The separation of powers constitutes a vital feature of western democracies, enshrined in myriad federal and state constitutions. Yet, as a broad principle, theorists…
The separation of powers constitutes a vital feature of western democracies, enshrined in myriad federal and state constitutions. Yet, as a broad principle, theorists struggle to pin down its precise nature, and many contend that the tripartite separation of state powers into legislative, executive and judicial branches proves simplistic and infeasible. I argue we should understand the separation of powers as a strategy used to structure relations between the separated institutions. This process of structuring empowers the creation of novel inter-relations among institutions (relations of balancing, checking, dividing, coordinating and so on), with the goal of improving their institutional integrity. In short, we separate only to reconnect.
It was with a certain amount of surprise mixed in roughly equal proportions with curiosity that I recently accepted the task of writing a review of a work, published in…
It was with a certain amount of surprise mixed in roughly equal proportions with curiosity that I recently accepted the task of writing a review of a work, published in 2001, on the encounter between the Enlightenment (meaning the French Enlightenment) and postmodernism. Reading in the Scottish Enlightenment suggests a need to know something about the wider European context though the exclusivity of France as the Enlightenment or as the home of Enlightenment is no longer a sustainable proposition. The Scots, in their energetic Universities, were as much involved with applying Newton and developing Locke or extending Shaftesbury or countermanding Mandeville as they were with the continental philosophies. The proposition put to me, to persuade me to the task, was the work was likely to contain ideas that intellectual historians of economics might profit from. A reflection on the significance of two potentially conflicting sets of ideas ought to have significance for the study of 18th-century economics developed within the cultural context of wider Enlightenment thought.
This paper sets out to argue for rethinking governance through the prism of Montesquieu's model of checks and balances within state powers. It aims to explore the parallel…
This paper sets out to argue for rethinking governance through the prism of Montesquieu's model of checks and balances within state powers. It aims to explore the parallel between the eighteenth century concept of division of power and the current need to engage and balance the powers of the state, industry/markets and civil society in governance for global sustainability. It also takes Montesquieu's doctrine of balance of powers beyond static checks and balances into more dynamic innovation.
This is a conceptual paper that translates seventeenth and eighteenth century state theory into twenty‐first century governance. It also explores how models from innovation may be applied to discuss dynamic aspects of governance.
Drawing on the product‐cycle model, the paper shows how governance entrepreneurship may be explored and understood in innovation terms. The paper explores extractive industries' transparency initiative (EITI) as an illustration of governance innovation to address a gross governance and market failure in the extractive industries – the “resource curse”, particularly in developing countries. It shows how much of EITI's remarkable success in building institutional support is due to actors expanding from their traditional domains into new complementary roles. Each of the three powers – civil society, business, and politics – has exploited their comparative advantages in bringing the governance project forward.
Given the limitation of conventional governance models, the originality/value of the paper lie in its launch of new supplementary governance approaches and their application to the EITI case.
Against the grain of the paradigmatic postcolonial analytics of the colonial state, this chapter presents a non-dichotomous comparison of two regimes within the late 18th…
Against the grain of the paradigmatic postcolonial analytics of the colonial state, this chapter presents a non-dichotomous comparison of two regimes within the late 18th century Danish empire, which are commonly presumed to be of essentially different kinds – namely the colonial state in Tranquebar in South East India and the metropolitan government of rural Danish society. By focusing, firstly, on practices of policing and, secondly, on the general technology of power that targeted these significantly different socio-political spheres, it is argued that these regimes were governing according to similar strategies: seeking, on one hand, to deploy societal mechanisms of self-regulation and, on the other, to provide a balance and order to the otherwise chaotic forces of the population. On the basis of a Foucauldian vocabulary of government, it is thereby argued that colonialism, at this time and place, had not yet clearly constituted itself as a particular form of rule.
How can public institutions achieve their goals and best nurture virtue in their members? In this chapter, I seek answers to these questions in a perhaps unlikely place…
How can public institutions achieve their goals and best nurture virtue in their members? In this chapter, I seek answers to these questions in a perhaps unlikely place: the television series The Wire. Known for its unflinching realism, the crime drama narrates the intertwined lives of police, criminals, politicians, teachers and journalists in drug-plagued urban Baltimore. Yet even in the thick and quick of institutional dysfunction the drama portrays, human virtue springs forth and institutions (despite themselves) sometimes perform their roles. I begin this exploration of The Wire by drawing on Montesquieu and other political theorists to evaluate the problems facing state institutions – problems of diversity and principle as much as selfishness and power-mongering. I then turn to the prospects for virtue within modern institutions, developing and applying the system of Alasdair MacIntyre and paying particular attention to the role of narrative in cementing and integrating virtue.
Seven authors contributed to this well-edited volume that explores the publications, lectures, public comments, and correspondence of several well- and lesser-known…
Seven authors contributed to this well-edited volume that explores the publications, lectures, public comments, and correspondence of several well- and lesser-known classical thinkers regarding women's role in society, politics, and the economy. The dual goals of the work as stated by the editors are to “show that the classical economists did concern themselves with gender analysis” and to illustrate that the classical school developed a “sophisticated response to the question, why is it that in all human societies women have suffered a lower status than that enjoyed by men?” (p. 2). This response includes three elements: the inalienable rights of all human beings, the unchanging biological differences between men and women, and the varying historical contexts in which men and women find themselves. The intersection of these three factors affects how and why women's status changes across space and over time. The goals of the volume are met to a great extent, and anyone interested in gender scholarship and/or economic thought will find the collection interesting and long overdue.
This paper seeks to take stock of core arguments in some of the most central governance traditions and to discuss their capacity to deliver solutions. It starts with an appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the ideas of market‐, state‐ and civil‐society‐led governance, but also factors in the effect of media and communication as governance arenas in their own right. Then it aims to review core arguments put forward in broader approaches to governance where multiple governance mechanisms are combined.
This is a conceptual paper that reviews central approaches in the governance literature and their ability to further sustainable development. The review is taken as a basis for tentative formulations of new supplementary governance approaches.
Out of the critical analysis the paper distils is an approach to governance that combines three basic elements: First, a re‐interpretation of Montesquieu's principle of checks and balances – applied not only to state institutions, but also to the interplay between the state, markets and civil society. Second, an argument for polyarchic, multilevel governance, where flexible institutional frameworks, at various levels of aggregation, allow actors to jointly engage in developing governance. Third, it argues that open communication may constitute an important governance element. It ends by recognising that global governance, going forward, will include a mix of parallel governance models, in some ways competing for hegemony, but supporting one another in other ways.
The originality/value of the paper lies in its critical assessment of central current governance theories and in its launch of new supplementary governance approaches.
In 1767, did Sir James Steuart predict the political and financial crises that started the French Revolution? Étienne de Sénovert, the editor and translator of Steuart’s…
In 1767, did Sir James Steuart predict the political and financial crises that started the French Revolution? Étienne de Sénovert, the editor and translator of Steuart’s work, seems to argue to this effect in the introduction to the first French edition of An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy in 1789. The visionary “prediction” set forth by Steuart was the following: if the king of France had introduced public credit, this would have changed the political balance in French political society, making it very unstable. The English and the French governments used different ways of borrowing money in 1760: the French king contracted debts with a network of financiers close to the government, while the English government borrowed on the credit markets through the intermediary of the Bank of England. The second of these methods constitutes public credit and has proved its efficiency. According to Steuart, implementing the English public credit system in France could have dangerous consequences. Landed interests and moneyed interests would compete for the control of the State. The author realized that the French nobility, the landowners, as a social and economic group would have no chance in facing such a powerful rival (the public creditors). In this chapter, the author analyzes Steuart’s “prediction” as a coherent part of his systematic and original approach to political economy. Steuart’s theories about the role of political economy and the role of “interest” are connected to his understanding of institutions. Introducing such a complex support for the value as public credit might have different consequences in France and England. Steuart thinks each country’s economy should be analyzed according to its own institutional and social context.
Steuart’s work was still relevant in 1789 for two reasons. Firstly, the author’s prediction of political antagonism between capitalists and nobility anticipated the political conflict about debt expressed by pamphleteers such as Sieyès, Mirabeau, and Clavière between 1787 and 1789. This is the context of Étienne de Sénovert’s claim: the political narrative built by the revolutionaries of 1789 (rescuing the “sacred” public debt from royal despotism) fitted Steuart’s prediction. This may have been the incentive for the translation and publication of his work in 1789 and 1790. Secondly, Steuart’s financial and monetary theory was at the heart of the project of financial reform that would lead to the assignats. Steuart’s (1767) theory of public finance and state power in 1789 provides a key to the understanding the events of the time, and to how actors tried to make sense of them. Steuart made another crucial observation about the deep effect of what he called “the modern economy” upon the power of the governments of Europe: even an absolute monarch could not damage public credit without destroying his own sovereignty.
This chapter explores how the principles of retribution and deterrence were framed and thus used to justify capital punishment in the early years of the Republic, and how…
This chapter explores how the principles of retribution and deterrence were framed and thus used to justify capital punishment in the early years of the Republic, and how the purposes for capital punishment have changed in the past two centuries. We ask several related questions: (1) Has our understanding of the morality and utility of retributive justice changed so dramatically that the historical argument tying justification for capital punishment to the past now ought to carry less weight? (2) Have our perspectives on the purposes for capital punishment changed in ways that now might call the entire experiment into question? and (3) What, in short, can we say about the historical similarities between arguments concerning retribution and deterrence at the Founding and those same arguments today?As is often true of common law principles, the reasons for the rule are less sure and less uniform than the rule itself. (Justice Marshall's majority opinion in Ford v. Wainwright, 477 U.S. 399 (1986))
This article looks at corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a discursive social practice that attempts to interrogate the global market economy and its neoliberal…
This article looks at corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a discursive social practice that attempts to interrogate the global market economy and its neoliberal underpinnings and that reflects as well as frames and shapes domestic and global politics and institutions. Drawing upon Karl Polanyi’s notions of reciprocity and redistribution while also emphasizing the normative content of the concept, the article inquires into the position that the CSR discourse occupies in addressing the corporate transnational risks derived from social tensions and conflicts and more generally, in answering social expectations for justice. The Polanyian perspective highlights the CSR discursive quest for a missing conceptual consistency and implicitly, for a constructive “critical” core. From this perspective, the article shows CSR to reside within controversial conceptual boundaries; a discursive social practice that engages with the social aspiration of embedding market economy in society while it is also in need of reclaiming its critical core and its potential for social change.