The Rule of Law and Development: A Weberian Framework of States and State-Society Relations

  • Matthew Lange
Part of the Political Evolution and Institutional Change book series (PEIC)


This chapter provides a general theoretical framework on states and development that is based on Max Weber’s sociology of law, which is arguably the “core” of Weber’s substantive sociology and “an essential key to the understanding of his analysis of political and economic phenomena”(Parsons 1971, pp. 40, 41).1 To do so, it is divided into two sections. The first section claims that negative-sum social relations characterized by one-sided domination have negative effects on development and that positive-sum social relations characterized by multilateral collaboration have positive effects on it. Next, the section describes how associations, bureaucracy,and markets make possible positive-sum relations on a large scale but recognizes that each coordination structure has a tendency to personalize power and thereby limit the extent of positive-sum relations. As such, large-scale coordination problems must be seen as major developmental obstacles.


Social Relation Legal Rule Personal Rule Coordination Structure Comparative Politics 
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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© Matthew Lange and Dietrich Rueschemeyer 2005

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  • Matthew Lange

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