Repertoires, performances, and institution creation: Comparing Regime Consolidation in China and Taiwan, 1949-1955
Presented by Julia Strauss, Senior Faculty Fellow, SOAS, University of London, at the Center for Historical Research, Department of History at The Ohio State University on January 10, 2014.
Much of the state building literature that comes from a Weberian perspective focuses on the creation and solidification of state institutions, particularly those bureaucratic institutions concerned with external defense, internal order, the extraction of sufficient resources to fund the state apparatus, and the recruitment and socialization for the state bureaucracy itself. Other literatures in a more rational choice vein, particularly associated with Robert Bates’ work on Africa, focus on how incentives for individuals within state bureaucracies often lead to rent seeking behaviour that undercuts the wider state building project. My work seeks to fill in the large grey areas and gaps between these two literatures on state building by focusing on they dynamics of how the higher reaches of the state mobilize the lower reaches of the bureaucracy through campaigns that intensely focus the nascent capacity of state agents on a series of extraordinary actions and programs, and they ways in which these campaigns either support or undercut other processes in the institutionalization of the bureaucracy that tend towards regular procedures, processes and rules.