Advanced

State Capacity as Power: A Conceptual Framework

Lindvall, Johannes LU and Teorell, Jan LU (2016) In STANCE Working Paper Series 2016(1).
Abstract
This paper reviews the growing literature on “state capacity” in political science and related disciplines and proposes a new conceptualization of state capacity. The paper argues that most existing definitions and theories of state capacity are too closely tailored to explaining a particular set of outcomes – such as economic growth – which limits the applicability of the concept of state capacity arbitrarily and impedes theory development. The idea behind our own conceptualization is that state capacity can be defined as the strength of the causal relationship between the policies that governments adopt and the outcomes that they intend to achieve. We show that this definition makes the concept of state capacity fit in well in a larger... (More)
This paper reviews the growing literature on “state capacity” in political science and related disciplines and proposes a new conceptualization of state capacity. The paper argues that most existing definitions and theories of state capacity are too closely tailored to explaining a particular set of outcomes – such as economic growth – which limits the applicability of the concept of state capacity arbitrarily and impedes theory development. The idea behind our own conceptualization is that state capacity can be defined as the strength of the causal relationship between the policies that governments adopt and the outcomes that they intend to achieve. We show that this definition makes the concept of state capacity fit in well in a larger family of concepts. We then proceed to develop a theoretical argument about the resources that states deploy in order to increase state capacity – especially financial resources, human capital, and information – and we examine the relationship between these resources and the three main types of policy instruments that states rely on when they seek to control territories and populations: coercion, economic incentives, and propaganda. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
state capacity, power, financial resources, human capital, information, policy instruments, coercion, economic incentives, propaganda, conceptualization
in
STANCE Working Paper Series
volume
2016
issue
1
pages
24 pages
publisher
Department of Political Science, Lund University
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ca52e85b-f17e-401d-9414-c5f52ec860e9
date added to LUP
2016-06-07 15:06:32
date last changed
2016-08-15 16:34:39
@misc{ca52e85b-f17e-401d-9414-c5f52ec860e9,
  abstract     = {This paper reviews the growing literature on “state capacity” in political science and related disciplines and proposes a new conceptualization of state capacity. The paper argues that most existing definitions and theories of state capacity are too closely tailored to explaining a particular set of outcomes – such as economic growth – which limits the applicability of the concept of state capacity arbitrarily and impedes theory development. The idea behind our own conceptualization is that state capacity can be defined as the strength of the causal relationship between the policies that governments adopt and the outcomes that they intend to achieve. We show that this definition makes the concept of state capacity fit in well in a larger family of concepts. We then proceed to develop a theoretical argument about the resources that states deploy in order to increase state capacity – especially financial resources, human capital, and information – and we examine the relationship between these resources and the three main types of policy instruments that states rely on when they seek to control territories and populations: coercion, economic incentives, and propaganda. },
  author       = {Lindvall, Johannes and Teorell, Jan},
  keyword      = {state capacity,power,financial resources,human capital,information,policy instruments,coercion,economic incentives,propaganda,conceptualization},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {24},
  publisher    = {Department of Political Science, Lund University},
  series       = {STANCE Working Paper Series},
  title        = {State Capacity as Power: A Conceptual Framework},
  volume       = {2016},
  year         = {2016},
}