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According to Joel S

According to Joel S

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Published by: Gwendolyn Perin Medequiso on Mar 09, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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According to Joel S. Migdal the capabilities of the states is to achieve the kinds of changes in society thattheir leaders have sought through state planning, policies, and actions. Capabilities include thecapacities to penetrate society, policies, regulate social relationships, extract resources, and appropriateor use resources in determined ways. Strong states are those with high capabilities to complete thistask, while weak sates are on low end of a spectrum of capabilities.Have states in the third world like Indonesia lived up to their billings in the generation sincedecolonization? Have they become strong states? Certainly, in terms of penetration. Indonesia havedemonstrated impressive capabilities .changing every nature of institutional life even in distant villagesand towns. However, the answer to the question for most is negative states when one looks at someother aspects of states capabilities, especially the abilities to regulate social relations and use resourcesin determined ways. The bright hopes of those heady years surrounding decolonization have fadedconsiderably.In all fairness, the standards set were unrealistic. As the depth of the problems to be solved becameapparent, it became more and more difficult to sustain an image of these states societies preforming, asAlbert Hirschman once put it, like wind-up toys lumbering single mindedly through various stages of development. Even by more modest standards, however, a good many states faltered badly in buildingthe capabilities to change their societies in particular ways. The central question is why so many stateshave sputtered in amassing such capabilities dramatically. Beyond that question, that the failure of thestates to have people in even the very coherence and character of the states themselves.What kinds of capabilities have third world states like Indonesia to achieve social change and what kindof limitation have they manifested?Scholars have described how states, for better or worse. Become constant and formidable presence inthe most remote villages, especially in regions such as Lain America and East Asia. They have stressedhow states reshaped societies by promoting some groups and classes while repressing others andsimultaneously maintaining autonomy from any single group of class. Theories of corporatism andbureaucratic authoritarianism have emphasized the activism and strength of the state in regulating,even shaping, the eruptive conflicts that develop from industrialization and the mobilization of newso
cial groups. The state according to James M. Malloy “is characterized by strong and relatively
autonomous governmental structures that seek to impose on the society a system of interestrepresentation based on enforced limited pluralism.A second perspectives, in contrast, has portrayed the state as almost totally impotent in the swirl of dizzying social change that have over taken these society , changes largely independent of any impetusfrom the state itself. Some scholars have viewed the dynamics of th
ese changes within the country’s
borders. While other have seen these uncontrollable forces coming from large power and the world
economy. In both instances, the state’s image is weak.
 Violence between and within religious groups has risen in recent years. The sharp decline in religioustolerance raises concerns about the future of pluralism and the status of religious minorities in thenascent democracy.
Brief Excerpt: INDONESIA: Religious violence INDONESIA: Weak state fails to curb religious violenceGrowing inter- and intra-religious violence. Violence between and within religious groups has risen inrecent years. The sharp decline in religious...Strong States are in full control of their territories and provide high quality political goods to theircitizens. The perform well in GDP per capita (and the growth of this), the UNDP's Human DevelopmentIndex, Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index, and Freedom's House Freedom of theWorld Report.Nation-state success can be measured by its ability to deliver political goods. Here is his hierarchy of political goods:Security. The is the state's primary function. It provides a framework through which all other politicalgoods can be delivered.Law. A system of codes and procedures which regulate the interactions of the population and sets thestandards for conduct.Medical and Health care.Schools and Educational Instruction.Critical infrastructure.A money and banking system.A business environment.A forum for civil society.A method of regulating environmental commons.Weak States contain ethnic, religious, linguistic, or other tensions that limit or decrease its ability todeliver political goods. These conflicts are on the edge of exploding into open conflict. GDP per capitahas fallen or falling. Interestingly, the privatization of education and health care is a sign of stateweakness. Corruption is common. The rule of law is weakly applied. Despots rule. Examples: Iraq (underSaddam), Belarus, N. Korea, and Libya.The last seven years have witnessed a cathartic development in Indonesia in Particular and the whole of the Southeast Asian region in general. This description of the Indonesian state of affairs after five yearsof multiple crises
the end of which is still not in sight
shows that political development is complex.

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