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The State of State Capacity: a review of concepts, evidence and measures

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  • Cingolani, Luciana

    ()
    (UNU-MERIT / MGSoG)

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    Abstract

    What is state capacity and how does it affect development? The concept of state capacity acquired centrality during the late seventies and eighties, sponsored by a rather compact set of scholarly works. It later permeated through several disciplines and has now earned a place within the many governance dimensions affecting economic performance. The present article aims to provide a historical account of the evolution and usage of the state capacity concept, along with its various operationalizations. It examines in particular: a) the growing distance in the usage of the concept by different disciplinary and thematic fields; b) the process of `branching out' of the concept from restricted to more multidimensional definitions; c) the problems with construct validity and concept stretching, and d) the generalized lack of clarity that exists regarding the institutional sources of state capacity.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 053.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2013053

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    Keywords: state capacity; statebuilding; fiscal performance; bureaucracies; neopatrimonialism;

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