Governance: An international journal of policy, administration and institutions

State capacity first, then democracy

It is widely agreed that the states that are most capable of promoting development are “constrained Leviathans.”  But there is debate about sequencing: does it matter whether states acquire state capacity before or after democratization?  In a new article forGovernanceMichelle D’Arcy and Marina Nistotskaya argue that “democratizing after the state has acquired high levels of state capacity leads to a more efficient social order.”  They use a novel indicator of historical state capacity — cadastral records — in their analysis.  States that developed extensive capacities before democratization appear to be less corrupt and better at providing essential public goods today. Read the article.

Written by Governance

December 15, 2016 at 11:46 am

Posted in New articles

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