Showing posts from September, 2014

Hellerian Capitalism IV: Francis Fukuyama's Patrimonialism

Nicholas Roerich ‘Study of Mountains’ 1933 As Francis Fukuyama himself seems quite keen to emphasise, ‘impersonality’ and ‘patrimonialism’ are probably the two most significant theoretical concepts in his just-released second volume of a popular history of ‘the state’ and political development. The first volume was The Origins of Political Order , and the new one is titled Political Order and Political Decay .  After the tough criticism my 2009 book made of Fukuyama’s earlier and very innovative 2004 book State-Building , it is to his considerable credit that Fukuyama has belatedly now caught up with the basic logic of the fundamental Weberian idea that development of impersonality and transitions out of patrimonialism (personalism) are the defining elements in the emergence of the modern state. Fukuyama distinguishes ‘patrimonialism’ from ‘modern capitalism’, and describes their transition as the central dynamic of institutional change in history. Correctly, like me

Hellerian Capitalism III: Complex Causation

Nicholas Roerich ‘Kangchenjunga’ 1937 Today I present a wonkish post on causality which is section 3 of an unpublished chapter sent to Princeton and Yale in 2003 at a time when almost no one was writing conceptually in non-Eurocentric post-Cold War ‘big idea ’  terms about  ‘ good ’  capitalism,  the economic sociology of capitalism, institutional sequencing in developing countries,  institutional causes and consequences of capitalist development crises, and the beneficial role of ideology in capitalist transitions . My proposed title for a book on these themes in 2003 was Ideal Capitalism .  The following section, which I've edited slightly to make it more readable, focused on a debate involving two top Weber scholars - Randall Collins and Stephen Kalberg.  It occurs to me now that a fresh field called ‘a new sociology of economic history’ might in the future display some useful comparative advantage in innovative theorisations of large scale socio-economi