The Imported State: The Westernization of the Political Order

The Imported State: The Westernization of the Political Order

by Bertrand Badie, Badie Bertrand
     
 

This book traces the rise of the modern state—a mode of organizing political power within a closed territory—in post-Enlightenment Europe and its spread to the remainder of the world, especially colonial and postcolonial societies. The result of a long process of evolution dating back to the Roman Empire, this new form of state was characterized by the

Overview

This book traces the rise of the modern state—a mode of organizing political power within a closed territory—in post-Enlightenment Europe and its spread to the remainder of the world, especially colonial and postcolonial societies. The result of a long process of evolution dating back to the Roman Empire, this new form of state was characterized by the coincidence of public power and public space and the legalization of political and social relations. Intimately linked to the transformation of Western European cultures at a time when their economic might allowed them to conquer many regions of the world, the modern state provided a model that was adopted in most countries.

The book analyzes the different conditions in which the modern state was grafted onto different cultural realities: a metropolitan model adopted by settlers or imposed as an instrument of colonial domination, or a representation of modernity selected by non-Western leaders out of fascination for its alleged efficiency and rationality. The author shows that, from the beginning, various logics of importation led non-Western cultures to invent their own practices of the state, thereby transforming the original model. In many countries, notably in postcolonial societies, discrepancies appeared between political actions and political representations and principles on which the state was supposed to rest. This has often led to political crises and breakdowns of legality and legitimacy, and to the formation of new types of social relations in spaces the state cannot control. At the international level, a similar phenomenon can be seen: international networks, based on trade links, religion, and culture, are now able to bypass official interstate relations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an important book by any standard. No matter how commonplace it is to observe that the state was born in Western Europe and subsequently exported to the rest of the world, until now there has been no single book that traces out the implications of this for those peripheral, extra-European societies that were compelled to import this bizarre form of political order. It is impossible to do justice to the variety and scope of arguments that Badie develops in this extraordinarily erudite and interdisciplinary work."
—Philippe C. Schmitter,Stanford University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804737678
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2000
Series:
Mestizo Spaces / Espaces Metisses Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
453,050
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

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