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WALLERSTEIN AND HIS CRITICS
The reception of novel ideas in social and political theory has usually been marked by two phases: at first there is an initial burst of enthusiasm in which the idea in question is seen as providing answers to long-standing anomalies and opening up the way for new interesting paths of research; this acclaim, however, is then normally followed by a period of disillusionment in which the idea in question comes to be seen as a theoretical dead-end with the research being undertaken within its framework viewed as counterproductive.' Immanuel Wallerstein's ambitious undertaking, The Modern World System, seems clearly to be in the second phase. Aristide Zolberg, for example, has argued that Wallerstein's work, "variously exhibits a functionalist tendency, viewing particular political processes as ephiphenomenal to economic causation."2
Such a view is unwarranted and premature; the second-phase disillusionment with Wallerstein's work is not entirely well founded. In Volume II of the The Modern World System, Wallerstein meets the criticisms advanced by Brenner and Skocpol of Volume I's treatment of state formation and structures and in so doing he has constructed an account of the relationship between state structures, the economic and political interaction between the economic classes residing in their jurisdiction, and the role that their ownerproducers play in the Capitalist World Economy's division of labor that is richer and more subtle than that contained in Volume I of The Modern World System and offers a more satisfactory approach to the problem of "relative state autonomy" than that contained in either the "statist" perspective associated with the work of Steven Krasner in international politics or the structural Marxist theory of the capitalist state put forward by Nicos Poulantzas.
Wallerstein's responses in the second installment of The Modern World System to Skocpol's and Brenner's critiques of the first are important
Depanmem of Political Science. University of Minnesota.
because their criticisms are more compelling than the arguments customarily advanced by Wallerstein's realist critics in international politics. In the case of the latter, Wallerstein is typically attacked for offering an economistic argument that neglects the importance and autonomy of the interstate system and succumbs to what Richard K. Ashley has called "variable economism," or the one-way determination of political outcomes by variation in economic variables.' All of these arguments, however, rest on a mistaken and oversimplified characterization of Wallerstein's Modern World System: properly understood, this term refers to an institutional structure that shapes the interplay between the political variables associated with the interstate system and the economic variables associated with the world-wide capitalist exchange network.' The multiplicity of sovereign states and the world-wide system of commodity production based on an international division of labor that make up this institutional structure form a complex and historically emergent totality whose parts cannot be understood in isolation from one another. As Christopher Chase-Dunn and Joan Sokolovsky cogently argue, Wallerstein's theory does not revolve around the "primacy of either 'economic' or 'political' variables" but attempts "to understand the underlying dynamic tendencies of the Modern World System by examining its specific institutional structure" and the ways in which "several specifically capitalist features of the [capitalist world] economy act to reproduce the interstate system.">
While the typical realist critiques of Wallerstein's work are based upon a fundamental misreading of Modern World System theory, the review essays of Skocpol and Brenner point to a number of serious problems in Volume I's treatment of state formation and structures. To be sure, the Weberianinclined and state-centered thrust of Skocpol's critique differs from Brenner's Marxian-inspired criticisms of Wallerstein's neglect of productive relationships. However, both argue that the major flaws of Volume I's treatment of state formation and structures stem from Wallerstein's "second reduction," the insistence that the Capitalist World Economy's productive hierarchy facilitates "the operation of 'unequal exchange' which is enforced by strong states on weak ones, by core states on peripheral ones," which leads to the argument that "strong" states invariably took form in the core zone of the world economy.s As Skocpol and Brenner note, this thinking neither explains why the two countries with the strongest economies during the period, England and Holland, failed to develop strong absolutist monarchies, while France and Spain, which were economically weaker, did, nor the development of strong absolutist monarchies like Sweden and Prussia in the periphery and semiperiphery.?
For Skocpol, these problems point to the importance of international balance of power rivalries in creating opportunities for outward expansion by individual states and internal class structures, specifically alliances involving feudal classes in the process of state formation.s In arguing for the importance of the second set of variables, her critique dovetails with Brenner's criticisms of Wallerstein's neglect of institutionalized structures of class conflict in accounting for diverging paths of state formation and economic development in Western and Eastern Europe. Both note that Wallerstein'S explanation of the "second enserfrnent" of the peasantry in Eastern Europe does not square with the timing of events because the process was well underway prior to the "long sixteenth Century" and argue that the outcomes of the political and economic struggles during the period were largely shaped by "historically specific patterns of development of the contending agrarian classes" and "their relative levels of internal solidarity, their self-consciousness and their general political resources."? In Skocpol's critique, variations in the pattern of class relationships are important in explaining state formation because "they created different possibilities for extracting resources and encouraged the state to use them in different ways."IO And in Brenner's critique, "Wallerstein'S understanding of state structures as economically determined via a world division of labour" and the "resulting quantitative conceptualization of states, in terms of their 'strength' or 'weakness' ... precludes any sensible analysis in terms of the structure of class." I I
According to Skocpol and Brenner then, Volume I's failure to adequately explain the development of state structures stems from an overly simplistic association made between a state's strength and its position in the Capitalist World Economy's productive hierarchy and from the neglect of institutionalized structures of class relationships, which make it impossible for Wallerstein to account for the presence of both "weak" and "strong" states in the core and periphery. This article will thus start by describing how Wallerstein meets these criticisms in Volume II of The Modern World System. It will then outline the ways in which Volume II's arguments on the relationship among the state structures, the economic and political interaction among the economic classes residing within them, and the role that their owner-producers play in the Capitalist World Economy's division of labor critically implicate the arguments concerning "relative state autonomy" advanced by Krasner and Poulantzas. And it concludes by discussing the problems that future installments of The Modern World System will be forced to come to grips with.
The Modern World System, Volume II
In Volume II of The Modern World System, Wallerstein maps out the "consequences in terms of class formation, political struggle and cultural perceptions of economic fortune" of the so-called "crisis of the 17th century" that followed the "transformation" of Europe's "redistributive or tributary mode of production" during the "long 16th Century."12 Within the Capitalist World Economy's core, Volume II focuses on the outcome of the threecornered rivalry for political and economic dominance between the absolute monarchy of France and the "primitive capitalist'"! states of Holland and Britain that followed the cyclical downturn in the world economy during the second half of the seventeenth and most of eighteenth centuries. Outside of the core, Wallerstein concentrates on the movement of individual states into and out of the semiperiphery.
In explaining these changes, Wallerstein stresses, as in the first installment of his project, the importance of the Capitalist W orId Economy's exchange network. Hegemony in the Capitalist World Economy is accordingly defined as "a situation wherein the products of a given core state are produced so efficiently that they are therefore given the advantage in maximally free market."14 Similarly, the three-cornered struggle for supremacy in the core between the hegemon, Holland, and Britain and France that was underway following 1651 is linked to "the collapse of the grain trade, stagnation of the world economy" that led to "an acute commercial rivalry among the core powers."IS This development is coupled with the differences between the internal market structures of Britain and France and the manner in which they shaped the outward orientations of owner-producers in both countries to explain the different paths of outward expansion taken by each state during this period. In Britain, a limited internal market dictated a course of outward commercial expansion in the form of state-subsidized exports; in France, a larger internal market meant that the agricultural surplus produced in the Northeast could be exported to other areas of France making it less imperative to capture foreign markets. This worked to Britain's long-term benefit because its greater control over overseas markets made it "better prepared" for "taking advantage of the renewed economic expansion of the mid-eighteenth century."16 Finally, this rivalry and its impact upon international trade is also seen as influencing patterns of semiperipheralization: the fact that the conflict among Holland, Britain. and France was largely fought on the high seas and the resulting "double demand for products that the Baltic zone could supply: naval stores and iron," enabled Sweden, which controlled these resources, to become a semiperipheral power.!?
But in addition to being correlated with the economic position occupied by its owner-producers in the world market economy, state strength is determined by five "independent" measures of political strength. These include: 1) the extent to which state policy directly aids owner-producers to compete in the world market economy (mercantilism); 2) the extent to which states can affect the capacity of other states to compete (military power); 3) the ability of states to mobilize resources to perform these competitive and military tasks at costs that do not eat into profits of their owner-producers; 4) the capacity of states to create administrations that permit the swift carrying out of tactical decisions (or an effective bureaucracy); and 5) the "degree to which the political rules reflect a balance of interests among ownerproducers such that a working 'hegemonic' bloc (to use a Gramscian expression) forms the stable underpinnings of such a state."18 Wallerstein proceeds to argue that "this last element, the politics of class struggle [emphasis mine] is the key to all others."?
These five factors do not constitute measures of productive efficiency. But political and economic indicators of state "strength" are "linked reciprocally because productive efficiency makes possible the strengthening of state and the strengthening of the state further reinforces efficiency through extramarket means. "20 The political variables listed above and the role that a state's owner-producers play in the Capitalist World Economy, interact in Wallerstein's account to lead to differing modalities of state strength in the core and semiperiphery. In the core, "states where the most efficient economic producers reside (i.e., the hegemonic power) have less need to intervene in the world market economy than states where moderately efficient producers are located."21 A state's role in the world market economy "is in curvelinear relationship to the economic role of the owner-producers located with the state. The state is most 'active' in states of moderate strength."22 It follows from this account that in the core, the presence of a centralized and powerful state institutional political structure is thus an indication of weakness rather than strength. The logic behind this argument is tied to Wallerstein's assertion on the importance of the "politics of class struggle," because "a self-aware and self-confident bourgeois class can agree to the necessary collective arrangements that require a strong king to impose."23 However, in the semiperiphery, the weakness of the owner-producers necessitates a greater degree of direct state involvement in the extraction of economic surpluses making centralized and powerful state institutional structures an indication of strength. And the existence of such structures is seen as being dependent on a political environment in which a politically and economically strong dominant class that can block the growth of state power is absent. Finally, those states in the periphery where the least efficient
owner-producers are located are by definition incapable of becoming strong.P
These arguments are elaborated and clarified by Wallerstein in the rich historical chapters on the struggle between France and Britain for dominance in the core and the rise of Prussia and Sweden in the semiperiphery. British success against France is attributed to the greater cohesiveness of its dominant class which, combined with Britain's internal market structure, enabled it to significantly overtake its rival after 1763 in terms of productivity and growth. According to Wallerstein, the resolution of seventeenth-century civil strife in Britain led to a consensus in the British dominant class "that there was to be no more internal social change, [and] that the English State was to concentrate on promoting economic development at the expense of the rest of the world economy" leading to "a social compromise that could serve the Cavaliers and Roundheads alike."25 By contrast, prerevolutionary France was a society with three economic sectors oriented toward the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the dorsal spine of Europe. Elites in these three regions had some sense of sharing membership in the same class, but also possessed competing economic and political interests at particular times.> While the forces of political centralization and capitalist enterprise were geographically coordinated in Britain, in France they "found themselves facing resistance, not necessarily coordinated, both from economically peripheral and from economically central and politically peripheral zones" making "the internal strife of the dominant strata much more drawn out and prolonged. "27
Wallerstein argues that these factors provided the British state with a set of advantages over its French competitor that were mutually reinforcing. Britain's dominant class consensus and its smaller internal market gave rise to a "hegemonic bloc" of export-oriented landlords and merchant capitalists that directed the British state toward supporting - by way of state subsidies for exports and colonial acquisitions - the more lucrative long-term route of surplus extraction via overseas commercial expansion. And the existence of this "hegemonic bloc" further facilitated the pursuit of this course by promoting the development of institutions of public finance and use of indirect taxation as sources of revenue by the British state enabling it to cope with the financial strains induced by the constant warfare of the period and undertake the naval buildup necessary for colonial expansion. In the French case, a less cohesive dominant class and the geographical divisions of its economy made it impossible for unified support for overseas colonial and commercial expansion to develop. And the extensive and centralized apparatuses of the French state resorted to more direct and centralized forms
of revenue extraction such as tax farming, which were less efficient than those taken up by its British counterpart and made it less able to endure the financial strains of constant warfare with Britain and undertaking the naval buildup necessary for overseas colonial and commercial expansion. For Wallerstein then, the difference between Britain and France is not one of liberalism versus mercantilism but the fact that British mercantilism corresponded to a "tailor-made suit," while the French mercantilism resembled a "ready-made suit."28
Wallerstein also uses dominant class structures to explain the movement of states within the capitalist world economy residing outside of the core. The growth of Sweden's power, for instance, was facilitated by the autonomy of its peasantry and corresponding weakness of its landowning aristocracy, which made the "interests of the aristocracy ... not as directly opposed to the state-building centralization of Eastern Europe as the great landowners of Eastern Europe were to their rivals."29 This enabled the Swedish state to efficiently extract the resources of high quality copper and iron within its borders and use the revenues generated by their export to build up its military strength and embark upon a program of economic imperialism along the Baltic littoral. In Prussia, on the other hand, the control over the peasantry exercised by the Junker class was as complete as that possessed by Polish landlords but the concentration of landholdings was smaller than those in Poland. Unlike Polish landlords, Prussia's Junkers lacked the ability to raise mini-armies that could check the expansion of state authority. The small-size estates combined with extensive war damage and the poor quality ofthe Prussian soil to make employment for the monarchy materially attractive to the Junker class and insured their support of a strengthened state bureaucracy that could serve as a necessary occupational outlet for them. In return, the state augmented the feudal rights of the nobility over the peasantry. This institutional political structure enabled the Pruss ian state - in spite of the economically backward nature of its realm - to collect the necessary revenues to support an army that could be used as an instrument in the extraction of economic surpluses by way of territorial expansion (as in the annexation of Silesia).30
While none of these arguments is fundamentally inconsistent with those of Volume I of The Modern World System, they do indicate that Wallerstein has augmented his focus on the Capitalist World Economy's structure in the explanation of state structures and behavior by examining the dominant class structures and political alliances as well. In so doing, he provides in Volume II a richer and more subtle account of how state structures develop that meets Brenner and Skocpol's criticisms of Volume I reviewed in the
introduction. As detailed in the preceding paragraphs, Wallerstein meets these criticisms by redefining what constitutes a strong state in the core and differentiating it from the characteristics of an absolutist monarchy. Holland is thus viewed as "strong" because it was "the only state in Europe with enough internal strength such that its need for mercantilist policies was minimal."31 And in other non-hegemonic core states, their ability to provide their owner-producers with the "extramarket" assistance needed to compete with the hegemonic state is determined by the cohesion of its dominant class or extent to which a "hegemonic bloc" resided within it: it is this variable that Wallerstein emphasizes in explaining why British mercantilism had more long-term effectiveness than French mercantilism. In the core then, the possession by a state of an institutional political structure corresponding to that of an absolutist monarchy - one marked by extensive and centralized state apparatuses that are highly insulated from civil society - is an indication of weakness rather than strength. However, outside of the core, such structures are indicative of an economically and politically weak dominant class that is unable to block the growth of state power and thereby frustrate its efforts to spur economic development through "extramarket" means. They are thus reflective of state strength outside of the Capitalist World Economy's core zone.
The difference between non-hegemonic core and semiperipheral states does not therefore lie in the imperatives for intervention by the state into the world market economy but rather in the form this intervention will take. What Wallerstein seems to be arguing is that, in the case of the former, intervention will occur and its coherence varies with the degree to which a cohesive dominant class has achieved hegemony over civil society (as in the case of Britain). In the case of the latter, the degree to which the state will intervene at all is dependent upon its effectiveness in consolidating its power in the face of dominant class resistance. What is presupposed in both cases then is that effective state intervention into the economy requires that a specific kind of societal actor exists in the core and semi periphery: in the core, this actor is the dominant class's hegemonic bloc while in the semiperiphery, it consists of a powerful and centralized state. Wallerstein's account of the absolutist state in the core is similar to Roland Mousnier's argument that its function was to mediate between the conflicting interests of civil society." In the semiperiphery, his description of the relationship between the absolutist state and civil society corresponds to Gramsci's claim that in Eastern Europe, "the State was everything, civil society was primordial and gelatinous."33 In both cases, however, the argument being put forward is that strong states were not perceived to be necessary by any class that had already achieved hegemony over civil society during the early modern period.
While the arguments Wallerstein advances in the second volume of The Modern World System are applied to absolutist states, such as France, Sweden, and Prussia, and early capitalist states such as Great Britain and Holland, their analysis of how variation in the integration of states in the Capitalist World Economy and dominant class structures leads to different modalities of state strength and state-society relationships can also be applied to current debates on "relative state autonomy" in the context of advanced capitalist states. The rest of this article accordingly discusses the ways that Wallerstein's revised account of the development of state structures critically implicates the accounts of state strength and "relative state autonomy" advanced in the influential and much-discussed outlooks of Steven Krasner and Nicos Poulantzas and outlines the problems that the forthcoming installment of Wallerstein's project will have to deal with in analyzing the development of the world economy and the capitalist state in the nineteenth-century setting.
Krasner and Poulantzas
As Skocpol has recently observed, over the past decade, the state has been "brought back" as an object of study in large areas of the social sciences.v Since the complexity and richness of this literature defies broad comparison between it and the arguments Wallerstein advances in Volume II of The Modern World System, this article focuses on the particular outlooks of Krasner and Poulantzas. These particular perspectives are chosen for two reasons. The first is that the work of Krasner and Poulantzas has "brought the state back in" in international politics and Marxian analyses of stateeconomic class relationships.v The second is that the arguments contained in The Modern World System's second installment on the determinants of state structures and strength critically implicate both perspectives in different theoretical, substantive, and methodological ways.
In Krasner's statist theory, state autonomy from direct capitalist class control is reflected in the pursuit of aims that are not reducible to either the immediate or long-term interests of the capitalist class or the long-term coherence of capitalist society as a whole. Whether states actually pursue such aims or "the national interest" is determined inductively by examining the preferences of the state over time; the extent to which they constitute the "national interest" is dependent upon their meeting the following criteria: "such objectives must be related to general societal goals, persist over time and have a consistent ranking of importance. "36 The ability of states to pursue the "national interest" is a function of their "strength," which is determined by their institutional political structures. "Strong" states are ones
in which the policy-formation process corresponds to the model of unitary government, in which the policies adopted can be characterized as an articulation of the general interest of society. "Weak" states are those that possess fragmented public institutions leading to a situation where the process of policy-making is poorly insulated from individual pressure groups within society.P But even in the case of weak states, Krasner argues that it is possible to assume that the state possesses at least the ability to prevent social pressure groups from using it as an instrument for the advancement of particular ends.38
In Poulantzas's perspective, the "relative autonomy" of the capitalist state is tied to its role in maintaining a political environment conducive to capitalist production. The separation of the polity and economy under capitalism and the "relative autonomy" of ideology and politics accompanying it abstracts agents of production as individual juridical subjects as opposed to members of antagonistic classes and enables the state to present itself as "the strictly political, public unity of the particular private antagonisms of society" whose "institutionalized power presents its own unity in its socioeconomic relations (the class struggle.),'39 The view ofthe state as comprising an "intrinsic unity" gives way in Poulantzas's later work to an account that sees it as being directly involved in the conflicts among fractions of the dominant capitalist class. This thinking stems out of the notion of the "power bloc" that Poulantzas appropriates from Marx's 18th Brumaire to describe the plurality of fractions that make up the dominant capitalist class and form a "complex and contradictory unity in dominance." The capitalist state maintains capitalist class hegemony by acting as "the political organizer of the power bloc" and insuring its "unity" under the protection of the hegemonic class or fraction. This involves a continual negotiation of interests in an "unstable equilibrium of compromise" and requires real (albeit limited) material concessions to the economic-corporate interests of the dominated classes.v
Wallerstein's arguments on the interplay among state structures, the politics of class struggle, and the position occupied by owner-producers in the Capitalist World Economy brings into sharper focus the problems that accompany Krasner's conflation of a state's strength with its institutional independence of structure from societal pressure. These difficulties are most evident in the treatment of cases,like the United States following the end of the Second World War, that possess strong economies and decentralized structures of government. For Krasner, the United States has been. throughout the post-World War II era, a "weak" state because of the fragmented and decentralized nature of its governmental apparatuses and
has exhibited the "paradox of external strength and internal weakness."41 Viewed from Wallerstein's perspective, however, there is nothing paradoxical about this: the United States, like Holland in the 1600s, was the only state immediately following 1945 with enough economic strength such that it could shun mercantilist policies altogether. The fragmentation of the U.S. Government's institutional structure, far from being an indication of weakness, reflected American strength. With Wallerstein's coupling of the institutional political structure of core states with the economic strength of the societies they govern, Krasner's paradox vanishes into the status of a pseudo-problem.
Indeed, Wallerstein inverts Krasner's arguments on the relation between state strength and autonomy. This can be seen by recalling the explanation Wallerstein offers of the outcome of Britain and France's struggle for dominance in the core. In Wallerstein's historical rendition of the course of the rivalry, the behavior of the British state corresponds in several important ways to Krasner's definition of the "national interest": its policies of promoting outward economic expansion via state-subsidized exports and colonial acquisitions persisted over time, had a consistent ranking of importance relative to other objectives and were related to general societal goals. Indeed, what could be more mercantilist than measures such as the Corn Bounty and the Navigation Acts undertaken to insure British control over foreign markets? Wallerstein argues that these policies stemmed out of the British dominant class's cohesiveness, which was rooted in the British economy's structure and contributed to the strength of the British state by enabling it to pursue more efficient and decentralized methods of revenue extraction and thereby finance the naval buildup necessary for world-wide commercial expansion.
France, on the other hand, possessed a less unified and cohesive dominant class and its actions oscillated between the pursuit of overseas expansion and continental domination. The fiscal strains endured by the French state were therefore more severe than those faced by Britain and its greater degree of political centralization and the divided nature of its dominant class shut off the more efficient mechanisms of indirect revenue extraction followed by the British state.v The failure of France to pursue consistent and coherent policies is thus seen in large measure as the result of the failure of anything similar to Britain's "hegemonic bloc" of export-oriented landlords and merchant capitalists to develop. As Wallerstein bluntly puts it. "While the French state struggled to overcome its internal obstacles, it was outmaneuvered by the British state. Far from being the triumph of liberalism, it
was the triumph of a strong state whose strength, however, was the result of necessity."43
Because Britain's course of outward, export-oriented economic expansion had a consistent ranking of importance and persisted over time, the British state - whose institutional structure left it poorly insulated from societal inputs (i.e., from its dominant class) and would be, according to Krasner's argument, "weaker" than France - thus behaved in a way that better dovetails with the salient features of Krasner's definition of the "national interest." As noted in the preceding section, Wallerstein attributes the British state's ability to act in this way to the presence of a hegemonic bloc of export-oriented landlords and merchant capitalists within its dominant class and argues that the British state's pursuit of the "national interest" strengthened the cohesion of Britain's dominant class around this bloc by strenghtening its economic position. This is important because Krasner differentiates his thinking from structural Marxist arguments by claiming that his conception of the "national interest" refers to and explains instances of "non-logical" behavior by the state where it fails to strengthen the longterm cohesiveness ofthe capitalist or dominant class.v' To be sure, it could be claimed that this kind of argument describes the behavior of the French state during the period, since the outbreak of the revolution indicates that it certainly failed over the long term to preserve the coherence of its dominant class. But it would be curious to argue that the greatest explanatory power of Krasner's statist perspective accrues in instances of "non-logical" behavior of the state, particularly when it is oriented toward viewing the state as an actor capable of ordering preferences in a consistent manner so as to formulate the "national interest." And because Krasner fails in any case to specify the mechanism by which "non-logical" behavior arises within the state itself, his argument that a state's pursuit of ideological objectives that undermine the long-term coherence of the capitalist class falsifies a structural Marxist argument is specious; it begs the question of whether or not they are actuaIly reflective of a dominant (or capitalist) class's ideological hegemony." Wallerstein's arguments, on the other hand, at least make it possible for a state's success or failure to follow a consistent pattern of action to be explained analytically rather than contingently.
In these arguments, a state's autonomy is closely related to its "strength" as determined by the structure of its dominant class and the role played by its owner-producers in the Capitalist World Economy's division of labor. An inverse relationship is posited between state autonomy and strength within the core. While the British state was less autonomous than its absolutist counterpart in France and its policies directly reflected the interests of the
"hegemonic bloc" of export-oriented landlords and merchant capitalists, these characteristics were elements of strength because they made British mercantilism to take on a "tailor-made" rather than "ready-made" character. Within the core, dominant class cohesion (or strength), limited state autonomy, and state "strength" go hand-in-hand. Outside of the core, the opposite is the case. Highly centralized and extensive state apparatuses that are insulated from societal pressure are indicative of strength because they enable the state to provide the "extra-market" assistance that is necessary to increase the efficiency of their owner-producers. And for a state to acquire this strength, its dominant class must be too weak to block the extractive measures and other actions the state must undertake to provide such "extramarket" assistance. Wallerstein argues that this factor was what made it possible for Sweden and Prussia to undertake the military buildup that enabled them to embark on the large-scale territorial expansion that augmented their existing economic bases.w Outside of the core then, state autonomy from direct dominant class control and strength go hand-in-hand. The basic point made by Wallerstein is that inside and outside of the core, state strength is as much a function of economic as it is of political measures "because productive efficiency makes possible the strengthening of the state and the strengthening of the state further reinforces efficiency through extramarket means. "47
In Wallerstein's outlook, state autonomy is neither presupposed or seen as something that explains state actions but is instead viewed as explicandum. "Relative state autonomy" is treated in a contextual manner by examining how the integration of states into the Capitalist World Economy in conjunction with their dominant class structures lead to different modalities of state strength within and outside of the core. The stress on the ways in which state autonomy from dominant class control is problematic and varies in different world-system contexts enables Wallerstein to avoid the problems associated with Poulantzas's abstract and functional arguments on "relative state autonomy" and its importance in maintaining capitalist class hegemony. This is not to minimize the importance of Poulantzas's creative appropriation of Althusser's critique of economism and use of Gramsci's ideas on ideology and hegemony to criticize economistic and historicist elements within earlier instrumental accounts of the capitalist state. But, as Adam Przeworski aptly puts it, "In the heat of the polemic against historicism, history seems to be scorched with the same flame."48 As R. W. Connell and others have argued, Poulantzas's eschewal of historical analysis and use, following Althusser, of what Laclau has described as the combination of "formalism and taxonomy," makes it impossible for his arguments to be evaluated by any method of "historical proof' and causes his work to often
resort to "sheer postulation": "What appear to be important substantive conclusions about the world are often analytic truths, logical deductions from definitions and postulates. "49
This style of argumentation is reflected in, among other things, Poulantzas's insistence that the "relative autonomy" of the political and ideological "regions" comprising the Capitalist Mode of Production's structural matrix means that "there are no economic functions relating to production in general which every state has to fulfill; economic functions are always invested in the class struggle and therefore has a political character and content. The whole texture of the state economic apparatus has a political character.t'v As Boris Frankel and others have argued, one ofthe difficulties these claims create is that they make it impossible for Poulantzas to satisfactorily come to grips with the phenomenon of the state assuming a large-scale role as a direct economic consumer and producer under conditions of late capitalism and consider how the basic forms of capital relations impose distinctive structural constraints on the functioning of the state apparatuses and the exercise of state power." But more than that, Poulantzas's dual analysis of "relative state autonomy" and its relationship to capitalist class hegemony that the arguments just reviewed are embedded within leads to a contradictory and incoherent account of the capitalist state's form and function. On the one hand, Poulantzas describes the capitalist state as an "institutional unity" whose relative autonomy is tied to the juridico-political and ideological "regions'" "relative autonomy" within the overall structural matrix associated with the capitalist mode of production.P On the other hand, Poulantzas also locates the "relative autonomy" of the capitalist state within the field of concrete class struggles in which it becomes directly involved in the conflicts within the "power bloc."53 The insistence in State, Power, Socialism that class struggles are reproduced within the state itself creates fundamental difficulties because it forces Poulantzas to argue that state actions that are "phenomenally incoherent and chaotic" in the short term nonetheless articulate the "successful application of the global political objective (of maintaining the capitalist class's political hegemony) at the state apex."> While Poulantzas argues that this coherence and unity emerges out of the collision of the diversified micro policies articulated by the various capitalist class fractions within the state itself, the concrete mechanisms that insure that they take place is never specified.
While Poulantzas presupposes the existence of "relative state autonomy" and invokes it as a functional explanation of how capitalist social formations cohere in the face of various rivalries among individual capitalists.
Wallerstein's theory treats it as something that varies with the sources of a state's power that are related to the structure of its dominant class and integration into the capitalist world economy. State autonomy is related to state strength in different ways according to particular world-system contexts and can be either functional or dysfunctional for its (or the capitalist social formation it might govern) long-term coherence. Wallerstein's arguments on state strength dovetail with Bob Jessop's contention that "state power is a complex social relation that reflects the changing balance of social forces in a determinate conjuncture"SS and his approach to the problem of "relative state autonomy" is consistent with Jessop's subtle discussion of the subject, which is worth quoting at length:
... "relative state autonomy" is either an abstract, formal concept serving merely a diacritical function in demarcating our approach from simple reductionism and, or absolute autonomisation of different regions or else is a concrete descriptive concept whose content varies across conjunctures. It cannot function as a principle of explanation in its own right but is itself explicandum in the same way as concepts such as state power. 56
In Wallerstein's outlook, "relative state autonomy" serves as a "descriptive concept whose content varies across conjunctures." This usage allows Wallerstein, for the reasons set forth earlier, to both avoid the problems caused by Krasner's conflation of state autonomy or institutional independence with state strength 57 and the pitfalls associated with Poulantzas's crudely functionalist use of the term. Furthermore, since the content of state autonomy can vary according to different concrete situations in Wallerstein's perspective rather than serving as a fixed and abstract general feature of capitalism as a mode of production, it is possible in Wallerstein's outlook to examine how "relative state autonomy" might take on various meanings across different historical contexts in the development of capitalism.
In Volume II of The Modern World System Wallerstein has constructed a markedly different and more sophisticated analysis of state structures that meets the more serious criticisms levelled against Volume I and implicates current theoretical debates on the state in a number of interesting ways. Having discussed this in detail. I now conclude by turning to the issues and problems that will be confronted by Wallerstein in Volume Ill.
The Modern World System, Volume III
In the third and forthcoming installment of The Modern World System, Wallerstein will deal with the conversion of the European world-system into a "global enterprise made possible by the technological transformation of modern industry.T" The concluding section of this article offers some
suggestions as to how Wallerstein's arguments on the relationship between state structures, the politics of class struggle, and the integration of ownerproducers in the Capitalist World Economy discussed earlier can be applied to three important phenomena associated with this change: the incorporation of areas in and outside of Europe into the core and periphery, the decline of British hegemony in the world economy, and the wide variation in the development of state structures within the core, specifically in Western Europe. In advancing these suggestions, I maintain that Wallerstein's arguments on the differences between peripheral and semiperipheral states stand in need of further clarification and that adequate explanations of the movement of states into the core, their advance and decline within it, and development state institutional structures will necessitate an even heavier stress on the politics of class struggle within individual states in conjunction with their integration in the capitalist world economy.
As Eric Hobsbawn has observed, the spread of industrialization after the 1840s from Britain to the rest of Europe and North America led to the incorporation of a new economic world into the older European world system. "Capitalism," Hobsbawn writes, "now had the entire world at its disposal, and the expansion of both international trade and investment measures the zest with which it proceeded to capture it. "59 While the volume of international trade between 1800 and 1840 did not quite double, from 1850 to 1870 it grew by 260 percent and would increase by another 300 percent between 1870 and 1914.60 At the same time, British foreign investment rose from £250 tor 1,000 million between 1850 and 1870 and increased to over £4 billion by 1913.61 With the vast expansion of trade and investment, the areas of Latin America, Africa, and Asia entered the Capitalist World Economy's periphery, making, as Hobsbawn writes, "the dichotomy between developed and (theoretically complementary) undeveloped areas ... take a recognizably modern shape."62
In explaining this last development, Volume III will have to specify more explicitly the mechanisms underlying the movement of states into and out of the periphery and core. As noted earlier, Wallerstein argues in Volume 11 that a country's ability to move into and out of the semiperiphery and eventually advance upward into the core is determined by the degree to which the state that governs it rather than its dominant class is the dominant actor within it. The logic behind this argument is evidently based on assumptions concerning the greater necessity that the competitive weakness of owner-producers outside of the core creates for the state to provide "extra-market" assistance to its owner-producers. What Wallerstein fails to discuss explicitly are the differences between owner-producers within the
periphery and semi-periphery. Given the historical cases discussed in Volume II, it is difficult to argue that owner-producers in the semiperiphery are more efficient than those in the periphery, because both the landowning aristocracy of Poland and Prussia engaged in agricultural production in the form of coerced cash-crop labor. What does seem to underlie Wallerstein's arguments on the differences is in the manner and timing in which they are incorporated into the Capitalist World Economy and how it enables them to block the construction of a strong state capable of providing the "extramarket" assistance needed for a society to break out of the periphery.
During the period that will be covered in Volume III, the peripheralization of Latin America, Africa and Asia took place either by the exercise of informal political control by core states (mainly Britain) to facilitate the growth of complementary economic ties between themselves and the peripheral economy or through colonization.v The first of these mechanisms, employed against the minimally independent states of Latin America, is evidently where the dominant class structures assume some importance in explaining peripheralization. The ways dominant class structures in conjunction with development in the Capitalist World Economy affected the movement of states into the core and periphery can be illustrated by briefly comparing how cyclical conjunctures in the world economy after 1850 shaped dominant class structures and the trajectories of economic development taken by states in Latin America, Europe and North America.
During the cyclical conjuncture between 1850 and 1873, free trade was sought by agrarian elites in Europe and North America to obtain greater access to the British market. The increase in economic intercourse between the then semiperipheral areas of Western Europe and North America and Britain stimulated industrialization in the semiperiphery by giving countries greater access to Britain's unique supply of capital, machinery, and technical skill and leading to the legal liquidation of the restraints on internal trade and labor mobility that had originated during the medieval and mercantilist periods.s- For these reasons, British hegemony over the semiperiphery - which in 1850 comprises Western Europe and North America - was based, as Eric Hobsbawn observes, "on potential or actual competition. "65 In Latin American societies, complementary relationships also developed between their economies and Britain's, but on the basis of specialized commodities they could supply, such as guano and nitrate. As Cardosa and Faletto have argued, the foreign investments provided primarily by Britain for the transportation and marketing of these goods increased the incomes of the latifundi-based elite, who in many cases were marginal to the export sector and forced the local dominant groups tied to the export sector to offer
political concessions to them to ensure that land and labor were available for the production of exported commodities. And these concessions to regional oligarchs blocked the conversion of the dominant paternalism and weak state political structures that went with it into stronger and more efficient bureaucratic structures capable of both maintaining national control over the marketing and transportation of export goods and over extractive sectors like mining and providing, as states in North America and Europe did, "extra-market" assistance to owner-producers to engage in industrialization.w
The cyclical conjuncture that marked the period between 1873 and 1896 altered the similar interest that areas in North America, Europe, and Latin America had shared in an open world-economy and the orientations that countries in these areas took toward the world economy was shaped by the dominant class interaction and structures that developed between 1850 and 1873. In Western Europe, falling agricultural prices rapidly converted the landowning classes from ardent free traders to staunch protectionists; in the United States, the destruction of the Southern planter class during the Civil War eliminated free trade's most important political constituency. And in both areas, the significant industrialization that had taken place during the 1850s and 1860s had created a new and powerful political constituency in favor of protection.v? In Latin America, however, the developments in the world economy following 1873 strengthened - in cases where export sectors did not fall completely into foreign hands - the position of the local dominant groups that were tied to them and strengthened the connections that developed earlier between the "modern 'plantation' with its urban and financial groups and the traditional 'hacienda'''68 Because the prices for commodities did not decline as sharply as did those for industrial goods, both these dominant groups benefited from the large trade surpluses with most of Europe that accompanied an outward orientation toward the world economy. And even in countries where enclave economies developed, landowning elites - the best example of this being Brazil's coffee planters - who controlled the production of exported commodities but not their transportation or marketing, still gained substantially from the trade surpluses generated by their export.s?
These all too brief comparisons are illustrative of two things. First, they show how attempts by dominant classes to take advantage of the economic opportunities afforded by cyclical conjunctures in the Capitalist World Economy facilitated or blocked, in different contexts, the diversification of economic structures within individual countries that constrained or made them better able to move upward in the world economy's productive
hierarchy. They also illustrate how the movement of states in the Capitalist World Economy during a specific cyclical conjuncture can be shaped by patterns of dominant class political interaction that marked preceding conjunctures. Wallerstein's future work will thus be forced to pay greater attention to the ways that advance and retrogression in the Capitalist World Economy are the comprehensive outcome of both cyclical conjunctures and their impact, by way of the economic opportunities they create for different dominant class groups, on dominant class structures.v
This same kind of analysis can also be applied to the explanation of Britain's decline from hegemony after 1870. In both the second volume of The Modern World System and other works, Wallerstein treats the process of hegemonic decline in almost a quasi-physical manner, suggesting that it follows automatically from the fact that the economic innovation that increased efficiency in the hegemon's economy are duplicable and taken up by its competitors, the costs of buying off the lower classes with increased wages and the loss in economic competitiveness this leads to, and the growing burden caused by increases in military expenditures that eat into the available economic surplus." What is absent from this list is any mention of how the internationally-oriented elements constituting the hegemon's "hegemonic bloc" prevent it from taking the necessary remedial steps to avoid economic decline. This omission is curious given Wallerstein's account in Volume II of the contribution that the overseas lending by Amsterdam-based Dutch bankers to Britain made in accelerating Holland's economic decline. 72
Wallerstein's observations on the Dutch case provide the basis for an explanation of why hegemony, like all good things, is "passing." They direct attention to how the opportunities for continued outward expansion that are provided to internationally oriented capitalists by uneven growth within the Capitalist W orId Economy block the resuscitation of a hegemonic economy's productive capacities. This is particularly appropriate for understanding Britain's industrial decline after 1870. The recent and important historical research by Geoffrey Ingham and David Rubinstein" has shown that even during the heyday of Britain's industrialization, the political and economic influence wielded by the provincial-based industrial elite was very limited when compared to that exercised by the London-based banking and commercial elite. Rubinstein's careful research also shows that the adverse affects of the sharp decline in grain prices that began in 1873 on high-cost British agricultural producers promoted a symbiosis between landed and commercial wealth; while Ingham convincingly argues that the activities undertaken by the London-based merchant banks to maintain the
gold/sterling standard and the international pattern of trading settlements that went with it kept industry and finance insulated from one another.tIngham concludes that these factors coupled with the greater flexibility vis-a-vis labor that the commercial banking sector's lack of ties to industry afforded it and the political fragmentation over trade issues caused by the high integration of some industries (such as shipbuilding and coal mining) into the international economy prevented the formation of a coalition of industrial procedures capable of challenging the commercial banking sector's economic and political hegemony."
Ingham's arguments on the importance of commercial capital in Britain's failure to reindustrialize are highly salient to Laclau and Wallerstein's debates on the significance of nationally-based productive forces and circulation within the Capitalist World Economy's larger context in determining the course of capitalist development." What Ingham's work clearly suggests is that at least in the British case, Wallerstein's emphasis on circulation provides a better basis for constructing an adequate materialist explanation of capitalist economic and social development. As Ingham stresses, Britain's inability to reindustrialize and the failure of anything remotely comparable to German and American finance capital to take root in its economy prior to World War I was in large measure due to the City's insulation from industry and the substantial profits it accrued from its activities in maintaining the gold / sterling standard. The multilateral system of payments accompanying it made possible the commercial banking sector's prospering while industry declined. And the symbiosis between landed and commercial wealth that took place during this period also accounts for the persistence of a powerful aristocratic element in the British ruling elite noted in the criticisms by Perry Anderson and other New Left Revie ..... authors of contemporary British political institutions."
Finally, a third major item that will be on Wallerstein's research agenda in Volume III of The Modern World System is the uneven diffusion of democratic parliamentary regime structures in Western Europe that accompanied the transformation of the European World System into a global structure during the second half of the nineteenth century. One of the most striking aspects of these changes is the formal political influence maintained by older aristocratic elites not only in Germany but in Britain, France, and other major Western European states as well." The persistence of the old regime has been dealt with by a large number of Marxist and non-Marxist authors alike by way of contingent explanations in which the bourgeoisie's failure to wrest state power from the hands of established aristocratic elites is attributed to its political spinelessness."? An alternative and far bettcr
explanation of the bourgeoisie's political behavior during the period is offered by Hobsbawn who argues that the bourgeoisie exercised political influence simply by carrying out their day-to-day economic activities. Hobsbawn writes that between 1848 and 1875:
What it [the bourgeoisie] did exercise was hegemony. and what it increasingly determined was policy. There was no alternative to capitalism as a method of economic development. and at this period this implied both the realization of the economic and institutional programme of the bourgeoisie (with local variations) and the crucial position in the state of that bourgeoisie itself. 00
Two things led, during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, to the erosion of this hegemony. The first was the so-called "Great Depression of 1873-1896" that brought about the revival of protectionism in core states (with the notable exception of Britain) and undermined the liberal ideology of free trade and cheap (i.e., relatively inactive) government and the second was the democratization of electoral politics, which destroyed the illusion that the liberal bourgeoisie's program was backed by the masses." Though not fully democratic and parliamentary, the institutional structures of core capitalist states in Western Europe allowed the working class and other mass strata to exercise influence through electoral politics during this period.v Because electoral mechanisms were used by independent working-class political parties to obtain the transition to full parliamentary democracy and liberalize the citzenship rights of workers to enhance their position in industrial class conflict, the restructuring of the state along more democratic lines represented a potential threat to the power of employers in conflicts with labor and a clear threat to the residual privileges of older aristocratic elites that were built into the institutional structures of most states." In this setting, the diffusion of parliamentary democracy revolved to a large extent around the political concessions that the bourgeoisie and aristocratic elites and workers and other mass strata could extract from one another and their role in both facilitating and blocking institutional change.e' This means that in Wallerstein's account of the "strength" of these core states, the term "hegemonic bloc" will have to refer not only to a "balance of interests" among owner-producers but also to the extent to which different elites within the dominant class were able to incorporate workers and other mass strata into political coalitions capable of prevailing in mass electoral struggles and enabling elites to either obtain or block changes in state institutional structures that enhanced their power vis-a-vis one another. This last point is forcefully illustrated by Thomas Ferguson's recent and important work on the New Deal. Ferguson shows that the resolution of the crisis brought on by the Great Depression in the United States - the introduction of the Welfare State and lowering oftrade barriers - was made possible by the emergence of
a "hegemonic bloc" consisting of capital intensive, export-oriented industries such as oil, chemicals, and electrical goods and multinational banks whose employment of skilled and highly paid workers made them less sensitive to labor strife and able to govern through the votes of workers tied to industries that were more sensitive to industrial class conflict.»
The discussion in this section of the article leads to two conclusions, one substantive, the other theoretical. The substantive conclusion is that Wallerstein's forthcoming work will need to pay greater attention to shifting patterns of political alliances within and between economic classes in explaining the advance or decline of states in Europe, North America, and Latin America in the Capitalist World Economy and changes in their institutional structures during the second half of the nineteenth century. The theoretical conclusion that follows from this is that while cyclical conjunctures in the capitalist world economy will continue and ought to playa primary role in Modern World System theory, they should beviewedasa set of constraints on the forms of political interaction among economic classes and the actions a state is capable of undertaking. In other words, within the broad limits set different world-system structural contexts, patterns of political interaction among economic classes should be afforded a degree of autonomy in determining state structures. The first and second sections of this article outlined the ways in which these arguments are already embedded in Wallerstein's current work; this section has shown how and why they need to be further extended.
Wallerstein's project is very much in an infant stage as far as its empirical progress is concerned. While this article has argued that Wallerstein's arguments provide a fruitful basis for investigating the relationship between state structures, the political and economic interaction of economic classes, and the position of owner-producers within the Capitalist World Economy's structure, a large amount of substantive research needs to be undertaken to flesh out these interrelationships across different historical contexts. Wallerstein's major theoretical contribution is to have posed the question of how such phenomena, taken together and viewed historically, form the totality making up the "Modern World System."
I. Examples of this are legion. Two that immediately come to mind are structural functionalist approaches to analyzing political development and the systems analysis
approach to the study of politics, which were in vogue during the I 960s. . .
2. Aristide Zolberg, "Origins of the Modern World System: A Missing Link," World PO/IIIl'I. 33/2 (1981),255.
3. "Variable Economism" is discussed by Ashley in "Three Modes of Econornism," International Studies Quarter~)', 27/4 (1983), 466-·471; for examples of this kind of criticism of Wallerstein's work. see Zolberg, "The Origins of Modern World System;" George Modelski, "The Long Cycle of Global Politics and the Nation-State," Comparative Studies in Society and History, 20/4 (1978), 214·-235; William Thompson, "Uneven Economic Growth, Systemic Challenges, and Global Wars," International Studies Quarter~I', 27/3 (1983), 341-356; and Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading. Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1979),38.
4. This point is developed by Chase-Dunn in two useful correctives to the realist vulgarizations of Wallerstein's outlook (see "Interstate System and Capitalist World Economy: One Logic or Two?" International Studies Quarter~)'. 25/ 1,19-42, and Chase-Dunn and Joan Sokolovsky, "Interstate System and Capitalist World Economy: A Response to Thompson," International Studies Quarter~I'. 27/3 , 357-367). The inability of Wallerstein's realist critics in international politics to grasp this elemental aspect in Modern World System theory can be ascribed in large part to the implicitly held assumption that the economic sphere can be treated as a distinct, independently existing sphere of life whose elements have no intrinsic political aspect and, as such, can be definitely separated from the social, political. and legal aspects of life. The role that this assumption plays in realist theory is discussed by Richard K. Ashley in his recent and important article, "Three Modes of Economism" (International Studies Quarter~l-' 27/4 . 465-499). As Ashley suggests, because realists regard capitalism only in its economic aspects, as a variable organizational principle for political life, all references to capitalism or, in Wallerstein's case, the Modern World System, are understood to refer to variables that are economic, i.e. that are assumed to have no political content. Beginning from such premises, which are in fact alien to Wallerstein's theory. they can regard his outlook as an "econornistic" theory of politics, find it guilty of reductionism, and reject it out of hand. It is this misunderstanding of Wallerstein's theory that is responsible for the bizarre character of many of the debates between the adherents of Wallerstein's outlook and its realist critics. It is also reflected in Skocpol's attack, in States and Social Revolutions. against Wallerstein's "economically reductionist" explanation of state formation in which the claim for the interstate system's autonomy remains ambiguous. Skocpol concedes that the interstate system "represents an analytically autonomous level of transnational reality interdependent (emphasis mine) in its structure and dynamics with world capitalism; but not reducible to it" (see States and Social Revolutions [London:
Cambridge University Press, 1979],22 and 299). This is orthodox Modern World System Theory.
5. "Interstate System and Capitalist World Economy." 354.
6. The Modern World System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origin of the European World Economy in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Academic Press, 1974),401; hereafter referred to as M WS I.
7. Theda Skocpol, "Wallerstein's World Capitalist System: A Theoretical and Historical Critique," American Journal of Sociology, Volume 82,5 (1977), 1083-1085 and Robert Brenner, "The Origins of Capitalist Development: A Critique of Neo-Smithian Marxism." NLR, Nr. 104 (1977).62.
8. Skocpol makes a stronger claim for the significance of the first set of variables in States and Social Revolutions in her arguments for the interstate system's autonomy. These claims are discussed in note 4 above.
9. Skocpol, "Wallerstein's World Capitalist System," 1082 and Brenner, "The Origins of
10. "Wallerstein's World Capitalist System," 1088. II. "The Origins of Capitalist Development," 64.
12. Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World Svstem II: Mercantilism and the Consolidation of the European World Economy 1600-~ 1750 (New York: Academic Press. 1980). 7-8; hereafter referred to as MWS II.
13. This term is used by Tom Nairn to describe the "frankly oligarchic and patrician" character of the British state following the bourgeois revolutions in 1640 and 1688 (see Nairn. "Great Britain: A Legitimation Crisis?" NLR, 130 ,37-44. The historical analysis behind this characterization of the British states is. of course. developed at length in a series of earlier and now classic articles by Nairn and Perry Anderson; see Perry Anderson. "The Origins of the Present Crisis," N LR, 23 .26-54 and Tom Nairn, "Britain's Perennial Crisis," NLR, 113-114 ,43-69). Since the Dutch state, according to Wallerstein. possessed similar "oligarchic and patrician character," I apply Nairn's label to it as well.
14. M WS II, 38.
15. Ibid., 99.
16. Ibid., 114.
17. Ibid., 206-214.
18. Ibid., 1l3.
21. Ibid .• 114.
25. Ibid .. 122.
26. Ibid .. 123-124. This argument is developed at length by T. R. Fox in History in Geographic Perspective: The Other France (New York: Norton. 1971) and is also present in MWS I. 293- 297.
27. MWS II. 123.
28. Ibid .. 116: this characterization is also used by Charles Wilson in England's Apprentice-
ship 16031763 (London: Longmans. 1965).
29. MWS II. 204.
30. Ibid .. 226-231.
32. Roland Mousnier. Les XIVE et X VilE Siecles Histoire Generale des Civilisations, Vol. 6 (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1954). A similar argument is advanced by Engels who maintains that the absolutist monarchies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries "balanced the nobility and bourgeoisie against one another" and thereby acquired a certain measure of independence in relation to both (see Engels. "Letter to J. Bloch. in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Selected Works [New York: International Publishers, 1968], 692-693). This thinking is criticized by Perry Anderson in Lineages of the Absolutist State for giving too much credence to the position that absolutist states - which represented a "redeployed and recharged apparatus of feudal domination" (Lineages of the Absolutist State, London: NLB. 1974, 18) - were capitalist or protocapitalist social formations. A trenchant analysis of the merits of Anderson's "ontogentic theory" and argument that it and Wallerstein's project should be viewed as complementary projects is provided by Michael Hechter in "Lineages of the Capitalist State." American Journal of Sociology. Volume 82 5 (1977), 1057-1074.
33. See Antonio Gramsci, The Prison Notebooks, translated and edited by Quinten Hoare and Geoffery Nowell Smith (New York: International Publishers. 1971),236-238.
34. For a thorough review of the "statist literature," see Theda Skocpol, "Bringing the State Back ln," in Theda Skocpol. Peter Evans. and Dietrich Reuschmeyer, eds., Bringing the State Back In (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985). The Marxist work on the state is surveyed in Martin Carnoy, The State and Political Theory (Princeton, N.J.:
Princeton University Press. 1984).
35. On Poulantzas's influence, see Carnoy, The State and Political Theory: Krasner's place in the statist literature is discussed by Skocpol in "Bringing the State Back In."
36. Steven Krasner. Defending the National Interest: Raw Materials Investments and U.S.
Foreign Policy (Princeton. N.J.: Princeton University Press. 1978), 13.
37. Ibid .• 56-61: for a far more subtle and sophisticated use of this distinction in statist literature in international politics. see Peter Katzenstein, "International Relations and Domestic Structures: Foreign Economic Policies of Advanced Industrialized States," International Organization. 30/ I (1976). 1-45 and Corporatism and Change (Ithaca. N. Y.: Cornell University Press, 1984).
38. Nicos Poulantzas, Political Power and Social Classes. translated by Timothy O'Hagen (London: N L8). Poulantzas's work is discussed at length by Bob Jessop in The Capitalist State (New York: New York University Press. 1982).
40. Ibid., 268: see also State, Power, Socialism, translated by Patrick Camiller (London: N LB. 1978).
41. Krasner, Defending the National Interest, 61--70; this view is more extensively developed in his "Unravelling the Paradox of External Strength and Internal Weakness," in Peter Katzenstein, ed., Between Power and Plenty: The Foreign Economic Policies of Advanced Industrialized States (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 1978).
42. See especially Wallerstein's comparison between the British and French states approaches to an success in revenue extraction (MWS II. 278-279).
43. Ibid., 268.
44. Krasner argues that this is most evident in the ideological objectives that the state often follows, in which "non-logical" behavior is manifest in "a) the puruit of goals directly related to basic structures of foreign regimes and b) misperception or the absence of ends-means calculations." Drawing upon the example of U.S. policy during the Vietnam War. Krasner argues that "non-logical" behavior was manifested in American foreign policy following World War II through the misperception of the external situation by U.S. policy-makers and in their unwillingness to make clear calculations about means and ends. Since this was an outgrowth of certain ideological bases of American foreign policy -- i.~. Lockean liberalism - Krasner contends that ideology is not always a mechanism which IS
used by the State to increase the coherence of the social formation it governs (see Defending the National/merest, p. 15·16).
45. For a suggestive analysis of recent shifts in U.S. foreign policy behavior along such lines, see Bruce Cummings, "Chinatown: Elite Realignment and Foreign Policy," in Joel Rogers and Thomas Ferguson, eds., The Hidden Election (New York: Pantheon Books).
46. This is brought out not only in Wallerstein's discussion of Poland and Prussia but in the comparison between Prussia and Austria as well (MWS 11,225236).
47. Ibid., 113.
48. Adam Przeworski, "Proletariate into a Class: The Process of Class Formation from Karl Kautsky's 'The Class Struggle' to Recent Controversies," Politics and Society, 7; 4 (1977): 368.
49. R. W. Connell, "A Critique of the Althusserian Approach to Class," Theory and Society, 8/3 (1979): 327; a similar critique is advanced by Ernesto Laclau in "The Specificity of the Political," in Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory (London: NLB, 1977),51·· 79.
50. Poulantzas himself has warned that such views can easily lead to an "overpoliticisation" of the class struggle and an "overdominance" of the political level in general; see "La Theorie politique marxiste en Grande Bretogne," us Temps Modernes, 238 (1966), 1074·1079.
51. For the former critique, see Boris Frankel, "On the State of the State: Marxist Theories of the State After Lenin," in Anthony Giddens and David Held, eds., Classes, Power and Conflict (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982),249 .. 273, while the latter critique is contained in Joachim Hirsch, Staatsapparat und Reproduktion des Kapitals (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1974), As Frankel argues, Poulantzas's juridical distinction between public and private state apparatuses prevents him from adequately dealing with the contradictions that accompany the assumption by the state of a wide range of community services that are dependent upon the "economic" success of the activities of employers and workers. Frankel notes that while state intervention can be "simultaneously ideological and repressive, this does not resolve the whole problem of what is peculiar to the state apparatuses or public sectors which are either benefitting capitalists by their form of intervention or endangering accumulation and legitimacy by the very qualitative and quantitative form of this intervention" ("The State of the State," 260).
52, This is especially evident in Poulantzas's appropriation of Althusser's arguments concerning the Ideological State Apparatuses; see "The Problem of the Capitalist State." in Robin Blackbourn, ed .. Ideology in the Social Sciences (London: Fontana Collins. 1972); for critiques of this aspect of Poulantzas's work, see Frankel, "The State of the State" and Laclau, "The Specificity of the Political."
53. See State, Power, Socialism, 173.
54. Poulantzas argues "the State's autonomy is therefore not set against the fractions of the power bloc: it is not a function of the state's capacity to remain external to them but is rather a result of what takes place within the state. Its autonomy is manifested in the diverse, contradictory measures that each ofthese classes and fractions. through its specific presence in the state and the resulting play of contradictions manages to have integrated into state policy" (State, Power, Socialism. 135).
55. Jessop, The Capitalist State, 221.
56. Ibid., 227·228.
57. It should be noted that Skocpol offers criticisms of the relative autonomy position that are very similar to those of Wallerstein. In so doing she calls for analyses that consider each theoretical case in its own right with historically specific political institutions as key explanatory variables (see "Political Response to Capitalist Crisis: Nco-Marxist theories of the State and the New Deal," Politics and Society, 10.'2 (1981]: 155201). As Carnoy observes, by advancing such arguments, Skocpol"makes political institutions themselves so important (and everything else) thst she courts the danger offalling into an ex post facto empiricism that explains nothing (see The State and Policitical Theor .... 220).
S~. M WS I, 10.
59, Eric Hobsbawn. The Age o.fCapita/1848-1875 (New York: Mentor Books. 1975).33. 60, See Hobsbawn, The Age of Capital. for the figures on overseas trade between 1850 and
1870; for the 1870 .. 1914 figures. see S. B. Saul, Studies in Overseas Trade 1870-19/4 (Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press. 1960).
61, Hobsbawn, The Age of Capital. 34.
62. Ibid., 337.
113. The former mechanism is discussed in James Gallagher and Ronald Robinson. "The Imperialism of Free Trade," Economic History Review. 6( I (1953).1 .. 15. Fora discussion of the expansion of Britain's formal empire in a world system context. see Patrick McGowan, "Imperialism in World System Perspective: Britain 1870· 1914." International Studies Quarter(J'. 25;1 (1981): 43-68.
64, See Charles Kindleberger, "The Rise of Free Trade Western Europe 1820 .. 1875." in Economic Response (Cambridge. Mass.: Harvard University Press. 1978) for the case of Europe; for the United States, see Robert Keohane. "Associative American Development.
1776--11160: Economic Growth and Political Disintegration," in John Ruggie, ed., The Antinomies of Interdependence (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983).
65. Eric Hobsbawn,lndustr ... and Empire (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin. 1969). 138.
66. Fernando Cardosa and Enzo Faletto, Dependence and Development in LAtin America. translated by Marjory U quidi (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979), chapter III.
67. A comparative examination of this is contained in Peter Gourevitch, "International Trade.
Domestic Coalitions and Liberty: Comparative Responses to the Crisis of 1873 1896," Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 8;2 (1977),281·313.
68. Cardosa and Faletto, Dependency and Development, 69.
69. In 1913, Argentina ranked in the world's top ten in terms of its per capita income (see W.
Arthur Lewis, The Evolution of the International Economic Order [Princeton. N.J.:
Princeton University Press, 1975],25). A discussion of the benefits that "classicdependenee'' provided for Brazilian coffee planters is provided by Peter Evans "From Classic Dependence to Dependent Development." in Dependent Development (Princeton, N.J.:
Princeton University Press. 1975).55 -64.
70. WalIerstein's present work on this subject has tended to stress cyclical conjunctures in the Capitalist World Economy; see, for instance, "Semiperipheral States and the Contemporary World Crisis," Theor r and Societ .... 3;4 (1976): 461--484.
71. See particularly. Historical Capitalism (London: NLB, 1983),59--60.
72. M WS 11. 279281.
73. Geoffery Ingham. Capitalism Divided? (New York: Schocken Books. 1984) and David Rubinstein. Men of Propert ... : The Very Wealth ... of Britain Since the Industrial Revolution (New Brunswick. N.J.: Rutgers University Press. 1981).
74. Ingham, Capitalism Divided"; David Rubinstein, "Wealth, Elites and the Class Structure of Modern Britain." Past and Present. 76 (1977). 99-126.
75. Ingham. Capitalism Divided? chapter V.
76. See Laclau's postscript to "Feudalism and Capitalism in Latin America." in Politics and Ideolog ... in Marxist Theory (London: NLB. 1977).42- 50.
77. See Anderson. "The Origins ofthe Present Crisis." and Nairn. "Britain's Perennial Crisis."
As Ingham argues. while these heterodox Marxist interpretations of British social development are better than more mainstream views, all of them mistakenly argue that the commercial banking sector represented a form of overseas oriented "finance capital" (see Capitalism Dividedrv.
78. See Arno Mayer. The Persistence of the Old Regime: Europe /0 the Great War (New York:
Pantheon Books. 1981).
79. An excelIent overview and critique of this thinking. prevelant in North American modernization theory is provided in David Blackbourn and Geoffery Eley, The Peculiarities of German History (London: Oxford University Press, 1984).
80. Hobsbawn. The Age of Capital. 275.
81. Ibid .• chapter 16.
82. For the best overview of the diffusion of citzenship rights during the period, see Goran Therborn, "The Rule of Capital and the Rise of Democracy," NLR. 103 (1977): 3-41.
83. On the electoral strategy adopted by working-class political parties to bring about institutional change. see Adam Przeworski, "Social Democracy as a Historical Phenomenon." NLR, 122 (1980),27--58. On the threat that democratization posed to older elites, see Norman Stone, Europe Transformed 1878-1919 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 1984), chapters I and II.
84. An interesting treatment of the relationship between the expansion sufferage and elite efforts to increase government's legitimacy is offered in John Freeman and Duncan Snidal, "Diffusion, Development and Democratization: Enfranchisement in Western Europe," Canadian Journal of Political Science, volume 15/2 (1982): 299-329.
85. Thomas Ferguson, "From Normalcy to the New Deal: Industrial Structure, Party Competition, and American Public Policy in the Great Depression," International Organization, 38/ I (1984): 40-94. Political developments in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s are discussed in Charles Maire, Recasting Bourgeois Europe (Princeton, N.J.:
Princeton University Press, 1975); David Abraham, The Collapse of the Weimar Republic (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981); and Peter Gourevitch, "Breaking With Orthodoxy," International Organization, 38( 1(1984),96-129.
I should like to thank Raymond D. Duvall for offering careful and thorough criticisms of several earlier versions of this article. Other useful suggestions
for improvement came from Richard K. Ashley, Julie Erfanirezaiansai, Immanuel Wallerstein, and David Winters.
Theory and Society 14 (1985) 469-495
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