The Color of Institutions: Morality, Unity, or Decay? A Personal Reflection

Institutional knowledge,or knowledge of one’s own country’s political institutions, is related to institutional continuity.[1] Not unlike local knowledge in cultural context and analysis,[2] awareness or knowledge of political institutions (as the political map[3] of formal rules as well as practices in a nation-state) is critical to understanding how institutions function; how they formulate possibilities and options for people(s) in their purviews; their resilience and tendency to remain in place; their practices; and how people(s) can influence or change them.[4] Institutional knowledge also allows us to see the conditions that may lead to their decay[5] in certain instances. Samuel Huntington’s historical-international-cultural institutional analysis presents the importance of institutional knowledge well. Huntington’s hypothesis that institutional development must come before economic development in order to navigate the new social demands and social interactions that come with it is almost a truism in comparative politics. Although not, possibly, in other fields.[6] Huntington was concerned with violence, revolution, riots, and other significant forms of upheaval that come – naturally in his view – with the sudden insertion of a wide range of social actors into public decision-making who have never encountered one another before, or rarely, or not in civic or state fora of engagement.[7] Think, here, in terms of inter-class, inter-cultural, inter-racial, inter-religious, and other forms of inter-communal engagement; and beginning in semi-democratic or authoritarian contexts, or with semi-democratic or authoritarian institutional cultures and legacies. While Huntington has been criticized for his Islamo-Confusian Bloc argument in The Clash of Civilizations,[8] an argument that has born some fruit, at least anachronistically,[9] his genius was in his cultural and institutional arguments, and in the ways that he joined them.

By my read, Huntington was a Weberian.[10] The state held the legitimate monopoly of violence.[11] Rationalization (read that, merit-azation) of public offices was better than personalism, and the like.[12] Rational bureaucracy was better than offices purchased for errant sons or daughters.[13] Standardized fees for state or public services was better than graft[14] for such state mandated requirements as renewing your state driver’s license or your national Passport; or what, in my region of greatest study, they like to call “baksheesh.”In an ideal map of social and political civic(s) engagement, intelligence, hard work, and strong ethics should supersede the opposite. He disapproved charismatic leadership and viewed it as an aspect of irrationality or lack of modernization (even given the problems with rapid modernization of which he warned).[15]

Huntington was genius in bringing religion back into comparative politics in the late 1980s and early 1990s,[16] long before most others in the discipline were willing to recognize the fundamental empirical error of the secularization thesis.[17] A few notable exceptions include Mark Tessler and Marc Galanter, who incorporated religion in their analyses of comparative politics from the late 1960s, early 1970s, and forward.[18] Huntington, by my read, and drawing upon Weber in works such as The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, reminded the discipline of Weber’s admonition that culture, ideas, and even theology can have significant driving impact upon even global institutions, such as the macro-, socio-economic institution of modern capitalism.[19]

Such a promenade along a Huntingtonian memory lane may seem rarefied at this point in our, theoretically, Machiavellian- and individual-maximizing-heavy trend in the discipline of Political Science. There is, however, good reason for it. Huntington, brought together with a few additional American, French, German-American, and Italian social theorists of the 20th century, provide excellent answers to the quandaries set forth by our 21st century screaming demonstrations of the current hour.[20] How did we arrive at such levels of dissatisfaction? As with any scholar trained in the politics of the late-modern Middle East and North Africa (MENA), we are well-tuned to the sounds of discontent and unrest in other places. At times, they can be heard, for example, in the sound of a young woman’s scream made in the most public forum.[21] 

For good reasons of an ugly history of institutionalizing[22] (or burning at the stake)[23] of women who do, women do not scream in public fora often.[24] Western women – all Western women – know this history in silence. Thus, when they break that norm and do, it is a Signal. It should be read and recognized as a Signal, or a Sign in the sense of Derrida.[25] It signals that things have become so bad for women that some number of women will now ignore that strongly embedded norm (and materially-derived fear) and scream to their heart’s content in public, trusting that, someday, in some generation, they will finally be heard. They know that they are putting themselves on the line in some locales by speaking up – based upon vigilante social practices of reactive social sanctioning, not governmental practices – in one way or another. So, it has become bad enough for a large enough number of them that they are willing to do it. And, perhaps, those women will be protected from accusations that a woman screaming naturally indicates something wrong – instead of something right – with her head and heart. 

That is, the social critique inherent in the fury of some of the young women protestors’ speeches should be cause for pause among political scientists. It is an enjoinder to stand up and to do what is right – not by one’s personal preferences, necessarily, but by our institutions. That is, there is no male dominated patriarchy of the Nazi version[26] of the New Man model by any legitimate contemporary value, religious or secular; and where it does exist, it indicates a removal of democracy, democratic institutions, and democratic practices. Moreover, there can be no secret difference between formal and informal; no informal, unwritten rules and codes that come with threat of social sanctioning (which is, by definition, vigilantism). To the extent that there is, I would suggest it is what explains those rightful and righteous screams of fury. Until it is corrected, in those locations where it exists, we can expect more of the same – and from many quarters.

Morality, Conscience, and Political Institutions

Institutional Practices

My thinking regarding these questions is influenced at the current stage by Hannah Arendt, Pierre Bourdieu, and Samuel Huntington regarding the political sociology of ideas and their relationship to political institutions. That is, in Arendt’s notion of the banality of evil, institutions are presented at least in part as an excuse or enabler to avoid the normal demands of conscience or sentient thought regarding one’s everyday (bureaucratic) actions in the context of political work for a totalitarian national state.[27] In essence, bureaucracy may be used by some (in times of war, or always?) in a render unto Caesar mode to justify escape from the bonds of normal moral considerations common to many social, political, and religious systems.[28] In Arendt’s model, institutions, under some interpretations and conditions, allow individuals to eschew the normal human responses of natural feelings of conscience or responsibility, if not moral culpability, at least in the moment of certain hideous acts, such as checking off boxes to approve transportation trains to concentration camps (see Arendt on “the bureaucracy of murder”).[29] Indeed, in the aftermath of World War II, new international legal norms were developed to address war-time responsibilities as relevant to individuals at different ranks;[30] and in later years as well.[31]

Power and Political Institutions

Likewise, French sociologists such as Pierre Bourdieu reflect concerns regarding the power of certain fields and the limited chances for escaping them in law, politics more broadly, society, and even in work contexts (his is not unlike the work of Antonio Gramsci in its theoretical concerns, but in greater operationalized detail and breadth, topically).[32] Moreover, scholars such as Bourdieu and Derrida in many ways can be seen as adding to Gramsci’s concern with cultural hegemony[33] the notion of the narrative[34] power of words,[35] definitions, and ideas in framing public consciousness and individual-level conceptualizations of a given issue. Bourdieu, at least, reflects a skepticism regarding the ability, under normal circumstances, of humans to resist the power of those narratives,[36] although in limited circumstances it may be possible;[37] while, for Gramsci (contrary to my own thinking), a socialist populism provides a possibility for counter-hegemony.[38] 

Voice, Participation, and Upheaval

Meanwhile, Huntington,[39] as noted, emphasizes the need for effective political institutions to mediate social relations in an expanding arena of public discourse, engagement, and interaction (e.g., in contexts of increasing social participation and voice in governance, and/or democratization) lest a national state or local context devolve into civil strife;[40] crime;[41] riots;[42] rebellion;[43] or even revolution.[44]  That is, Huntington is deeply concerned with the potential violence, unrest, and upheaval that may come with expanding participation of previously non-participating social groups and communities in the absence of sufficient political institutions to mediate those new interventions in public discourse; political demands upon the national state; as well as, within society, in conflicts amongst competing social groups and communities. One aspect not usually discussed is conflicting cultural and social norms by gender, that is, men’s versus women’s ways of doing things, which appears to become increasingly salient in the current hour, and in current strife, in my view. Thus, in Huntington’s now classic formulation, political institutions must come first and economic development thereafter, for economic development always expands the range of participating social groups and communities.[45]

The need for political institutions is not in order to control or to coerce poor or previously illiterate groups or communities; it is to provide systematic constraints, rights, and obligations.  It is to limit all, as well as to provide channels of appropriate participation for all, including especially previously (authoritarian or totalitarian) ruling communities who come with a self-appointed expectation of power and domination that is not allowed under participatory politics.  Limiting them – systematically – is critical to democratic participatory politics; if they are not limited within systematic constraints that apply to all, authoritarianism will persist or develop. Participation is a persistent value despite the concerns regarding domestic social and political conflict. Without participation, there is no democracy. Nonetheless, in certain contexts and with certain social groups, participation may cause significant issues for maintaining the public peace; countries address these issues in a range of acceptable ways, reflecting rule of law systems, which may differ from our own without crossing the line into human rights violations.

Power, Bureaucracy, and Resistance to Despotism

The Nazi “final solution,”and resistance to it in places such as Italy, where I spent the summer beginning a new research project on the latter,[46] provide compelling cases in which to study the relationship between political institutions; bureaucracy;[47] and the impact of ideational influences – including resistance to them – on normal, non-expert citizens in their local, and wider social and political contexts (such as Nazi national socialism in World War II). Michael Mann,[48] by my read and in my langauge, reminds us that infrastructural power – which includes bureaucracy – is normatively neutral: it can be used, in some hands, to great good and, in others, to great violence and evil against its own Peoples, and Others.  In some locales, resistance appears, thus far in the research, to have been on at least four levels: institutional (including non-executive and upper-level executive political institutions); bureaucratic (including middle- and lower-level executive institutions); ideational and social (these last two, related). Why such resistance was markedly successful in some places, and not in others, is a persisting question of my current research.  I expect to find the answer(s) in institutional cultures more, or perhaps even rather, than in alliances, expediency, or exchange.

Institutional Knowledge, Informal Rules and Codes, and Immigration

Institutional Cultures and Signatures

People, often, can be identified by their institutional preferences, choices, and priorities. Institutional cultures, choices, campaigns, and preferences are culturally and politically characteristic. They define a people – and the polities that they choose to create – over long stretches of time. Institutional cultures are more than a national flag, as important as that is. Over long periods of time, as countries and empires come and go, flags get lost and forgotten. Institutional cultures, choices, and preferences, on the other hand, remain. I suggest here that Institutional Cultures are legible;[49] they can be read a bit like a cultural-political Signature. Until institutions are put in place as the ruling institutions for a national (or even a local) government, they appear intangible and only ideas-oriented to the eye. But, in place as a ruling government at any level, they are the real political architecture by which the rights and responsibilities, freedoms and obligations of all communities within a country (in egalitarian or entirely differentiated ways) are defined. Some institutional models work well within the U.S. constitutional order; others are entirely antithetical to it. There is no joining authoritarian, male-only, women-only, White-only, or any other racial or ethnic group “-only” rule into the U.S. institutional culture.  Communities originating from predominantly White countries should value these egalitarian institutional cultures more than most, since they are a racial minority, globally, and will inevitably be so in the U.S. as well. It depends upon who is selling the numbers, and in what state; in states such as Texas, these developments are already underway.[50] 

The Color of Institutions: a Personal Note

Institutional knowledge, returning to the first theme of the current writing, is critical to civil rest. Lack of institutional knowledge, if we follow Huntington, can be servant to significant civil unrest.  Indeed, lack of institutional knowledge – or respect for our institutions as they stand – may be instruments of institutional decay,[51] something that we can little afford at the current hour. Rather than defining institutional decay in terms of “weakness” in one of the major institutional branches of state, in some ways following Fukuyama’s recent work, I am considering it in terms of corruption. Likewise, institutional decay as I use it here, and following Huntington in his emphasis on institutions, may indicate wholesale efforts at regime change by small and large campaigns to change institutions to the failed institutional preferences of regimes left by some new immigrants (or older constituencies preying upon new immigrants in this regard) before they have a chance to become acculturated to our own.  That is, in the great (and awful) debates regarding immigration, the discourse has usually revolved around people of color as the immigrant population; we have significant numbers of new immigrants from predominantly White countries with bad human rights and other political records; those contexts and issues have not been sufficiently discussed or resolved in my view.[52] Indeed, in (our) racialized contexts, those new citizens may be exploited for constituency-oriented ends before they are sufficiently acquainted with our social and political order. Likewise, people coming from regimes such as post-Soviet regimes, or Apartheid South Africa, who are accustomed to dangerous political strong-arm tactics that could, indeed, harm their families in real and tangible ways, may be more susceptible than most to such pressures.

To turn, with some apology, to the personal and anecdotal levels for the purposes of discussing informal rules and codes that may be spoken but unwritten, and nonetheless vigilantly enforced by some sectors of society: my own family includes four main branches, as with everyone who defines their family by their grandparents. Three of those four were in the U.S. by the land rushes of the mid-19th century; one, to my knowledge, before that, by the Revolutionary War.  Most of those, to my knowledge, and based solely upon what I have been told, were Irish or Dutch.  That is, all of those branches were White.  The fourth branch, the Philippine, Spaniard, and Prussian part of my family, arrived in the mid-19th century in the form of my Prussian-American Grandfather, whose family called themselves German for many years lest they be associated with the old-nobility-side of the Revolutions of 1848; and my Philippine-Spaniard Grandmother, herself associated with some Pacific nobility, and, yes, related to those figures who you know from the home country; she was also related to some very important Spaniards of note, including Garcia Lorca and Salvador Dali, who were her uncle and second cousin once removed, respectively. Indeed, not to make light of it; however, someone once told me that in Europe I might count, today, as some sort of Contessa, based upon my family lines, and if the royal houses were still in place – hapless though I may be, and plenty Eurasian brown…

My Grandmother arrived to the country during World War II; she and my Grandfather married in the Pacific theatre, and she returned home with him. Ostensibly because of the “new immigrant” (although citizenship through marriage) status of my Grandmother, my family was told that we could not hold any public office for three generations (my generation included) in the American South – indeed, even my Grandfather was now suspect – until my family could be “known” to Know and to respect American institutions (who would do the “knowing” regarding our “knowing” was, perhaps not surprisingly, blissfully under-specified).  Such stated and unstated rules have been reported, to my knowledge, by Irish, Japanese, Mexican, German, and other “new immigrants” as well. By contrast to the early- and mid-20th century, today, those rules/codes are still in place and appear to be locally “enforced” by color rather than by rationalized rule or code.  And those rules/codes do not appear to be applied to new immigrants in the post-Soviet era (since 1989) coming from the former USSR, South Africa, Eastern Europe, Australia, and other countries that were or are predominantly White; some of those, indeed, appear to populate more recent public offices in recent decades.

Let me say that I have never had any interest in holding public office whatsoever. I am happy being a professor; that is a perfect level of contribution to society and degree of responsibility for me. And I hold no animus – whatsoever – for the peoples who have moved from the locations just mentioned. I am wholeheartedly in favor of our melting pot, our multicultural country model. However, the three-generation “rule/code,” if we follow Huntington, is a good one. The existence of informal, unwritten rules and codes are not good for a democratic society if we follow Huntington; as, indeed, we should in our thinking on institutions. Knowledge, after all, is Knowledge – it is not Color. Color may be constituency, but it is not Knowledge. For example, people who lived in – and who may have supported – Apartheid South Africa, while White, may not hold the same respect for our American institutions, civic freedoms, egalitarian laws, requirement of equal application of law by all protected classes – and just in general – and constitutional order.  Indeed, they may have other Ideas and other Institutions in mind to change ours in a real, material, and realistic sense. That is not acceptable at the first-generation level, in my view, and it is the reason for the three-generation rule/code.

Today, too much in social interactions is conducted as a sort of racialized and gendered contest.  It is still a sort of this-color-versus-that-color and boys-versus-the-girls mentality that drives interactions and decisions in too many arenas, albeit long post-elementary.  Institutional knowledge and respect for U.S. civics is not, in fact, a matter of color or gender.  It is a matter of knowledge and experience.  It is a matter of culture – not cultures of color or gender, but Institutional Cultures. If you believe that culture is colored, travel more.  Travel to England, Germany, Finland, Norway, Poland, western parts of Russia, and to other countries, all of which have beautiful cultures – cultures that are distinctly different from our own, albeit predominantly White – if, indeed, we accept that our culture is White; quite obviously, it is not. African-Americans who may have been Americans for centuries may have far more extensive knowledge and respect for American institutions than do new immigrants from predominantly White countries who have lived different institutional legacies and different institutional cultures, and who may have significantly different institutional priorities, values, and preferences when they first arrive if only based upon (often terrible political legacies of) experience.

Even in our disciplinary analysis, the racialized social contest often (although not always) contributes to masking the extent to which lived experience with authoritarian and totalitarian settings is not only a shades-of-Brown and shades-of-Black phenomenon, but also a shades-of-White one. That is, for example, which state is “failed” or “weak,” and which state is “resilient” or in process of “political development,” etc. Citizens in all of those settings suffer great costs; and some lead them into those periods of suffering.

It takes time to acculturate to U.S. social and political institutions. It takes time to learn their value, to respect, to support, and to practice them correctly. It is my own feeling, as I spend the summer in Europe, that our old “rule/code,” which is now only enforced by color in my view, should be implemented, correctly and formally, as a constitutional amendment.  If Irish, Mexican, my own family (only one part of one branch, and even when citizenship came by marriage!), and others had to live by that rule, everyone must. We know that we cannot have informal social rules based upon color and call ourselves rational and merit-based Democracy.  Almost all of us would never support such a rule/code by color, if formalized. Moreover, a Huntingtonian view would suggest that there is good sense to the rule/code, if applied to all in a systematic, rationalized way; and if we value our Democratic institutions and do not want to see them changed to Soviet-, Apartheid-, or otherwise-influenced forms of differentiation by what we today, thankfully, still call arbitrariness.[53] That is, institutions can be changed from below; I have made a study of it in contexts in which those changes uphold democratic freedoms and egalitarian application of law.[54] However, when good institutions are changed for the worse in terms of political freedoms and equal application of constitutional law and principles, following Huntington, and Fukuyama, we must call it Institutional Decay.[55]  It is a normative term as I present it here, meaning a real and material move away from democratic institutions on the part of a democratic civic and institutional culture; it should be viewed in (strongly negative) normative terms, in my view.  Democracy is, after all, not only about elections, as has been demonstrated by so many by now.[56] Indeed, elections, while a deeply important part of the democratic process, may be an easy part of democracies to manipulate and corrupt by some views.[57]

Research Note – An Observation    

Italy and Germany, as I flew through the latter to arrive to the former, are both Quiet, culturally speaking, this Summer 2022.  Not quietude; but, Quiet. Walking through airports and public places, there is quiet, decorum, decency, politeness, and an ignoring of color as far as public politesse and graciousness are concerned; that is, at the micro-level. Both places include immigrants from the East – from East Asia, and from MENA. You can hear Urdu, Chinese, Arabic, and many other languages in the streets of both countries – in addition to Italian language and German language. Both are thoughtful, not quick to react on the large (that is, exceptions seem to be individualized rather than culturally characteristic, even while taking into consideration the populist movements that exists in some parts of Europe today[58]). Both have been gracious even to an American, myself, of multiple colors and heritages, some evoking European and post-colonial pasts (e.g., Spain, Prussia, Ireland, Holland, and the Philippines).  Immediately before this research trip, I was in England and received similar warm welcome, albeit with some visceral sense of waiting-to-see what is on the horizon in terms of cross-cultural similarity, difference, and autonomy in the post-Brexit era; and, of course, the war that is very near, geographically, in Ukraine. However, what is quite clear in all contexts is that Europe is different from the U.S., whatever shades of color(s) it represents in various locales. Indeed, in predominantly White European countries, there may not be the same cultural expectation that White people will never be the criminals, the problem, the holder of social issues. It holds difference in institutional histories and institutional cultures, as well as overlap and similarities with our own. That is, one need not go even as far as MENA to arrive at differences in cultural expectations regarding social and political laws and rules, and political institutions.[59]

In local apartments, as a micro-level example, some have a culture of quiet, while others have a culture of (sometimes boisterous) sound. Quiet may mean an entire block of lights and televisions out by 23:00. Sound may mean an entire apartment building of music blaring and/or local bar playing until early morning hours, especially on weekend nights. It depends very much on locale and highly-localized (perhaps micro-micro-micro-level) cultural norms. Breaking either of these sorts of norms (quiet or sound, depending upon locale and context) may lead to small (or large) disruptions. Quiet and patience in the parts of Europe where I have been this summer is gold; it is a value; and it is strongly and nearly silently practiced. It is far from timidity.[60] It may be the war on the nearby border. Or it may simply be a persistent cultural form, slightly different in each place. It is significantly different from U.S. cultures of which I have been part over time, with and despite our similarities in goals, certain histories and cultural artifacts, and aspirations. And it is so across shades of tan (granting, for a moment, that everyone is able to tan)[61]

That is, Europe persists calmly across old borders. It is not unique in doing so.  It is true, also, for Asia, many parts of Africa, and for other regions. Respecting institutional cultures – in their differences as well as in their similarities – may be key to doing so; that is, across international borders. The question becomes more complex when considering social boundaries and institutional cultures within international borders, that is, within a country, as below.

Concluding Thoughts

Respecting our institutional culture within the U.S. – our basic civics in terms of institutional construction and practice – must be an expectation upon newly arriving peoples of all colors, including White. The Rules of the Game[62] – if life and politics are to be treated as a Game[63] – cannot change midstream, as some institutional traditions elsewhere would have it, lest we run the risk of facing the threat of brain drain, as have prior (and similar) institutional programmes in other countries past. The Anglo-American political institutions with which Huntington remained concerned,[64] were, I would suggest, always a product of Spanish-British alliance – marital alliances in Europe, and territorial in the Americas – with and despite alliances, sales, purchases, wars, and conflicts over the same. That is, perhaps it will be Florida, rather than undermining our Anglo-American traditions, which will instead remind[65] us to value them, to keep them in place, and to remember that they were always Anglo-Spanish-American institutions, cultures, and traditions.

The Asian part of my own family tradition would even suggest that it goes back further with roots to Turkic, Mongolian, Chinese, and Polynesian parts of Central and East Asia. One need only return to Hamlet, without recounting real histories of disunity and discontent, to remember that Europe, too, has had its own histories (including institutional) of past strife. We can address the North Pole, Bering Passage, or was-it-via-boat questions when our archaeology has arrived to answer such queries and quandaries. That is, our inter- and intra-communal traditions, and our understandings of North American history, may vary in significant ways among the joined peoples of our united country and nation.  We have learned, and are learning, to live with our differences on such levels.  It is our respect for and correct practice of our political institutions – and particularly the founding principles of non-intervention-without-constitutional-cause and innocence-until-proven-guilt – that joins us in one civic-national-identity. A brief perusal of Huntington’s works shows a significant concern not only with political development and stability in other contexts around the world, but also with maintaining democracy in Western as well as in non-Western societies and polities in terms of institutions, participation, stability, and longevity.[66] Our new non-democratic and (dare I say) materially Leninist-Stalinesque institutional pattern of guilt-by-accusation has no place in our civics, that is, in our institutional culture as I have been raised and trained to understand it. Without these two founding principles, non-intervention-without-constitutional-cause and innocence-until-proven-guilt, decay is not only a risk. It is a most-likely outcome.


[1] Samuel P. Huntington, American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1981), see, for example, 126.

[2] Clifford Geertz, Local Knowledge: Further Essays In Interpretive Anthropology (New York: Basic Books, 1985).

[3] On the notion of blueprint, or a cultural or social map, as models of a culture or society, and models for building a culture or society, see Clifford Geertz, The interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 93–95; as applied to religion and politics, see Simone Raudino and Patricia Sohn, editors, Beyond the Death of God: Religion in 21st Century International Politics (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2022), 7.

[4] Alan Zuckerman and Mark Lichbach, Comparative Politics: Rationality, Culture, Structure (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997); Joel S. Migdal, State-in-Society: Studying How States and Societies Transform and Constitute One Another (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

[5] Samuel P. Huntington, “Political Development and Political Decay” in World Politics 17:3 (1965): 386-430.

[6] Samuel P. Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006 [1968]).

[7] Samuel P. Huntington, “Modernization and Corruption” in Political Corruption: Concepts & Contexts,edited by Heidenheimer and Johnston (Philadelphia, PA: Routledge, 2017). See also, Political Order in Changing Societies, 170, 214, 266, 316.

[8] Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996). See also, Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations?” in Foreign Affairs 72:3 (1993): 22-49.

[9] See, for example, Karen Young, “The Gulf’s Eastward Turn: The Logic of Gulf-China Economic Ties” in Journal of Arabian Studies 19:2 (2019): 236-252.

[10] See:  Fethi Açikel, “A Critique of Occidental Geist: Embedded Historical Culturalism in the Works of Hegel, Weber and Huntington” in Journal of Historical Sociology 19:1 (2006): 60-83 for an argument that these three scholars similarly essentialize culture in their analyses of religion, a claim that I do not, myself, adopt; however, the analysis of the three scholars in tandem is relevant to my point regarding Huntington being a Weberian.  See also, Jeffrey Prager, “Moral Integration and Political Inclusion: A Comparison of Durkheim’s and Weber’s Theories of Democracy” in Social Forces 59:4 (1981): 918–950; Farid Guliyev, “Personal Rule, Neopatrimonialism, and Regime Typologies: Integrating Dahlian and Weberian Approaches to Regime Studies” in Democratization 18:3 (2011): 575-601; and Stephen P. Rosen, “Military Effectiveness: Why Society Matters” in International Security 19:4 (1995), 17, 21. See also, Patricia Sohn and Simone Raudino, “Editors’ Introduction: Religion and Politics” in Beyond the Death of God: Religion in 21st Century International Politics, Simone Raudino and Patricia Sohn, editors, 17-18.

[11] Samuel P. Huntington, “American Exceptionalism Meets Iraqi History” in Overreach: Delusions of Regime Change in Iraq, edited by Michael McDonald (Boston, MA: De Gruyter, 2014).

[12] Samuel P. Huntington, “Political Modernization: America vs. Europe” in World Politics 18:3 (1966): 378-414.

[13] Samuel P. Huntington, “Modernization and Corruption.”

[14] See, Daniel Stockemer, Bernadette Lamontagne, and Lyle Scruggs, “Bribes and Ballots: The Impact of Corruption on Voter Turnout in Democracies” in International Political Science Review 34:1 (2013): 74-90; Xiaobo Lu, “From Rank-Seeking To Rent-Seeking: Changing Administrative Ethos and Corruption in Reform China” in Crime, Law and Social Change 32 (1999): 347–370; J.S. Nye, “Corruption and Political Development: A Cost-Benefit Analysis” in American Political Science Review 61 (2): 417-427.

[15] Samuel Huntington, “Political Development and Political Decay.”

[16] See discussion in Patricia Sohn and Simone Raudino, “Editors’ Introduction: Religion and Politics,” 17-18.

Among Huntington’s works, see: Samuel P. Huntington, “Religion and the Third Wave” in The National Interest 24 (1991): 29-42.

[17] Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy (Palatine, IL: Anchor Books, 1967). More recently, see Talal Asad, “Reading a Modern Classic: W. C. Smith’s The Meaning and End of Religion” in History of Religions 40:3 (2001): 205-222; Jose Casanova, “The Secular and Secularisms” in Social Research 76:4 (2009): 1049-1066; and Simone Raudino and Patricia Sohn, editors, Beyond the Death of God: Religion in 21st Century International Politics.

[18] See, for example, Mark Tessler, “Cultural Modernity: Evidence from Tunisia” in Social Science Quarterly 52:2 (1971): 290-308; Mark Tessler, “The Application of Western Theories and Measures of Political Participation to A Single-Party North African State” in Comparative Political Studies 5:2 (1972): 175-191; for a longer discussion, see Patricia Sohn and Simone Raudino, “Editors’ Introduction: Religion and Politics” in Beyond the Death of God: Religion in 21st Century International Politics, Simone Raudino and Patricia Sohn, editors. Regarding Marc Galanter, see, for example, Marc Galanter, “Hinduism, Secularism, and the Indian Judiciary” in Philosophy East and West 21:4 (1971): 467-487; Marc Galanter, “Justice in Many Rooms: Courts, Private Ordering, and Indigenous Law” in The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 13:19 (1981): 1-47; and Marc Galanter and Rajeev Dhavan, Law and Society in Modern India (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

[19] See Samuel Huntington, “Religion and the Third Wave;” and Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

[20] Paul LeBlanc and Sarah Fortinsky, “Student-Led March for Our Lives Rally Pushes for Action on Gun Violence” in CNN-Politics, Sunday, June 12, 2022.

[21] Ibid.

[22] See: Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization (New York: Vintage Books, 1988); and Jane M. Ussher, The Madness of Women: Myth and Experience (Philadelphia, PA: Routledge, 2011).

[23] See, for example, Hon. William Renwick Riddell, “Judicial Execution by Burning at the Stake in New York” in ABAJ (1929): 373-381; see also J. R. Reinhard, “Burning at the Stake in Medieval Law and Literature” in Speculum 16:2 (1941): 186-209.

[24] In British contexts, see, for example: Carmen Luke, “Women in The Academy: The Politics of Speech and Silence” in British Journal of Sociology of Education 15:2 (1994): 211-230.

[25] Jacques Derrida, The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1987; first published in French, Paris: Flammarion, 1980).

[26] The Nazi version of the late-19th century Germanic “New Man” model is the extreme male-only-authority model that some of us have come to internalize in a naturalized way; and some still do, despite a nation-wide and laudable intellectual, social, and set of political movements to the contrary.  It is different from traditional patriarchy in Jewish, Muslim, Eastern Orthodox Christian, and Roman Catholic contexts of religious patriarchy which, by my read, even accounting for flaws, has always included a significant component of parity and balancing with regard to power-sharing among men and women across various levels of social and political, private and public contexts.  The idea that men rule in an absolute way; entirely alone and with absolute authority; that they should be hard, emotionally removed from wife, family, children, love, feelings, things intellectual and otherwise intangible; and that women can join the social or public spheres if they “play ball” with the appropriate male patron; all of these are, by my read, new to the Nazi’s secularist 20th century version of the Germanic New Man movement and are an effort to re-ignite the worst of Greek philosophical misogyny traditions (on the latter, see, for example, Charlotte Witt, “Feminist History of Philosophy” in Feminist Reflections on the History of Philosophy, edited by Lilli Alanen and Charlotte Witt, in the Springer Series, The New Synthese Historical Library, vol 55 (Dordrecht: Springer, 2004).

[27] Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (New York: Penguin, 2006), 252.

[28] Ibid., 290, on Hitler’s dream of a “perfect bureaucracy.”

[29] Ibid., 172; see also 287.

[30] See especially Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, 1948; the Geneva Convention, 1949; and II-8 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, 1951, in which following orders is not a defense but may be considered as a mitigating factor in punishments for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

[31] See, for example, the Rome Statue of 1998 and after.

[32] Pierre Bourdieu, “The Force of Law: Toward a Sociology of the Juridical Field” in Hastings Law Journal 38 (1987): 814-853.

[33] Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011 [first published in Italian, 1947]).

[34] Jacques Derrida, Writing and Difference (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Pres, 1978); and Jacques Derrida, On Grammatology (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016 [1974]).

[35] Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power, translated by Gino Rayond and Matthew Adamson (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 199), 107.

[36] Pierre Bourdieu, “The Force of Law,” 821, 836, 852.

[37] Ibid., 852.

[38] Marcia Landy, “Culture and Politics in the Work of Antonio Gramsci” in Boundary-2 14:3 (1986): 64.

[39] See Samuel P. Huntington, “Modernization and Corruption.”

[40] Samuel Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies, 86, 124-125, 140.

[41] Ibid., 283.

[42] Ibid., 214, 217, 283.

[43] Ibid., 155, 170, 264, 391.

[44] Ibid., 78, 264, 266, 292, 314.

[45] Ibid., 5, 24, 266, 316, 346.

[46] Many thanks and gratitude to the Dipartimento di Civiltà e Forme del Sapere, Università di Pisa, for a Summer 2022 visiting fellow position; and to the Center for Jewish Studies and Department of Political Science, University of Florida, for research and travel support.

[47] Bureaucracy is an exceedingly positive service in the hands of those driven by merit-based, non-personalist, and rationalized notions of bureaucratic efficiency, as in the works of Max Weber, Economy and Society, Volume II, edited by Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1978 [1968], 956-1005); and, much later, Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume II: The Rise of Classes and Nation-States, 1760-1914 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003 [1993]).

[48] Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume I:  A History of Power from the Beginning to A.D. 1760 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 26; and Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume II, 60.

[49] Drawing from James Scott’s term in different application. See: James Scott, Seeing Like A State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed (New Haven, CT: Veritas/Yale University Press, 2020 [1998]), see, for example, 2, 18, 45, 82, 214.

[50] See, for example, Jill Cowan, “When Will Latinos Outnumber Whites in Texas? Experts Have a Prediction” in The Dallas Morning News, June 21, 2018, in which it is reported that Latinos alone are expected to outnumber Whites in Texas by 2022; adding Asian-Americans and African-Americans to that number, people of color likely already do.  Those latter numbers are not discussed in toto.

[51] See Francis Fukuyama, Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015).   

[52] See, for example, Claudia Sadowski-Smith, The New Immigrant Whiteness: Race, Neoliberalism, and Post-Soviet Migration to the United States (New York: New York University Press, 2018).  

[53] Raoul Berger, “Administrative Arbitrariness and Judicial Review” in Columbia Law Review 65:1 (1965): 55-95.

[54] Patricia J. Woods [Sohn], Judicial Power and National Politics: Courts and Gender in the Religious-Secular Conflict in Israel (State University of New York Press, Second Edition 2017, First Edition 2008).

[55] Samuel Huntington, “Political Development and Institutional Decay.”

[56] Samuel P. Huntington, “Democracy for the Long Haul” in Journal of Democracy 7:2 (1996): 3-13; and Guillermo O’Donnell, “Democracy, Law, and Comparative Politics” in Studies in Comparative International Development 36 (2001): 7-36.  See also, in reverse chronological order, Louise Tillin, “Does India Have Subnational Welfare Regimes? The Role of State Governments in Shaping Social Policy” in Territory, Politics, and Governance 10:1 (2022): 86-102; Heinrik Enroth, “Governance: The Art of Governing after Governmentality” in Journal of European Social Theory 17:1 (2014): 60-76; Aharon Barak, The Judge in a Democracy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006); and Michel Foucault, The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, edited by Graham Burchell, Colin Gordon, and Peter Miller (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991).

[57] While education may be correlated with lower tendencies to rig elections, lack of education is, by those same measures, more highly correlated with it. See, for example, Hajer Kratou, “The Impact of Academic Freedom on Democracy in Africa” in The Journal of Development Studies 58:4 (2021): 809-826. Such results may affect sub-communities as well.

[58] Antoine Arjakovsky, “Belief in Politics and the Politics of Faith: The Case of the 2019 Presidential Elections in Ukrainian” in Beyond the Death of God: Religion in 21st Century International Politics, edited by Simone Raudino and Patricia Sohn, 99, 105, 108-110; see also Marco Ferraro, “On the Geneaology of Populist Morals” in Beyond the Death of God: Religion in 21st Century International Politics, edited by Simone Raudino and Patricia Sohn, 76.

[59] Patricia Woods [Sohn] and Haluk Karadağ, “Rights or Riots? Regional Institutional and Cultural Legacies in the MENA Region, and the Case of Turkey” in Journal of Power, Politics & Governance 3:1 (2015): 68; and Haluk Karadağ and Patricia Woods [Sohn], “Default Power in the MENA Region: Turkey as a Pragmatic Solution to the Post-Arab Spring Era” in Journal of International Relations and Foreign Policy 3:2 (2015): 1-11.

[60] Marco Ferraro, “On the Geneaology of Populist Morals,” 78-81.

[61] With a nod to Hamlet….

[62] George Tsiebelis, Veto Players: How Political Institutions Work (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002).

[63] Quiming Huang, editor, Game Theory (Rijeka, Croatia: InTech, 2010).

[64] Samuel Huntington, Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004).

[65] See, on memory and forgetting in the construction and maintenance of national identity, Ernest Renan, Qu’est-ce qu’une nation? (Paris: Ancienne Maison Michel Lévy Frères, 1882); and Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (Brooklyn, NY: Verso Books, 2006).

[66] Michel Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, Joji Watanuki, The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission (New York: New York University Press, 1975); Samuel Huntington, “Democracy for the Long Haul;” and Samuel Huntington, “American Ideals versus American Institutions” in Political Research Quarterly 97:1 (1982): 1-37.

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