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Legitimacy and comparative economic success at the core of the world system: an exploratory study


Bornschier, Volker (1989). Legitimacy and comparative economic success at the core of the world system: an exploratory study. European Sociological Review (ESR), 5(3):215-230.

Abstract

This paper suggests that comparative economic success is influenced by political choices which themselves are linked to the competitive world system. Governments produce social order (or protection) as a territorially bounded public utility, which is seen as a productive force. Citizens invest a social order with differing degrees of legitimacy which is thus, via motivation, an important competitive resource. A multiple regression design covering 18 Western core societies over the postwar era is used to test whether legitimacy, operationalized as relative absence of mass political protest, has an effect on comparative overall economic performance once initial wealth, absolute and relative size of government and membership in trading blocs are controlled for. We find robust empirical evidence for a positive impact of legitimacy on growth in the postwar era. The study thus suggests additional support for the theory of the ‘world market for protection', developed elsewhere to explain long-term economic success and societal convergence at the core of the world system

Abstract

This paper suggests that comparative economic success is influenced by political choices which themselves are linked to the competitive world system. Governments produce social order (or protection) as a territorially bounded public utility, which is seen as a productive force. Citizens invest a social order with differing degrees of legitimacy which is thus, via motivation, an important competitive resource. A multiple regression design covering 18 Western core societies over the postwar era is used to test whether legitimacy, operationalized as relative absence of mass political protest, has an effect on comparative overall economic performance once initial wealth, absolute and relative size of government and membership in trading blocs are controlled for. We find robust empirical evidence for a positive impact of legitimacy on growth in the postwar era. The study thus suggests additional support for the theory of the ‘world market for protection', developed elsewhere to explain long-term economic success and societal convergence at the core of the world system

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Language:English
Date:1 December 1989
Deposited On:18 Oct 2018 08:14
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 14:51
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0266-7215
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.esr.a036523

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