Political Science: The State of the Discipline II

By Ada W. Finifter | Go to book overview

anticipated success of the European Community's deregulatory 1992 project, privatization schemes carried out by governments in Western Europe and North America, the collapse of socialism in East Europe, and the continuing influence of international financial institutions in the Third World. By these measures, capitalism, particularly advanced fractions of international capital, are not in decline.

Two final comments relate to the treatment of culture and governance in the Gramscian approaches. The liberal conception of international governance is driven by the provision of international public goods. International politics has to do with those institutions, rules, and collective action procedures associated with the provision of these goods. Realists see a decentralized, state-centric world but recognize the embryo of international governance in international organizations. Inis Claude ( 1962) arrays international organizations along a continuum from least to most centralized. Politics in the international system is represented as the reconstitution of capacities at another, more global, level.

The focus of Cox and Gill is different. Cox sees key elements of the internationalization of the state in the ascending importance of key national ministries (trade, finance) and in their increasing utilization as points of contact among "national" ministers. In addition, there is an emerging world or transnational class culture, with bankers, capitalists, civil servants and perhaps academics as part of it. Brussels, Paris, London, Geneva and New York and Tokyo may be the centers of this emerging culture, less in the sense of what is headquartered here and more in terms of serving as nodes of contact for key elites, providing the international watering holes reminiscent of Bohemian Grove ( Domhoff 1974). Gramscian conceptions of international governance, then, are based neither on collections of states in international organizations nor on "...hierarchical power structures with lines of force running exclusively from the top down..." ( Cox 1986, 230).

Finally, while the Gramscian approach is clearly distinct, it does resonate with the works of others. Susan Strange's work on the U.S. empire ( 1988, 1989) emphasizes strongly U.S. structural resources in capital, technology, and knowledge and is also sensitive to the moral dimension of U.S. foreign policy. William Appleman Williams speaks of "Empire as a Way of Life" ( 1991), arguing that the privileged position of the U.S. in the world has deep roots in American culture and national experience. Finally, John Ruggie has consistently advocated the importance of ideas and social purpose along with power and interest as conventionally defined ( Ruggie 1982, 1992). Using counterfactual thinking, he argues that the systemic ordering principle of the postwar order, liberal multilateralism, is not the one that would have been instituted had Germany or Japan won the war. There was nothing inevitable about a liberal multilateral world order. It was the product of a distinctive set of social and political forces in the United States.


The preceding review of the global political economy literature is far from comprehensive. Entire fields of work have been omitted, among them world systems theory, dependency theory, long cycle theory, regulation theory, and theories based on foreign economic policy making. I have not omitted these theories because they lack importance. My justification is simply that I place greater value on developing the arguments of a few theories than saying something about all of them.

Taking the neoclassical, realist, liberal, and Marxian approaches as points of departure, a number of gaps and blind spots emerge. These gaps, I argue, characterize scholarly work in mainstream international relations journals in the United States. Most striking are the paucity of articles and books on north-south relations, poverty, and development (or underdevelopment). A research program concerning south-south relations scarcely exists, north-south relations figure a bit more prominently, and north-north relations dominate the agenda, more or less in conformity with Johan Galtung's feudal interaction structure ( Galtung 1971). I recognize that research agendas are motivated in part by theoretical concerns, in part by questions that reflect important values. Development and poverty certainly fall into the latter category and often into the first. We should ask ourselves why there is not more work on the global political economy of development. 14

A second gap, Marxian theories notwithstanding, is the analysis of classes, class conflict, and the consequences of changes in the global political economy for different classes. There is surprisingly little research as opposed to essays and broad speculative work, even within Marxian political economy. Some of the best work examining the connections between the global political economy and domestic classes is done by scholars who cannot be neatly categorized within one of the dominant approaches (see Bergquist 1984; Pahl 1984; and Piore and Sabel 1984). Rupert ( 1990a) research on the "production of hegemony" involves an understanding of state-society relations that builds on classes.

A third gap involves underemphasis on the political aspects of international economic involvement in two senses: first, the construction of favorable international economic structures, a project limited to major powers; second, the effects of international economic position on conflict and war. This gap may seem odd in light of the large literature on


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Political Science: The State of the Discipline II
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Table of Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Theory and Method 1
  • 1: Texts and Canons: The Status of the "Great Books" in Political Theory 3
  • Conclusion 21
  • Notes 22
  • Bibliography 23
  • 2: Political Theory in the 1980s: Perplexity Amidst Diversity 27
  • Notes 43
  • Bibliography 43
  • Additional Bibliography 46
  • 3: Feminist Challenges to Political Science 55
  • Notes 72
  • Bibliography 73
  • 4: Formal Rational Choice Theory: A Cumulative Science of Politics 77
  • Concluding Comments 97
  • Notes 98
  • Bibliography 101
  • 5: The Comparative Method 105
  • Conclusion 116
  • Notes 117
  • Bibliography 117
  • 6: The State of Quantitative Political Methodology 121
  • Conclusion 148
  • Notes 148
  • Bibliography 150
  • Political Processes and Individual Political Behavior 161
  • 7: Comparative Political Parties: Research and Theory 163
  • Conclusion 183
  • Notes 184
  • Bibliography 185
  • 8: The Not So Simple Act of Voting 193
  • Notes 213
  • Bibliography 214
  • 9: The New Look in Public Opinion Research 219
  • Notes 240
  • Bibliography 240
  • 10: Expanding Disciplinary Boundaries 247
  • Conclusion 269
  • Notes 271
  • Bibliography 271
  • 11: Citizens, Contexts, and Politics 281
  • Conclusion: Putting the Puzzle Back Together 299
  • Bibliography 300
  • 12: Political Communication 305
  • Conclusions 323
  • Bibliography 324
  • Political Institutions of the State 333
  • 13: Legislatures: Individual Purpose and Institutional Performance 335
  • Conclusions: Behavior, Institutions, and Theory 354
  • Notes 357
  • Bibliography 357
  • 14: Public Law and Judicial Politics 365
  • 15: Political Executives and Their Officials 383
  • Conclusion 402
  • Bibliography 403
  • 16: Public Administration: The State of the Field 407
  • Notes 423
  • Bibliography 424
  • Nations and Their Relationships 429
  • 17: Comparative Politics 431
  • Conclusion 443
  • Notes 444
  • Bibliography 446
  • 18: Global Political Economy 451
  • Conclusion 474
  • Notes 476
  • Bibliography 477
  • Conclusions 483
  • Conclusions 503
  • Notes 504
  • Bibliography 505
  • Appendix 511
  • Contributors 513
  • Index of Cited Authors 517


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