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Restructuring EuropeCentre Formation, System Building, and Political Structuring between the Nation State and the European Union$
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Stefano Bartolini

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199286430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199286434.001.0001

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A Theory of Exit Options, Boundary Building, and Political Structuring

A Theory of Exit Options, Boundary Building, and Political Structuring

(p.1) 1 A Theory of Exit Options, Boundary Building, and Political Structuring
Restructuring Europe

Stefano Bartolini (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This first chapter sketches the elements of a theory of voice structuring under different conditions of territorial confinement of actors and resources. Using Hirschman and Rokkan’s work, the chapter formulates theoretical propositions about how processes of internal conflict generation and opposition development (political structuring) relate to the processes of boundary demarcation in a large-scale territorial polity, and how the two relate to the internal institutional hierarchy of the same territory. A correspondence is established between micro-individual choices of exit and the corresponding systemic processes of boundary building and control; the micro-individual loyalty and the systemic structures and processes of system maintenance; and the micro-individual propensity to voice and the systemic structuring of channels and organizations for representation. It is argued that the framework is general enough to be applied to different territorial political formations, to characterize pre-nation-state polities, as well as to understand post-nation-state polities.

Keywords:   voice structuring, boundary, closure, centre formation, system building, hierarchy, natural arena, governmental arena, political exchanges, resource convertibility

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