In This Review

Logics of Hierarchy: The Organization of Empires, States, and Military Occupations
Logics of Hierarchy: The Organization of Empires, States, and Military Occupations
By Alexander Cooley
Cornell University Press, 2005, 208 pp
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Borrowing from organizational theory applied to the corporate world, Cooley contends that two fundamentally different forms of organization determine the shape and performance of political institutions. One model, a "unitary form" focused on vertical organization along functional lines, produces stronger central control at the cost of performance, does more to transform institutions, and is more consistent with "state formation." The other, a "multilevel form" decentralized along territorial lines, features more local control, often yields patrimonial institutions better able to survive the collapse of the hierarchy (provided by an empire, state, or military occupation), and is more consistent with "imperial governance." Both forms existed in the Soviet Union, and Cooley contends that when applied to Central Asia, their contrary effects can explain how the original institutional mix in these societies came to be, why some institutions survived the Soviet collapse, and what roles those that survived now play in state building. This is a fresh and lean theory, which Cooley would extend to the U.S. military occupation of Iraq and many other seemingly unrelated hierarchical settings.