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Neither ‘Bribery’ Nor ‘Compensation’: Unforeseen Configurations

  • Béatrice Hibou
Chapter
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)

Abstract

The idea of intentionality runs through the thesis of ‘bribery,’ of ‘compensation’ and ‘exchange.’ Governments, on this view, implement economic policies so as to keep ‘hold’ over their population, to seem attentive to their needs, to offer an image of caring. They encourage people to accept losing some of their freedom or the existence of discriminatory measures in return for economic or social benefits. This chapter criticizes this argument on two levels: an abstract, theoretical point of view, and a historical and empirical analysis.

It shows that, by reducing the political to a relationship between the sovereign and his or her people, the thesis of the bribe, compensation, contract or exchange is both over-simplified and shows an ‘institutionalized egotism’ (Peter Brown.) The intentionalist thesis of compensation ignores the many dynamics operating, the ever-changing patterns formed by individuals and society, the rulers and the ruled in their mutual relations and their mutual dependencies. It obscures the ambiguity of the political link and neglects the dangers of an analysis focusing on patterns of action and one-dimensional and unidirectional causal relationships.

Keywords

Developmental State Consumer Credit Asian State Taiwanese Government Foreign Actor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Béatrice Hibou
    • 1
  1. 1.CERI-SciencesPoParisFrance

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