February 24, 2017
Haines 279
Tala Oszkay

The Contentious Politics and Organizations Working Group is pleased to present:

 Mark Mizruchi | University of Michigan

"Cohesion, Fragmentation, and Power: The Role of Inadvertent Robust Action"

Abstract: It is broadly accepted among political scientists, political sociologists, and social movement theorists that a unified group will have a higher probability of success than a group that experiences internal divisions or fragmentation. Similarly, it has been assumed that in a society with a relatively unified elite, the elite will experience disproportionately high benefits relative to the larger population. I take issue with this claim. In the mid-twentieth century, large American corporations exhibited a relatively high level of unity but the relative economic benefits accruing to the elite were at historic lows. In more recent years, American big business has become increasingly fragmented, yet the economic benefits that these elites have received have reached historic highs, and the average American’s standard of living has stagnated. Drawing on Padgett and Ansell, I introduce the concept of inadvertent robust action to explain how a relatively fragmented, disorganized elite can reap benefits that exceed those that its more unified counterparts experienced in an earlier era.

Additionally, they will be holding a meet and greet Thursday (2/23) afternoon at 4pm (location somewhere on campus, tba) and lunch following the talk on Friday at 1:30pm in the Faculty Center. If you're interested in either of these chances to meet Mark, please RSVP.

The Irene Flecknoe Ross Lecture Series is made possible by a gift from Ray Ross in memory of his wife.