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Logics of Hierarchy

The Organization of Empires, States, and Military Occupation

by Alexander Cooley

Publication Year: 2008

Political science has had trouble generating models that unify the study of the formation and consolidation of various types of states and empires. The business-administration literature, however, has long experience in observing organizations. According to a dominant model in this field, business firms generally take one of two forms: unitary (U) or multidivisional (M). The U-form organizes its various elements along the lines of administrative functions, whereas the M-form governs its periphery according to geography and territory.

In Logics of Hierarchy, Alexander Cooley applies this model to political hierarchies across different cultures, geographical settings, and historical eras to explain a variety of seemingly disparate processes: state formation, imperial governance, and territorial occupation. Cooley illustrates the power of this formal distinction with detailed accounts of the experiences of Central Asian republics in the Soviet and post-Soviet eras, and compares them to developments in the former Yugoslavia, the governance of modern European empires, Korea during and after Japanese occupation, and the recent U.S. occupation of Iraq.

In applying this model, Logics of Hierarchy reveals the varying organizational ability of powerful states to promote institutional transformation in their political peripheries and the consequences of these formations in determining pathways of postimperial extrication and state-building. Its focus on the common organizational problems of hierarchical polities challenges much of the received wisdom about imperialism and postimperialism.

Published by: Cornell University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-8

List of Figures and Tables

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pp. viii-ix

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pp. x-xii

Although the study of hierarchy is making something of a comeback in the public sphere, as can be seen in a renewed interest with imperialism in world politics, its importance as an academic topic is still fraught with controversy. My research interest in the dynamics of empires and military occupations, in how hierarchical polities are organized and governed, has culminated in this book. ...

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Chapter One: Understanding Hierarchy in International Politics

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pp. 1-19

A central motivation of the United States in its 2003 invasion of Iraq was to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein and fundamentally change the domestic political institutions and political culture of an oil-rich Middle Eastern country. Proponents of the campaign argued that American military power could and should be wielded in order to promote democratization, ...

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Chapter Two: Forms of Hierarchy: The U-form and M-form

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pp. 20-42

There are an array of forms associated with functional and territorial modes of hierarchical organization. Applying the U-form and M-form to various political actors and processes in international politics allows the drawing of connections among political organizations usually considered disparate. ...

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Chapter Three: The Governance of Hierarchy: Paths of Institutional Formation

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pp. 43-63

Having defined the concepts of organizational form and applied them to political settings, this chapter examines the causal effects of the U-form and M-form on the governance and institutional formation of a periphery. Each of these organizational forms is characterized by a relatively different set of governance costs, information flow patterns, and opportunism types. ...

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Chapter Four: An Empirical Illustration: Soviet Central Asia

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pp. 64-94

Conceptual distinctions among different forms of hierarchy, their characteristics, and predictions about their causal effects on patterns of governance and institutional formation have been set forth. This chapter presents four sectoral cases—two in security and two in economy—in Soviet Central Asia as empirical illustrations of these conceptual claims. ...

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Chapter Five: The Legacies of Hierarchy: Divergent Paths of Extrication

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pp. 95-125

The natures of U-form and M-form governance and their effects impart varying legacies after a hierarchy collapses. Organizational forms generate different types of political institutions and downstream effects. After the original hierarchy collapses, peripheral U-form sectors will become institutional fragments, ...

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Chapter Six: Comparative Applications: Yugoslavia, Korea, and Iraq

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pp. 126-156

The previous chapters have sketched out an organizational theory of hierarchy and advanced the plausibility that it explains some significant dynamics of transnational hierarchies and their legacies. But generating a theory and illustrating it is not sufficient. ...

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Chapter Seven: Hierarchy in a Globalized World

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pp. 157-180

This book has developed a theory of hierarchy and applied it to various political settings and theoretical issues in international politics. It has laid out a unifying theory for the study of political hierarchy across traditional subfields, used it to generate new explanations for certain empirical processes, and provided new explanations and insights into existing debates. ...


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pp. 181-192

E-ISBN-13: 9780801462498
E-ISBN-10: 0801462495
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801474835
Print-ISBN-10: 0801474833

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2008

Edition: 1