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SCHWACHE INSTITUTIONALISIERUNG ALS POLITISCHE DIMENSION DER UNTERENTWICKLUNG - DER FALL ÄGYPTEN: Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Huntingtons Praetorianismus-Theorie

Bassam Tibi
Verfassung und Recht in Übersee / Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America
Vol. 13, No. 1 (1. Quartal 1980), pp. 3-26
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43108865
Page Count: 24
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
SCHWACHE INSTITUTIONALISIERUNG ALS POLITISCHE DIMENSION DER UNTERENTWICKLUNG - DER FALL ÄGYPTEN: Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Huntingtons Praetorianismus-Theorie
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Abstract

This paper is intended as a contribution towards the empirical testing of Huntington's political theory which accounts for political development in terms of institutionalization. In underdevelopment societies there is a lack of institutionalized social organizations. According to Huntington, underdevelopment is to be understood as a low degree of institutionalization. This view overcomes the evolutionistic bias of previous research by modernization theorists into development, especially since it introduces the category of political decay and thereby includes consideration of possibly regressive phenomena within the process of social change. Socio-economic development undermines traditional institutions and unleashes new social forces without a parallel political development process of institution-building taking place. Political systems are unable to integrate these new forces or to provide an institutional framework for the settlement of social conflicts. The result is decay, as recently occurred in Iran. The introductory first chapter provides a detailed discussion of Huntington's theory and an analysis of his conception of modern institutionalized organizations as endowed with adaptability, complexity, autonomy and coherence. The praetorianism concept is dealt with at length, leading on to a discussion of Huntington's thesis concerning political parties as vehicles of institutionalization, i.e. of development from praetorian society to civic order. This theoretical framework is then put to the test in an empirical case study of Egypt. Twentieth century Egyptian history is divided into three phases which are best understood in the light of developments following Mohammed Ali's attempts at modernization (from 1805 on): 1. The multi-party parliamentary system of government phase (1923–1952). 2. The one-party system phase, during which three attempts were made under Nasser to form a party of unity 3. The current phase under President Sadat; the abandonment of the one-party system and formal return to a multi-party system. A final section discusses problems connected with Huntington's theorems in the light of this empirical testing and formulates four central points of criticism: 1. Huntington presents a one-dimensional framework useful for the analysis of political structures but not for a macro-analysis of underdevelopment. 2. Huntington deals only with endogenous factors impeding institutionalization. The Egyptian case study, however, reveals exogenous factors to be crucial (e.g. England's intervention in internal Egyptian politics). 3. Institutionalization also involves the development of a legal system and the latter's increasing coverage of social institutions. Huntington's theory here suffers from the departmentalization of academic disciplines in the U.S.A. Institutionalized political systems are those constituting a legal authority (Herrschaft) in Max Weber's sense and thus cannot be analyzed without reference to legal structures. 4. Huntington refers to institutionalization and convincingly shows the features characterizing an institutionalized social organization. However, he fails to show the process of institutionalization, i.e. how and under what conditions a social organization proceeds from a low degree of institutionalization to become a fully-fledged institutionalized structure. These criticisms should, however, serve to refine the theory and develop it further. The Egyptian case study and the empirical testing it involved revealed Huntington's framework to be a useful tool in empirical research but one needing to be developed considerably and used in conjunction with insights from other disciplines.

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