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Transnational mobilization and domestic regime change : Africa in comparative perspective

Stephanie L. Adrian Leftwich represents this position most forcefully by stating, that "what the West should do is to support only those dedicated and determined developmental elites which are seriously bent on promoting economic growth, whether democratic or not emphasis in the original. For by helping them to raise the level of economic development it will help them also to establish or consolidate the real internal conditions for lasting democracy" Leftwich Thus, not only in the heydays o f modernization theory, but still today, some tacit understanding about the "deeper layer" of socio-economic conditions enjoys considerable support.

There is no way of explaining this robust finding, replicated in many studies of different designs, as spurious effect of flawed methods. Both claim the use o f improved statistical methods and data sets, but consistently arrive at contradictory conclusions. As a result, a number of scholars working with quantitative methods in this area can no longer be labeled as modernization theorists, because the dynamism o f the economic modernization did not evenly translate into a similar process in the political sphere.

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Authors following the first variant are mainly concerned with 1 improving statistical methods, 2 explaining "outliers", and 3 identifying those issues within the broad process of modernization which have the strongest impact on democratic change. Whereas factors such as urbanization or mass media have lost prominence over time, education stands today as a major link between both processes Hadenius ; Helliwell More skeptical is Arat, who maintained that "on the basis o f these findings it can be concluded that increasing levels tif economic development do not necessarily lead to higher levels o f democracy, even for the less developed countries" Arat Finally, Larry Diamond has relegated economic growth to one among many "facilitating and obstructing factors".

He concluded, that "[t]here are strong methodological and theoretical grounds for inferring that this relationship is indeed causal without precluding the very real possibility of reciprocal causation " Diamond In order to avoid the dead end o f inconclusive statistical evidence and causal confusion, a brief discussion on the issue o f reversed causality will present a change o f perspective. Until then conventional wisdom held that authoritarian regimes generate greater economic growth than democracies.

However, these ideas had been under challenge for some time because many authoritarian regimes did everything else except for increasing the wealth o f their nations. More often than not a small elite section profited while the economic situation o f large parts o f the population remained unchanged or worsened. Despite this early evidence, it took until for the first study to be published that proclaimed that democracy was a better promoter o f economic growth than authoritarianism.

Here the best way to promote democracy is to promote authoritarianism which will eventually disappear thanks to its successful economic policies see Leftwich above. So far, the empirical results have yielded a "perfect stalemate" o f nine supporting a conflictual position, nine in favor o f a complementary understanding, and six undecided Moore This is true even if one ignores some o f the self-inflicted inconsistencies and tautologies o f modernization theorists which have been largely introduced to avoid the falsification o f their basic claim.

Whereas a significant positive correlation between economic well-being and democracy stands as relatively undisputed, the conclusions drawn from that result with regard to causality and the exact process o f change fail a critical evaluation. First, even improved data sets and statistical methods have not yielded more consistent results. There is still a lack o f general agreement on the case selection and the indicators chosen for measuring economic development and democracy. Moore argued that this selection bias negatively effects the result o f the study and that small states are more likely to be democratic because o f outside influences Moore At the same time, Mark R.

Thompson made reference to an argument that relatively rich but authoritarian Singapore with 2. Thus, contradictory evidence is often explained away by equally contradictory and arbitrary statements which are designed to avoid falsification of the underlying claim. Causality can also not be proven if one analyzes the relationship o f economic growth and democracy separately for different world regions.

Even if one concludes that the nexus is also significant outside o f the Western context, this does not mean that predominantly wealth breeds democracy. Often, arguments for the latter are interpreted as prove for the former claim. Structural accounts notoriously fail to shed light on the exact process by which cause and effect are connected. The record o f middle classes with respect to supporting demands for democratization is mixed.

Most recently, Rueschemeyer et al. N or does cross-sectional correlation allow us to make adequate inferences about causal sequence" Huber, Rueschemeyer, and Stephens Moreover, the issue o f democratic change invariably involves complex social systems with a prevalence o f interdependence and multi-causality. Therefore, cause and effect are often hard to separate and "the values our explanatory variables take on are sometimes a consequence, rather than a cause, o f our dependent variable" King, Keohane, and Verba This would even apply if a variety of other improvements like a common definition o f variables would be introduced.

Therefore, it is o f crucial importance that the theory "not only relates variables but gives immediate insight into the motivational forces which link them" Eckstein Sociological institutionalists have pointed out that newly created institutions might not always reflect functional necessities, but rather processes o f an ever expanding "world culture" Finnemore b: ; Meyer et al. Thus, international organizations play an increasing role in "teaching" states about their roles and identities. In sum, quantitatively based research has revealed a significant correlation between economic well-being and democratic forms of governance.

However, the exact path and the direction of causality remain uncertain, even when more advanced statistical methods and improved data sets were applied. Hence, I conclude with Sorensen that there is "no clear answer to the trade-off question" because "countries move very fast between the regime categories" and "each time they make a stop in one of the categories, they lend their economic performance data, often covering only a few years, to a different argument in these investigations Sorensen In Samuel Huntington's article Political Development and Political Decay was centrally concerned with the "erosion o f democracy" Huntington as a result o f the economic modernization processes.

Still, by systematically integrating the role o f political institutions in the analysis o f democratic change Huntington not only provided an answer to the pressing questions of institutional decay and failing development. At the same time, Huntington moved analysis away from abstract macro-structural issues towards the inclusion o f institutions as arbitrators between the macro- and the micro-level o f political development.

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Rustow rejected the idea of any cultural or economic prerequisites except for national unity for democracy to flourish and his article serves today as an important inspirational source for agency- and process-based explanations o f democratization. Participation and Opposition and Albert O. Hirschman's A Bias fo r Hope. Based on the previous work o f Schumpeter, Dahl developed a procedural and minimalist definition o f democracy, which was not only a pragmatic answer to the seemingly unsolvable problem o f defining democracy in any substantive terms.

Dahl and Hirschman held that democratic change was most likely to be successful if managed by moderate sections o f both the old regime and the opposition Dahl 33f. However, the break with past research traditions was not as clear-cut as the rhetorical claims o f many authors would lead one to believe.

As a result, the authors offered a minimalist program arguing for the possibility o f the emergence o f democracy even in the absence o f socioeconomic and cultural prerequisites Karl Rustow, Comparative Politics, Vol. The authors explained the breakdown of democratic regimes with reference to specific choices made by the ruling elites see Bermeo ; Martz While a fimdamental and empirically driven shift from the focus on the inevitability o f authoritarianism to the study of "possibilism" Hirschman occurred, the authors remained generally skeptical about the sustainability o f the changes see Karl The newly found preference for agency over structure was not used to identify the former with positive change and contrast it with immutable structural forces.

Assumptions about human nature in general and the motivations o f important agents for change were quite sober and demanded little normative commitment from the readership Shapiro What has been previously seen as a prerequisite for democracy was now conceived as its result, former independent variables turned into dependent ones. Following the publication of Transitions from Authoritarian Rule several distinct approaches within the agency-based school were elaborated.

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Given that the macrolanguage o f classes, their alliance, and 'pacts o f domination' was the dominant vocabulary o f the time, the result was an intuitive micro approach often couched in macro language" Przeworski In contrast, Przeworski conceptualized transitions as a series o f games among changing elite actor groups, whose behavior is directed at maximizing their respective utilities. I will focus here mainly on his elaboration o f an agency- based explanation o f democratic change in general and the initial phase o f liberalization and the extrication o f authoritarianism in particular.

Przeworski explicitly rejects the functionalist idea that authoritarian regimes break down as a result o f a legitimacy crisis. If such projects of counter-hegemony are available and credible, the perceptions, strategies and actions o f relevant actors determine the process and the outcome o f change. If the expected gratifications for the opposition more freedoms, material well-being and political participation are higher than the risks danger to life, imprisonment etc.

The incentives for potential liberalizers to separate themselves from the rest o f the ruling elite and resist further repression increase with growing societal mobilization. As subjective perceptions become increasingly relevant and choices for action increase, naturally, reliable knowledge about other's intentions becomes a scarce resource. Democracy is attractive for outgoing authoritarians because there is no need to transfer all powers to another group for good. Instead, abstract and formal institutions are endowed with those powers.

Hence, old guards are either confronted with an external shock that creates a power stalemate or they don't realize that they are on a slippery slope towards irreversible change. This is reflected in an implicit tension between Hirschman's 'possibilism' and the pessimism contained in many agency-based explanations. How do we account for the confidence into the power o f not even designed democratic institutions, if agents are expected to trust nothing but their own self interest? This makes the step from authoritarian rule to democracy so hard to explain: If someone was in control o f power, why would he or she endanger his or her position with highly risky political maneuvers?

Even if one assumes that different elite sections compete for power, one would expect them to exhaust other possibilities before embarking on a more risky strategy o f including outside forces. W hat is missing from such a perspective are the reasons why elites are suddenly led to believe that a fundamental change o f course is unavoidable. Political transitions are critical junctures where actors will invariably be challenged to justify their goals and engage in a discourse that goes beyond the mere exchange o f strategic information.

The application o f economic models to the political sphere has limits which are particularly relevant for the study o f democratic transitions. In such a situation, the very axioms used by an economic model to make sense to political behavior are at stake. In the process, actors decide not only about their preferences within a given menu o f choices but about the menu itself and the overall attitude o f the individual or group towards democracy as a normative concept.

Instead, I argued that the parsimonious assumption o f interest-maximizing behavior is an insufficient basis for explanation. Assumptions about stable and ordered preferences as well as the insignificance o f communication force analysts to assume issues as unproblematic which are really highly contested and fluid in processes o f regime change. When Przeworski argued on the one hand that "resources o f political forces are given" Przeworski 39 before the interaction and on the other hand that those resources contain highly arbitrary issues like "persuasion" p.

Hence, I will focus the following section more explicitly on the role o f institutions and actors which challenge the very political framework agents previously used to base their interest calculations on. It was the purpose o f this review to describe and discuss some o f the underlying assumptions guiding structural and agency-based explanations o f political transitions.

Structural explanations have mainly focused on the material side o f regime change and initially extrapolated from the Western experience. The issue o f agency was discounted because democracy seemed to emerge across cases with vastly different historical circumstances. Moreover, attempts to identify particular actor groups as agents o f change and, thus, supplement a structural perspective failed as long as those actors were only conceptualized as incumbents o f a given social position.

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Instead, 1 used a structure-agency perspective to explicate and contrast two ideal-type approaches to the study o f the link between economic and political development. The critique o f a structuralist perspective focused on the strong materialist as well as domestic bias and doubtful conclusions about causality. More qualitatively oriented studies are usually more cognizant o f agency, but often fail to explicate a consistent theory on the micro-level.


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Authors developing such a distinct agency-based perspective successfully challenged structural explanations by showing that the paths to democracy and the actors involved as well as their choices matter for the final outcomes. Structures are not necessarily conceptualized as determinant, but as constraints on actor's choices. Moreover, agents can develop politically potent strategies to defy those constraints.

For all their differences, however, the majority o f agency-based explanations have retained a material and rationalist orientation. Whereas the strategic choice perspective has turned frustratingly low probabilities for change generated by quantitative research into significant windows of opportunities for agents, the motivational structures of those actors seemed to remain largely unaffected by the profound changes around them.

Thus, like structural accounts, most agency-centered approaches ignored the possibility that actors begin to value and construct democracy for its own sake. It is appealing to extract the possibility for democracy from the narrow base o f self- interested behavior under specific circumstances o f perceived uncertainty. However, this should not lead to a premature exclusion o f other possible avenues, in particular as a further exploration o f the exact circumstances o f uncertainty promises additional and important insights.

Depending on the specific reasons, actors are likely to develop varying responses. Only one o f the possible responses is represented by a rational calculation o f future interests leading to the institutionalization o f democratic procedures. Other possible responses could be based on historical experience, the specific social or economic situation o f leaders, or simply the situation emerging from unfolding interactions and other events. As democratic governance is not a fixed state o f affairs, but an ongoing process, actors will develop changing attitudes and expectations towards this very framework.

International norms or other agents can play a crucial role in modifying the decision-making environment o f those actors to a degree that it affects their calculations o f self-interest. Following the literature review above I will now turn to the question of how to conceptualize the structural environment o f actors. In this endeavor I will draw on two specific debates which have sought to move our understanding o f 'structure' away from an overly materialist and positionalist understanding.

Increasingly authors refer to the role o f non-material factors such as norms and ideas in shaping actor's interests and behavior. Within international relations theory this set o f literature usually argued against both, materialism and utilitarianism and was partly influenced by sociological institutionalism Finnemore a; Katzenstein ; Kier ; Klotz In such a view the actor's behavior is mainly determined by the material conditions and 'agency' is little more than a reflection o f a powerful all-encompassing 'structure'. In contrast, a relational perspective offers a less static conceptualization o f structure and is more likely to be compatible with the idea o f mutual constitution postulated above.

Such perceptions as a pre-condition for action form only as a result o f interactions with other actors and the non-material environment as a source o f ideas about one's own position. In a process of appropriating outside ideas, actors define their own identity and interests in an environment which simultaneously enables and restricts action. The relationship between 'structure' and 'agency' is one of interpretation rather than determination.

Hence, the assumptions underlying relational sociology go hand in hand with the "constructivist turn in international relations theory" Checkel where norms and ideas have attained the status of independent factors in the explanation o f processes of political and social change. Institutionalism is also commended as a new opportunity to overcome regional specialization and fragmentation within the comparative field Remmer From their comparison o f 42 cases on the African continent they conclude that socioeconomic and international factors are less relevant to transition processes than domestic institutions shaping actor's choices.

Their politico-institutional approach classified different forms o f neopatrimonial rule modal regimes in Africa in order to predict outcomes o f transition processes. While the authors remained generally pessimistic about the prospects o f democracy in Africa, they hold that countries with a highly authoritarian history e. In contrast, regimes with some prior democratic experience e.

Table 4. More recently, agency-centered explanations rejected the search for prerequisites and emphasized the role of contingent events and actor's choices. While these approaches represented an important advancement in the research on regime change, they also shifted the focus away from the causes of regime change towards questions of transition and consolidation.

With a host of countries joining the 'third wave' and developing diverging paths o f transition, the question o f initiating regime change seemed less urgent than the issue of 'crafting' democracy. The section following this discussion on the role o f domestic institutions will advance the argument that international institutions and transnational actors are important factors in an explanation o f the imitation o f regime change. In this period, domestic institutions representing authoritarian rule are usually the subject of mobilization from above and below.

With regard to the transition path, international factors remain part of an explanation which takes the mode o f transition as starting point. Depending on the dominant actors elites or masses and strategies compromise or force , the authors predicted more or less successful outcomes o f regime transitions.

Within this class, pacted transitions are most promising, albeit both paths "are likely to produce restricted types o f democracy" Contrary to Barrington Moore Jr. Worst case scenarios are situations with "mixed elements o f several modes o f transitions and from which no dominant winning strategy or coalition could emerge" Based on these agency-centered as well as institutionalist explanations, it is now possible to integrate the international context into the analysis o f regime change.

Why members o f an authoritarian regime should suddenly feel a pressure to liberalize is hard to explain if either previously existing domestic institutions or actor's choices are identified as the main independent variable s for regime change. A n institutionalist perspective remains puzzled with respect to the question why a solid authoritarian institutional arrangement would suddenly fall apart. Hence, representatives o f both approaches tend to employ ad hoc explanations for the initiation o f regime change and seem more interested in the transition path and the possible results.

In contrast, I argue here that understanding the initiation is crucial for an overall explanation o f regime change.

China and Global Development: Different Perspectives on Africa

The source for successful challenges to authoritarian rule is to be found in the potential conflict between domestic and international institutions which becomes virulent if transnational human rights groups pick up the contradictions and begin to confront political actors in and outside o f the target country.

Those principled actors introduce international human rights norms into a given domestic context and, thus, modify the power relations between authoritarian rulers and opposition. TThis perspective remains within an agency-centered institutionalism, but has two major advantages over earlier scholarship. Here, institutions are a possible source for change and not merely a constraint for actors. Second, the range of significant actors is also broadened to include not only predominantly self-interested, but also principled groups and individuals.

Conflicts about the proper mode o f domestic rule are always about ideas and norms in as much as they reflect more narrow material interest calculation. I do not introduce norms and ideas as alternative explanations to interests and preferences, but claim that regime change represents a situation where actors are forced to argue on the validity of their interests within an explicitly present framework o f competing norms. As many transition processes o f the 'third wave' are still ongoing, an argument emphasizing the role o f stable international institutions and human rights actors generates the expectation that those influences will continue to be relevant for regime change.

However, depending on the mode of transition the interaction between the international and domestic realm is now likely to be different from the earlier period.

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In the following, I will discuss some o f the theoretical underpinnings o f such an explanation. By definition, domestic institutions represent stability rather than change and are likely to restrict rather than enable action. Profound political change is, however, about changing or even destroying previously existing and dominant institutions. This doesn't mean that a institutionalist perspective is necessarily confined to the explanation o f the status quo. Discourses about the domestic conduct o f states are no longer confined to the domestic level, but are increasingly brought up onto the international level.

The reference to universal values represents a necessary condition for the creation of uncertainty and power stalemates in the first place. Hence, the analysis o f current processes o f democratization must go beyond the domestic bias o f both agency-based explanations and the modernization school. In order to better understand international factors influencing domestic change as suggested above, it is necessary to develop an idea about how to complement the current state o f the art in democratization studies with a theory o f the global realm.

In the earlier works of this emerging literature, the international context was mentioned in passing, but not systematically integrated. When the early s witnessed a global wave of democratization, agency-oriented authors began to review their prior negligence o f the international realm.

Today, the need for a more systematic and theoretically meaningful integration o f international factors into the analysis o f political transitions is widely accepted Whitehead I will concentrate in my endeavor to integrate international factors into explanations of domestic change on the recent contributions of sociological institutionalism to the field of international relations theory. I argue that insights generated in this debate are particularly suitable because they emphasize the role o f non-material issues such as norms and ideas in a process o f global institutional homogenization.

The majority o f authors in this emerging tradition assumed a spreading Western-type world culture as a source for political change Finnemore a; McNeely This culture, in turn, "creates and legitimates the social entities that are seen as actors" Meyer, Boli, and Thomas As Finnemore argued, bureaucratic organizations spread in many countries much more quickly than markets and technology development would have demanded Finnemore a. This argument essentially repeated the skepticism about the material side o f modernization as the ultimate mover o f political development contained in the agency-based democratization literature discussed above.

While the later chose to give up on structuralism altogether, sociological institutionalism resorted to 'world culture' as alternative, non-material structure. With respect to sociological institutionalism I point at the activities o f concrete agents in transporting international norms about the proper conduct of a state into the domestic context. With reference to the agency-based democratization literature I suggest to20 20 "It is problematic when they [actors, HPS] invoke and rely on cultural accounts to define their actions as matters of individual choice and decision, filled with individual motives and perceptions and involving such legitimated resources as individual property" Meyer, Boli, and Thomas Meyer et al.

Hence, formal similarity is the basis of comparison between two or more entities in the system. Rather than arguing that similar material conditions lead to similar outcomes, this perspective assumed similar underlying ideational conditions which influence all units of the system. Their identity, purpose and legitimization are intrinsically linked to the models they have originally based their existence on and other international and domestic actors can use these models to pressure for change. Rather than in the best interest of the actors involved, it is assumed that the more "highly idealized" and "internally consistent" Meyer et al.

Jackson and Christopher Clapham have recently advanced a version o f sociological institutionalism which squarely challenged the idea o f an homogenizing Western culture. In turn, this has important domestic ramifications. Basic to this idea is the claim that sovereignty today is a Janus-faced regime.

Moreover, the regime directly "impinges on human rights and socioeconomic development" 1 , because it is an 'insurance policy' for authoritarian leaders against outside intervention.

Hence, in this perspective international norms do precisely the opposite o f bringing Western values to the farthest com ers of the world. Just as the Meyer school does, Clapham and Jack- son emphasize the role o f non-material factors prevalent on the international level, but they arrive at opposite conclusions. By focusing on the prevalent norm o f sovereignty they claim that "what has changed is not the empirical reality o f states but the international rules and institutions concerning those conditions" Jackson 23; see also Clapham These institutions are biased in so far as they support political elites against their people as well as homogenizing pressure from above.

States and their leadership today are no longer part o f a formal hierarchy, but treated equally on the international level. Rather, all states in the world float constantly somewhere along a continuum expressing different levels of effective government and shared understandings about the existence of that state Clapham This avoids the assumption that positive or empirical sovereignty invariably means a b s o lu te control of activities across and within borders. Critique Both, the Meyer school as well as Robert H.

Jackson and Christopher Clapham have claimed that international norms and institutions are factors in shaping domestic political change. However, they arrive at opposite conclusions. The main argument o f Jackson and Clapham as well as others revolves around the Janus-faced concept o f sovereignty. Jackson does not attempt to define which of these capabilities are more important or to what degree they must be realized in order to count as a 'developed' state. There were specific and contingent reasons at the time when many countries on the southern hemisphere became independent which led to a widening rather than a narrowing o f the gap.

While Clapham and Jackson did acknowledge the growing significance o f human rights norms on the international level, they ultimately limited their perspective o f international- domestic linkages to the use and misuse o f sovereignty by authoritarian leaders. However, today the international legal order offers a wide variety o f norms to an equally wide variety of governmental and non-govemmental actors. If Jackson is right in his observation that the juridical cart is indeed today before the empirical horse, then this fundamental shift can be exploited by various groups and its benefits can not only be reaped by the ruling elites in the Southern hemisphere.

Moreover, it is precisely the language of sovereignty which offers a window o f opportunity for actors pressing for human rights and political change. In the short run, authoritarian rule can use the former principle to ignore the latter, but in the long term external sovereignty is only sustainable if accompanied by stable domestic political legitimacy. If leaders regularly claim to be sovereign on the international level, they will ultimately also have to face the question o f positive or empirical sovereignty. Depending on the strategies chosen by those international and domestic actors interested in making this linkage, this leads to the process I describe in the empirical chapters.

With regard to the Meyer school, the critique revolves mainly around the issue o f how to actually trace the effects o f international institutions on domestic change. First, most o f the claims are based on mere correlation and quantitative analysis rather than process tracing. It remains to be shown how exactly a "common wider culture" affects certain individual features o f nation states.

Sociological institutionalism is more concerned w ith similarities than with differences. The research assumes a constant independent variable and is mainly interested in tracing its homogenizing effects. Finnemore calls this an advantage, because sociological institutionalism offers an idea of "the substantive content o f social structure" that "permeates all aspects o f political and social life in all states" Finnemore b: However, a lack o f variety on both ends o f the equation is not helpful in identifying the process by which domestic change is causally linked to international norms.

They do not, however, prove them. Second, the very general conceptualization o f the independent variable e. They remained on an abstract level which allows for the inclusion o f a wide variety o f institutional settings and concrete policies under the label o f 'world culture'. However, this argumentation only increases the immunity o f the theory, not its explanatory power. While it is correct to point out that a nationalist ideology ultimately relies on universalistic principles enshrined on the supranational level, this argument is o f little help if we want to understand how and why actors come up with contradictor ' concepts and which one ultimately wins out in the domestic struggle.

Finally, sociological institutionalism can not offer a sufficient basis for understanding regime change as long as it fails to develop a corresponding conceptualization o f agency. Without agency the effort to establish a production site of values and norms outside of the nation state lacks both origin and purpose.

Norms are relevant only in so far as they are reproduced as values by actors. Structural analysis is necessary and should certainly include a systematic recognition of non-material issues, but it is limited if we remain theoretically disinterested in the actors which are supposed to follow those norms and ideas.

However, rational choice offers no sufficient basis to capture the complexity of agency level processes, because it substitutes agency w ith ahistori- cal assumptions about rationality without recognizing the role of norms in framing interest- driven behavior. This insight reopens the discussion about the role of the structural environment as a site for the production o f values and meanings actors might identify with.

In combination with insights generated within the agency-based democratization literature it is possible to develop a model o f regime change which offers a number o f advantages compared with the existing state o f the art. Within the agency-based literature the model gives an answer to the puzzle why a power stalemate and political uncertainty occur in the first place. W ith respect to sociological institutionalism it fills the gap between the abstract world culture and concrete processes o f domestic change. Finally, with regard to an institutionalist perspective confined to the domestic realm it adds international institutions as potential sources o f dissonance.

If domestic or international actors recognize such a conflict and begin to mobilize, this perspective can offer a compelling account for the initiation o f regime change, but also the subsequent path o f transition. However, as Clapham and Jackson remind us, the norms embedded in the international system are contradictory and can be used for different purposes.

This reinforces the argument for an explicit analysis of'agency' in promoting certain norms by specific strategies of mobilization. Figure 3. The following approaches have different, but not incompatible dependent variables. The basic structure of their argument is similar to the Meyer school. Emphasis is given to the more complex latter issue. I will compare the political development o f both countries using the established literature which focused on the neopatrimonial character of post-independence African rule. In the following, I will argue that both countries have taken distinctively different transition paths.

In contrast, Kenya took an electoralist path which extended competition on the national level, leaving everything else largely unchanged. Nonetheless, both paths have led to substantial changes of the previously existing neopatrimonial character of domestic rule. Patrimonial political systems are ruled by an individual who treats the state as his or her personal possessing. The people living under such a system are not citizens protected by a set o f laws, but directly dependent clients o f the ruler.

As African states do resemble some but not all features o f patrimonial rule, scholars resorted to neopatrimonialism to indicate the co-existence o f traditional and modem forms o f authority Eisenstadt Hence, neopatrimonialism is itself an institution which "is internalized in the formal institutions Forgot your login information? In: Handbook of International Relations. Chapter International Human Rights. Subject: International Relations general. Schmitz, H. International human rights. Simmons Handbook of international relations pp. Schmitz, Hans Peter and Kathryn Sikkink. SAGE Knowledge.

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