in new states, that we cannot properly sit in judgement of those leaders who concentrate their resources on the development of social overhead capital. industrialization. and agricultural improvement, and who suppress disruptive movements or fail to cultivate democratic tendencies. (504)

Against this background, the pragmatic tolerance of authoritarian rule which permeated the Studies in Political Development series cannot be seen as a decisive change of direction. Rather, what was significant about the doctrine for political development was its explicit abandonment of the criterion of democracy in favour of leadership. with particular reference to the developing world. In line with this shift. a lack of enthusiasm for genuinely competitive democratic politics permeated Political Culture and Political Development. While Pye identified élite leadership as the key criterion, and Verba oriented his whole analysis to the issue of élite control, the absence of any overt concern for competitive democracy was most apparent in the selection of 'emerging nation' case

studies and the attitudes adopted towards the prospects for competitive democracy in them. The emerging nations chosen for detailed examination - Egypt. Ethiopia, India and Mexico -- differed quite markedly in the nature of the governing regime, but they had in common the a c h e vement of political stability without any semblance of alternation in power. And in each case the focus of

discussion was the question of stability, rather than the question of democracy. Indeed, where the issue was raised directly, clear arguments were made in favour of the continuation of élite control by whatever means necessary, and against further democratization . In the case of Mexico, for example, Scott not only described the élite as unified and generally free from non-élite pressure, but strongly endorsed the situation as appropriate. As noted above. he approved of coercive measures on the part of the ruling élite on the grounds that the social and political mechanisms for enforcing a compromise among the contending interests of the society were not quite strong enough to act automatically. in the fullness of time, he argued, the 'mediatory class' (of schoolteachers. bureaucrats, supervisors, priests and junior officers) would become part of


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

the governing class and transmit appropriate values to the masses of the population: When this occurs, the one real unsolved problem of the Mexican Revolution modernizing function may be solved, and the elites may be

able to mobilize more completely the support of the non-elites in their attempts to integrate the nation and to provide a responsible and representative government. (Scott 1965: 381)

For the time being, however, democracy was formal and partial rather than real, as a limited process of rationalization had taken place 'without loss of that hard core of authority needed to control the disruptive tendencies still operating in the Mexican political

environment' (388). There was little likelihood that 'the government's opponents would be allowed to win political control if they should capture a larger share of the votes' (389), but he charitably concluded that the political structures which provided stability in the face of cultural fragmentation 'almost had to be those of` authoritarian centralization and that while 'sizable numbers of the populace are just moving from the parochial into the subject political sub-culture, and most of them reject authority, enforced legitimization continues to be necessary' (394), Against this background. it is not surprising that Scott's essay on Latin America. contributed to Political Parties and Political Development, proposed the 'Mexican solution' for the region as a whole . The same spirit informed Binder's description of Egypt as 'a modernizing autocracy dominated by a bureaucratically oriented elite' (Binder 1965: 448), for which democracy represented a possible future, but not a realistic option at present. Binder

acknowledged that the new Egyptian elite had rejected orthodox parliamentarism and multi-partyism in favour of a mobilizational system, and ventured no further than to suggest that while 'there is some chance for the transformation of the present dominant

political culture into one that will sustain a democratic welfare state', it would require first that the intellectual élite, business groups and rural notables are 'admitted to real influence by the

military-bureaucratic political elite,' and than that the political pyramid of which they would form the base 'be gradually extended to other groups as conditions permit' (-449). Here as elsewhere the spirit informing the Studies in Political Development series was that of the programme offered by Lerner in Communications and Political Development ~- the prospect oldernocracy at some point in the future

'Political Development' and the Developing World


if elites could be appropriately groomed and masses appropriately socialized in the meantime. Against this background, there is a certain pattern to Almond's

recurrent difficulties with the application of the theory of political development to the developing world. We noted above that. with Verbs, he abandoned his defence of the civic culture in order to endorse leaders who suppressed disruptive movements and failed to adopt democratic practices. Equally. in his attempt to expound

the functional approach, with Powell, the theoretical exposition broke oil when developing countries came up for consideration, giving way to a focus on 'leadership strategies' and the suggestion that state and nation building should initially be stressed over

participation and welfare (Almond and Powell 1966: .825-31). in both cases, the attempt to advance and apply the theory of political development was dropped in favour of pragmatic attention to the untheorized variable of leadership.

Almond found himself in the same bind for the third time, this time in the company of Flanagan and Mundt, in Crisis, Choice arid Change. As we saw in the previous chapter, leadership theory was one of four approaches brought together in the eclectic method pursued in the studies carried out, but the method centred on the identification and ordering of logically possible coalitions under

structural constraints, while the leadership variable was treated iinpressionistically, as to deal with it systematically 'would call for another major research undertaking' (Almond and Mundt 1973: 6211. As in Almond's earlier forays into comparative politics, the variable of leadership proved most useful in dealing with the developing country cases of India and Mexico. We have already seen

how Cornelius abstracted away from a 'political economy' analysis in the case of Mexico in order to attribute a privileged role to creative leadership. His choice was heartily endorsed by the joint

editors with an Alice-in-Wonderland

logic which echoed the

tergiversations which allowed Scott to misread internal dynamics

as external and hence pathological. While other cases were explained in terms of the 'constraints, pressures and opportunities' identified in the chosen crisis period, the Mexican case defied explanation in such terms: Mexico in 1935 provides us the truly exceptional case in which the range

for choice suggested by our coalition analysis is narrowed to a single outcome which did not occur! The 'rational' outcome at that time, based on considerations of' resources and issue distances, would have been an



Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

alliance of Callistas with the revel utionary generals, which would have

required a coup against Cérdczxas. (634-5)

Paradoxically. this outcome was taken not as evidence that the method of analysis adopted was deficient, but as proof of the leadership qualities of Cardenasl Claiming that the 'best measure of Cardenas's leadership ability is the Tact that his coalition choice in late ]one 1935 was outside the preferred set of outcomes, Almond

and Mundt concluded 'with some confidence that


willingness to

take risks, a resoluteness in policy direction, and Cardenas's skill in

resource mobilization form a large part of the explanation of the

reformist outcome of the Mexican case' (637). As elsewhere, the initial failure to understand prompted a designation of the ease as exceptional, and unintelligible in rational terms, a step which itself

perpetuated the myth that the logic of such cases could not he grasped by approaches which worked for 'rational' modern systems. Curiously, the case study of India, contributed by Headrick after Rajni Kothari had withdrawn from the project due to disagreement over the projected approach and method of analysis, followed

exactly the same trajectory, first offering a 'political economy' explanation for the events analysed. then switching attention to 'leadership` variables which were taken up with great enthusiasm by the joint editors. Headrick began by admitting that as his study was one of structural continuity and political containment rather than structural shifts and political change, it had proved difficult to fit it into the analytical framework provided by the editors. Hence, he explained, 'we adopt the common framework, but our study

lacks a precise Ni with some of its assumptions, and we strain both the framework and our analysis in the process, we hope to the benefit of both' (Headrick 1973: 561). He then identified a Westernized political élite within the Congress movement with a strong propensity to subordinate internal disagreements to a preference for consensus, its strength derived from an institutionalized

network of leaders and followers rather than from hereditary or charismatic authority (565). Following Kothari. Headrick traced the ability of this élite to sustain consensus to four factors: the dominant position of the pragmatic 'governmental' wing within the Congress party. the reciprocity of relations between the centre and the states, the skilful

manipulation of a non-doctrinaire left-of-centre ideology, and the

'Political Development' and the Developing World

I 99

pursuit of a foreign policy based on non-alignment. tolerance and coexistence. He then turned to an analysis of crises in the areas of language policy and agriculture and food supply against the background of the death of Nehru in 1964. The resolution of the first was attributed to prime minister Shastri, whose leadership style 'was a variable of greater weight than coalitional propensities, resource distribution, and policy preferences' (582). On the second. Headrick described a shift in control over policy from the centre to a responsibility shared with the states, and the adoption of a new agricultural policy in 1965 which sought to boost private farmer output through subsidized high-yield varieties and fertilizers. In sum. 'a welfare-ori ented policy was replaced by a production~ oriented one' (593). This outcome placed a new coalition at the heart of agricultural policy, in a defeat for the central planners, and a victory for producers in the grain surplus states. In Headrick's estimation, it favoured farmers with sufficient land and capital to adopt the new inputs quickly. and boost private production, but would 'result in a substantial increase in landless laborers, a growing insecurity among tenants, and great disparities in distributing the benefits of the agricultural process' (599), Even while thus identifying conflicting class coalitions and policy alternatives , he still attributed the resolution of the crisis to the government's ability to play one group off against another, and oddly described the outcome as one of continuity which illustrated 'the strong preference for consensus solutions over clear decisions' (597}. As in the case of the language issue, he adopted the phrase 'coalition o1` the whole' to reflect the 'consensual' outcome. Almond and Mundt echoed this point in their conclusion, declaring the focus on coali-

tion sequence irrelevant to the Indian case, and omitting it from the otherwise comprehensive table of such sequences (Almond and

Mundt 1973: 631-3). They then described the case as one of persistence rather than change, in which nation-building or nation-maintaining crises prompted a coalition of the whole or its functional equivalent -- the 'disaggregation of issues and the deconcentration of decision sites' (635). In the process, the detailed account of a specific process of policy change in which one set of

interests imposed itself over another was entirely lost from view. In both 'developing world' cases, India and Mexico, political economy explanations involving conflicting class coalitions and clear policy shifts were clearly identified. then ditched in favour of alternatives

which simultaneously removed the cases from the theoretical


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

frameworks applied elsewhere, and gave heightened emphasis to the single untheorized variable of leadership. Conclusion

There was a fundamental continuity in the treatment of the developing world in the political development literature from the first version of the 'non~Western political process' through to the discussion of India and Mexico in Crisis, Choice and Change. The theorists of political development never wavered in their conviction that the political process in the non-Western world was fundamentally irrational, that elites did not enjoy sufficient control over mass behaviour, and that the full introduction of competitive liberal democracy was premature. This conviction was reflected at an early stage in the pragmatic doctrine which emphasized the

need for responsible elite leadership rather than democracy. As the preceding discussion reveals, the invocation of leadership as an explanatory variable and the pragmatic resort to calls for responsible leadership were constant features of the analysis of politics in the developing world, The manner in which the issue of leadership was deployed is particularly revealing of the fault lines within political development theory. First, it was consistently invoked precisely when the theoretical framework employed to examine other (developed world) cases of political development either broke down or was deliberately abandoned. Second, despite its long pedigree in the literature, it was never itself placed in 'd developed theoretical framework. One early discussion in relation to japan and Turkey stressed its importance, but concluded by describing the 'specific contribution of a different variety of leaderShip' to Japan's earlier start and more rapid progress of` political

modernization as 'elusive' (Ward and Rustow 1964b: 455). Nearly a decade later, Almond credited Rustow with having given prominence to the theme, noted that he was 'a bit uncertain on the place of leadership in the theory of political development' (Almond 1973: 17), and cheerfully confessed that he and his colleagues had treated it impressionistically, as a residual variable. Resort to the question of leadership served simultaneously to cover the inadequacy of existing theory and to provide a basis for the continued propagation of the pragmatic doctrine for political development- In telling examples of the bankruptcy to which political development

theory was reduced by these expedients, Scott and Almond were

'Political Development' and the Developing World


driven to interpret the failure of their chosen approach to illuminate the internal dynamics of Latin American and Mexican politics respectively as proof of the perversity of the political process in question, rather than of the deficiency of the approach adopted. Third, the invocation of the 'non-Western political process' and leadership as explanatory variables involved the suppression of available and clearly articulated explanations grounded in domestic and international political economy, thus detaching political change in the developing world entirely from the structural and socio-economic context in which it arose. In this respect it is signif-

icant that while Almond and Mundt made an effort to link policy alternatives and eventual choices to contending interests, coalitions and structural constraints in their European cases. they refused to do the same for India and Mexico although the case studies presented to them provided a clear basis for doing so. In surn. the developing world was systematically marginalized and excluded from the political development literature as it evolved through the 19605 and 1970s. The theorists of political develop~ rent either turned their attention away from the developing world entirely. or addressed it under a special dispensation. granted by themselves, which allowed them to suspend their own norms of

rational inquiry in order to maintain the useful fiction that 'non» Western politics' was itself irrational. It was then possible to abandon the quest for theory, lament the general unreadiness of

the developing world for liberal democracy, and reduce the doctrine for political development to the single issue of leadership, in isolation from underlying issues of domestic or international political economy. As we shall see in the following chapter, the

same abdication from the quest for theory and emphasis on responsible leadership is central to the doctrine for political development today.

8 The Doctrine for Political Development Today

Analysts of the 'non-Western political process' from the 1950s on attributed instability in the politics of the new states to the penetration of political institutions by social forces, and the absence of responsible élite mediation and control of mass participation. They argued that stability could be achieved if political institutions could be insulated from social pressure. and mass political participation could be brought under the control of responsible elites. These two ideas became constant points of reference thereafter in political development theory and the doctrine for political development alike. Within political development theory, the functional and cultural approaches focused on institutional autonomy and elite control in turn. However, these early efforts failed to provide a coherent framework within which a pragmatic doctrine for political development could be advanced. The desire to turn the study of politics and public policy into a new discipline of political science prompted efforts to construct comprehensive theoretical frameworks, in the hope that this would eventually make it possible to address the problem of political

development in transitional societies in a truly scientific spirit. This led to efforts to identify either universal functions operating through diverse structures without regard to place or time, or fundamental traits and processes of individual and social political psychology. But these approaches did little to address the specific circumstances arising from the explosion of mass participation in the new states, or the practical problems to which they gave rise. Their theoretical frameworks addressed the issues in such grand and abstract terms that no practical solutions emerged from them. Indeed, they appeared to demonstrate. despite the best efforts of their authors. that none were available. So long as the political system was defined as 'all structures in their political aspects', or

seen from the perspective of individual orientations to 'political

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


objects`, attention was deflected from political institutions and elite politics as agencies of control. Equally, the grand analytical frame-

works adopted made it seem that the typical 'non-Western political process' and its social and psychological underpinnings fell so far short of the ideal of a society marked by COIISSHSHS and C unsent that deep pessimism was prompted regarding the likely practical efficacy of any form of institutional intervention. As a result, these

approaches succeeded only in persuading their authors that the developing countries were as resistant to liberal democracy as they were to theoretical encapsulation. For these reasons. despite the expressed concern with policy. it did not appear easy to offer particular institutional solutions to the 'problem' of development within

a cultural or functional framework. In spite of the continually professed concern with issues of public policy, therefore, the policy contribution of early attempts to produce a theory of political development was unclear. In response to this impasse, the doctrine for political development set out in the early volumes of the Studies in Political Development series called for the creation of responsible political elites and of social and institutional mechanisms through which the masses could be subjected to their control. It linked this call for élite autonomy and authority to a particular programme. to be achieved through direct governmental action and a broader effort to shape social processes and interactions. Elites were urged to give priority to private enterprise in the promotion of economic development. to restrict the bureaucracy to a supportive rather than a leading role, and to postpone or deflect demands for increased levels of consumption, whether of private or public goods. All this

was seen as a necessary prelude to the organization of emerging interests and the eventual expansion of participation for which pressure was mounting throughout the world. For this reason, the extension of political participation along 'Western' lines was to be postponed until the masses could be trusted to recognize and accept the limits to intervention, participation and welfare which the elites laid down. From this transitional perspective, as we saw in Chapter 5, it might be possible for future generations to enjoy full democracy, if interventionist bureaucracies could be persuaded l.o give priority to private enterprise, and if investment in the mass media and in education could reshape social attitudes. In the meantime. however, it was necessary to support quasi-authoritan Ian single parties able to impose an appropriate agenda of


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

sequential reform while leaving space for new interests to emerge and take centre stage in the economy and in a consensual and competitive political system. In the same period, elites in the developing world, seemingly sharing the view that the social and cultural conditions of developing societies made the modern democratic state 'unattainable in the immediate future' (Almond and Powell 1966: 327), regularly opted, to borrow Verba's phrasing, to exact obedience by more forceful means: repeatedly throughout the 19603, military elites across the Third World seized power, putting a bloody end to experiments with democracy. They did so, what is more, with the

enthusiastic backing of Western governments and the tacit or overt support of the theorists of political development. After a brief infatuation with the idea that 'civic cultures' could somehow be replicated around the world, attention turned from cases of gradual evolution towards stable liberal democracy to others in which highly unstable and undemocratic states had been reformed by a conscious programme of state action from above. Britain and the United States fell out of favour as models, and Germany and ]apart

became the favoured points of reference. In contrast to previous efforts to build a theory of political development, the doctrine for political development focused exclusively upon the emergence and character of the modern world and the conditions under which government by consent was possible in the specific circumstances of modernity. In an important shift of focus. theory and doctrine then converged upon the historical development and social purpose ofspecilic political and social institutions , as addressed in Crises and Sequences in Political Development (Binder

et al. 1971), with its focus on the historical record of political development in Europe and the United States, and the need to contain the particip story and distributive demands generated by the demand for equality. However, the search for a satisfactory theoretical framework for the doctrine continued to prove elusive the failure of the 'crises and sequences' approach to survive critical inspection by the two sets of historians assembled at the request of the Committee for Comparative Politics left the link between theory and doctrine weaker than ever. Far from being an obstacle to the effort to produce a prescriptive model for political development in the developing world, however, the collapse of the misguided theoretical efforts Of the

1970s was the essential precondition for it. It created space for the

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


working out of an new analytical framework within which the doctrine for political development would emerge as the foundation of a new literature on democratization in the 19805. As we saw in Chapter 7, the developing world had never been satisfactorily addressed within the successive frameworks proposed within political development theory. This had prompted a pragmatic response, with Pye and Almond successively proposing leadership as the key to understanding its politics and achieving satisfactory outcomes. Both had been forced to break with the analytical framework within which they were working in order to advance leadership as the key variable in bringing appropriate forms of politics into being in the Third World, but neither had provided an alter alive analytical framework within which it could be addressed. In part, the way forward had been cleared by Huntington, who had cut through a large amount of theoretical obfuscation with the pragmatic observation that if institutions were weak, the solution was to strengthen them. One further step remained to be taken, however, before the doctrine for political development could take centre stage: the creation of a coherent analytical framework which would link the question of institutions to the process of satisfactory élite management of the process of democratization. While political development theory as conceived in the Studies of Political Development series was giving way under historical scrutiny in the 1970s, and Almond was searching inconclusively for an eclectic alternative. such a framework, placing the question of élite management in the context of procedure and political process. was sketched out by Rustow, Linz and Stepan. While

hostile to the idea of theory, this process- oriented approach sidestepped previous sources of difficulty and provided a framework within which all the main themes of the doctrine for political development could be embraced, By focusing directly on the management of transitions to democracy by elites in the developing world, it created the conditions for a coherent synthesis of the

doctrine for political development and the revisionist theory of democracy. The search for a grand theory of political development turned out to have been a long and unnecessary detour on the road to a separable and now separate doctrine for political development.


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

The New Paradigm: Elite Management of Transitions to Democracy

The first step in the provision of a new analytical framework within which the doctrine for political development could be inserted was the publication of Rustow's article on transitions to democracy in Comparative Politics in 1970. Rustow distinguished between the conditions which made democracy possible and those which sustained it once it was established, and contended that studies

which focused on Britain. the USA. Scandinavia, France and Germany tended to ask 'the functional question' - how successful democracies work -- rather than 'the genetic question' - how a democracy comes into being in the first place .-... which interested students of developing regions. He argued, against the exponents of functional and cultural approaches, that the genesis of democracy . . . has not only considerable intrinsic interest for most of the world. it has greater pragmatic relevance than further panegyrics about the virtues of Anglo-American democracy or laments over the fatal illnesses of democracy in Weimar or in several of the French Republics. (3401

In his search for a model relevant to developing regions, Rustow adopted an approach quite different to that taken by political development theorists up to this point. He eliminated cases in which the

transition to democracy had taken place over a protracted period (such as Britain), or as a result of immigration (such as the United States). or through foreign imposition (such as]apan and Germany), and concentrated on cases of rapid internally driven transition, taking Sweden ( $890-1920) and Turkey (from 1945) for the basis

of his model. He then set out to explore 'some of the methodological problems involved in the shift from functional to genetic inquiry', offering ten propositions in support of his 'genetic theory' (BOX 8. 1 ). Rustow's genetic approach focused on causality within a 'semideterministic' perspective ... 'a sceptical view that attributes human events to a mixture outlaw and chance'. Only within such a perspective, he claimed, could the social scientist 'accomplish his proper task of exploring the margins ofhurnan choice and of clarifying the consequences of the choices in that margin' (343). This approach combined the attention of Truman, Dahl and others Lo social and economic factors with an emphasis upon political factors. and particularly upon choice, and it abandoned the idea that democ-

racy could not be promoted in the absence of democratic attitudes :

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


Box 8.1 Rustow's ten propositions for a genetic theory of democracy


2. 3. 4.

5. 6.



9. 1 o.

The factors that keep a democracy stable may not be the ones that brought it into existence: explanations of democracy must distinguish between function and genesis. Correlation is not the same as causation: a genetic theory must concentrate on the latter. Not all causal links run from social and economic Lo political factors. Not all causal links run from beliefs and attitudes to actions. The genesis of democracy need not be geographically uniform: there may be many roads to democracy. The genesis of democracy need not be temporally uniform: ditierent factors may become crucial during successive phases. The genesis of democracy need not be socially uniform: even in the same place and time the attitudes that promote

it may not be the same for politicians and for common citizens. Empirical data in support of a genetic theory must cover, for any given country, a time period from just before until just after the advent of democracy. To examine the logic of transformation within political systems, we may leave aside countries where a major impetus came from abroad. A model or ideal type of the transition may be derived from

a close examination of two or three empirical cases and tested by application to the rest. Source: Rustow 1970: 3 4 ¢ 6 7 .

Many of the current theories of' democracy seem to imply that to promote democracy you must first foster democrats perhaps by preachment. propaganda, education, or perhaps as an automatic byproduct of growing -...

prosperity. Instead, we should allow for the possibility that circumstances

may force, trick. lure. or cajole non-democrats into democratic behavior and that their beliefs may adjust in due course by some process of rationalization or adaptation- (344-5)

For Rustow. since the advent of democracy required the emergence


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

of new social groups and the formation of new habits. 'one generation is probably the minimum period of transition' (347). Democracy was brought about by the conscious adoption of democratic rules to resolve an entrenched and serious conflict in a community agreed on its common nationhood. It was then consolidated by growing commitment on the part of politicians and citizens alike to procedures of competitive recruitment through the institutions of' parties and elections, and confidence in their ability

to resolve substantive issues through these means. It required a single background condition ... national unity. or a prior sense of

community -- and consisted of three phases the preparatory phase, the decision phase and the habituation phase. The preparatory phase consisted of a 'prolonged and inconclusive political struggle' between protagonists representing well-entrenched forces, usually social classes, in dispute over issues with significant meaning for them. This was likely to begin 'as the result of the emergence of a new elite that arouses a depressed and previously leaderless group into concerted action' (352). Its hallmark was polarization rather than pluralism; the character of the conflict would vary from case to case; and no common path to democracy could be expected. Democracy was a means to an end, and a country was likely to attain democracy 'not by copying the constitutional laws or parliamentary practices of some previous democracy, but rather by honestly facing up to its particular conflicts and by devising or adapting effective procedures for their . accommodation' 6354). The preparatory phase came to an end when the decision phase was inaugurated with ' a delib crate decision on the part of politi-

cal leaders to accept the existence of diversity in unity and. to that end, to institutionalize some crucial aspect of democratic proce-

dure' (355), Thus democracy would result from 'a process of conscious decision at least on the part of the top political leadership'. in which the degree of risk and the need for the negotiation of precise terms would mean that 'a small circle of leaders is likely to play a disproportionate role' (356). Although the decision phase might be described as 'an act of deliberate, explicit consensus, this was so only within four limits: the democratic content might be incidental to other substantive issues, the coniprornise might seem a second-best alternative to all major parties, rather than an agreement on fundamentals, different preferences on procedure were likely to remain, and it would still be necessary to transmit

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


the agreement reached by leaders to professional politicians and

citizens. The last point here was central to the habituation phase. Initially the new regime was no more than 'a novel prescription for taking joint chances on the unknown' (358), During the habituation phase, if it succeeded, politicians and citizens learned from the successful resolution of some issues to place their faith in the new rules and to apply them to new issues. experience with democratic techniques and competitive recruitment conlirlned politicians in their democratic practices and beliefs: and the population at large became 'firmly fitted into the new structure by the forging of effective links of party organization that connect the politicians in the capital with the mass electorate throughout the country` (360).

Rustow's contribution cleared away previous obstacles to the development of a coherent analytical framework and mapped a way forward. As a ground-clearing exercise, it removed the central features of previous attempts to articulate a theory of political development: the obsessive concern with the cases of Britain, France, Germany, Japan and the United States, and the insistence on the need for the prior achievement of consensus. appropriate attitudes to political participation, and key social and economic prerequisites. As a pointer to the way forward, it proposed a single focus, once national unity had been established, on a decision on the part of elites to resolve their differences through the adoption of democratic institutions. A second crucial contribution to the construction of a new process-oriented framework within which the issue of liberal

democracy in the Third World could be addressed came with the publication in 1978 of a four-volume study on The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes, under the joint editorship of Linz and Stepan. In the first of these, Crisis, Breakdown and Reequifibration, Linz (1978) examined the failure of democracies and the means by

which they could be reconstructed.

Although some of the

emphases of the volume differed substantially from those of Rustow (it took the breakdown of democracy as its starting point. for example. and dwelt at length on the cases of Germany and Spain), the end result was a reinforcement of the perspective which separated the genesis of` democracy from its maintenance once it was established, and gave analytical priority to negotiation and compromise between elites.


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

Linz and his collaborators proposed a systematic I`ocus on the dynamics of the political process of breakdown rather than on the character of structural strains which ended democracy. They felt it important 'to analyze the behavior of those committed to democracy, especially the behavior of the incumbent democratic leaders, and to ask in what ways the actions or non-actions of the incumbents contributed to the breakdown under analysis' (Linz ]. 978: ix). And they emphasized that the study of the political dynamics of regime breakdown led directly to 'the analysis of the conditions that lead to the breakdown of authoritarian regimes. to the process of transition from authoritarian to democratic regimes, and especially to the political dynamics ofpostauthoritarian democracies' (xii). Linz accused social scientists in general, and Marxist sociologists in particular. of giving too much emphasis to structural characteristics such as class conflict that limited the choices of political actors, and contending that the breakdown of liberal democracy was 'sufficiently explained by great social and economic inequity, concentration of economic power, economic dependency on other countries, and the inevitable antidemocratic reaction o1` the privileged against the institutions that allow the mobilization of the masses the existing socioeconomic order' (4). While not denying the importance of such factors. he proposed to focus on breakdown as a dynamic process, and ask how it occurred, rather

than why: In our view, one cannot ignore the actions of either those who are more or less interested in the maintenance of an open democratic political systoin or those who, placing other values higher, are unwilling to defend it or even ready to overthrow it. These are the actions that constitute the true dynamics of the political process. We feel that the structural characteristics of societies their actual and latent conflicts ...- constitute a series of opportunities and constraints for the social and political actors, both men and institutions, that can lead to one or another outcome. We shall start from the assumption that those actors have certain choices that can increase or decrease the probability of the persistence and stability of a regime. (4 ]


In keeping with the focus on the political process, Linz offered a procedural definition of democracy in terms of freedom to advance political alterer atives and periodic competition between leaders to validate claims to rule, commenting that in practice this meant 'the freedom to create political parties and to conduct free and honest elections at regular intervals without excluding any effective political office from direct or indirect electoral accountability' (5). This

The Doctrine for Political Development Today

adoption of the Schumpeterian~Dahlian revisionist

21 I model of

democracy was accompanied by the insistence that the focus was on politic Idem Cr car th r th i d e m critic society: We have deliberately omitted from our definition any reference to the prevalence of democratic values. social rel sons, equality of opportunities in the occupational world. and education, as our focus here is the breakdown of political democracy, not crisis in democratic societies. (6)

Social and political systems were seen as independent of each other to an extent, SO that each could be valued for itself. An analytical distinction could be made between the denial of legitimacy to the political system, and the denial of legitimacy to the social system, or between 'democracy itself,' and 'the particular content that the regime-building and sustaining forces wanted to give it' (9). It followed that democratic institutions should be defended for themselves, and could make a contribution to the preservation of social stability. Finally, Linz announced that the focus was exclusively on the breakdown of democracy rather than regime breakdown generally, and that 'postcolonial democracies that had little time to become institutionalized, whose form of government was largely a transplant from the mother country, and whose consolidation of political institutions usually coincided with the process of statebuilding' were excluded from the analysis. This meant that attention was directed almost exclusively to 'states whose exist fence was consolidated before they became democracies' (7). Latin America now replaced Africa and Asia as the key region in the Third World. and attention turned away from the analytical frame-

work of 'totalitarianisII1', with its primary focus on Nazi iieriiiany and the Soviet Union. Linz's analysis reflected the contemporary global context ofrevolutionary movements and authoritarian reactions in the Third World, and made Spain rather than Germany or Italy the primary European example from which lessons for contemporary democracies were to be drawn (83-5). It saw the triumph of 'extremist politics' as a sign of failure on the part of democratic leadership. and stated that the principal reason for its preference for political democracy and slow but non-violent social change over revolution was that rapid revolutionary change would inevitably lead not to greater social justice, but to counter-revolutionary authoritarian rule. For this reason, he argued, democratic leaders 'at least in the


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

short run, should value the persistence of democratic institutions as highly if not more highly than other goals' (13). As we shall see, this perspective would become central to the rearticulation of the doctrine for political development in the 19803 and 19903. Linz shared with Rustow a focus on the internal dynamics of the political process in consolidated capitalist-oriented nation-states. starting from the identical assumption that 'a stable political system assumes that citizens in all parts of the country should feel bound by the decision of the authorities and not give their loyalty to another state' (61). His focus on how democracies broke down led to a similar interest in how they could be reconstructed. and he , like Rustow, denied the need for pro-democratic attitudes at the outset. He too proposed a different question to that put in other analyses (how rather than why, in his terms), and focused on a different set of cases to those generally examined by the theorists of political development. Finally. just as Rustow placed his procedural approach in the context of deep and meaningful conflict, Linz proposed to turn his attention to political processes 'without ignore ing the basic social, economic, and cultural conditioning variables' (5). In each case, too, the crucial variable was political leadership in

the face of social and structural strains, and an essential precondi~ son was that leaders, whatever other goals they might have, should be committed to the establishment and survival of' democratio institutions for themselves. Against this background Linz analysed the elements of regime stability, and derived from them models for the breakdown and restoration of democracy. He argued that stability was produced by a complex combination of legitimacy (the belief that. for a particular

country at a particular historical juncture no other type of regime could assure a more successful pursuit of collective goals). ejcacy (the capacity to find solutions to the basic problems facing the system that aware citizens perceive as broadly satisfactory), and ejfectiveriess (the capacity actually to implement the policies formulated, with the desired results). Rulers would pursue their own material and ideal interests, 'but they are unlikely to retain legitimacy if they pursue them exclusively or at too heavy a cost to broader segments of the society'; they therefore had to 'denlon» strafe that they are pursuing collective goals acceptable to the majority' [19). At the same time, some sectors of society were more powerful and better organized than others (or, in Dahl's terminol-

ogy, had more intense preferences). Hence

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


In addition to being responsive to the demands of the broad electorate and to the party membership, democratic governments cannot ignore the demands of key welborganized interests whose withdrawal of confidence can be more decisive than the support of the electorate. To give one example: policies that produce the distrust of the business community and

lead it to an evasion of capital, even when those policies are supported by a majority of the electorate. might create a serious threat to a regimes (20)

The way in which a new regime formulated its initial agenda was crucially important, and here governments had to minimize the opposition of potential opponents rather than gratify the demands of their followers: outcomes beneficial to particular groups in society are likely to be delayed because of the difficulty of implementation at this stage. While efficacy is likely to be judged by outputs, sometimes the neutralization of potential opponents of the regime is of equal or more importance than the immediate satisfaction of those who have granted legitimacy to the new regime on the basis of their expectations. (21-2)

The clear implication was that guarantees should be extended to private property and capitalist interests. This was reinforced by the claim that the historical record showed that wherever democratic governments had broken down it was because their legitimacy, efficacy and effectiveness had been undermined by leftist agitation, leading to their overthrow by right-wing forces (15). With these considerations in mind, new democratic regimes would not seek to meet all the partisan demands of their supporters, but would give priority to establishing democratic procedures

and facilitating the emergence of loyal opposition, equally committed to the rules of the democratic game. Government and opposition alike would agree to seek power by electoral means only, and to surrender it when defeated at the polls. on the single condition that the necessary civil liberties were respected, to refrain from the use of violence or appeals to the armed forces against opponents loyal to the democratic system, and to play their part when necessary in co-operative action to secure the survival of the system when it was under threat (36-7). As there would always be some 'disloyal' opposition, the key to democratic stability was to ensure the loyalty of 'semi-loyal' opposition: breakdown occurred when the failure of parties supporting a regime to conlprornise in

response to a crisis prompted an appeal by one of them to forces


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

perceived as disloyal, rendering the government incapable of solving the crisis and giving rise to polarization and distrust. Democratic breakdown had its roots, therefore, in the undermining of 'the consensus of the democratic parties and their capacity to cooperate' (50 ) when faced with serious problems. Although these were sometimes 'structural problems that perhaps no regime can solve', particularly in Third World countries where there was an absolute imbalance between the society's needs and its resources, a

regimes 'unsolvable problems' were often 'the work of its elites' (51) in that they stemmed from 'the setting by the political leadership of goals for which it is unable to provide the necessary means, and its unwillingness

to renounce those goals once ii. becomes

apparent that the means cannot be provided' (52-3). Linz's model of the 'process of reequilibration' flowed directly from his analysis of the dynamics of the democratic process and the breakdown of democracy. R equilibration was defined as 'a political process that, after a crisis that has seriously threatened the continuity and stability of the basic democratic political mechanisms. results in their continued existence at the same or higher levels of democratic legitimacy, efficacy, and effectiveness' (87). Six conditions were required for it to succeed (Box 8.2). The immediate model for reequilibration was the transition from the Fourth Lo the Fifth Republic in France. Such a transition might commence with an illegal act, 'but it must be legitimated by the democratic process afterward, and above all, it must operate thereafter according to democratic rules' (87). It might lead to a new equilibrium of forces, and to changes to such 'rules of the game' as electoral laws or relations between the executive and legislature.

And these changes might even 'reach the borderline between democracy and semiauthoritarian solutions' (89) if civil liberties are limited and particular parties outlawed. But, Linz asked, 'might not a less democratic democracy . . . be a better alternative than risking civil war or an authoritarian regime in defense ofdemocratic authenticity' (89-90)? Answering his own question in the affirmative, he concluded that the re-equilibration of democracy always required parties committed to the democratic order to sacrifice their particular goals, the interests of many of their followers, and their ideological commitments. as well as accepting limits on the most libertarian interpretation of civil liberties, for the sake of stabilizing the situation and insuring

survival of the system. (90)

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


Box 8.2 Linz's conditions for the re-equilibration

of democracy l.




5. E).

The availability of a leadership uncompromised by the loss of efficacy and legitimacy of the existing regime in crisis and committed to the creation of a new regime with new institutions to be legit mated by future democratic procedures. Ability of the new leadership to gain the acceptance of those who remained loyal to the existing regime as well as those who opted for disloyalty in crisis and therefore are potential supporters of a nondemocratic regime. Willingness of the leadership of the regime that has lost power, efficacy. effectiveness and probably considerable

legitimacy to accept that fact and facilitate rather than oppose the transfer of power. Willingness of the former leadership, with its commitment to certain policy goals, ideologies, and interests, to subordinate the realization of these goals in order to save the substance of democracy. A certain level of indifference and passivity in the bulk of the population during the final denouement of the crisis. Ability of the serniloyal opposition to a part cular regime to control and neutralize a disloyal opposition that questions not only the particular regime or government but the

democratic system.


Source: Linz 19278; 8 7-8

Finally, Linz identified two situations comparable to the re-cquilibration of a democracy threatened with breakdown - the restoration of democracy after El. relatively short period of nondemocratic rule. and its reinstaurafion or re-establishment after a long period. In the first case (after a period of as much as 20 years or so) former democratic leaders would play a decisive part. while in the second (which may last up to 50 years] a new generation would establish the new democratic regime. In conclusion, Linz spelled out the limits of change within a democratic political system. Noting the charge of radical critics that civil liberties alone cannot secure the transformation of power relations in society, he recognized its force in some cases: the


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

introduction of liberal democratic institutions and political processes could not lead to 'a rapid and peaceful transformation through the political mobilization of the underprivileged' in underdeveloped countries, or in traditional societies where the cultural and social relations support an existing social order (95-6). It was true. also, that 'political democracy does not necessarily assure even a reasonable approximation of what we would call democratic society, a society with considerable equality of opportunity in all spheres, including social equality, as well as opportunity to formulate political alternatives and mobilize the electorate for them' (97) , but it did allow for progress in that direction. The alternative option of revolution could only lead, directly or indirectly, to authoritarian rule: From this perspective, which we would not argue to be value-iree, the

problem of the breakdown of even imperfect political democracies seems relevant. The danger lies in indifference to the crises of democracies and in willingness to contribute to their acceleration, in the hope that crisis will lead to a revolutionary breakthrough toward a democratic society rather than a mere political democracy. The vain hope of making democracies more democratic by undemocratic means has all too often contributed to regime crises and ultimately paved the way to autocratic rule. (97)

As we shall see in the next section, the contemporary doctrine for political development rests squarely on the foundations laid down in the 1970s by Rustow, Linz and Stepan while elsewhere more ambitious attempts to produce a theory of political development were in a process of disintegration.

The Doctrine for Political Development Today The procedural approach developed by Rustow and Linz underpins

the contemporary doctrine for political development. It was taken further in the 1980s by O'Donnell and Schrnitter, whose fourth volume (Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies) in the four-volume set they jointly edited with Whitehead on Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Prospecfsfor Democracy (1986) showed the

same concern with outlining the steps by which democracy could be achieved. Schmitter and O'Donnell expressed the hope that they were providing 'a useful instrument ... pieces of a map for those who are today venturing, and who tomorrow will be venturing, on the uncertain path toward the construction of democratic forms of -.-

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


political organization' (O'Donnell and Schmitter 1986: 5). The first version of their argument, dating from 1980, identified two such paths: the transfer of power by the regime to H faction of their

supporters, and the surrender of power to the opposition. The 1986 publication added a third: a 'pacted' transition between opposing groups. The relative strength and behaviour of supporters and opponents of reform in authoritarian regimes, identified as 'hardliners' and 'softliners' respectively, was seen as crucial in determining the path which would be taken. Four central chapters in Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies dealt with successive steps in the process of democratization: the opening and undermining of authoritarian regimes. the

negotiation and

renegotiation of pacts, the resurrection of civil society and restructuring of public space, and the convocation of elections and establishment of political parties. The tone of the argument throughout is represented by the injunction that the parties to the transition must pay the price of entering into implicit compromises or explicit pacts with the transitional regime and with other parties and toning down their more militant supporters. This means that the basis of opposition tends to shift from expressions of principle to discussions of rules, and from demands for immediate benefits to pleas by political leaders to accept deferred gratifications. (59)

There were six central features to the doctrine for political development as expounded in the 1980s both by 0'Donnell, Schtnitter and Whitehead, and in the subsequent multi-volume study of 'democracy in developing countries' edited by Diamond, Linz and Lipset (Diamond, Linz and Lipset 1988, l989a, l989b). These six

central features were the abandonment of theory, the adoption of H normative commitment to democracy, the narrowly procedural definition of democracy in 'Schumpeterian' terms, the analytical separation of 'structure' from 'choice', the attribution of particular significance to leadership. and the endorsement of the withdrawal of the state from economic intervention and welfare provision. A brief review illustrates the centrality of these points to the doctrine for political development in the 1980s. The abandonment

of theory

O'DouneI1 and Schmittcr introduced the final volume of their study

with the declaration that 'we did not have at the beginning, nor do


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

we have at the end of this lengthy collective Endeavour, a "theory" to test or to apply to the case studies and thematic essays in these volumes' (O'Donnell and Schmitter $986: 3). Diamond, Linz and Lipset similarly introduced their four-volume study of democracy in developing countries with the disarming statement that the

'abundant theoretical arguments and lessons' drawn from their deployment of ten theoretical dimensions, 26 countries, and 49 tentative propositions about the likelihood of stable democratic government 'are not integrated into a single, all-encompassing theory, and that it will be some time (if ever) before the field produces one' (Diamond, Linz and Lipset 1988: xiv). The normative commitment to democracy

The abandonment of the quest for theory was linked to a strong normative commitment to political democracy. as O'Donnell and Schmitter declared, on behalf of themselves and their colleagues, that 'the first general and shared theme (of the collection) is

normative. namely that the instauration and eventual consolidation of political democracy constitutes per se a desirable goaT (O'DonnelI and Schinitter 1986: 3). Diamond, Linz and Lipset simi farly stated their 'bias for democracy as a system of government' and concluded the joint preface which preceded each regional volume with the statement that 'we (along with an increasing proportion of the world's population) value political democracy as an end in itself -.- without assuming that it is a guarantee of any other important values' (Diamond. Linz and Lipset 1988: xxiii~iv, xxv).

The endorsement

of procedural


This emphasis upon political democracy was reinforced by the

endorsement of Schumpeterian 'contemporary theories of democracy' which, for Schmitter and O'DonneIL place the burden of consent upon party elites and professional politicians (sporadically subject to electoral approval) who agree among themselves,

not on ethical or substantive grounds, but on the procedural norm of contingency. These actors agree to compete in such a way that those who win greater electoral support will exercise their temporary political superiority in such a way as not to impede those who may win greater support in

the future from taking office, and those who lose in the present agree to

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


respect the contingent authority of the winners to make binding decisions, in exchange for being allowed to take office and make decisions in the future. In their tum, citizens will presumably accept a democracy based on such a competition, provided its outcome remains contingent upon their collective preferences as expressed through fair and regular elections of uncertain outcome. (O'DonnelI and Schmitter 1986: 59)

Equally. Diamond, Linz and Lipset drew upon Dahl and cited Schumpeter in support of their definition of democracy as: a system of government that insets three essential conditions: meaningful and extensive compo titian among individuals and organized groups (especiaily political parties) for all effective positions of government power, at regular intervals and excluding the use of force; a highly inclusive level of political participation in the selection of leaders and policies, at least through regular and fair elections, such that no major (adult) social group is excluded: and a level of civil and politieal liberties - freedom of expression, freedom of the press. freedom to form and join organizations - sufficient to ensure the integrity of political competition and participation. (Diamond, Linz and Lipset 1988: xvi; emphasis in the original)

The separation

of structure

and choice

()'Donnell and Schrnitter argued that the dominant characteristic of

the transition was uncertainty, as ethical and political choices had to be made. and responsibilities assumed, 'when there are insufficient structural or behavioral parameters to guide and predict the outcome'. In these circumstances, the group, class, sectoral or insti-

tutional affiliations of actors could not be taken as guides to their behavior. and analysis should primarily rely upon 'distinctly politi-

cal concepts. however vaguely delineated and difficult tO pin down they may be' (O'DonnelI and Schmitter 1986: 3. 4). In other words, for the duration of the transition, the effects of structure were suspended. Diamond, Linz and Lipset went even further. moving from their procedural focus on political democracy to question the

need to explore the structural characteristics of capitalism and their implications at all. In the space of a paragraph, they passed from the reasonable claim that 'democracy as a system of government must be kept conceptually distinct from capitalism as a system of production and exchange' to the more defiant assertion that the concept of a capitalist economic system 'becomes in its vagueness almost meaningless' (xx-xxi). .in the regional studies, the same attitude prompted a refusal to explore issues of international and domestic


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

political economy: Diamond, for example, writing on Africa, declined point blank 'to revisit or revise the debate over whether European colonialism "underdeveloped Africa," or whether dependence retards or distorts economic growth' (Diamond 1988: 8). The significance

of leadership

The emphasis upon élite pre-eminence. contingency and choice led

directly to a particular emphasis upon political leadership, of a kind understood to be committed to the model of elitist democracy endorsed throughout. Immense importance was attached by O'Donnell and Schmitter to initiatives by élite actors, not only in connection with the implementation of transition, but also in other parallel processes. Thus the possibility of winning the military over was related to the identification of an individual military leader who could play the role of persuader. the success of the transition

was said to depend upon 'whether some civilian. as well as

military. leaders have the imagination. the courage, and the willingness to come to interim agreements on rules and mutual

guarantees' (36). and even the first challenges to authoritarian rule were ascribed to 'gestures by exemplary individuals' (49). Similarly. the downgrading of structure in favour of choice and élite action by Diamond, Linz and Lipset gave political leadership far greater significance than was suggested by its inclusion as one among ten 'theoretical dimensions' in their analytical framework. The balance ofDianlond's argument, for Africa, was represented by his view that 'the values and skills of political leaders have figured pron in ently in the destruction or nurturance of democracy' (18).

his introduction to the volume on Asia found the decline and fall of democracy there to be prominently and often 'quite clearly decisively' associated with 'the choices, decisions, values, and actions of political and institutional leaders' (Diamond 1989: 3); and his introduction to the volume on Latin America. written with Linz, concluded by placing its faith for the future on 'effective political leadership and action' (Diamond et al- l989b: 51).

The endorsement of state withdrawal Finally, O'DoI1r1ell and Sehmitter insisted that there was no room in the new democracies for either 'social democracy' (the extension of the democratic principle to the workplace, and to other institu-

The Doctrine for Political Development Today

22 I

sons such as schools, universities, interest groups and political parties) or 'welfare' or 'economic' democracy (the provision of equal benefits to the population in areas such as wealth, income. education, health and housing). These were coupled under the term Socialization' and explicitly excluded from 'political democracy' ( l 1-14, especially 13, figure 2.1). Equally, Diamond, Linz and Lipset endorsed at every point the need to limit state initiatives in the areas of welfare and economic development, and to inure the

masses to the prospect of delayed gratification in these areas. This position was implied in their preface, which used the term 'democ~ racy' to 'signify a political system, separate and apart from the economic system to which it is joined' (Diamond, Linz and Lipset 1988: irv), and concluded, as we have seen, that political dcmoc»

racy was to be seen as a value in itself, but not necessarily a guarantee of any other important values. The same position was explicit in the country studies. Diamond attributed economic failure in Africa to 'the heavy drag on economic development imposed by oversized, overowning, and overregulating states'. and welcomed 'the increasing movement away from statist economic

policies and structures' as 'among the most significant boosts to the democratic prospect' there (Diamond 1988: 22). The Establishment of the New Orthodoxy By the end of the 19805 the doctrine for political development expounded in the 0'Donnell, Schiff itter and Whitehead and Diamond. Linz and Lipset volumes was becoming established as the

new orthodoxy, as further contributions constructed and defined its genealogy. effected a synthesis of its ideas, ironed out inconsistencies, and applied it to contemporary cases. One such effort. interesting because it displayed his continuing ability to capture and distil the spirit of the times, was Huntington's (199la) The Third Wave, delivered as the Julian 1, Rothbaurn Lectures at the University of Oklahoma in November 1989, and examined below. The most significant outline of the new approach came, however from Karl, a contributor to the O'Donnell. Schmitter and Whitehead volume credited with introducing the idea of 'pacted' democracy on the basis of the Venezuelan experience (Karl 1986). Her subsequent paper on 'dilemmas' of democratization. in Latin America. delivered in China in June 1988 and published in Comparative Politics two years later, codified the new approach,


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

while correcting it at the same time to bring it into line with the new genealogy established for it. Karl placed the O'Donnell and Schmitter text reviewed above at the centre of the new orthodoxy, and placed it in a tradition running through Rustow's 1970 article on transitions and the Linz and Stepan collection on the breakdown of democratic regimes, along with the work of Schumpeter and Dahl. Noting that 'the once-dominant search for prerequisites of democracy has given way to a more process-oriented emphasis on contingent choice', she proposed that 'theorists should now develop an interactive approach that seeks explicitly to relate structural constraints to the shaping of contingent choice' [Karl 1990: l ) . She adopted a Schumpeterian/Dahlian definition of political democracy (with the Latin American addition of the criterion of 'civilian control over the military'). and concluded that as the protracted search for economic. social. cultural/psychological, or international causes had not yet yielded a general law of democratization, 'the search 1`or a set of identical conditions that can account for the presence or absence of democratic regimes should probably be abandoned and replaced by more modest effOrts to derive a contextually bounded approach to the study of democratization' (5). She then proposed a slight shift of emphasis from the approach initially outlined by Schznitter and O'DonnelI, from 'contingent choice' to 'structured

contingency', as even in the midst of the tremendous uncertainty provoked by a regime transition, where constraints appear to be most relaxed and where



range of outeornes appears to be possible, the decisions made by various

actors respond to and are conditioned by the types of socioeconomic structures and political institutions already present. (6)

In this formulation. reminiscent ofWard and Rustow's approach in Political Modernization in Japan and Turkey , 'structural and institutional constraints determine the range of options available to

decision makers and may even predispose them to choose a specific option' (7). At this point Karl incorporated ideas of 'path dependency' and the 'persistence of periodic institutional settlements (Krasner I 988), suggesting that the terms on which transitions are made may shape available options for the forseeable future.

Against this background Karl compared transitions on two dimensions, depending on whether they were achieved by compromise or force, and with elites or masses ascendant. She suggested

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


that in Latin America 'no stable democracy has resulted from regime transitions in which mass actors have gained control, even momentarily. over traditional ruling classes'. while 'democracies that have endured for a respectable length of time appear to cluster . .. in the cell defined by relatively strong elite actors who engage in strategies of compromise' (Karl 1990: 8~9). These usually involved

explicit pacts which ensure survivability because, although they are inclusionary. they are simultaneously aimed at restricting the scope of representation in order to

reassure traditional dominant classes that their vital interests will be respected. In essence they are antidemocratic mechanisms, bargained by elites. which seek to create a deliberate socioeconomic and political contract that demobilizes emerging mass actors while delineating the extent to which all actors can participate or wield power in the future. (ii-12)

Karl then identified the trade-off between political democracy and equity. inelegantly expressed as 'the relationship between the problematics of survivability and Cui bono,' as 'the central dilemma of democratization in Latin America' (13). Despite her earlier emphasis upon the likely persistence of foundational institutional settlements, she concluded with the injunction that in the phase of consolidation, leading actors must demonstrate the ability to differentiate political forces rather than draw them all into a grand coalition, the capacity to dciine and channel competing political projects rather than seek to keep potentially divisive reforms off the agenda, and the willingness to tackle incremental reforms, especially in the ciomains oz" the economy and civil-military relations, rather than defer them to some later date. (17)

By the late 1980s, then, a new version of the doctrine for political development, fully reflected in Karl's remarkably accomplished synthesis, was in securely in place. It took up precisely where the literature of the I960s left off. It was devoid of theoretical ambition, highly elitist, and overwhelmingly concerned with pragmatic policy advice to aspiring political leaders. The model of democracy it endorsed the sharp separation of politics and economics, the gradual extension of mass participation under élite control. and the . -

central role ascribed to moderate leadership, institutionalized parties and organized associational groups - could have been taken (and often was) point by point from the literature reviewed



Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

There are two significant differences, even so. between the literatures of the 1960s and the 1990s. Where once theory and public policy were intended to be mutually supportive, the celebration of policy relevance and success now accompanies surprisingly cheer-

ful confessions of theoretical failure. And where the theorists of the 19605 found themselves in an impasse in which they could formu-

late a model of stable liberal democracy but felt unable to recommend its implementation, those of today are avid exponents of the dissemination of democracy. The result has been the proliferation of frankly programmatic procedural guides to the installation of pro-Western liberal democracies in the Third World , and a chorus of claims that the theory of political development has been proved correct. As always. Huntington has been energetic in following and synthesizing the emerging trend, and it is to his

developing account that I turn . The Doctrine According to Huntington In a series of publications in the 1980s and 1990s, Huntington turned to the question of democratization across the world. Noting a renewed if cautious optimism on the part of academics and policy-makers in the early 19808, he asked what the prospects were for the emergence of democratic regimes. and what policies might be espoused by governments. private institutions, and indi-

viduals in order to encourage the spread ofdeniocracy (Huntington 1984, 193-5). Rejecting the automatic association of democracy with other values such as social justice, equality, liberty. fulfillment and progress, he adopted the narrow definition offered by Schumpeter, in which 'a political system is defined as democratic to

the extent that its most powerful collective decision-makers are selected through periodic elections in which all candidates freely compete for votes and in which virtually all the adult population is eligible to vote' (195). He then identified two historical waves of democratization, a lengthy one up to 1920 and a brief one immediately following the Second World War, the first followed by a

period of retreat and the second by three decades of mixed advance and retreat which left the global state of democracy in 1984 on

balance much where it had been in 1954. Against this background, he examined the Preconditions' and 'processes' of democratization, following the distinction drawn by Rustow

(1970) between functional and genetic approaches. With regard to

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


preconditions, he argued 1) that economic development forced the modification or abandonment of traditional political institutions but that the succeeding political system would be shaped by other

factors 'such as the underlying culture of the society, the values of the elites, and external influences' (Huntington 1984: 202), with the choices made by leaders playing a vital role, 2) that democracy required a market economy, and was favoured by the existence of an autonomous bourgeoisie; 3) that the two waves of expansion of democracy had been associated with British and US global power respectively; and 4) that democracy was likely to flourish in cultures that were instrumental (along the lines of Protestantism) rather than consumatory (along the lines of Islam), and tolerant of diversity. He identified three paths to democracy: the linear sequence model of steady progress step by step, the praetorian model of cyclical alternation between democratic and authoritarian regimes in which neither was effectively institutionalized: and a 'dialectical' model of urban breakthrough, authoritarian reaction, and subsequent transition to stable democracy. Although it had been observed that the prospects for democracy were enhanced when expanded participation was introduced at a late stage, he argued that this observation was irrelevant in view of 'the prevailing tendencies in the contemporary world ... for participation to expand early in the process of development, and concurrently with contestation' (211). It was a mistake to assume that the introduction of democracy itself required popular action and participation. On the contrary, democratic institutions were best created from the top down, 'through negotiations and compromises among political elites calculating their own interests and

desires' (2 12). In the period after the Second World War, they had

been created either by the replacement of a failed authoritarian regime, or by the transformation of an existing authoritarian regime

at the initiative of elites within it who concluded that the system no longer met their needs or those of their society. In either case, the role of like-minded elites was crucial. The replacement process required 'compromise and agreement among elites who have not been part of the authoritarian reginle,' while the transformation process required 'skilled leadership from and agreement among the elites who are part of that regime' (213). At this point. it should be noted, Huntington regarded agreement between opposing elites (ingroups and out-groups) as inherently difficult. and did not include

an option based upon it. He replaced the historically obsolete


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

option of gradual evolution to democracy by stages with its intro~ duction from above by like-minded elites. either from within an authoritarian regime or after its collapse, the key requirement being that 'either the established elites within an authoritarian system or the successor elites after an authoritarian system collapses see their interests served by the introduction of democratic institutions' (214). In this context, the United States could make a modest contribute son by assisting the economic development of poor countries and promoting a more equitable distribution of income and wealth; encouraging developing countries to foster market economies and the development of vigorous bourgeois classes; refurbishing its own economic, military and political power so as to be able to exercise greater influence in world affairs: and developing a concerted programme to encourage and help elites in countries whose level of economic development was bringing them into the 'transition zone' to move their countries in a more democratic direction. The predictions Huntington made regarding the prospects for democracy around the world proved mistaken, containing as they did the assertion that 'the likelihood of democratic development in Eastern Europe is virtually nil', and the general conclusion that 'with few exceptions, the limits of democratic development in the

world may well have been reached' (218). In the apparently unexpected context of global democratization of the late 19805 and early 1990s, however, he refined and extended the model of éliteled political development in The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Huntington l99la) and in articles taken from the book (Huntington l 9 9 l b , 1991-92). He modified his

account of waves of democratization to recognize a third wave between 1974 and 1990, and now refused to say whether it would continue, halt or be reversed, confessing that 'predictions about the future are often embarrassing' but seeking to cover his own shame

with the bold assertion that 'social science cannot provide reliable answers to these questions. nor can any social scientist' (Huntington 1991a: 209, 280). The book was 'not an effort to

develop a general theory of the preconditions of democracy or the processes of democratization' or to explain 'why some countries have been democracies for over a century while others have been enduring dictatorships', rather, its limited purpose was to explain 'why, how, and with what consequences a group of roughly

contempt oraneous transitions to democracy occurred in the 1970s

The Doctrine for Political Development Today


and 1980s and to understand what these transitions may suggest about the future of democracy in the world' (30). Where .Political Order in Changing Societies (Huntington 1968) had expressed a normative preference for order. he now declared a preference for democracy as 'good in itself' and possessed of 'positive conse-

quences for individual freedom. domestic stability, international peace, and the United States' (Huntington 199 la: xv). The Third Wave repeated and extended other arguments put forward in 1984. It adopted a Schumpeterian definition of democracy and nominated the beliefs and actions of political elites as 'probably the most immediate and significant explanatory variable' for the introduction of democracy (36). Five patterns of regime change were now identified for the third wave of democratization: the cyclical and 'dialectical' patterns previously identified (the latter now christened the 'second-try' pattern), along with interrupted democracy (resumption after an authoritarian inter-

lude). direct transition from a stable authoritarian regime, and decolonization. The third wave of transitions was attributed to an eclectic set of five causes: the deepening legitimacy problems of authoritarian systems. the positive social consequences of the

global economic growth of the 1960s, the changed doctrines and activities of the Catholic Church, the changed policies of external actors, and 'snowballing' or demonstration effects. However, while these 'general causes of the third wave of democratization' varying in significance from case to case, created conditions

favourable to democratization, they stood 'at one remove from the factors immediately responsible for democratization' (107). These immediate factors concerned leadership: 'In the third wave. the conditions for creating democracy had to exist. but only political leaders willing to take the risk of democracy made it happen' (.108). Huntington now identified four patterns of transition, noting the

occasional case of establishment of democracy through intervention, and adding a middle term, 'transplacement' (joint action by government and opposition groups), between transformation (where the lead is taken by the elites in power), and replacement (where the opposition takes the lead). This followed the addition by Schmitter and O'Donne1I in 1986 of 'pacted' transition to their original two modes of transition. Five types of participant were identified: 'standpatters' (supporters of the status quo), liberal reformers, and democratic reformers within the governing coali-

tion. and democratic moderates and revolutionary extremists in


Capita}ism and Democracy in the Third World

the opposition. Positions could shift during the process. and, clearly. a democratic outcome required the triumph of the democratic reformers, the democratic moderates, or a combination between them. Shifting in his own words from the role of social scientist to that of political consultant (xv), he offered 'guidelines' for each of these circumstances, running to 2 7 specific proposals covering the reform or overthrow of authoritarian regimes, and the negotiation of regime changes. These presented a recipe for the installation of democracy from above, controlled by and in the interests of existing elites (Box 8.3). Turning from the processes to the characteristics of dernocrati~ ization, Huntington then identified compromise, elections and nonviolence as the 'third wave democratization syndrome' (165), Negotiations and compromise among political elites were at the heart of the democratization. processes, and leaders made pacts and

secret deals behind the backs of their followers: escaped the Few political leaders who put together the compromises charge of having 'sold out' the interests of their constituents. The extent of this disaffection was, in a sense. a measure of their success . . . In the third wave. democracies were often made by leaders willing to betray the interests of their followers in order to achieve that goal. {168-9)

For leaders and groups alike, the price of participation in the process was moderation in tactics and policies, which often involved their agreeing to abandon violence and any commitment to revolution. to accept existing basic social, economic and political institutions (e.g., private property and the market system, autonomy of the military, the privileges of the Catholic Church), and to work through elections and parliamentary procedures in

order to achieve power and put through their policies. (170) Extending the analysis to consider the transitional problems of the consolidation of democracy, Huntington issued further guide~ lines on dealing with authoritarian crimes and curbing military power. These advised that in cases of regime overthrow, only former leaders should be punished, while in other cases there should he no prosecutions, and that in all cases the military should be professionalized by purging or retiring potentially disloyal officers, punishing attempted coup-makers, instituting civilian control, and creating a small force with good pay and conditions, a clear military mission, and lavish supplies of medals. ceremonies and shiny new toys to keep them occupied and boost their prestige

The Doctrine for Political Development Today



8.3 Huntington's guidelines for democratizers

For democratic reformers in the regime: Seize and keep control of the initiative in the democratization process. Only lead from strength and never introduce democratization measures in response to obvious pressure from more extreme radical opposition groups. Keep expectations low as to how far change can go.

Encourage development of a responsible. moderate opposition

party, which the key groups in society (including the military) will accept as a plausible nonthreatening alternative government. Do what you can to enhance the stature, authority, and moderation of' your principal opposition negotiating partner.

For moderate democrats in the opposition: Make particular efforts to enlist business leaders, middle-class professionals, religious figures. and political party leaders, most of whom probably supported creation of the authoritarian

system. Cultivate generals.

Be prepared to negotiate and, if necessary, rnake concessions on all issues except the holding of free and fair elections. For both: Resist the demands of leaders and groups on your side that

either delay the negotiating process or threaten the core inter-

est of your negotiating partner. When in doubt, compromise. Source: adapted from Huntington 199161: 141-2, 150-1, 162-3.

(231, 251-3). Finally, Huntington turned to a number of 'contextual' problems which fell into two sets: insurgency. ethnic or communal conflict, and terrorism, and extreme poverty, severe socio-economic inequality. chronic inflation, substantial external debt, and extensive state involvement in the economy. Accepting that these problems, where they existed, would not be solved in the short


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

term, he argued that the prospects for democratic survival would depend not upon the severity of the problems faced or the ability to solve them, but 'the way in which political leaders respond to their inability to solve the problems confronting their country' (259). Elites would have to avoid blaming each other, while publics would have to learn to distinguish between the value of democracy as a system, and the ability of particular elected governments to deal with the problems facing them: 'Disillusionment and the lowered expectations it produces are the foundation of democratic stability.

Democracies become consolidated when people learn that democracy is a solution to the problem of tyranny, but not necessarily to anything else'. (263) Decreased political participation arising from resignation, cynicism, withdrawal and declining voting levels 'may have been undesirable in terms of democratic theory, but it did not. in itself, threaten the stability of the new democracies' (265). Equally, the election of anti-incumbent parties and anti-establishment leaders could consolidate democracy through the institutionalization of 'in-system responses' to policy failure (266), Only anti-system responses could threaten the democratic system, but the absence of alternatives to democracy in the 'third wave' meant that for the time being at least these were few. and attracted little support. Huntington asserted in conclusion that poverty was the greatest enemy of democracy. while economic development still offered the best hope of producing conditions favourable for its extension. At the same time, such developments as a prolonged failure to provide welfare, prosperity, equity, justice, domestic order or external secs rity, or a general international economic collapse might threaten

the survival of existing democracies. His final comment, however. was a restatement of the importance of political leadership: Democracy will spread in the world to the extent that those who exercise power in the world and individual countries want it to spread. For a century and a half after Tocqueville observed the emergence of modern democracy in America, successive waves ofdcrnocratization washed up on

the shore of dictatorship. Buoyed by a rising tide of economic progress. each wave advanced further and ebbed less than its predecessor. History, to shift the metaphor, does not move forward in a straight line. but when skilled and determined rulers push, it does move forward. (316) Between 1984 and 1991, then, Huntington revised his assess-

ment. of the prospects for democracy, and offered a step~by-step

The Doctrine for Political Development Today

23 I

programme for élite-led and controlled democratization. Here, as in the past, his work was a distillation of the wisdom of the age. albeit with inimitable cynical touches of his own, rather than an original contribution to the debate. The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century played the same role in the 1990s - that of summarizing the consensus that had been reached among conservative scholars in the area - that had been played by Political Order in Changing Societies in the 19605.


We noted at the beginning of this book that modem theorists of democracy have always had a problem with the relationship between liberal democracy and capitalism. The tension between the two is fully to the fore in the work of Rustow, Linz and contemporary theorists of' the transition to democracy. but it is resolved by the submersion of substantive issues concerning the reproduction of capitalism beneath an apparently purely procedural surface. Thus for Linz. the essence of democracy is fundamentally proce~ dural. It is a political system that legitimizes decisions on the basis of formal, proce~ dural, legal correctness without distinction of content except respect for civil liberties and the equality before the law of all citizens, with no reference to substantive justice and no link to a system of ultimate values. (Linz 1978~ 48)

But at the same time, the real content of the procedures advocated is always to favour capitalist interests, and persuade the propertyless majority and their political representatives to accept

substantive limits compatible with capitalist reproduction. Although Rustow was explicit that the adoption of democratic procedures was secondary to the real commitment to resolve a deep and meaningful conflict, he too opened the door to a separation between procedure and substance. This was so not only because subsequent writers would choose to emphasize the former at the expense of the latter. but also because he made no attempt to explore the likely nature of meaningful conflicts in the contemporary Third World and the prospects for their resolution. On the

contrary, he assumed that conflicts over social and economic issues were in principle capable of negotiation by elites, and

management through democratic institutions. As a result, he too


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

left the relationship between such conflicts in the Third World and their resolution through the adoption of democratic procedures untheorized, As the previous discussion indicates, a new approach to the question of" democracy in the developing world emerged in the mainstream literature in the 1980s. It favoured élite-Ied political democracy of the kind envisaged by the theorists of political development. but differed from the earlier literature in that it declared

itself opposed to the search for a general theory, emphasized its normative commitment to political democracy. directed more attention to the process of democratization than to its preconditions, and sought to specify the procedural steps by which democracy could be achieved. Finally, it distinguished throughout between structural context and contingent choice, with BIarl's 'structured contingency' eventually striking the balance which expressed the link between them. In the early 19905, the entrench~ anent of the new doctrine in the mainstream literature proceeded apace. notably with the founding of the Iournal of Democracy in 199U. Even at this early stage, a process of institutionalization of new orthodoxy was under way, reminiscent of that which had occurred in the early 19605 with the original protagonists of the political development literature. The place of the Ford Foundation

and the New York SSRC from that period was taken by the US National Endowment for Democracy, founded in 1983, and the Hoover Institution (sponsors of the Diamond. Linz and Lipsct project). and the Latin American Programme of Woodrow Wilson liiternational Center for Scholars. launched in 19 '77 (chief sponsor of the O'Donnell, schrnitter and Whitehead initiative). The continuity with previous efforts was further reinforced by Lowenthal's

definition of the goal of the Wilson Center as being to 'bring together the realms of academic and public afilairs'. and his reminder that Woodrow Wilson himself had combined idealism, commitment to democracy, scholarship, political leadership and international vision with 'interventionist attitudes and actions towards Latin America and the Caribbean' (O'Donnell, Schmitter and Whitehead 1986° ix). The Journal of Democracy may be considered the equivalent for the 19905 of the Studies in Political Development series launched in 1963 .

9 I

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

We have now reached the end of our examination of' the past and present liter nature on political development, and we have been left with something of a puzzle. It emerges that the 'doctrine for political development' has triumphed, in the literature and in practical politics, just when the search for a theory of political development with which the literature began has been abandoned. A new orthodoxy has been born, strongly supported by independent foundations and research councils in the United States, and founding texts and supporting journals are busy setting out its principal terms. Its leading exponents have suddenly become militant advocates of the need to have no theory at all. At the same time, they have become touchingly coy about the links between the type of

democracy they favour and the structural needs of capitalism, despite their eagerness to join the chorus which proclaims capital's


universal triumph This final chapter evaluates the past and present of the political development literature in the light of some simple propositions drawn from Marxist theory. I suggest why it was that three successive attempts to theorize political development - the functional, cultural and comparative historical approaches ...- failed to do so, and offer an explanation for two particular features of the contemporary literature ...- its defiant claim to have abandoned its earlier interest in theory, and its equally adamant assertion that its consuming interest in political democracy does not require it to concern itself with capitalism. or even to acknowledge its existence. I argue that these two features are intimately linked. and

that they are jointly the precondition for the liter ature to operate as bourgeois ideology rather than as a source of understanding of the real dynamics of change in the modern world, and the real lirnitations of liberal democracy. Finally, I offer an explanation for the

triumph of the doctrine for political development in the 1990s.


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

I make three arguments: first, that the literature is primarily ideological in character, and that it misunderstands and mystifies the relationship

between liberal democracy and capitalism by

persistently taking as natural or universal characteristics which are the social and historical products or requirements of capitalism; second. that a holistic Marxist analysis explains the successive failures to arrive at a satisfactory theory of political development and identifies the logic of the arguments concerned better than the literature is able to do itself, and third, that the explanation for the simultaneous abandonment of theory and the survival and triumph of a pragmatic 'doctrine for political development' lies in the contrasting political economy of` the 1960s and the 19905 respectively. In making these arguments, I also show that the literature has persistently defied its own methodological principles in order to preach one set of rules for 'the West' and another for 'the rest'. in this respect, I suggest, it has used the dubious claim that the politics of 'non-Western states' are fundamentally different to those of the West as a device to justify differential treatment. Marxism and Bourgeois Theory

In the opening pages of the Grundrisse, in which Marx sets out to sketch the foundations of his critique of political economy, he condemns 'modern economists' for presenting accounts of contemporary social relations in terms of elements and relationships held

to be common to all societies. For Marx. this act of abstracting away from specific historical situations in order to arrive at general models valid for all times and places makes it impossible to under-

stand the internal logic and dynamics of any given society. lt leaves out of account the specific features which shape the society in question, and in doing so it inevitably renders obscure the relations and connections which give it its particular character. Within this broad perspective. Marx himself argued that it was the capitalist

system of production and exchange which gave the present epoch its character and shaped its social and political institutions, and he therefore took this as his central object of study. On one level, the practice of undue abstraction is a failing resulting from an inadequate understanding or an inappropriate method of' analysis. At the same time, however, it has an effect of great social significance: it presents as natural and eternal phenomena which

are social and historical, and thereby helps to conceal the fact that they

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


are the products of human agency. Because the processes which underpin capitalism do not always manifest themselves in surface appearances, this is particularly the case with modern bourgeois production and society. Marx argues. in relation to the tendency to 'forget' the specific features which determine the development of particular societies in particular historical epochs. that 'the whole

profundity of those modern economists who demonstrate the eter~ city and the harmoniousness of the existing social relations lies in this forgetting' (Marx 1973: 85, emphasis mine). Seen in this way. such acts of forgetting are part of the broader phenomenon which Marx terms 'fetishism' - the tendency to perceive the historical products of human ingenuity and sociality as natural, eternal and alien forms. Such acts of forgetting literally 'dis-member' historical societies and social relations. The task of critical social science is to 're-mernber' them. calling these connections to mind, and thereby putting the societies and social phenomena in question together again. Marx also suggested that a conscious motive might at times lie behind the presentation of social and historical phenomena as natural and eternal. Thus, he argued. the aim is . . . to present production . .. as distinct from distribution etc.. as encased in eternal natural laws independent of history, at which opportunity bourgeois relations are then quietly smuggled in as the inviolable natural laws on which society in the abstract is founded. This is the more or less conscious purpose of the whole proceeding. (87)

Whether abstraction resulted from '1`orgetting' or from the surreptitious introduction of bourgeois relations in the guise of

natural laws, the consequence was a dissolution of internal logic which brought 'things which are organically related into an acci-

dental relation, into a merely reflective connection' (88). These brief considerations give only a general impression of Marx's approach, as they leave out of account entirely the particu~ jar processes and mechanisms which he identified as central to the capitalist system of production and exchange. However, they suggest two basic propositions. which might be seen as defining the stance taken by Marxist theory. First, all bourgeois 'social science'

is essentially ideology or mystification, aimed at reinforcing the hold of capital over l a b o r , and furthering or preserving the hegemony of the bourgeoisie. Second, an understanding of social phenomena

can only be achieved by an approach which probes beneath surface


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

appearances to grasp the logic of the whole, and the connections between its various parts. These brief reflections provide a starting point for a critique of political development theory, which can be seen. throughout its long trajectory. as laboriously proving the truth of MarX'S assertions. It began as the exact antithesis of Marx's attempt to locate the dynamics of the modern epoch in a holistic analysis of capitalism as a complex system of organically related parts, as in its first functionalist phase it was a method of ahistorical abstraction committed to law-like generalization. In fact, its leading practition-

ers claimed to be scientific precisely because they looked beyond the complexity of particular historical circumstances to capture the universal constants in whose terms political development could be understood. Although, as we shall see, they actually took the emergence of modern liberal democracy in capitalist societies as their point of departure, they made a point of not seeking to investigate any political characteristics or mechanisms specific to capitalism itself. Over the years, the initial project of a scientific understanding of political development as a universal process gradually faded. After

a brief attempt to account for local specificity through attention to the 'political culture' of particular societies, it gave way to an approach founded upon a form of comparative historical analysis. In essence, this was an attempt to understand the syndrome of developmental change specific to modernity, and as such it marked

a significant break with the historical universalism of the functional approach. When this effort too was declared to have failed, the theory-building impetus behind the approach lost all its

momentum, and gave way to a declared hostility to grand theory. In the meantime, however, the eflbrt within political development theory to identify the policies which would bring about appropriate change, present from the beginning alongside the quest for theory, had taken its own direction. At a point when the functional and cultural approaches were at an early stage of development, and well before any concerted effort was made to systematize the comparative historical approach, Pye and others set out the 'doctrine for political developments which embodied the assumptions of the elitist revisionist theory of democracy, but

sought to define the policies required to bring about a desired form of political development without further bothering with questions

of theory. As the synthetic summaries offered by Huntington in the

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

19605 and again

an the 1990s suggested.


there was a line of direct

continuity between the breach effected between theory and policy

in the formulation of the 'doctrine for political development' and the later separation of concern with the preconditions for democracy from the processes by which it could be brought into being and sustained. Thus the 'doctrine for political development' resurfaced in the 19900 as a pragmatic effort to codify the 'rules' of succe ssful

elite-controlled democratization. Even in this less ambitious guise, political development theory still exhibits precisely the traits identified by Marx, albeit in a different and perhaps more knowing form. Early ambitions regarding scientific analysis and the discovery of universal laws have been

replaced by a more mundane but similarly generalizing and universalizing advocacy of both capitalism and liberal democratic political institutions. In the process, the advocates of capitalism and democracy seem to have progressed from being victims of the illusion that there can be a universal, ahistorical science of political development to being declared apologists for the political institutions of the advanced capitalist societies and their reproduction on a global scale. Despite the apparently diametrical opposition between the func-

tionalisrn of the 19603 and the anti-theoretical evangelism of the I9905, it required only a tactical shift to turn from deriving univer~ Sal Tunctions' from the real historical institutions of advanced capitalist liberal democracies to claiming that those particular institutions were universally appropriate. Today's theorists of political development rarely dwell directly on the relationship between liberal democratic politics and capitalism, but they

scrupulously reflect and seek to enforce capitalism's supposed requirements under the guise of the normative general model they advocate. In so doing, they faithfully emulate those 'modern econ-

omists' of the nineteenth century, and 'modern political scientists' of the 19605, who presented the social relations and institutions of their day as reflecting universally applicable principles. valid for all time. Despite themselves, however, the theorists of political development have been drawn ever closer to an explicit admission that the object of their enquiry is the relationship between capitalism and liberal democracy in the modern world. The doctrine for political development today exactly reflects the logic of the reproduction of

capitalist regimes - current debates, in fact, revolve around the


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

question of whether they have yet got the role played by the State in the reprodu ction of capitalism absolutely right. Yet it is introduced with the emphatic statement that there is no theory underpinning it at all. This curious fact is revealing in itself. The problem at the heart of political development theory was once that its analyses led it to the conclusion that the practices and institutions to which it was committed were unrealizable. That is no longer the case. The problem which gives it its current form is that it cannot openly proclaim the logic which underpins it in the hour of its apparent triumph. It is forced, therefore. to celebrate what it dare not explain. As a result, it is vulnerable to the demonstration that it is the logic of capitalist reproduction in the circumstances of the day that underpins its new devotion to liberal democracy in other words, that despite protestations to the contrary, there is a theory of political devel opment after all. In the light of these considerations, political development theory is interpreted in this final chapter as an evasion, a refusal to openly explain the dynamics of politics in the modern world in the light of the dynamics of capitalist development. suggest. at the same time , that this evasion is increasingly difficult to sustain, and is particu~ Iarly apparent in the tensions and contradictions of the current literature on democratization. Finally, I offer a way of looking at the relationship between capitalism and democracy in the 'developing world' which restores the possibility of grasping its logic at the present time, and I assess its implications. In doing so, I rely upon a number of simple propositions about capitalism. Contrary to the frequent assertions of the theorists of political development (Binder 1986, Almond 1988), Marxist analysis does not suggest that the bourgeoisie will control the state and


rule in capitalist society. On the contrary, its perspective, rightly or wrongly. is that capitalism will be riven by eventually irresistible economic crisis and class conflict, and give way to socialism. However, it does identify the conditions which must be met if capitalism is to be reproduced over time. First, capital accumulation depends upon the right to own and dispose of private property, the ascendancy

of capital over labour, and a process of continual reinvestment in order to maintain individual and national competitiveness. The right of capitalists to invest comes before the right of workers to consume. Second, in political terms this requires the maintenance of bourgeois hegemony - or the 'legitimacy' of capitalism in the eyes of

the majority. In a liberal democracy this has the precise meaning

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


that the 'choice' which is offered to electors must be restricted to options which will enable the continuation of capitalism. Third, it requires a state which is committed to capitalism, but which enjoys a degree of autonomy not only from the propertyless majority of the population but also from capitalists themselves, in order to allow it to act in the long-term interests of capital in general rather than as the agent of a particular sector of capital. Despite the claims of some current accounts (Przeworski et al. 1995), it does not require continual improvements in the material well-being of the majority, or even the persuasive promise of eventual gains in this area. It only requires, to quote a phrase that has become the slogan of an era, that it should appear that 'there is no alternative' . There is no better way to secure this appearance, of course, than to treat the here and now as natural and eternal. With these simple propositions in mind, I turn to the botched history of political development theory.

The Arts of Forgetting The functional, cultural and comparative historical approaches each demonstrated in different ways the art of 'forgetting' the connections between the political institutions of the modern age and the structural imperatives of capitalist reproduction. The functional approach derived its 'functions' directly from modern political structures, but claimed that they reflected universal and ahistorical elements of all political systems. the cultural approach located fundamental structural features of contemporary politics in the orientations of individuals rather than in broader social

processes; and the comparative historical approach identified


number of imperatives central to government in a capitalist society, but failed to spot the logic connecting them. As a result, these approaches touched upon but failed to comprehend the significance of the key elements of the politics of capitalist reproduction: bourgeois hegemony, the 'relative autonomy' of the State, and the need to secure not only the accumulation of capital, but also its legitimation in the eyes of the majority. Almond and Powell's functional approach identified six conversion processes in all political systems: rule-making, application and adjudication, interest articulation and aggregation. and communication. The first three reflected the division between legislature,

executive and judiciary, while the last three corresponded to


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

political parties. pressure groups, and the media. Almond and Powell noted that [Our] approach

grows directly out of separation-of-powers theory and the stream of empirical research critical of that theory: from this base it treats the functions of the political institutions which emerged after the broadening of the suffrage and industrialization . - political parties. pressure groups, and the mass media. (Almond and Powell. lO66L 12, ft. 101.

On their own account, their starting-point combined an institutional analysis which drew largely on the experience of the United States with a focus on social and political aspects of nineteenth

century capitalist development. But they deliberately abstracted away from the specific combined historical process of 'the broadening of the suffrage and industrialization', breaking the varying organic links between them from case to case to recombine them in an abstract framework at a later stage. Significantly, they did not

see themselves as deriving a general model of the political process from these specific historical processes for purely analytical purposes. Rather, they claimed to identify universal functions which had always been present below the surface in all political systems: The tripartite approach

seemed to be an adequate theory for purposes

of political analysis and institution building at a time when the politically

active class was limited and socially homogeneous. However. much has happened since the eighteenth century. The development of universal suffrage. the emergence of mass political parties intended to mobilize the electorate, the rise of organized interest groups intended to express the interests of the component parts of a complex society and influence the

course of political decision, and the development of the media of mass communication. have sensitized us to politicaffunctions which were not fuily appreciated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (11, my emphasis)

This approach involved a sleight of hand

m which

the institu-

tions of modern capitalist society were first invoked, then made to vanish, leaving behind an

historical framework which retained

their imprint, but claimed to capture all that there was to be captured within all political systems. Once this was done, its authors were able to deal with the familiar elements of their own political landscape as if they reflected timeless requirements of the political process, but they were unable to think that capitalism might have generated new political imperatives specific to itself. The consequences were seen clearly in the argument that the state required to be insulated from society - a proposition which

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


has specific meaning, as we saw above, in the context of capitalism.

It was central to the theory of political development from the early est descriptions of the non-Western political process, and it stood at the heart of the functional approach. However, as a result of the process of abstraction central to functionalism it was not only split off from the specific context of capitalist society from which it was derived. but also rendered incoherent by the decision to speak of the 'political system' rather than the state. This was more than a change of vocabulary. Six conversion processes, three proper to the 'state', and three to 'society', were grouped together without distinction, thereby obliterating any distinction between 'state' and 'society'. At the same time, the separation of 'politics' and 'economics' which is fundamental to the capitalist system (so that political choices may not affect the fundamentals of the economic system) was presented as a question of a difference in the roles

played by individuals from one context to another. As a result, the dynamics of capitalist reproduction were obscured. and the principle of the relative autonomy of the state appeared in the abstract form of the need to maintain the boundaries of the political system. In contrast, the political culture approach took variations in the attitudes and behaviour of individuals as its point of departure- As

a result, Pye's study of Burma and Almond and Verba's compare five study of five nations both abstracted away entirely from structural features of the societies in question. Pye, as we saw, made a point of insisting that the sources of underdevelopment must be psychological as no conceivable causes could be found in comparative political economy. He thereby disposed in a sentence of any need to consider what the implications might be of the place

Burma occupied in the global economy, and the domestic consequences. In The Civic Culture, the focus on individuals led to the

identification of an apparently paradoxical need for citizens to refrain from exercising their perceived ability to participate. and to the bizarre but nevertheless logical conclusion that stable and effective democracy required 'inconsistencies in the attitudes of an individual' (Almond and Verba 1963: 479). In fact the data revealed a pattern of differential participation by class which Almond and Verbs barely explored, and entirely failed to mention in their conclusions. Had they cared to look for it, they had clear evidence of systematic variations in 'subjective political competence' across classes. For example, they had Iigures for each nation

comparing responses for four 'classes' of worker (unskilled, skilled,


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

white-collar, and professional and managerial) on the question of whether the 'ordinary man' (sic) should be active in his local community (176, table 4). They did not calculate the differentials across these classes for the sample as a whole. Had they done so, they would have found that 23 per cent of unskilled workers agreed with the proposition. compared to 32 per cent of skilled workers. 39 per cent of white-collar workers, and 45 per cent of managers and professionals. Similarly (in another calculation for which they had the data, but which they did not make). 55 per cent of unskilled workers thought they could do something about an unjust local law. compared to 6 6 per cent of skilled workers, 72 per cent of white~collar workers, and 8 6 per cent of managers and professionals (calculated from data in 210, figure 3). Other data. suggested the strong differential effects on political competence across classes of the process of socialization in family, school and

work. In a number of cases, schooling was reported to repress the political capacity of the poor while nurturing that of the rich, while for the sample overall 78 per cent of white-collar workers reported that they were consulted at work, compared to 5 7 per cent of unskilled workers (my calculation from 364, table 24). It is a commonplace these days, of course, to assert that such differences by social class exist in measures of subjective political competence. My concern here is with the implications of the fact that Almond and Verba showed so little curiosity about the issue. Because they treated underlying cultural dispositions as sources of explanation. they were diverted away from the search for such structural variables, and paid little attention to the evidence which they had themselves unearthed. As a result, they mistook a neces-

sary structural feature of liberal democracy in a capitalist society for a mysterious and highly convenient inconsistency in the psychological make-up of the individual. This had the effect of making what was in fact a contradiction specific to capitalist society appear to be a generic problem of democracy. In other words, instead of deinystifying what they described as the 'myth of democracy', they compounded it. In The Civic Culture. then, Almond and Verba took as their starting-point, without explanation or justification, an elitist model of politics in which it was assumed that political stability required a delicate balance between élite authority and responsiveness to non-élite influence which could only operate if non-elites assented

to a norm of participation but refrained from participating in

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


practice. The 'civic culture' was seen as the necessary counterpart to this balance between élite authority and responsiveness. As Lijphart and others pointed out, the argument was defective as an

attempt to define the necessary character of democracy. However. if applied to the relationship between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in a capitalist society, it precisely captured the logic of bourgeois hegemony. Almond and Verba surreptitiously defined one of the central requirements for stable liberal democracy in a capitalist society, but did so without reference to its capitalist character, despite data which pointed directly to a class interpretation. Their own presentation, skirting around the question of the need for bourgeois ascendancy, was contradictory and illogical, but

there was a sound if unspoken logic behind it all the same. In contrast again, the attempt to explore political development through the analysis of the historical trajectories of particular countries through the 'crises and sequences' model came closer than any other to revealing the complex yet intimate connections

between capitalism and democracy ..... it made the modern world the object of its study, rather than the universe of political systems

past and present. it identified the pressure for equality as the central problem with which contemporary governments had to contend, and in its five 'crises' it identified all the elements necessary for a comprehensive grasp of the dynamics of liberal democratic politics in a capitalist economy - centralization of authority, acceptance of bourgeois minority rule, incorporation of the working class into bourgeois-dominated political processes and institutions, the extension of state authority over new areas of social life and behaviour, and the balance between investment

and generalized consumption. If the relationship between these elements had been explored, it would have occurred to someone that the logic of the 'crises' of development was precisely that of the need to promote the relative autonomy of the State, establish the authority of the dominant classes. and secure the balance between accumulation and legitimation by developing social

mechanisms to absorb, deflect or postpone demands for consumption. It is here that we find by far the most striking evidence of the capacity of the political development literature to 'forget', for despite Coleman's summary of the systemic logic connecting the

elements of the 'development syndrome' (the interaction between differentiation, the imperatives of equality, and the responsive and adaptive capacity of the political system), it was so succes sully


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

broken down into separate elements that Verba was able to claim, apparently in all honesty, that he saw no connection between them. Precisely because he addressed them separately, with no attempt to identify the systemic logic which linked them, the 'organic connections' had been lost, and appeared precisely as if they were 'accidental relations. It is not surprising that a halt was called at this point to the attempt to devise a theory of political development, for its protagonists were on the point of being forced to recognize that the logic which they were exploring was not that of universal political functions or individual orientations, but that of the politics of advanced capitalist societies. This incidentally explains why it was that they failed to make sense of the politics of the 'developing areas' which were the ostensible object of their enquiries, and why theoretical reflection upon them soon gave way to justifications of' authoritarian intervention and calls for the exercise of leadership. It also draws attention to the pattern of evasion which runs through the three approaches considered: political development theory began with a systemic approach - functionalism which however abstracted away entirely from the specific historical circumstances of modern capitalist societies. It then moved to a consideration of social relations in modern democracies, but did so from the perspective of individual orientations. Finally, it adopted an approach which captured the elements of the specific logic of politics in advanced capitalist societies, but it simultaneously abandoned the systemic approach which was the only virtue of functionalism. and therefore .-.

failed to put them together into a picture of the whole. Ironically, Almond had rightly insisted at the outset that it was

essential to 'master the model of the modern' if progress was E0 be made in understanding the dynamics of political change (Almond 1960: 63). However, neither he nor any theorist of political development was ever willing to accept that to do so required mastery of the logic of capitalist society. Much, indeed. has happened since the eighteenth century. Almond and his colleagues have devoted much of their energy to the art of forgetting what it is. The Doctrine for Political Development

If the multiple confusions and contradictions which surrounded attempts to construct a theory of political development suggest

that they should be seen as examples of forgetfulness, the doctrine

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


for political development is better understood as a case in which criteria applicable Lo capitalist society were knowingly smuggled in. For while the various attempts to formulate a theory of political development collapsed as a result of their inability to identify key

structural features of capitalism, the doctrine for political development announced by Pye in the early 19605 and developed thereafter by Coleman, LaPalombara. Lerner and others showed a perfect practical grasp of' their implications. for all that it couched

discussion of them in élite rather than class terms. Pye's form.ula~ son, unlike Almond's, rested upon a clear theory of the state in a capitalist society, defining as it did the requirements placed upon

the state if it was to promote capitalist development. in fact his contention that the state élite should seek to modernize 'the domain of administration and formal government' and 'the process of politics in the society at large' exactly paralleled the description


of states as 'social actors and society-shaping institutional structures' (Skocpol 1985: 6) which Skocpol later sought to counterpose to the allegedly society-centred development theorists of the 19603. This disposes entirely of Skocpol's claim to have herself 'brought the state back in', but reflects the same tendency to

reproduce a standard Marxist reading of the role of the state without being aware of doing so. The Studies in Pofiticaf Development series can be seen as an extended development of the basic idea that the state has the dual role of governing directly and shaping the process of social change through its institutions. In order to understand the discomfort of the protagonists of the doctrine for political development in the 1960s, however, it is

necessary to introduce a distinction between the general structural requirements for capitalist development, and their specific implications in different conjunctures. Simply put, no direct impli-

cations for specific government policies can be drawn from the general structural requirements for relative state autonomy. bourgeois hegemony, accumulation

and legitirnation. The specific

policies required will always depend upon the precise nature of the conjuncture the state of the global capitalist economy and of the particular national capitalist economy, the character of the state, the balance of class relations. and the manner in which these elements are systernically related. For example, the global capitalist economy might be in phase of growth, periodic crisis, or recession; individual national economies might be more or less

competitive; the state might be in the hands of declining capitalist


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

groups whose defence of their special interests threatens more general accumulation, or of adventurers who enjoy extreme autonomy but are solely concerned with personal gain. Equally, the bourgeoisie might be more or less securely hegemonic: the pace of accumulation might have been forced so greatly at the expense of generalized consumption that legitimacy is eroded. and coercion replaces consent; or consumption levels might be so out of line with the productive capacity of the economy that accumulation is

threatened. Whatever the underlying general principles, the necessary direction of policy will depend upon a correct diagnosis of the mix of circumstances from place to place, and from time to time. However, the doctrine for political development assumed that democracy in the developing world required a fixed set of policies regardless of time or place -- a state firmly in élite hands. with a broadly liberal orientation of the economy and minimal responsibility for welfare, and a set of social mechanisms capable of securing popular acquiescence in this state of affairs. As it happens, the recovery of the advanced capitalist states from the depression had called for quite different policies, as had the international conjuncture of the post-war period. As we saw, LaPalombara took it to be axiomatic that governments in advanced capitalist societies should both intervene in the economy, and engage in the extensive provision of welfare. At the same time, he and his collaborators took the view that the hold of pro-Western elites in the developing world was precarious, and that they would be hard-pressed to contain majority demands for accelerated economic development and the provision of welfare within the limits compatible with democracy and capitalist development. As a

result, he was forced into the contradictory position of admitting that the time when public officials could sit on the sidelines and leave the economy to private entrepreneurs was past, yet simultaneously insisting that in the developing world bureaucracies should exercise self-restraint and confine themselves to a purely supporting role. In the same way, in support of Pye's dictum that developing societies wanted too many things which they could not have. he urged tbern to concentrate on rural investment and agricultural production, and leave industrial activity to the developed West. Finally, competitive democracy was declared to be off the agenda. in other words. the doctrine for political development sought to perpetuate the international division of

labour which had characterized the pre-1914 laissez-faire world

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


while endorsing democracy and intervention in advanced capitalist states and condemning it elsewhere. and refuse ing to enter into an analysis of the history and dynamics of the international capitalist economy. It is not surprising in the circumstances that Tilly was sceptical of the motives of the proponents of this model, or that Frank's crusading attack proved so devastating, despite the crudity of the version of dependency theory which he counterposed to it (Frank l967a, 1967b). The doctrine for political development owed its character, and the contradictions into which it fell, to the prevailing conjuncture in the global economy, and the economy.

conjectural interests of the advanced capitalist states. As we have seen, it tended to seek to overcome these contradictions by appeals

to political leadership. The transitional programme set out by Lerner precisely captured the way in which the doctrine for political development aimed to hold oil' democratic participation in the developing world until the hegemony of capitalist interests could be guaranteed through the democratic political process . The tendency to ignore issues of political economy and revert instead to doctrines of élite leadership remained a feature of the theory of political development thereafter. In the 1970s. as we saw in Chapter 6, it was a prominent feature of the treatment of the two 'developing world' cases covered in Crisis, Choice and Change. The individual case studies of India and Mexico each sketched out a 'political economy' analysis which was then submerged by 'explanationS sased upon leadership. This twist in the analysis. taken up with alacrity by Almond and Mundt, rendered the cases inexplicable within the analytical framework of relatively sophisticated institutional political economy within which all the 'first world' cases were examined. an outcome which, as we saw, was curiously taken to confirm the virtue of an emphasis on leadership. As a result, Almond and Mundi, were able to perpetuate the myth that the politics of developing countries were not amenable to the forms of analysis appropriate for the advanced societies of the 'West'. In fact each case was perfectly explicable in terms of coalitions around conflicting interests. ironically, by building exclusively upon elements of analysis which abstracted away from the political economy of the cases in question, Almond and his colleagues missed the obvious contrast between the shift from private enterprise to state intervention in Mexico in Cardenas's developmental project of the 1930s, and the contrasting shift from a state-run to a private enterprise agricultural system in India as


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

developrnentalism came under pressure in the different context of the 1970s. A political economy approach sensitive to class projects and conjectural logic would have identified and understood this contrast, but without it Almond and Mundt were as perplexed in

their tum as Verbs had been by the problematic 'five crises'. Precisely the same tendency . - a disposition to analyse the politics of advanced capitalist societies in terms of political economy and those of the developing world in terms of political leadership was exhibited in a significant contribution to the O'Donnell, Schmitter and Whitehead collection on transitions from authors tartan rule. Writing on the prospects for the transition to democracy in Latin America, Przeworski reversed the argument of his earlier work (Przeworski 1985), which had suggested that it was the ability of capitalism to provide a material basis for the 'consent' of workers to the system through rising living standards which undermined revolutionary socialism and shaped social democracy. He now proclaimed that such 'Keynesian projects' were out of the question in the Latin American context: It seems as if an almost complete docility and patience on the part of orga-

nized workers are needed for a democratic transformation to succeed We cannot avoid the possibility that a transition to democracy can be made only at the cost of leaving economic relations intact, not only the structure of production but even the distribution of income. (Przeworski 1986: 63).

Un Przeworskfs own instrumental logic, this conclusion was impossible. But the need to urge restraint upon citizens and consumers in the Third World proved more powerful than the need

to apply the general argument consistently. He has since, incidentally. come to the view that the future stability of capitalism in the developing world does after all require material improvements in the condition of the majority (Przeworski it al. 1995). While this view may well be wrong, it is at least consistent. It is clear from all these examples that the logic of the doctrine

for political development was invoked precisely when a consistent political economy perspective prompted conclusions which the theorists of political development were either unable to comprehend. or unwilling to contemplate. Recognition that conditions were not yet right for the introduction of the political institutions of schumpeterian liberal democracy in the developing world consistently produced an interim call for 'quasi-pluralist' authoritarian

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


élite leadership. It is necessary to explore further. therefore, the relationship between the doctrine on the one hand, and the changing international political economy on the other.

Capitalism and Democracy in the

Developing World Today A consideration of the relationship between capitalism and democracy in the developing world today requires as a starting-point some reflection on the curious mannerin which the doctrine for political development triumphed in the 19905 despite the final abandonment by the theorists of political development of hope that their goal of theoretical understanding could be achieved. In fact, the demise of the theory and triumph of the doctrine of political development are intimately related, and simply explained. What has happened is that changes in the global political economy (of a kind which the theory of political development never took into account) have simultaneously proved the theory to be inadequate precisely because it never took account of them, and created the conditions for the virtually global dissemination of the doctrine. As we have seen, theories of political development have persistently

broken down precisely when they have been confronted with issues of global political economy which they are unable to comprehend. But the literature has always had a doctrinal core concerned with the problematic character of mass political participation in the developing world, and the consequent need to identify mechanisms by which it could be controlled by elites. This has existed independently from attempts to produce a suitable theoretical framework through which to sanctify it, and it has outlived such attempts at theory-building as have been made. From the beginning, then, political development theory addressed the issue of mass political participation in the developing world from the perspective of the interests of leading capitalist states of the West. It did so, too, in the light of the emphasis emerging within

the behavioral approach upon the need for and the normative acceptability of élite control and relatively limited popular participation. Its consistent message was that popular participation should be strictly limited and the demands of the maj rarity deflected and contained by élite control and institutional constraints if stable democracy was to be achieved. Hence its constant programme: the institutional autonomy of the state, and élite


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

hegemony. In this context. the democratic institutions of the West were not valued so much for their own sake as for the stability they might potentially deliver. In other words. the political development literature can now be seen to have addressed in its own way, from the point of view of the ruling class. two of the structural imperatives for the survival of capitalism: its need for bourgeois hegemony and for a relatively autonomous state. In suitably abstract form these twin imperatives shaped the doctrine for political development. However. in the 19508 and l960s the circle could never be squared, as every line of research that was pursued suggested that there were real obstacles to the achievement of the objective of proWestern political stability through the export of Western political models. The political development theorists were perfectly aware of these obstacles, which were identified over and over again as the main elements of the international political economy of the post~war world: the global confrontation between capitalism and socialism. the expectation throughout the world that the state should play an interventionist role in remedying social deprivation and inequality. and the enormous pressure for a swift response to the social needs of populations throughout the developing world. Despite being aware of them, however, they were capable of doing little more than recognizing them as apparently insoluble problems. Much. however, has happened since the 1960s. The phase of global confrontation between capitalism and socialism to which the Bolshevik Revolution gave rise has ended. At the same time, crises of accumulation in the advanced capitalist economies, global instability and recession, and the intensification of inter-capitalist competition have led to a renunciation of policies of intervention and welfare provision that was unthinkable to many three decades ago. And the same global forces, along with specific local effects such as those set in motion by the boom and bust of international lending from the mid-1970s onwards, have reduced the prospects and expectations for social improvements across a large part of the 'developing' world. The relevance and the apparent realism of the agenda of political development theory today arises, then, from the simple fact that the key structural elements of the post-war international political economy have been transformed. The socialist alternative appears to have been removed from the agenda, the tendency towards 'excessive' state intervention has been reversed;

and the expectations of the majority populations of the world have

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


been effectively lowered, both by internal failure and by interns» tonal pressure. In these circumstances. it is now possible, in what appears a new global situation, to conceive of pro-capitalist and pro-Western democratization of the kind envisaged by the theorists of political development without it appearing immediately as an impossible dream. As a result, from the point of view of Western elites and interests, the doctrine which was the true core of the political development literature is today more consistent., more coherent. and more realizable than it ever was in the days when such efforts were expended to develop an accomp anying theory of political development. in these circumstances of immediate practical opportunity, the apparently comprehensive failure of efforts to theorize political development is genuinely of little moment. However, this apparently f a v o r a b l e set of circumstances has come about as a result of a period of intense crisis in the international capitalist system. What is more, as noted above, this has been as much a crisis of interventionist welfare capitalism. in the advanced capitalist economies of Europe and the United States as it has been a crisis in the developing world. A significant consequence is that the doctrine for political development is no longer preached in the developing world alone. Rather, it has become a global ideology which aims to adapt political participation everywhere to the constraints imposed by a global system of competitive capitalism. As such, its intimate connection to the structural imperatives of capitalist reproduction is clear. It is the product of a coniunctural and to some degree structural and permanent global

shift in the balance between investment and consumption, reflected in the adoption of new strategies of accumulation (broadly, the

policies of neo-liberalisrn) and of legitimation (broadly, again, the switch from legitimation through material improvements to insistence on the negative message that there is no alternative). It must be understood, therefore, in that context. In the light of these considerations, it cannot come as a surprise that the most recent statements of the 'doctrine for political development' reviewed in the previous chapter are explicitly committed to a particular vision of capitalism. to which the version of democracy they espouse is directly related. As we saw, 0'Donnell and Schmitter urge the adoption of narrowly political democracy, excluding social and economic initiatives under the heading of Socialization' and describing it as a 'persistent (if remote) goaT


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

(12). They tie the fortunes and character of political democracy throughout. to its ability to meet the interests of the bourgeoisie. Contradicting their insistence elsewhere that 'structural' determinants are of limited significance in a context of uncertainty, they

consider 'one class condition which does seem unavoidable for the viability of the transition' to be that the whole or important segments of the bourgeoisie regard the authoritarian regime as dispensable, 'either because it has laid the foundations for further capitalist development or because it has demonstrated its incompetence for doing so' (27). In the same spirit. they regard as indispensable features of the process that 'the property rights o ' the bourgeoisie are inviolable', that 'to the extent that the armed forces serve as the prime protector of the rights and privileges covered by the first restriction, their institutional existence. assets and hierarchy cannot be eliminated or even seriously threatened', and that 'the only realistic alternative for the Left seems to be to accept the above restrictions and to hope that somehow in the future more attractive opportunities will open up' (69). In case the newly enfranchised populations of the developing world should be unimpressed by this logic, they further suggest that in the transi-

tion 'parties of the Right-Center and Right must be "helped" to do well, and parties of the Left-Center and Left should not win by an overwhelming majority' (62), while in general parties should be seen as 'not only. or not so much, agents of mobilization as instruments of social and political control" (58). By this point. the

carefully maintained separation of procedural agreement and substantive content in the process of transition has collapsed. In fact the procedural logic flows directly from the substantive goal of

securing of political conditions for capitalist development. In other words, 'uncertainty' operates only within limits which are defined by the presumed requirements for capitalist accumulation, and it is the analysis of those presumed requirements which shapes the injunctions with regard to the transition, and the character of political institutions.

The first step. therefore, towards a critique of the literature on political development and a better understanding of the processes which it seeks to analyse is to accept at the outset that the object of its enquiry is indeed the relationship between capitalisrn and democracy in the modern world. It is precisely because current accounts of the transition are underpinned by a particular understanding of the relationship between capitalism and dernoc~

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


racy, and propose a set of institutions which are intended to support capitalism on a global scale, that their authors are impelled either to deny that their work is informed by any theory at all (as O'Donnell and Schmitter have done), or to insist (as Diamond, Linz and Lipset do) that the very concept of capitalism is 'so vague as to be almost meaningless'. Following the guidelines presciently laid down by Marx when bourgeois social science was in its infancy. they introduce their argument in abstract and general terms. then smuggle in specific features of capitalist society in the precise form of 'inviolable natural laws'. Private property and capitalism are assumed, and their logic informs the whole from start to finish. As a result, the line drawn between structure and choice silently treats the basic requirements of capitalist reproduction as structural parameters, and designates the limited space within them as the realm of choice. Within this framework, the role of leaders is to persuade the majority that the limits thus designated should be observed. and it is the ability to do so which qualifies as 'leadership'. Thus a framework which affects merely to identify the scope for choice in fact serves to limit it in a highly particular way. The literature on democratization is highly ideological, and fundamentally bourgeois in character. In being so, it echoes precisely the character of the revisionist theory of liberal democracy from which it springs. Because this literature is more concerned to deliver an ideological message than to clarify the relationship between capit alis and liberal democracy. or more generally between political economy and types of political regime, it does more to obscure than to illuminate the dynamics of the political processes to which it directs its

attention. In general, as examples from the two collections reviewed in the previous chapter will show, this is because too little attention is paid to the conjectural circumstances of particular transitions, with the result that differences between them are not noted, and their individual dynamics are not understood. This is the case with O'Donnell and Schmitter's treatment of

pacted transitions to democracy, in which a composite procedural model is built from the cases of Colombia and Venezuela in the 19508, Spain in the 19705, and a number of Latin American cases in the 1980s. They first invoke Otto Kirchheimer's suggestion that pacts should be seen as involving adjustments to 'standing contra-

dictions between social content and political form', and note his discussion of 'modern, "post-liberal" pacts based on complex


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

exchanges between public and private groups, mutually guaranteeing their collective right to participate in decision-making and their respective privilege to represent and secure vital interests' (U'Donneli and Schmitter 1986: 3 7). They then suggest that at a later stage in the process there may be 'a change in the nature of the compromises and in the identity of the actors entering into them, as new contradictions between social content and political form emerge' (40). Here parties enter the process. and the pact 'involves a package deal among the leaders of a spectrum of electorally competitive parties to ( l ) limit the agenda. of policy choice. (2) share proportionately in the distribution of benefits, and (3) restrict the participation of outsiders in decision-making' (41).

Finally, at some point a social and economic pact may be negotiated to conclude the process, in order to 'reassure the bourgeoisie that its property rights will not be jeopardized for the foreseeable future, and to satisfy workers and various salaried groups that their demands for compensation and social justice will eventually be met' (47). This composite picture, described

as a single sequence of

'moments' in the pacted transition, obliterates the organic connections between the various elements of the cases from which it is drawn, conceals their dynamics, and gives them a misleading

appearance of commonality. It draws on the 'duopoly' of political positions and patronage agreed in specific circumstances in Colombia and Venezuela in the 19505, and the 'corporatist' pacts of continental Europe in the 1960s. without regard for the circumstances, or the content of the bargains struck. In so doing, it ascribes to socio-economic pact-making in the wake of the withdrawal of authoritarian regimes a content which is arguably appropriate for the cases of Colombia, Venezuela and Spain, which occurred in quite different national and global conjunctures, but is quite false for contemporary Latin America.

O'Donnell and Schmitter abstract away from the conjuncture of transition in two ways. First, they fail to locate the transitions in a 'world-historical' context. In Spain and Portugal authoritarian regimes which were remnants of the upheavals of the post-depression period in Europe were replaced by new democracies which

joined the post-war institutional and economic order symbolized by the European Community. at a time when economic boom and social progress appeared possible as a result. In Latin America, authoritarian regimes which had appeared in response to social

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


upheavals prompted by 19605 developmentalism were replaced by

democratic regimes offering a much narrower agenda, in a very different global context. Second, they comment in passing that

for a transition to proceed the bourgeoisie must believe that the outgoing regime is dispensable 'either because it has laid the foundations for further capitalist development or because it has demonstrated its incompetence for doing so' (27). but they fail to incorporate this crucial contrast systematically into their analysis. In other words, they focus neither on the global conjuncture, nor upon the significance of the regime in terms of the process of capitalist accumulation. Diamond, Linz and Lipset's treatment of the prospects for democracy in Latin America similarly abstracts away from the organic connections between society, economy, and political forms in the region, most notably in the grotesque discrepancy between the account they give of' the Latin American past, and the aspirations they voice for its future. They provide a relentless documentation of the past failure across the region to produce states and executives capable of maintaining order and the rule of law: strong and independent political parties free from dependence on prominent personalities, and capable of cross-cutting and softening class cleavages, public policies capable of securing steady and broadly distributed growth. the economic and political inclusion of majori-

ties. and broad and deep legitimacy, and strong, autonomous popular organizations and associational life. They then vacuously appeal to the 'capacity, courage, judgment and values of domestic actors" and 'effective political leadership and action' (Diamond,

Linz and Lipset 198913: 51) to remedy the situation, while urging patience and a judicious lowering of expectations on their citizens. This approach enables them to air their normative and ideological preferences, but is otherwise analytically feeble, precisely because of its refusal to explore the organic connections between the politi-

cal economy of the region and the political forms they find so defective. Those deficiencies require explanation in terms of the inability of the bourgeoisie in the region to exercise hegemony through democratic means after the collapse of export-led regimes in 1930, and resulting patterns not only of widespread military intervention, but also of adaptation of forms of personalism, populism and clientelisrn as elements of 'second~best' strategies of accumulation and Iegitiination. Such an analysis would of course reveal quite different connections, dynamics and trajectories from


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

case to case, and would need to be complemented by similar analy-

ses of new $1figurations in the period of regional transition to democracy. In their absence, resort to the call for patience and responsible leadership is simply a gesture, and an index of prior ideological conviction. More generally, the account given of the economic, social and political circumstances of Latin America makes it apparent that the preference expressed by Diamond, Linz and Lipset for the introduction of political democracy without immediate social or economic reform is a contradiction in terms, precisely because social dependency and economic inequ ality are shown conclusively to make the enjoyment of the standard rights associated with political democracy impossible. For Diamond. Linz and Lipset as for O'Donnell and Schmitter. then, the failure to address the links between capitalism and transition to democracy leads to a doctrinal conclusion which meets the ideological needs of the moment precisely because it abstracts away from the structural dynamics and conjectural context of the cases in question. in each case, the continued propagation of an ideologically driven doctrine for political devel opment depends upon a refusal either to acknowledge the assumptions on which it is built, or to explore the connections which might lead to an appreciation of the real dynamics of the interaction of political economy, institutions and choice from case to case.

Conclusion It is possible to describe the capitalist system in the 1990s. for the first time in world history, as genuinely global in scale. After a long period in which military and economic competition seemed intertwined, competition for military supremacy has given way to what Stopford and Strange (1991) describe as competition for world

market shares. This outcome reflects the culmination of a process which has been under way since early in the last century, and was of course memorably anticipated by Marx and Engels in The Communist Manifesto nearly 150 years ago (see Box 9.1). As a holistic Marxist perspective suggests, this competition is driven more by the dynamics of the system as a whole than by particular state or non-state actors, however powerful they may appear to be. At a national level. each state in the system seeks to protect, improve or change its place through the adoption of a set of policies

(a 'project`) which reflects its place within and orientation toward

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


Box 9.1 Marx and Engels on global capitalism

The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere. The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of reactionists, it bas drawn from under the feet of industry the

national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed.

They are dislodged by new industries. whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilized nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones, industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and dimes. In place of the old and local national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal interdependence of nations The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production. by the immensely facilitated means of communication. draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilization. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians' intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it

compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst, i.e. to become bourgeois themselves. In one word. it creates a world after its own image. Source: Marx and Engels 1.973: 71. the system as a whole. Such projects will reflect an internal balance of power between various interests. not necessarily sympathetic to the imperatives of global capitalist competition, and may be secured

by quite different political arrangements from case to case. They


Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World

may seek to internalize, advance or resist them, or even pursue strategies based on an altogether different logic, such as territorial expansion through military power. They will do so, however, in the context of the global dominance of the imperatives of competitive capitalism. It is curious, to say the least, that orthodox political science, as reflected in the political development literature of today, should at one and the same time be so sure of the global triumph of capitalism, and so reluctant to analyse its character and its political implications. If comparative political science is to be more than mere ideology.

it must endeavour once again to seek a theoretical understanding of its subject-matter. As suggested above, this demands an examination of the connections between global and national political economy and the form of political regimes around the world, or in concrete terms an examination of the relationship between capitalism and liberal democracy. This is not to say, of' course, that forms of political regimes are reducible to their social and economic underpinnings, or that 'democracy as a system of`government' can simply be equated with 'capitalism as a system of production and exchange'. It is to argue, against Diamond, Linz and Lipset in this

case, that liberal democracy cannot be understood without a concurrent analysis of capitalism. Such an undertaking is not as diliicult as it might appear. One of the most striking conclusions to be derived from the analysis of the literature on political development offered here is that it shares many of the perspectives central to a Marxist analysis of the relationship between capitalism and democracy. As we have seen, theories and doctrines of political development alike attach

primary importance to the relative autonomy of the State and to bourgeois hegemony, and approach issues of public policy with a clear awareness of the significance of accumulation and legitimation for its reproduction over time. In other words, orthodox comparative political science already has to hand, perhaps to its own surprise. the basic elements for an analysis of' the structural imperatives of capitalism and their implications for liberal democracy, Secondly, as the reference to Stopford and Strange reminds us, the newly defined field of international political economy is capable of providing the materials for an understanding of the conjectural character of global capitalist competition and its implications for politics. There is, then, no reason to believe that bourgeois social

Capitalism and Democracy in the Third World


science cannot turn, if it wishes to do so, from peddling ideology to providing explanation. The analysis provided over the preceding chapters should make it clear that there is a great deal to be gained in terms of understanding loom the adoption of an approach to comparative politics rooted in political economy. At the same time. there is a price to pay. It will be necessary to acknowledge the justice of Marx's critique of 'bourgeois social science'. amply borne out in these pages, and the living power of his analysis of the dynamics of the modern world, rooted in the capitalist system of production and exchange. Without such an acknowledgement, the future of comparative political science, at least as represented by the literature on political development. is bleak. Perhaps it is not too much to hope, however, that the 'theorists' of political development today will stop trying to change the world, and try instead to understand it.


I mu




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Name Index

Almond, G.A.

2, 35-59 passim,

65-90 passirrr. 92, 99-105, .109-12, 117, 147, 161. 173. 175, 180. 187. .197-8. 239-42, 244, 247-8 Aristotle,


Barry. B. 110 Binder, L. 57, 136, 147, 151 Blanksten, G. 75, 181-3. 193

Cérdcnas, L. 189-90 Castro, F. 11 Coleman,]. 35, 65, 75-7, 119, 120. l 32-3. 147, 151-3, 160, 170, 180, 193, 243

Cornelius, W. 111, 114, 189-90 Craig, A. 111, 114 Dahl. R. 1, 19-23, 34 , 79, 219, 222 Diamond, L. 218-21, 255-6 Easton, D. 44 Eisenstaedt. S. 130 Engels, F. 7, 256-7

161 Frank, A.G. 247 Frey, F. 129

Flanagan, S.

Gendzier, I.

Grew. K. 172

2-3, 60 l4¢7. 161, 163, 165,

Headrick, T. 198-9 Higgott, R. 39, 58-9 Holt, R. 30 Huntington, S.P. 2, 28. 33. 35-7, 45, 52-4, 58,6{). 138-43, 157. 221, 224-31 Hyman, H. 129

Kaplan, A.


Karl, T. 221-3 Kavanagh,D. 110 Kornhauser,W. 23-6, 53, 58

Kothari, R.


LaFalombara. J. 13, 40, 59, 119, 124-5, 131. 133. 142, 147 . 154-5, .l59-6U, 170, 246 Landé, C. 191 Lasswell, H. 66 Lerner, D. 122, 247 Levine, D. 137. 142 Levy, M. 66 Lewis, A. 132 Leys, C. 54 Lijphart, A. 109-10, l l 1 , 114Linz, J. 2, 209-16. 218-21,

255-6 Lipsct, S. 218-21, 255-6 Lumumba, P. 1 1 McClelland, D.

129, léL2

Madison, I- 20, 34 Marx, K. 7, 234, 253, 256-7, 259


Name Index

Mosel. I. Mundt, R.

129 161, 247-8

Neumann, F. 56 82 Nkrumah, (J'Donne1L G .

Parsons. T.

216-21. 251-5 44, 46

Paternan, C. l l 3 Pool, I. 129 Powell, G.B.

Tilly. C. 147. 161, 163, 165 , l72~3, 180, 247 Turner,J. 30

37. 46, 57. 69-73,

105. 239-41 Przeworski, A. 248 Pye, L. 2, 28, 35, 39-60 passim, 75-7. 84, 92, 93-9, 100r.E .122, 127-8, 147 . 154-7, 163-5. l 70, 180.

192. 24.

Schmitter, P. 216-21, 251-5 Schramm, W. 128 Schumpetenj. 1, 16-19, 25, 49. 56, 188. 219, 222, 224 Scott, R. 1 3 6 Shits, E. 44, 46, 128 Stepan, A. 2, 209


Riggs, F. 28, 131, 142 Roxborough, I. 44 Rusk, D. 132 Rustow, D.A. 2, 28, 51, 56, 70, 75, 136, 146, 148-50, 154, 163,174,193,206

2,38,41,42, -

Verba,S. 56-7,


133,142,146-7.160-1. 180,188,241-2,244

Ward, R.E. 51, 56. 70, 136, 146, 148-50, 153, 163, 174 Weber, M. 44, 66 Weiner, M. '75, 125. 133. 137, 147. 154, 156-7. 170, 193 Whitehead, L. 216, 221 Wood, BM. 1

Yu, F.


I 1111111\111111

Subject Index

doctrine for political development 33 , l44- 5. 2. 37-8, 250- l

Africa 26. 52, 75-6 parties 75 political systems 79 Argentina 2 6 Asia 26, 52 political systems

functiorialism 63. 8 7 global ideology 2. 51 liberal democracy 33-4, 23 l




politic al development theory $3

81, 82



political participation


bourgeois social science

as ideology potential of


81, 180


6 Britain

of Democratic



55, 64. 69. 83,

101, 1141, 156, 161, 176 Bureaucracy and Political I Development 5, 117. l24¢. 130,141 bureaucracy and private enterprise

125 Burma 92, 93-9, 112, 156, 179, 180

'civic culture' I 41 51. 55, 101, 102-3, 241-3 abandonment of the model

105-2 class 241-2 developing states 104-5 elites 103-4 irrelevance of 114 political participation '113-14 Verba's critique .. 2, 5, 6, 12, 49, 92, Ci . 93, 99-105, 112-16, 134-5. .1


crises and sequences approach, 153

'civic' and 'corrupt' politics


arithmetic 129 bourgeois ascendancy

167, 238-9


capitalism 32, 153-4, 170-1, 173-4, 213, 233-59

state power

Third World 34 Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy 4, 16 Ceylon 75 Chile 79 China 129, 150, 156. l 79 citizenship and behaviouralism 44 M

43-4, 48-9

behaviouralism 164 Bellagio

reasons for failure $3-4

176, 180, 181. 187, 192. l94¢-5, 241


Subject Index

critique of 109-12 democracy 193-4 5, 6, 93,

Civic Culture Revisited

106, 109-12, 181. 187 classes Latin America 182-3 sequence of introduction into politics 159 Committee on Comparative Politics Si, 36. 41, 117, 163 communication 41-2, 71 Comrnuriications and Political

5, 12, 41, 1 17.

Development 123, 127

comparative history 146, 239 55-8 crises of development political development theory



Comparative Politics:

Developmental Approach 5. 57,64.65,69-73,74,78, 79,85.89,115,147.175 18 l. 1 92 corruption f a v o r e d by Huntington 5 4 favoured by LaPalombara 131

favored by Riggs

13 l

'crises and sequences' approach 146-8, 1 50. 15 1-61, 170-4.


146-7, 149, 154-61 Crises of PofiticaI Development in Europe and the United States 6, 12-13, 147, 163

crisis l 60 of distribution of identity 156 of legitimacy l 56-8 of participation l58-9 159-60 of penetration Crisis, Breakdown and

Reequiiibration 209 Crisis. Choice and Change ii , .147, ' m , 176, 197-8. 247 cultural penetration 69

democracy breakdown of 2 l0-11 Dahl's seven propositions 21-2 defined by Almond and Verbs 1 of; defined by Dahl 20-1


defined by Schumpeter

'democratic self-control' 18-19 developing world 122-3

normative commitment 2la political development theory


baffling to Verbs 161 capitalism 170-2, 243-4

re-equilibration of 214- l 5 revisionist theories of l5-27

core idea 56 deficiencies of"

social consensus 160-1 166-7

dismissed by Grew

dismissed by Tilly 170 doctrine élite theory

165-6, 167

l '70-1

170-4 reviewed Crises and Sequences in Political Development 6, 29, 30, 57,

l is, 120. 147. 151-61. 165. 170, 204 'crises of development' 55 8,



subsystem autonomy


Democracy in Developing Societies

7 democratization liberal versus populist


Rustow's 'genetic' approach 2.06-9 developing states




functional approach

89-9 O


Subject Index

'development syndrome' (Coleman) 120-2, 146,

psychological warfare 128 regime breakdown 2 .14 Thailand 129


discussed by Grew l66-7 differentiation 1 51-2 56, 57. 73, 83, 84, distribution 149, 152, 154, 155, 160 doctrine for political development 1-2, 31, 61, 116, 117-45

passim, 169, 173, 176,

transitions to democracy elites

.I 3_1 'civic culture' I03-4 doctrine for political


127-8, l95-7


202-4. 233-4, 236-7,



Turkish revolution

management of mass

244-5 l central contradiction 127 221-4 contemporary version core idea 123 'crises and sequences' approach 153 divorced from theory 177-8 245-7 . Marxist theory 32 point of emergence popularized by Huntington l33-43

participation 109, 11 s, 120-22, 127~?>O, 153, 203 mass and pluralist society 23-5


political culture

pre-mobilized political systems

82 transitions to democracy

206-16, 225--8 élite theory


and political development theory

reproduction of capitalism 237-8 sought by Pye 42, 119, 194 summarized 144-5. 202-4

transitional programme

44. 60, 144, 205, 232 Civic Culture l 1 5 Crises and Sequences in Political Development


Political Culture and Political Development



education, dangers of


IO7. 176

Education and Political Development


7q. 1 07, 13 7, 142,

5, 117, 120, 124, 132-

l51, 180. 19 l Egypt

126, 195


107, 136, 176, 195-6


élite authority 14, 122, l30-1 136, 137. 154-S, 15 7-8 Egypt 196 Mexico 195-6 156 élite cultures élite-mass relations

112, 127-8,

140,249-50 'civic culture' 115 doctrine for political development




political stability

114, 120





Ford Foundation l l 7, 232


forgetting 235. 239-44 in political development theory 244 Formation of Nationa1 States in Western Europe 6, 12, 147, 163,173 France

26. 55. 69. 83, 161, 176

functionalism 239-4 l

63-90, 1 15,


Subject Index

core idea 64 deficiencies 85-7. 89-90

elites 136 Iournal of Democracy

developmental framework


70-2 false universalism of 8 7 political development theory 79-S4 predictive political science systemic theory n o

Latin America 6, 52, 75, 177, 180-6. 211 non-Western political process 86

tradition functional regulation





26. 55, 83, 101, 100,

181-2 79, l S3-5 party systems leadership 17, 32, 148, 150. 154, 156-7. 162. 171. 178, 180, 189-90, 212. 2417. 253

crisis of


253 need for 158. 200~1 political development theory 192-201

meaning of


Nazi 81 Ghana 82 Great Britain see Britain Grundrisse 7. 234-6

plfeafnobilizcd monica systems

84 Hoover Institution

transition to democracy 2211, 22.7, 2311


56, 57, 149, 152, 154-6 identity élite authority 154

forms of élite culture imperialism


1 S6


57. 152, 154, 156-8, legitimacy 212-13

169-70, 173-4

65. 75, 107. 137. 161,

.176, 179. 195, 197-9. 247 Indonesia 179 68, 72 'inpLlt' functions 14, 48 institutional autonomy functionalist theory

institutional development 157 interest aggregation articulation




Malaysia 156 Managing Political Change


68. 71 68, 71.

68, 69 integration 56, 5'7, 149, 160


Israel 79 Italy 2.6, 55, 69, 101, 107, 114, l 76, 194

7, 256-7 33, 34, 86, 234-9 68, 69. 127-30 mass society

mass media

and plural st society Mexico v o l , 107, 109, l l 1-12,

I 114. 136, 161.

178. 180, 186-90. 194, 195-6, 197-8, 247

Middle East


148. 151. l 71. 45-54¢, 72, 148 modernization 'development syndrome' 152


'modernization revisionism' Iapan




Manifesto of the Communist Party Marxism





58-9, 139

modernization theory



Subject Index Almond's critique 48 political development theory 35-6. 45-54 'non-Western political process' 179 Pyc's critique D 0

system of control 107, 153 types 100-1 variety l()7 Political Culture and Political Development 2, 5, 6, 42, 50, 56, 93, 105-9, 115, 118, 133-7,143,146,176,1s8,

nation building

56, 57. 73, 83,

34, 161 National Endowment for




political development

Nigeria 82 'non-Western political process' 31, 53, 77, 84, 89, 175.

l 76-7 defined 47-8

according to Coleman


according to Huntington

according to Pye 121

opposition, disloyal and semi-Ioyal 2l 3

68 , 72

Pakistan 75, 156 participation 56, 57, 73. 83, 8-&, 149, 152, 154 defined by Weiner 155, l58-9 penetration 56, 57. 1.49. 1.52. ]. 54, 1 55. l 59-6o

developing world


discussed by Tilly

166, 168

functional approach


problem 37-9. 54. 56-',7, 59-60. 137 role of state in 120



political development theory 32-3, 79-84, 168-9, 173. 233, 236 abandonment

2 17-18

Philippines 178. 190-1.

breakdown in functional

pluralism 21-4 'political capacity' (Coleman)

approach 83, 84-5 capitalism 237, 258

121-2. political culture 49, 51. 56, 71. 91-116pa5sim, 153, 239, 241-2 defined by Almond and Verbs ion defined by Pye 93-4 developing world l Ol-2 élite theory 93 manipulated by elites







attempts to define 28-30, 52 competitive democracy lél, 36, 59-60, 192-200 concept 60

discussed 178-80 Latin America 181-6

'output' functions overload 135

192, l95-7 'political democracy' 220-1


Cold War

10-12, 41

comparative history



core elements defined

let, 30,

36-9, 44, 58-62, 143 emergence 35 evasion 238 forgetfulness


fruitless quest



l 5. 30-1, 33, 64,

87-8, 169, 173 liberal democracy



Subject Index

modernization theory


praetorianism 52-3 Preface to Democratic Theory 4, 16, I 9 'pre-mobilized' states 81-3 production 156

4 5 4 , 59-60

political project public policy

13. 60-1 39-43, l 19,

137-8. 173. 224 revisionist theories of democracy 15-27, 51, 233-59

trajectory of 202-5 vulgar Marxism 249-50, 258-9

Political Modernization in Iapan and Turkey 5, 6, 51, 56, 58, 70, 11 7, 118, 146. 148-50, 222

rational choice theory 162 revisionist theory of democracy 15-27, 44, 47-8, 49, 54, 58, 64, 139, 153, 176. 236, 253 functionalisrn 87-8 rule adjudication 68, 71 rule application 68, 71 rule-making 68, 71

Political Order in Changing Societies

5, 7, 52, 57, 58, 227, 231 political parties 68, 69, 125-7, 133 Latin America 183-6 Political Parties and Political Development 5, 6, 117, 124, 133, 141, 183-5. 192 political recruitment 68, 71 political socialization 68. 72,

123-4. 141 political system


single parties advocated 126-7, 141 authoritarian and pluralist

social control 48 South Africa l 5 6 South Asia 75

South-East Asia

75, 76 Soviet model, attraction of I30 Soviet Union 52.. 79, 81. 107,

capabilities 70, 72 common functions 68-9 common properties 67

Spain 81, 211, 254 Sri Lanka 75

conversion processes

state building



70. 8 7

66, 71

developmental processes ideal form 69 mobilized Si pre-mobilized 81-2



5, 92, 93-9, 107.

1 9 2 , 194: Politics of Mass Society ieililli, 23 Politics of the Developing Areas 4,

state-led development 130 Latin America 183 political participation, I3-14 threat to democracy 124-5 structural differentiation 15 l Sweden l Of

Uncertain Democracies Thailand

populism, condemned by Dahl





Tentative Conclusions About

6,29.56,64.65-9,70,74, 77-9, 82, 85, 175. 180, 1 9 2 polyarchy, 20-1


56. 57. 73, 8 3 ,

84, 161

Politics, Personality and Nation Building


Social Science Research Council (New York) 31. 35, I I 7

Third Wave


7, 221, 226, 231


'civic culture'




Subject Index modernity 45, 48-52, 69. 148 present in all political systems, 67-8

traditional and modern systems 81 contrasted $8, 136-7

55. 64, 69, 101, 114, 142.



228-9 220 uncertainty 219 Transitiormsjrom Authoritarian Rule


transition to democracy guidelines leadership

6, 2 i 6


. 129-30, 136. 149,

156, 176

United Kingdom see Britain United States 20, 21, 23, 26, 52 ,

traditionalism political stability


Tunisia Turkey


Woodrow Wilson International