International Studies Association, Conference in Washington, 15-20 February 1999
Data taken from ISA Final Program
ABSTRACTS arranged alpihabetically after the opening plan by T. V. Sathyamurthy
WC19 Wednesday 1:45 - 3:30 PM
Sponsor(s): Global Development and International Political Economy
Chair: Philip G. Cerny, University of Leeds
Riggs' Development: Not Elegant Dichotomies, But Messy
Interactions (See the draft text )
by Robert E. Gamer, University of Missouri, Kansas City
Clear Understanding, Useful Knowledge, and Foundations for Original Theory: Fred Riggs'
Seminal Contributions to the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism
by Martin Heisler, University of Maryland
On Resolving the Semantic Confusion: Fred W. Riggs' Contribution to
Conceptual and Terminological Analysis in Social and Human
by Matti Mälkiä, University of Tampere
Fred W. Riggs: Contributions to the Study of Comparative Public Administration
by Howard E. McCurdy, American University (See the draft text )
Discussants: Thomas D. Hall, DePauw University; Henry Teune, University of Pennsylvania
WD19 Wednesday 3:45 - 5:30 PM
Neither a Bird's Nor a Worm's Eye View:
Fred Riggs' Innovative Contributions to International Studies--Session II
Chair: Thomas D. Hall, DePauw University
Constitutional Designs, Democracy, and Conflict Resolution in Divided States
by Abdo I. Baaklini, University of Albany. See the draft text .
Exporting Presidentialism: International Implications
by Colin Campbell, Georgetown University
The Vicissitudes of Globalization
by Barry Gills, University of Newcastle
Modernization, Democratization and Globaliztion:
Reflections on Fred Riggs' Contributions
by Majid Tehranian, University of Hawaii
Discussants: Donald L. Robinson, Smith College
ABSTRACT for the whole panel by T. V. Sathyamurthy
See NOTE about his untimely death below.
ABSTRACT: The panel will provide a critical assessment of the
writings of Fred W. Riggs during the last 45 years. It is appropriate to
celebrate his enormous output in the spheres of Politics and International
Studies at this conference with its emphasis on One Field, Many
Perspectives. Riggs has initiated theoretically as well as real
world-based inter-disciplinary dialogues on a number of questions of
international and comparative interest, ranging from development to
conflict and its peaceful resolution.
In more recent years he has worked on the clarification of
conceptual terminologies in difficult and complex areas of political
discourse. Over the years, he has acquired the status of a savant with
big ideas on perplexing subjects.
The papers proposed here will deal with eight inter-related
themes: (1) Development; (2) Comparative Bureaucracy; (3) Ethnicity and
related matters; (4) Conceptual and Terminological questions; (5)
Constitutionalism and Conflict Resolution; (6) Presidentialism; (7)
Globalization; and (8) Democracy.
This paper will explore Professor Riggs's contribution to the
important topic of the relationship between constitutional design and the
prospect of democratic stability in newly emerging democracies. Emphasis
will be on the comparative analysis that Riggs has provided of the two
most common systems of government -- viz the presidential and the
After reviewing the characteristics of the two systems both
logically and in their empirical operation, the paper will shift to a
comparative analysis of the problems facing emerging democracies,
especially in ethnically divided societies.
The final section of the paper will consider the factors which,
according to Riggs, must be taken into account in the designing of
constitutions in order to get around some of the delicate problems facing
societies with a mixed ethnic composition in their attempts to establish a
stable constitutional democratic political order.
The University of Albany
Constitutional Design, Democracy and Conflict Resolution in
In more recent years he has worked on the clarification of conceptual terminologies in difficult and complex areas of political discourse. Over the years, he has acquired the status of a savant with big ideas on perplexing subjects.
The papers proposed here will deal with eight inter-related themes: (1) Development; (2) Comparative Bureaucracy; (3) Ethnicity and related matters; (4) Conceptual and Terminological questions; (5) Constitutionalism and Conflict Resolution; (6) Presidentialism; (7) Globalization; and (8) Democracy.
This paper will explore Professor Riggs's contribution to the important topic of the relationship between constitutional design and the prospect of democratic stability in newly emerging democracies. Emphasis will be on the comparative analysis that Riggs has provided of the two most common systems of government -- viz the presidential and the parliamentary.
After reviewing the characteristics of the two systems both logically and in their empirical operation, the paper will shift to a comparative analysis of the problems facing emerging democracies, especially in ethnically divided societies.
The final section of the paper will consider the factors which, according to Riggs, must be taken into account in the designing of constitutions in order to get around some of the delicate problems facing societies with a mixed ethnic composition in their attempts to establish a stable constitutional democratic political order.
Over the past decade, Fred Riggs has contributed more than perhaps any other scholar to an assessment of the appropriateness of American presidentialism as a model for other political systems. In this quest, Riggs has added immensely to our understanding of how and why American presidentialism works for the United States. However, he has also thoroughly canvassed various efforts to pursue the model elsewhere in the world.
This analysis builds upon Riggs's work to probe the consequences of a naive pursuit of the American model. The pathology manifests itself most obviously where systems built on entirely different cultural antecedents layer presidentialism on top of these more historic traditions. However, as New Zealand has demonstrated, it need not comprise a formal embracing of a presidential constitution. In other words, some systems have taken remedies associate with the separation of powers and applied them unthinkingly to entirely different institutional circumstances.
Riggs's political development metaphors are not pairs of variables balancing great social processes, or moral opposites civilizations move from and toward, but rather people -- prominent and obscure, interacting. He examines politics cum economics, dependencies, institutions cum culture and semantics. But above all, he explores us. How malleable is human nature? What safeguards -- cultural and institutional -- do we need to protect us from our own basest urges? As we blend modernity with tradition, he keeps our eyes on the best and worst in both, and our focus on the most basic human problems, through a prism more Hegelian than Kantian or Marxist. Like each of us, all institutions -- entrepreneurial and governmental, formal and informal, national and global -- contain both good and evil and affect one another. The ball of frazzled, inter-twined rope he unravels is messy, but domestic and familiar, often closer bound to today's policy inquiry than the grander tidier formulations of the '50s and the '60s.
The definition of globalization is still highly contested. Fred Riggs has initiated a project on globalization attempting to engage a wide range of scholars in an effort to discuss the concept and its significance for the social sciences and the real world.
This paper will engage with Fred Riggs's project and reflect on the debate over the meaning of the concept 'globalization', contrasting the political economy approach focused on economic liberalization with the range of much wider meanings encompassing culture.
The study of ethnicity is both old and new. In recent years the interpretations of the nature of ethnicity and its meanings for peoples, states and the international order have undergone changes. No longer viewed as a set of primordial traits or to be in inverse relationship with modernization, ethnicity is now seen as malleable and subject to manipulation by individuals or groups or political elites.<
The meanings and salience of ethnicity are regarded as contingent on specifiable conditions which can be explored -- not only to understand but also to control or channel ethnically based action, the aim being to enhance the chances of peaceful management of ethnic relations.
Fred Riggs has worked at the meeting point between the scientific and normative aspects of ethnicity. His conceptual and lexicographic work has added precision to our understanding, whilst his studies of the institutions of governance have pointed toward more peaceful human relations. These are at once a basis for understanding the tensions between expectations of assimilation and multicultural coexistence, the dynamics of diasporas, and opportunities to transcend harmful divisions whilst sustaining the dignity reflected in its diversity.
One of the leading themes throughout the works of Fred Riggs has been his concern about the semantic confusion that now prevails in the human and social sciences. He has not only tried to analyze the nature of this confusion and the reasons for it, but also attempted to develop methods and tools to cope with and if possible to resolve it.
This paper will summarize Riggs's contribution to the field of conceptual and terminological analysis in the social sciences and put it in a wider context. The key questions to be asked are: Why has Riggs used so much of his energy to develop the field of social science terminology? What has been his key contribution to this field? How is his work in this area connected to other main areas or aspects of his work? What can we learn from his experience?
In the two decades following the end of the second World War, scholars from Western countries found numerous opportunities to export their expertise about public administration to developing countries. By the 1960s, however, it had become apparent that the transferred methods often produced unintended results. To encourage an understanding of this experience, the American Society for Public Administration established the Comparative Administration Group in 1960. The dominant figure was Fred. W. Riggs. Riggs constructed an elaborate theory, complete with its own vocabulary, to explain the paradoxical nature of governmental administration in transitional societies. The resulting insights into what became know as the "ecology of public administration" illuminated the important role of culture in shaping management practices and helping to banish the belief in universal principles of administration that could be expected to produce the same effects everywhere. This paper will describe the theory, how Riggs discovered it, and its impact on public administration generally.
Fred Riggs's illustrious career covers a number of inter-related topics in political science, including public administration, lexicography, modernization, democratization, and globalization. This paper focuses on the last three closely related topics. It argues that Riggs^Ò contribution in all three areas has been significant and unique. Riggs deviated from the dominant modernization paradigms of 1950s and 1960s that viewed the process essentially as a zero-sum game between tradition and modernity. By his theoretical and empirical studies of Southeast Asia, Riggs demonstrated how tradition continues in modernity. His theory of prismatic society provided an alternative to the dominant paradigm that better accounted for the complexities of transitional societies in social and administrative behavior. Riggs' focus on democracy concerns itself with presidentialism versus parliamentary models as well as the impact of ethnonationalism on civil liberties. That latter concern merges with Riggs latest focus on problems of globalization and its fragmenting effects. He is among a number of other scholars who see a neo-feudalism emerging from the fragmentation processes of the so-called new world order.
Note: This panel was planned by T.V. Sathyamurthy, York University, England. Tragically, he died while sleeping on August 25, 1998. We all mourn his passing -- he was a good friend and a great scholar. I am grateful to Philip Cerny for giving me this sad information, and for agreeing to chair the first session of this panel and offer a tribute to Sathya. FWR
A memorial tribute to Sathya by David Edwards
and some Recollections by Riggs.
Links to Riggs' writings; his autobiography and || the ISA Program 
See the draft of Gamer's paper and of McCurdy's ) paper.
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