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This book argues that alien rule can become legitimate to the degree that it provides governance that is both effective and fair. Governance is effective to the degree that citizens have access to an expanding economy and an ample supply of culturally appropriate collective goods. Governance is fair to the degree that rulers act according to the strictures of procedural justice. These twin conditions help account for the legitimation of alien rulers in organizations of markedly different scale. The book applies these principles to the legitimation of alien rulers in states (the Republic of Genoa, nineteenth- and twentieth-century China, and modern Iraq), colonies (Taiwan and Korea under Japanese rule), and occupation regimes, as well as in less encompassing organizations such as universities (academic receivership), corporations (mergers and acquisitions), and stepfamilies. Finally, it speculates about the possibility of an international market in governance services.
Social scientists have long recognized that solidarity is essential for such phenomena as social order, class, and ethnic consciousness, and the provision of collective goods. In presenting a new general theory of group solidarity, Michael Hechter here contends that it is indeed possible to build a theory of solidarity based on the action of rational individuals and in doing so he goes beyond the timeworn disciplinary boundaries separating the various social sciences.