Foundations of class compromise: A theoretical basis for understanding diverse patterns of regime outcomes

Sociological Theory 11 (1):96-116 (1993)
Abstract
Since 1945 regions undergoing dependent development have displayed a great diversity of regime outcomes. In contrast, the nations of the capitalist core have experienced relatively stable democratic regimes. In this paper I begin the development of a theoretical framework for comprehending these diverse patterns. I argue that regime outcomes vary across regions of the capitalist world economy because structural economic constraints also vary by region. Dependent economies are characterized by two major constraints: 1) the lack of a locally dynamic accumulation process and 2) the persistence of widespread and deep income inequalities. These two factors increase the level of class conflict even while they reduce the level of state resources. Thus, regime officials have insufficient resources to address accumulation and consumption demands simultaneously. Variation in regime outcome in the capitalist periphery is produced by variation in "situations of dependency" (i.e., the forms of integration into the capitalist world economy) that produce different class structures and levels of economic constraints. In the capitalist core, however, locally dynamic accumulation processes and relatively low income inequality provide the structural conditions for stable democratic regimes
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