Institutional change and transformation

Change is conditioned by the transformation of institutional and social orders, both in terms of principles and personal systems of values and beliefs, in a society (Goel 2004: 10-1). Social change requires the adoption of “an integrated approach that looks for positive synergies between different bases of change and different systems of power” (Goel 2004: 13). Via processes of interaction between military and civil society actors in the framework of multi-track security approaches, institutional change and norm diffusion is anticipated to take place in fragile, post-military states. It is distinguished between four types of institutional change: ‘displacement’, ‘layering’, ‘drift’ or ‘conversion’ (based on Mahoney and Thelen 2009: 15-6). Displacement involves the removal of old rules and the introduction of new ones. Layering refers to the introduction of new rules. Drift implies neglecting old rules and the changed impact (‘strategic redeployment’) of old rules. Conversion is defined as the changed impact or the changed enactment of old rules.

The institutional and financial support provided by IOs and actors in insecure states with limited institutional capacity, inter alia via local actors, is expected to result in one of these four modalities of institutional change, or possibly in a mixed form, encompassing parts from more than a single type of change. Theoretically, the magnitude of institutional change can vary in function of the veto ability of the ‘targeted institutions’ to ‘block’ change, political context and ‘type of change agents’ (Mahoney and Thelen 2009: 18-23, 27, 31). Considering the powerful position of the military in the case under investigation in this book and its expected ability to ‘block’ change, it is anticipated that actors adopting ‘rapid’ displacement strategies are likely to have less interaction with the military. Endogenous type of change and transformation is an interesting type of change, which argues that ‘institutional change’ does not “emerge from actors with transformational motives”, but it is “an unintended by-product that grows out of distributional struggles in which no party explicitly sought the changes that eventually occurred” (Mahoney and Thelen 2009: 22-3).

Institutional change is often associated with power struggles between the “concurrent social or cultural forces” (Redmond 2005: 501) operating in a system and could result in tensions. Tensions can be expected in postmilitary, insecure states between civilian non-state actors, including think tanks, media or academia, on one side, and the military, but also government institutions and external actors, e.g. international institutions and foreign governments, on the other side. Based on logics and dynamics of ‘appropriateness’ (March and Olsen 1984), people are expected to be acquiescent and accommodate well-established institutions such as the military in Pakistan, which has been in government for nearly half of Pakistan’s existence as an independent country. Under a natural tendency towards the reproduction of the same or similar institutions, i.e. ‘structural isomorphism’ (DiMaggio and Powell 1983), traditional institutions, such as the military in post-military and insecure states, are expected to oppose and attempt to resist institutional change inflicted by actors such as non-governmental organisations. Some extremely useful notions in relation to processes of civilian control are provided by theories of civil-military relations and military transformation discussed in detail in the next chapter.

 
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