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The Corporatism Dimension Of Political Development Study

Posted on:2010-05-25Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:L D LiFull Text:PDF
GTID:1116360272995118Subject:Political Theory
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Western political development theory has gone through ups and downs since its rise in late 1950s, but there are many famous scholars and fruitful academic production in this field, and it has a far-reaching impact. Howard J.Wiarda is a later scholar studying on political development. First as a student, later as a scholar, he witnessed and participated in the whole process of rise, peak, criticism, reflection and chang of political development theory. Although Wiarda's political development research covers a wide range, corporatism is his consistent research dimension, is his research feature, and is his greatest contribution to political development theory. To study Wiarda's political development theory will help us not only discern the cause and effect of evolution of western political development theory, but to grasp the future direction of political development research.The paradigm of developmentalism dominated the political development research of 1960s. Actually, Wiarda was primitively a believer of developmentalism. However, as the failure of developmentalism in developing countries, Wiarda found a distinct development model which he named "corporatist model" that was different from Western-Europe and North-America's through his research on Iberic-Latin politics. In Wiarda's opinion, corporatism is a set of ideas and ways of behavior that are deeply embedded in Iberic-Latin histroy,culture and tradition as well as a system of interest representation organized according to functional groups. Wiarda focused on the corporatist model of Iberic-Latin political development, but he never excluded the applicability of this model to other areas. Wiarda classified corporatism as four categories: natural corporatism, ideology corporatism, manifest corporatism and modern neo-corporatism. He considered that there was a inherent logic of evolution from one to another, and it also may be a mixture or overlap of several categories under certain conditions.The corporatism dimension of political development study makes us understand why democracy failed and why authoritarianism was established in developing countries. Furthermore, even under the background of transition to democracy, Wiarda considered that the validity of corporatism paradigm was still very strong. First, democratic consolidation has not been achieved in many developing countries, exclusive,authoritarian state corporatism is still exist. Second, societal corporatism which is a mechanism of interest representation and intermediation is in fact compatible with democratic system. So, for many developing countries, democratic transition and consolidation do not mean the passing of corporatism, but the development from state corporatism to societal corporatism.Through corporatism paradigm, Wiarda emphasized the continuity in political development and demonstrated the importance of political,historical and cultural factors. In fact, Wiarda suggested to achieve some balance between change and continuity, alien and indigenous factors. So the problem, which was developmentalism only focused on changeable and alien aspects in political change, was overcome to a large degree. Wiarda criticized developmentalism but did not deny it. He mentioned many times that corporatism supplied rather than substituted for developmentalism. He suggested to combine such paradigms as developmentalism, corporatism, dependency theory,etc. This reflected a pragmatic rather than ideological attitude in Wiarda's study on corporatism. It is to be noted that there were also some problems in Wiarda's research. For example, the concept of corporatism was too wide and some ambiguous; and criticism was much more than construction. But in any case Wiarda provided us a very enlighten perspective.Corporatism paradigm is very useful to understand the practice and theory of China's political development because it has much correspondence with China's historical tradition and reality of political development. From the perspective of rebuilding state-society relations, corporatism provides a realistic and feasible choice. Present China is mainly characteristic of state corporatism, but with the positive interaction between state and society, with the growth of civil society and the enhancement of social organizational level increasingly, it can be expected that China would achieve the transition from state corporatism to societal corporatism.
Keywords/Search Tags:Wiarda, Corporatism, developmentalism, Political Development
PDF Full Text Request
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