Symposium on Critical Junctures and Historical Legacies

Qualitative and Multi-Method Research 15, No. 1, pp. 1-47, 2017

48 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2017

See all articles by David Collier

David Collier

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Political Science

Gerardo L. Munck

University of Southern California

Sidney Tarrow

Cornell University - Law School

Kenneth M. Roberts

Cornell University - Department of Government

Robert Kaufman

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Department of Political Science

Taylor Boas

Boston University - Department of Political Science

Timothy Scully

Notre Dame University

Jorge Dominguez

Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Government, Students

Sebastián Mazzuca

Johns Hopkins University

Andrew R. Gould

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Thad Dunning

University of California, Berkeley - Center on the Politics of Development

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

This symposium brings together ten essays that explore hypotheses about critical junctures, understood as major episodes of institutional innovation that generate an enduring legacy. Scholars routinely focus on episodes of innovation that occur in contrasting ways across cases, which in turn yields distinct trajectories of change and produces different legacies. These contrasts readily lend themselves to analysis based on the comparative method, generally combined with process tracing. For the analysis of single cases, the comparison is typically focused on explicit or implicit counterfactual alternatives that might have produced different trajectories of change. The critical juncture framework is seen as offering a set of hypotheses that may or may not fit a given historical situation, and whose actual fit must be demonstrated with great care.

The symposium builds on Lipset and Rokkan’s (1967) classic study of cleavage structures and party systems, as well as Collier and Collier’s (1991) Shaping the Political Arena. The introduction by the coeditors provides an overall framework for studying critical junctures and the essays apply this framework, while at same time moving the discussion in new directions. The substantive domains explored include state-formation, party systems, neoliberal transformation, religion, law, economic growth, and colonial rebellion. Most essays focus on Latin America, while two discuss Europe and the United States; some analyze developments since the 1980s, whereas others reach back to the 19th century. Given that a critical juncture hypothesis inherently focuses on trajectories of change that extend over a substantial period of time, a key issue debated in the symposium is the amount of historical perspective required to establish that a critical juncture has in fact occurred. Contributors to the symposium, in addition to the coeditors, are Sidney Tarrow, Kenneth M. Roberts, Robert R. Kaufman, Taylor C. Boas, Timothy R. Scully, Jorge I. Dominguez, Sebastian L. Mazzuca, Andrew C. Gould, and Thad Dunning.

Keywords: critical junctures, Latin America, state-formation, party systems, neoliberal transformation, religion, law, economic growth, colonial rebellion

Suggested Citation

Collier, David and Munck, Gerardo L. and Tarrow, Sidney and Roberts, Kenneth M. and Kaufman, Robert and Boas, Taylor and Scully, Timothy and Dominguez, Jorge and Mazzuca, Sebastián and Gould, Andrew R. and Dunning, Thad, Symposium on Critical Junctures and Historical Legacies (2017). Qualitative and Multi-Method Research 15, No. 1, pp. 1-47, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3036008

David Collier (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Political Science ( email )

210 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Gerardo L. Munck

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Sidney Tarrow

Cornell University - Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States

Kenneth M. Roberts

Cornell University - Department of Government ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Robert Kaufman

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Department of Political Science ( email )

New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States

Taylor Boas

Boston University - Department of Political Science ( email )

United States

Timothy Scully

Notre Dame University ( email )

Notre Dame, IN 46556
United States

Jorge Dominguez

Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Government, Students ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sebastián Mazzuca

Johns Hopkins University ( email )

Baltimore, MD 20036-1984
United States

Andrew R. Gould

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ( email )

TX
United States

Thad Dunning

University of California, Berkeley - Center on the Politics of Development ( email )

University of California
221 Moses Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-2308
United States

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