247 Social Scientic Approaches to European Historical Development: The Role of Origins and Legacies.

Thursday, June 27, 2013: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM
2.03 (Binnengasthuis)
This session brings together five papers which approach historical political development in Europe using contemporary social science methods.  All papers are concerned with how events removed in time continue to affect political outcomes in subsequent periods. 

Three of the papers look at the origins of political institutions which continue to exert influence on outcomes for a substantial period following their foundation.  Origins focus on the locating the junctures at which persistent institutions attain path dependence.  Three of the papers are more concerned with the origins of central political institutions.  Boucoyannis challenges the orthodoxy of the relationship between taxation and representation in the origins of representative government and consent of the governed.  She instead shows how its origins lie in representation as an obligation in strong states, and how this relationship was eventually turned on its head.  Ziblatt looks at the origins of suffrage expansion.  He finds its ultimate success in the embrace of democratic competition by conservative political parties that are capable of building substantial constituencies thus making expanded suffrage a road to power, not a path to political decline and loss of power.  Finally, Mares and Queraldt look at the rise of progressive taxation schemes.  They contradict the received wisdom on how this is linked to increased demands for redistribution following suffrage extension, and instead locate its origins with attempts by non-democratic regimes to delay the onset of full democratization by buying compliance through material incentives.

The past can also weigh on the present through legacies, which seem to be more diverse, operating through structures, agents, or culture.  The discussion of legacies seems more concerned with moments of change and how elements of past political practices and institutions persist and become embedded in ostensibly new political orders. Two of the papers explicitly look at legacies.  Bernhard addresses the problem of critical junctures that do not result in institutional lock-in.  He uses this mechanism to explain period of prolonged instability and rapid repeated regime change over substantial periods of time.  Capoccia and Pop-Eleches look at the influence of past historical memory on subsequent political behavior.  They look at different patterns of treatment of the Nazi past in different allied occupation zones and show how these patterns have continued to influence attitudes and political behavior until the present.

Stephen Hanson
Yitzhak Brudny
Historical Memories, Political Attitudes and Electoral Behavior: Evidence from Post-War Germany
Giovanni Capoccia, University of Oxford; Grigore Pop-Eleches, Princeton University
Taxation and the Coercive Origins of Consent and Representation
Deborah Boucoyannis, University of Virginia
Taxation As Political Insurance
Isabela Mares, Columbia University; Didac Queralt, Juan March Institute
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