Samuel Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (1968).

Summary: Order at all costs. Political stability first, then other goods.  Main thesis is that political breakdown (or in his words, ‘political decay’) occurs when new groups enter politics and institutions are not able to absorb them (unable to maintain the status quo).  This is why institutions are so important – if they are adaptable, they provide for order.


Principal thesis: Social and economic changes occurring in these societies are forcing such a rapid expansion of political participation and political demands that, while the traditional political institutions have been undermine, ‘new bases of political association and new political institutions combining legitimacy and effectiveness’ are exceedingly difficult to construct. Yet, unless ‘the level of political participation and the level of political institutionalization’ remain in balance, political stability cannot be maintained.


Like Moore, Huntington views the mobilization of peasants as the key to different outcomes of modernization


== Class Notes ==

* For Huntington, political stability is a precursor to other political goods (cf. Machiavelli)

* Institutions are important because they absorb participation

* Institutions define public interests

* Where does legitimacy come in?

** Institutions

*** Formal (Parties, Legislatures, etc.)

*** Informal (Elections, procedures, etc.)

** The RELEVANT institutions are the ones which contribute to stability

* Four measures of Institutions

** Adaptability – Strong institutions are able to ‘go with the flow’ – to manage with crises and major changes (including changing generations)

** Complexity

** Autonomy

** Cohesion – Bureaucracies must not be divided amongst themselves

* The only value for the institution is its stability – Legitimacy really is a black box – it is HIGHLY functional

* For Huntington ALL orders are equal – normatively and functionally

** Inequality is secondary – so is everything else, because you can’t achieve anything without stability

* Huntington will ALWAYS accept and promote the status quo, because it contributes to stability