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The Theory of Societal Constitutionalism Foundations of a Non-Marxist Critical Theory

by David Sciulli

  • ISBN: 9780521410403
  • ISBN10: 0521410401

The Theory of Societal Constitutionalism Foundations of a Non-Marxist Critical Theory

by David Sciulli

  • List Price: $139.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 01/01/1992
  • ISBN: 9780521410403
  • ISBN10: 0521410401
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Description: The problem of social authoritarianism is commonplace in practice, and yet it exceeds the scope of application of existing social and political theories. When private organizations and institutions wield their collective power arbitrarily within a modern civil society, a nation-state's government and economy may remain (or become) liberal-democratic and pluralistic. Actors, however, experience increasing social control in their everyday lives. Only by distinguishing analytically between whether social order within any organization, institution, or sector of a modern civil society is based on actors' demonstrable social control or on their possible social integration can a nation-state's susceptibility to social authoritarianism be isolated empirically. Bringing this distinction to the literature and to research, the theory of societal constitutionalism leads to a critical reappraisal of the findings of comparative politics and also the findings of the sociologies of law, professions, and organizations and occupations. Research findings in these fields that have hitherto appeared unrelated are now revealed both to explain historical shifts in a nation-state's direction of social change and to predict contemporary shifts. For instance, certain practices by physicians within hospitals, by chemists within corporations, and by lawyers before the bar both reflect and contribute to shifts toward greater social control and susceptibility to social authoritarianism. The theory also provides the means to examine whether these practices can be found either historically or currently in particular nation-states, whether they are present, for example, in the United States or Japan as well as intraditionally authoritarian states such as the Soviet Union, Brazil, and Argentina. The author argues that the presence of social authoritarianism is independent of whether an economy is market-based or centrally controlled or of whether Western cultural traditions are institutionalized rather than in Eastern or Third World traditions. In addition, the author argues that by specifying whether institutionalized restraints on social authoritarianism are present or absent within any modern nation-state, social scientists may predict whether any given government is susceptible to authoritarianism, whether any given legal system is susceptible to abuses of power, and whether any given corporation or profession is susceptible to criminality or deviance.
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