Developmentalist approach offered false hope as many
countries still remain poor and some reverted back to
poverty after a brief prosperity.
This false empirical evidence also led to the emergence
of many alternative theories to the developmentalist
approach which seek to explain why many countries are
still poor and non-democratic.
The first approach was corporatism. There are many
branches of corporatism, related to either Latin America
or Western Europe. This approach studies the relations
between business, labor, and the state.
It is the “third way” between liberalism (emphasizing
business), and Marxism (emphasizing labor). This third
way emphasizes the role of the state in mediating the
relations between the other two actors.
4. Corporatism defined
Corporatism derive from the term “corps”, meaning that
something as a whole.
Corporatism may be defined as “a structure of national
sociopolitical organization in which major societal units
(armed forces, religious bodies, employers, labor) are
integrated into, and usually subordinated to, the state”.
This is dictatorial in character, but it is different from
socialism in that it does not take the working class as the
main institution who rules society. In corporatism, the
state itself is subordinated to nothing.
5. Corporatism as a new approach
Corporatism started to flourish in the 1960s and 1970s
when traditional theories that focus on check and
balance, separation of power, or interest groups
competition cannot adequately explain new political
For example, traditional theories find it hard to explain
why labor strikes are so frequent in France but very rare
in Germany, although the two countries share similar
According to Philippe Schmitter, corporatism can be
defined as “a system of interest representation in which
the constituent units are organized into a limited
number of singular compulsory, noncompetitive,
hierarchally ordered and functionally differentiated
categories, recognized or licensed, (if not created) by the
state and granted a deliberate representational monopoly
within their respective categories in exchange for
observing certain controls on their selection of leaders
and articulation of demands and supports”.
The state, in short, acts as something like a father figure
to the other units that must organize themselves and
work under the direction of the state.
This approach, therefore, is often confused with the
fascist and totalitarian regimes in the interwar period.
8. Corporatism and its history
According to Wiarda, this can be summarized into three
Strong directing state
Freedom of actions of interest groups are restricted
All interest groups are incorporated into the state
The above definitions might not be overarching, but it
does give clear differentiations from pluralism: variety of
actors, no or very limited government control, state is
not the only actor that matters…
In the western origin of the concept, it can be traced
back to biblical and ancient Greek time. The state was
considered as an organic whole who controlled and
regulated the professions which were organized into
separate corporate units under the state.
9. Corporatism defined
There is no class struggle in corporatism. The business
and labor are expected to work together to avoid strike
and keep the economy going. Disagreement is bad for
Fascism takes this further to mean that socialism is
threatening because it advocates the breakdown of
society through class struggle.
Corporatism criticizes democracy as fragmented society.
Without the leadership of the state, society will be weak
because it is not united.
10. Corporatism and its Fascist variant
Under Germany and Italy, during WWII, corporatism
was meant to be something that is equivalent to the total
mobilization of the state.
In this variant, known as Fascism or totalitarianism, the
state controls everything and everyone must obey the
state under all circumstances.
In WWII in Italy and Germany, when this tendency was
combined with the cult of the personality of Hitler and
Mussolini, it creates a regime that does not listen to the
people’s wish but instead followed an abstract visions of
Hitler and Mussolini.
12. Origin of the term “Corporatism”
Corporatism was usually associated with Mussolini’s
political-economic system in Italy of the National
Socialists in Germany. It is therefore carries negative
connotation associated with Fascism.
But corporatism in general is not Fascism. Fascism is
only one form of corporatism. Nevertheless, this
negative connotation makes it hard for a truly objective
social science study.
Corporatism is not associated with “corporations” which
is private business.
13. Corporatism and its history
The French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian
Revolution of 1917 brought about two new systems,
liberal-individualism and socialism, respectively. But the
upheaval that accompanied these events only motivated
more people to seek the alternatives.
Corporatism, with its focus on social harmony, became
the most favorite alternatives in the twentieth century.
However, the first forms of corporatism were closely
associated with fascism when combined with the cult of
Ex: Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany, Salazar’s Portugal,
14. Corporatism and its history
The system proliferated to countries such as Bulgaria,
Poland, Turkey, Austria, Yugoslavia, the Baltic states… But in
these cases, corporatism was used only to advance their
dictatorial control rather than functional representation.
These are the states that gave corporatism as bad name.
However, these states differed from other European corporate
states who adhered to the true corporatist ideology. All the
social institution that are subordinated to the state do not
totally subject themselves, but they subordinate themselves
to gain a voice in policy-making.
In the former cases, corporatism arose out of the need to
manage the labor-business relations within the state
structure to avoid large-scale disruption to the economy. The
degree to which the government maintains control over the
arbitration system defines the degree of its corporatist
15. Corporatism as a political culture approach
The first branch of corporatism took the form of a
political culture theory.
A country is a corporatist country mainly because it has
been so historically and that has developed into a
culture. In this culture, people respect the state.
For example, for historical reasons, the Latin America
and Southern Europe are traditionally corporatist
16. Corporatism as an institutionalist approach
The second branch of corporatism took the form of an
A country is a corporatist country not necessarily
because it is influenced by history or culture, but it may
be influenced by how the political institutions are
designed at a crucial period.
For example, Singapore became what it is today may not
be because of its culture but because at the beginning
(at the time of its independence).
The US, however, is a good case for debate between the
17. Contributions of Corporatism in Comparative Politics
1. The developmentalist approach used the liberal-
Marxist dichotomy, which means that if a regime is not
liberal, then it must be dictatorship or Marxist. This
approach cannot explain the structure of Scandinavian
countries as well as countries like Germany who are
2. Corporatism revives many institutions that were
dismissed by the pluralist and developmentalist
approaches as unimportant. In the latter, only political
party is the main actor who can represent their interest
in the state. Corporatism argues that the relationship is
more complex and the state decides which groups, in
addition to political parties, can represent their
interest formally in the state’s apparatus.
18. Contributions of Corporatism in Comparative Politics
3. Corporatism has two main variation. The first was
“statist corporatism” with the state playing a dominant
role (like in Latin America and the Iberian peninsular).
The second was “societal corporatism” with the state
playing a less dominant role. The explanation of the
divergence is cultural and historical: Catholicism and
the influence of central planning.
4. Instead of moving from authoritarian to liberal-
democracy directly, a country might experience a set of
steps: traditional, ideological, manifest, and neo-
corporatism. According to Wiarda, the last step is an
alternative path towards development.
Strong states are not necessarily authoritarian!
19. Corporatism after WWII
After the fascist turn in the interwar years, corporatism
returned to many countries in Asia and Latin America.
In almost all of these countries, it has been argued that a
strong state (i.e. statist corporatism) is necessary for a
transition from underdevelopment as it stabilizes the
labor-business relationship to contribute to economic
After the economy stabilized, the system began to move
gradually toward societal or neo-corporatism. The state
still directs the economy, but individual initiatives are
more encouraged than before.
It is for this reason that countries like Singapore and
Japan, despite strong state grip on the economy and
active trade policy, are not counted as authoritarian.
Latin American countries, on the other hand, met with
less smooth transition.
20. Corporatism today
In some countries, corporatism took the form of tribal,
clans, or family politics where the concept of state itself
depends on all these particular units.
The political system in some countries can be explained
by how religious ideas dictates the relationship between
units of a society and the state.
Today, corporatism is simply used to denote a specific
form of state-society relations, a special form of that
interactions. Each countries has its special form.
21. Corporatism after WWII
Today, corporatism is facing a variety of challenges.
In the developing world, statist corporatism is facing a
challenge from globalization and development aid tied
with the conditions to liberalize the economy, thus
destroying the pre-existing corporatist structure.
In the developed world (societal or neo-corporatism),
foreign acquisition of major firms poses the question as
to which state controls a certain company (ex:
automobile industry). Second, the rise of supranational
institution like the EU also poses a challenge to the role
of the state in mediating the labor-business relations.
Traditionally, coup d'état has been thought of as
something caused by some particular dictator.
Therefore, if that dictator felt from power, then there
will be hope for democracy. As an example, when the
Russian military failed in a 1991 coup, Yeltsin could work
toward the first free election in Russia after a very long
If, on the other hand, a coup was initiated by many
people or by institutions, then individual leaders do not
matter. A change in leader will not trigger a change in
The concept was first proposed by Guillermo O’Donnell.
He studied Argentina, Brazil, and Chile and argued that
there is possibilities of coup initiated by the institutions.
O’Donnell argued that Latin America in the 1970s and
1980s was dominated by import substitution
industrialization policy which brought a lot of hope.
The policy, however, failed and most people became
disillusioned. He argued that the military institution
and the civil society favored a strong, disciplined regime
with military-like rule.
O’Donnell argued that this civil-military coalition was
faced with a choice: stop the growth and change
economic policy OR to continue growth by reducing
wage. They chose the latter.
In this case, the middle class asked for more repression
against the working class. The rise of the middle class
does not lead to democracy.
His PhD dissertation was rejected at Yale. But later he
published the book anyway. In the book he predicted
that Chile was on the next list of a coup because the
import-substitute industrialization almost exhausted.
O’Donnell rose to fame in 1973 when there was a coup in
Chile as he predicted and the society as a whole
supported that regime.
26. Bureaucratic-Authoritarianism: Challenges
1. O’Donnell did not explain clearly why import
substitution failed. He simply claimed that it has
reached saturation and then failed. But he did not
explain why it succeeded in South Korea but not in
2. O’Donnell was not clear as to why the failure of
import substitution led to military regime. O’Donnell
was not very clear why a military-like rule is necessary
for an alternative economic policy.
3. Later O’Donnell argued that it is the crisis of import
substitution that lead to the transition to democracy in
Argentina. This is contradictory: did the crisis of import
substitution lead to authoritarianism or democracy?
29. Bureaucratic-Authoritarianism: Assessments
1. B-A is good as a concept because it tells us that coup
d'état is not always a one-person act. Sometimes, the
institutions and society support the coup.
2. The theory of economic determinism was simply
3. Yet, O’Donnell pointed out the fact that the was social
and economic problems in Latin America. In this crisis,
the elites and the middle class supported the military to
protect their interests at the expense of the mass (which
is the working class).
31. Rational Choice
Ration choice theory postulates that people decide
rationally (hence the name) based on cost-benefit
People will calculate the cost and benefit of alternative
actions and then decide to choose the one with the
highest net benefit.
Whether the outcome is successful does not tell us about
rationality, rational choice is about a process of decision.
Outside influence can affect the outcome, but rationality
will increase the likelihood of success.
If we use rational choice theory in comparative politics,
then we argue that election choice, parliamentary
voting, interest groups politics, and even coup d'état all
depend on how decision-makers calculate the cost an
benefit associated with each action.
32. Rational Choice (2)
Rational choice theory assumes that people make
decision within constraints. Constraints comes from two
main sources: scarcity (ability is limited) and
institutional or organizational (such as law, traditions,
For example, if the military chooses to take over the
government, they face a variety of constraints such as
legality, legitimacy, people’s protest, international
33. Rational Choice (3)
Ration choice theory maintains that after the
calculation, and before you decide, you will also think
about the other will react. This is called “strategic
actions” meaning that your actions depends on what you
expect from others.
For example, such decision can be seen in the decision to
vote in the legislator, military intervention (what are the
possible outrage?), civil protest (what’s the government’s
That also explain why the “tragedy of the commons”
34. An example of Rational choice: How the military calculates
whether to initiate a coup or to allow democratic transition
35. Benefits and Costs of Rational Choice Theory in CP
1. It can be used to build testable hypotheses and
2. It is simple, common sense, and should be applicable
to all cases and to everyone.
3. Rational choice explains some of the most important
events such as “path dependency”. Once a country goes
down a certain system, it is very hard for them to
reverse it. Not that it is impossible, but it is not
rational to do so. Ex: QWERTY system.
There are also some problems, however:
1. Capacity to calculate is limited.
2. Information is not sufficient.
3. Multiple equilibriums: unitary decisions or free-riding
4. Stressful situations make decisions harder.
Therefore, its predictive capacity might be limited.
37. Dependency Theory: History
Dependency theory was born out of the Cold War. It was
the ideological expression of that period of struggle.
With the end of the Cold War, many assume that
dependency theory will also lose its favor.
Yet, the unprecedented rise of capitalism raised the
concern that major corporations will do anything it can
to maximize the efficiency of capital. Efficiency became
the sole criteria.
This time, it was not about state against state (US vs.
Soviet Union). This time it was the domination of major
corporation who care solely about efficiency at the
expense of democracy, labor and human rights, and the
38. Dependency Theory: concept
The end of the Cold War also put an end to the question
of whether we should end capitalism. Instead, people
turn to ask how can we control capitalism for greater
benefit of all.
Dependency theory distinguishes two terms: 1.
Dependency which denotes the fact that some countries
are big and some are small, the latter are more
dependent than the former on the international system.
2. Dependencia which denotes the social and political
grievances that were expressed as a result of Dependency.
Here is the core of the theory: to understand changes in
the Third Worlds (also called Periphery) one must see it
as a function of the power of economic imperialism
generated by superpower (also called Core).
39. Dependency Theory: concept
Many people see this approach as part of the larger
World System Theory, based in large part on Marxism
and the declining rate of profit which brings about the
The theory postulates that there is Dual Economy:
economic activity from the outside world (companies of
major power) and the traditional economy.
Normally, the external or modern economy will try to
maximize the efficiency of capital (since it is linked to
the economy of the superpower)m enriching a small
number of people who serve in that sector.
At the same time, masses of poor people belong to the
traditional sector with less power and were exploited by
the rich (following Marxist explanation).
40. Dependency Theory: concept
Because the affluent or the rich are very small in number,
they had to find ways to maintain their positions and
privileges. The surest way to do that is to control the
This gave rise to a proliferation of various B-A in Latin
America where the military government born out of coup
d'états found their alliance with the minority rich.
Therefore, dependency theory provides a good
explanation as to why so many Third World countries are
authoritarian with one military regime or another. This
persistence of authoritarianism, according to
dependency theory, has a strong connection with the
economic activities and interests of the capitalist
41. Dependency Theory: concept
Dependency works on many levels:
Rules and regulations required by the major corporations
before they invest in any country. Dependency theorists
saw this as a way to impose on small countries.
The IMF and the World are accused of working as
“superstructure” of the capitalist superpowers. The main
criticism was the IMF’s focus on “structural adjustment”
that some criticized as too damaging for the target country
without taking into account the cultural difference
between countries. The IMF and the World Bank prefer “a
The theory argued that Dependency is a fact of life and if
something was established, it was sometimes not
impossible, but it is just that it is not rational to change it.
Ex: QWERTY keyboard, persistence of authoritarianism.