Migdal, Joel S(amuel) 1945-
MIGDAL, Joel S(amuel) 1945-
PERSONAL: Born April 1, 1945, in Roosevelt, NJ; son of Benjamin (a storekeeper) and Rebecca (Marshak) Migdal; married R. Marcia Alexander (a developer of curriculum in education), July 4, 1968; children: Ariela, Tamar. Education: Rutgers University, B.A. (summa cum laude), 1967; Harvard University, M.A., 1968, Ph.D., 1972. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Photography.
ADDRESSES: Office—Box 353650, 407 Thompson Hall, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel, lecturer, 1972-74, senior lecturer in political science, 1974-75; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, research fellow, 1976-80, associate professor of government, 1975-80; University of Washington, Seattle, associate professor, 1980-82, professor of international studies, 1982—, Robert F. Philip Professor of International Studies, 1994—, chair international studies program for Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, 1981-95, and associate director, 1983-85, director of National Resource Center in International Studies, 1985-95. Member of International Joint Committee for the Near and Middle East, 1988-96, committee chair, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-96.
MEMBER: American Political Science Association, Association for Israel Studies (vice president), Phi Beta Kappa.
AWARDS, HONORS: Harvard University Graduate Prize fellowship; Woodrow Wilson national fellowship, 1967-68; Fulbright-Hays research fellowship, 1985-86; Yavor Prize for best work on developing countries, David Horowitz Institute for the Research of Developing Countries, 1986, for Strong Societies and Weak States; World Society fellowship, 1989-90; University of Washington Student Service Award, 1992, and Distinguished Teaching Award, 1993; Governor's Writer's Award, 1994, for Palestinians: The Making of a People.
(Editor, with John D. Montgomery and Harold D. Lasswell) Patterns of Policy: Comparative and Longitudinal Studies of Population Events, Transaction Books (New Brunswick, NJ), 1979.
(Editor and contributor) Palestinian Society and Politics, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1980.
Strong Societies and Weak States: State-Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1988.
(Editor, with Ellis Goldberg and Resat Kasaba) Rules and Rights in the Middle East: Democracy, Law, and Society, University of Washington (Seattle, WA), 1993.
(With Baruch Kimmerling) Palestinians: The Making of a People, Free Press (New York, NY), 1993, expanded edition published as The Palestinian People: A History, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2003.
Through the Lens of Israel: Explorations in State and Society, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2001.
State in Society: Studying How States and Societies Transform and Constitute One Another, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2001.
(Editor) Boundaries and Belonging: States and Societies in the Struggle to Shape Identities and Local Practices, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to books, including Power and Protest in the Countryside: Studies of Rural Unrest in Asia, Europe and Latin America, edited by Robert P. Weller and Scott E. Guggenheim, Duke University Press, 1982; Political Science: The State of the Discipline, edited by Ada W. Finifter, American Political Science Association, 1983; Understanding Political Development, edited by Myron Weiner and Samuel Huntington, Little, Brown, 1987; Boundaries of the Israeli System, edited by Baruch Kimmerling, State University of New York Press, 1988; Waves, Formations and Values in the World System, edited by Volker Bornschier and Peter Lengyel, Transaction Publishers, 1992; Israel in Comparative Politics: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom, edited by Michael Barnett, State University of New York Press, 1996; Between Development and Destruction: An Enquiry into the Causes of Conflict in Post-Colonial States, edited by Luc Van DeGoor, Kumar Rupesinghe, and Paul Sciarone, St. Martin's Press, 1996; Comparative Politics: Rationality, Culture, and Structure, edited by Alan S. Zuckerman, Cambridge University Press, 1997; Weak and Strong States in Asia-Pacific Societies, edited by Peter Dauvergne, Allen & Unwin, 1998; War, Institutions, and Social Change in the Middle East, edited by Stephen Heydemann, University of California Press, 2000; New Directions in Comparative Politics, 3rd edition, edited by Howard J. Wiarda, Westview Press, 2002. Contributor to journals, including World Politics, International Relations, ITCC Review, International Journal of Group Tensions, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Political Science Review, and Social Science Journal. Member of editorial board, Comparative Political Studies, 1992—, World Politics, 1996—, and Kesher.
SIDELIGHTS: A political scientist of note, Joel S. Migdal is best known for his "state-in-society" model, in which "states cannot be analytically regarded as separate from the societies they govern and have to be viewed in their social contexts," as Michael Goddard described the theory in Oceania. As part of this ongoing project, Migdal has contributed a number of studies on state and societal formation in the Third World, particularly in the Middle East.
Migdal's first book, Peasants, Politics, and Revolution: Pressures toward Political and Social Change in the Third World, explores the economic and political changes in small Latin American and Asian villages. Where many have seen the real radicalization of peasants in the face of economic pressures and social breakdown, Migdal offers an "exchange theory, whereby the peasants commit their full support to a movement only where it can truly offer a solution to local problems," according to International Affairs reviewer Harvey Demaine. Strong Societies and Weak States: State-Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World compares postcolonial Sierra Leone to Israel to explore a question often overlooked in comparative studies of democracy and authoritarianism in the Third World: why do so few Third World central governments have real power to implement their decrees and policies? Migdal sets forth a number of reasons, including social dislocation and colonial governments' targeting of resources to centralizing authorities, that lay the groundwork for strong states able to overcome the localizing forces of traditional society. While not entirely convinced, Economic Development & Cultural Change contributor J. Goodwin found that "the result of Migdal's explorations into this issue is one of the most stimulating books on Third World politics that I have read in a long time." In State Power and Social Forces: Domination and Transformation in the Third World, Migdal and his fellow editors and contributors provide a look at the impact of preexisting social forces on emerging states in Third World nations, such as Egypt, China, and India. The authors take a Weberian, rather than Marxist, approach, emphasizing the special ties of state and society rather than the determinism of socioeconomic forces. "The nine carefully crafted and admirably data-rich studies, along with Migdal's orienting introductory essay and the concluding observations by Kohli and Shue, do a masterful job in pressing and undergirding their points. The book is engaging, stimulating, and fresh," according to Journal of Politics contributor Dorothy Solinger. Although he was not as pleased with the "framing discussions," including Migdal's introduction, Political Studies reviewer P. Cammack found the studies themselves "generally excellent works of comparative historical political economy."
In addition to his comparative studies of Third World politics and sociology in general, Migdal has applied his theories of political development to the specific situation of the Palestinians and Israelis, an area he got to know intimately as a professor at Tel Aviv University. In Palestinian Society and Politics, the scholar brings together a series of essays by various authors on the political development of self-identified Palestinians under Ottoman, British, Jordanian, and Israeli rule. Migdal's own contribution, set forth in Book 1, constitutes an overall history of the effect that different regimes have had on Palestinian social cohesion and self-identification. Book 2 includes essays by a number of historians and political scientists on political developments in Palestinian villages and among more urban populations. International Affairs reviewer A. L. Tibawi found the results unsatisfying, particularly in the first book, which "abounds in jargon, obscure expressions and muddled constructions." Canadian Journal of History contributor M. S. Stern noted a certain lack of cohesiveness and a failure to explore some questions, such as the impact of Islam, but concluded: "Despite these shortcomings, this volume is a welcome contribution to the scholarly literature in the field."
With Baruch Kimmerling, Migdal built upon his essay in Palestinian Society and Politics to produce a more in-depth work titled Palestinians: The Making of a People, "an easily read history of the Palestinian people from the 1830s up until the first years of the intifadah,"as International Affairs reviewer Emma Murphy described it. An expanded version, published as The Palestinian People: A History, brings the Palestinians through the Oslo Accords and the descent into violence which has occurred since the collapse of the Oslo process. New Republic contributor Benny Morris found that "Kimmerling and Migdal's analysis of what went wrong with Oslo is excellent."
Migdal has also written a great deal about the other party in those Oslo Accords: Israel. As Shofar contributor Donna Robinson Divine put it, "No one has done more to shift the scholarly perspective on Israel from the realm of the exceptional to the domain of the general than Joel Migdal." In Through the Lens of Israel: Explorations in State and Society, Migdal uses the tools of conventional political science to probe the distribution of power in Israel, rejecting the idea that Israel is a uniquely engineered society and substituting his own model of state-societal interaction. "Besides the contribution to comparative political theory that this book makes, Migdal's treatment of Israeli politics is eloquent, intelligent, and wide-ranging," noted Amal Jamal in the Middle East Journal.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America, July 31, 1993, Barry Preisler, review of Palestinians: The Making of a People, pp. 18-20.
Canadian Journal of History, August, 1981, M. S. Stern, review of Palestinian Society and Politics, pp. 353-354.
Commentary, April, 1993, Daniel Pipes, review of Palestinians, pp. 62-63.
Economic Development & Cultural Change, October, 1991, J. Goodwin, review of Strong Societies and Weak States: State-Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World, pp. 217-220.
International Affairs, July, 1975, Harvey Demaine, review of Peasants, Politics, and Revolution: Pressures toward Political and Social Change in the Third World, pp. 447-448; autumn, 1980, A. L. Tibawi, review of Palestinian Society and Politics, p. 738; July, 1993, Emma Murphy, review of Palestinians, p. 615.
International Journal of Comparative Sociology, January-April, 1994, Ruth Mouly, review of Palestinians, pp. 157-158.
Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, November, 1997, Jeff Haynes, review of State Power and Social Forces: Domination and Transformation in the Third World, pp. 137-138.
Journal of Politics, February, 1996, Dorothy Solinger, review of State Power and Social Forces, pp. 294-297.
Library Journal, March 1, 2003, Nader Entessar, review of The Palestinian People: A History, p. 106.
Middle East Journal, winter, 2002, Amal Jamal, review of Through the Lens of Israel: Explorations in State and Society, pp. 159-162.
New Republic, April 21, 2003, Benny Morris, review of The Palestinian People, p. 31.
Oceania, September, 2002, Michael Goddard, "Retos's Chance: State and Status in an Urban Papua New Guinea Settlement," pp. 1-16.
Political Studies, March, 1996, P. Cammack, review of State Power and Social Forces, p. 191.
Shofar, summer, 2003, Donna Robinson Divine, review of Through the Lens of Israel, pp. 128-130.
Studies in Comparative International Development, fall, 1991, David Becker, review of Strong Societies and Weak States; winter, 1995, Duncan Clarke, review of Palestinians; summer, 1996, Peter Evans, review of State Power and Social Forces.
Times Literary Supplement, December 2, 1994, review of Palestinians; August 1, 2003, Turi Munthe, "Summon the Nations."*