Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance, and Recognition

Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance, and Recognition

Collective Intentionality VI: Social Change, University of California at Berkeley, USA, July 2008.

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Titus Stahl

July 13, 2008
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance

    and Recognition Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at, Frankfurt a. M., Germany Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia Collective Intentionality VI: Social Change July 11-14, 2008 University of California at Berkeley Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Power in social institutions

    Power a capacity to do things Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Power in social institutions

    Power a capacity to do things Social power the capacity to influence other people’s actions Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Power in social institutions

    Power a capacity to do things Social power the capacity to influence other people’s actions Institutional power capacity of a person to influence other people’s actions this capacity being created by a system of rules in virtue of the fact that this system of rules entitles a person to issue demands upon the actions of others and that it is collectively accepted by others Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Power in social institutions

    Dispersed institutional power capability not bound to persons or specific status positions (e.g. language) Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Power in social institutions

    Dispersed institutional power capability not bound to persons or specific status positions (e.g. language) Institutional power in a narrow sense capability bound to persons by virtue of them occupying differential status positions accorded by institutional rules (e.g. political power) Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Constitutive and non-constitutive power

    “Intra-institutional” power power in an institution accorded by institutional rules Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Constitutive and non-constitutive power

    “Intra-institutional” power power in an institution accorded by institutional rules Constitutive power power to change or challenge existing rules, to introduce new rules and statuses Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Three constraints on a

    pragmatic analysis A plausible account of institutional power must conceive of institutional power as a capacity Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Three constraints on a

    pragmatic analysis A plausible account of institutional power must conceive of institutional power as a capacity be able to account for the difference between institutional power and coercion Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Three constraints on a

    pragmatic analysis A plausible account of institutional power must conceive of institutional power as a capacity be able to account for the difference between institutional power and coercion be able to account for the difference between (intra-)institutional power and constitutive institutional power Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Obedience and intentional states

    are not constitutive of power relations Obedience is neither necessary nor sufficient for the existence of institutional power. (Hart’s argument) Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Obedience and intentional states

    are not constitutive of power relations Obedience is neither necessary nor sufficient for the existence of institutional power. (Hart’s argument) The existence of specific beliefs, intentions or mental states is neither necessary nor sufficient as well. (relational character of power, non-intentional acceptance, inconsistency between intentions and behavior) Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition A more plausible model

    Intuition: Either conforming to one’s obligations to someone or accepting accountability for failing to do so. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition A more plausible model

    Intuition: Either conforming to one’s obligations to someone or accepting accountability for failing to do so. An intuitive analysis: A accepts B as having a specific institutional status connected with specific entitlements which give rise to obligations of A, if and only if A either accepts being accountable for failing to fulfill her obligations or A fulfills these obligations but would accept accountability if she had failed to fulfill them. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Acceptance of one’s being

    accountable I A sanctioning account: An agent A has certain institutional powers, that is, powers stemming from her status position in an institution in practice over a set of persons B1 ...Bn to the extent that these persons generally and in most cases accept (sanctioning) evaluations of their behavior in regard to the legitimate demands that A puts on them. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Acceptance of one’s being

    accountable I A sanctioning account: An agent A has certain institutional powers, that is, powers stemming from her status position in an institution in practice over a set of persons B1 ...Bn to the extent that these persons generally and in most cases accept (sanctioning) evaluations of their behavior in regard to the legitimate demands that A puts on them. The pragmatic meaning of “acceptance”: The absence of a serious contestation to the sanction. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Acceptance of sanctioning authority

    An agent A accepts an agent B as being entitled to sanction performances according to a specific rule R in a specific context C, if and only if in all cases in which (1) a performance P of A violates R, (2) P happens in context C and (3) P is sanctioned by B, A either does not contest this sanction at all or only puts it into question. If the entitlement of B to sanction A’s performances of a specific type in context C is habitually either not contested at all or only put into question by A, we say that A grants B a standard authority to sanction. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition (Individual) acceptance of institutional

    authority (Individual) acceptance of institutional authority: An agent A (individually) accepts the institutional authority of an agent B if A accepts B and/or other agents as being entitled to sanction A’s performances according to a rule R which grants B a status entailing the entitlement to issue demands on A’s behavior in a specific context C. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Excursus: Authority distributions Institutional

    power relations asymmetric power relation: A has power of a specific type, but B has no power of the same type over A symmetric power relation: A and B have power of the same type over each other Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Excursus: Authority distributions Institutional

    power relations asymmetric power relation: A has power of a specific type, but B has no power of the same type over A symmetric power relation: A and B have power of the same type over each other Power distributions in groups: Some cases monopolization: A has power over everyone else, everyone else has no power at all over A symmetry: Each agent has power over all other agents at least in regard to one type of power egalitarian symmetry: Each agent has power over all other agents in regard to the same type of power Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition The case for collective

    acceptance Collective acceptance is a requirement shared by important theories of institutions Reason 1: Collective acceptance is necessary to explain obligating character Reason 2: Collective acceptance is necessary to account for shared rule-following Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition The case for collective

    acceptance Collective acceptance is a requirement shared by important theories of institutions Reason 1: Collective acceptance is necessary to explain obligating character Reason 2: Collective acceptance is necessary to account for shared rule-following But what are the pragmatic features of collective acceptance? Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition The case for “recognition”

    I Starting from Gilbert’s account of collective acceptance 1 Pragmatic significance of collective acceptance: Justifies mutual criticism (“rebukes”) Collective acceptance is realized by a social arrangement where agents accept each other as entitled to evaluate each other’s actions 1 Margaret Gilbert. Modelling collective belief. Synthese, 73(1):185–204, Oct 1987. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition The case for “recognition”

    II Collective acceptance can be described as mutual attribution of institutional power (“Every other member in the community counts as someone who is entitled to evaluate my behavior in a specific context in relation to institutional rule R”) Authority ascription is mutual and symmetric Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition The case for “recognition”

    III If interpretation of institutional rule is understood to be collectively governed, authority ascription must also be recursive. Otherwise: collapse into individualist account. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition The case for “recognition”

    IV Recognition Recognition is the readiness for symmetric and recursive ascription of authority between a number of agents in regard to a specific rule. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Institutional Power – final

    account (Collectively Accepted) Institutional Power – final account An agent A has institutional power over a set of persons B1 ...Bn if and only if B1 ...Bn are part of a group in which the members display a constant readiness or disposition to grant each other the recursive and symmetric authority to evaluate each other’s behavior in regard to a norm which prescribes B1 ...Bn to accept accountability (that is, to accept sanctions and evaluations of their behavior) in regard to the normative consequences entailed by A’s institutional status. Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Consequences Consequences for study

    of power: Power not to be measured as conformity Socially shared attitudes towards normative behavior / sanctions Study of discourses about power Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt
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    Institutional Power, Collective Acceptance and Recognition Consequences Consequences for study

    of power: Power not to be measured as conformity Socially shared attitudes towards normative behavior / sanctions Study of discourses about power Conception of institutional power provides an ideal type Titus Stahl Goethe-Universit¨ at Frankfurt