Political Power and Social Theory: Volume 16

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Table of contents

(16 chapters)

Theories of capitalist class formation presuppose that the historical triumph of the business corporation over the individual proprietorship in major industries derived from either the increasing capital requirements, or the increasing organizational complexity, of industrial development. Similarly, economic historians of the Pennsylvania anthracite mine industry argue that the corporate imperative originated in the economic requirements of mining and transporting coal. In this study, I challenge both the theoretical and empirical forms of the argument which reduce the rise of the corporation and the decline of the individual enterprise to industrial requirements. Instead, I employ an historical comparison of the anthracite industry's three commercial districts to show how class formation, whether by corporations or by individual proprietors, resulted from political class struggles. Specifically, I find that the struggles for corporate charter privileges in the state legislature determined the pattern of class formation in anthracite mining. The finding is significant, first, for underscoring the extra-economic origins of class formation, and, secondly, for revealing the historically contingent quality of class formation.

The emergence of the Maori ruling elite of neotribal capitalism in New Zealand is located in the politicisation of culture that is a world-wide localised response to fundamental changes in global capitalism. A range of broke rage mechanisms enacted through culturalist discourse have enabled the elite to broker a neotraditional ideology into state institutions. This paper examines the brokers, the brokerage mechanisms, and the ideology of revived traditional leadership which have established this group as a capitalist aristocracy.

A comparison of the establishment of investment companies that own shares on behalf of indigenous populations in Malaysia and Fiji reveals an emphasis on individualized ownership in Malaysia and collective ownership in Fiji. Critical state support of indigenous investment companies in both countries fostered the emergence of a new class of indigenous capitalists whose position in society is in tension with structures of class and ethnicity; however, this position enables the group to serve as important brokers between social groups. The difference in the nature of ownership is explained by the institutionalization of the investment companies within the state in Malaysia and independent of the national state in Fiji. This different institutionalization results from variation in the structure of the states and elite relations within the two countries.

Although a quintessentially intermestic issue, immigration policy is usually analyzed as a one-level (domestic or international) policy question, and existing theories essentially talk past each other while failing to explain changes over time. I develop a domestic-international model of migration policy-making which explores the ability of Congress, the president, and migrant-sending states to influence outcomes. I examine the U.S.-Mexican Bracero Program (1942–1964), and I find that my model strongly outperforms existing one-level theories of migration policy-making. I conclude by exploring the current immigration policy environment, and I argue that it too is best understood as a two-level process.

When philosophy paints its grey on grey, then has a shape of life grown old. By philosophy's grey on grey it cannot be rejuvenated but only understood. The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk. G. W. F. Hegel, “Preface,” Philosophy of Right ((1821), translated by T. M. Knox (1952)), p. 13.

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Political Power and Social Theory
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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