How To Have A Cooperative Relationship Between State And The People

1152 words - 5 pages

Joel S. Migdal defines uses an ideal-typed definition of the state as an organization, composed of numerous agencies led and coordinated by the state’s leadership that has the ability or authority to make and implement the binding rules for all the people as well as the parameters of rule making for other social organizations in a given territory, using force if necessary to have its way. He claims that a state’s ability to survive depends on several factors but most importantly, the ability to mobilize the society’s population. This consists of channeling people into specialized organizational frameworks that enable state leaders to build stronger armies, collect more taxes and complete other complicated tasks (Migdal). Social control, Migdal describes involves the successful subordination of people’s own inclinations of social behavior or behavior sought by other social organizations in favor of the behavior prescribed by state rulers. Migdal, like Robert I. Rotberg both refer to Michael Mann’s concept of infrastructural power, the need for a cooperative relationship between the state and the people.
According to Robert I. Rotberg, weak states are characterized as being: inherently weak because of geographical, physical, or fundamental economic constraints. He adds that it is often an effect of internal conflict. Public goods and peoples’ needs are not being met or the state is diminishing in ability to provide. Migdal describes a weak state as being characterized by having a strong society where the state lacks social control. Colombia, although maintaining an electoral democracy, is considered a weak state. Rotberg argues that Colombia is a weak state, and even leaning toward a failing state. Colombia controls only two-thirds of its territory according Rutberg and private armies project their power throughout large zones of Colombia. In these zones, official defense and political establishments have lost control to insurgents and drug traffickers. The state has lost almost all ability to provide security; it is common and quite necessary for businessmen, journalists, and politicians to wear armored vests and travel with armed guards.
According to Angel Rabasa and Peter Chalk, Colombia has exercised incomplete jurisdiction over its territory and failed to enforce its authority over powerful corporate or local interests. Colombia is plagued with fragmentation caused by the nonexistence of a dominant center. While Bogota is the political capital of Colombia, Medellin has been the center of economic activity and other economic and political centers have developed on the Atlantic Coast and the Cauca Valley (Rabasa). Further instability and loss of legitimacy in Colombia is depicted in the revelation of drug networking financing of Ernesto Samper’s successful presidential campaign in 1994 (Rabasa). Since then, the Colombian government has regained its previous loss of standing but yet to make significant progress towards state strengthening. State...

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