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Democracy and State Capacity: Exploring a J-shaped Relationship

Hadenius, Axel LU and Bäck, Hanna (2008) In Governance 21(1). p.1-24
Abstract
In this article we probe the effect of democratization on the state's administrative capacity. Using time-series cross-section data, we find a curvilinear (J-shaped) relationship between the two traits. The effect of democracy on state capacity is negative at low values of democracy, nonexistent at median values, and strongly positive at high democracy levels. This is confirmed under demanding statistical tests. The curvilinear relationship is due, we argue, to the combined effect of two forms of steering and control; one exercised from above, the other from below. In strongly authoritarian states, a satisfactory measure of control from above can at times be accomplished. Control from below is best achieved when democratic institutions are... (More)
In this article we probe the effect of democratization on the state's administrative capacity. Using time-series cross-section data, we find a curvilinear (J-shaped) relationship between the two traits. The effect of democracy on state capacity is negative at low values of democracy, nonexistent at median values, and strongly positive at high democracy levels. This is confirmed under demanding statistical tests. The curvilinear relationship is due, we argue, to the combined effect of two forms of steering and control; one exercised from above, the other from below. In strongly authoritarian states, a satisfactory measure of control from above can at times be accomplished. Control from below is best achieved when democratic institutions are fully installed and are accompanied by a broad array of societal resources. Looking at two resource measures, press circulation and electoral participation, we find that these, combined with democracy, enhance state administrative capacity. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Governance
volume
21
issue
1
pages
1 - 24
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000254426900001
  • scopus:40549125370
ISSN
1468-0491
DOI
10.1111/j.1468-0491.2007.00383.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5808661f-78af-4703-81b0-1e47d8d2c4d2 (old id 740756)
date added to LUP
2007-12-14 11:32:33
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:56:11
@article{5808661f-78af-4703-81b0-1e47d8d2c4d2,
  abstract     = {In this article we probe the effect of democratization on the state's administrative capacity. Using time-series cross-section data, we find a curvilinear (J-shaped) relationship between the two traits. The effect of democracy on state capacity is negative at low values of democracy, nonexistent at median values, and strongly positive at high democracy levels. This is confirmed under demanding statistical tests. The curvilinear relationship is due, we argue, to the combined effect of two forms of steering and control; one exercised from above, the other from below. In strongly authoritarian states, a satisfactory measure of control from above can at times be accomplished. Control from below is best achieved when democratic institutions are fully installed and are accompanied by a broad array of societal resources. Looking at two resource measures, press circulation and electoral participation, we find that these, combined with democracy, enhance state administrative capacity.},
  author       = {Hadenius, Axel and Bäck, Hanna},
  issn         = {1468-0491},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1--24},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Governance},
  title        = {Democracy and State Capacity: Exploring a J-shaped Relationship},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0491.2007.00383.x},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2008},
}