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Political Competition in Weak States

  • Eliana La Ferrara
  • Robert H. Bates

In the developing areas, politics is often undemocratic, states lack a monopoly over violence, and politicians play upon cultural identities. To analyze politics in such settings, we develop a model in which politicians compete to build a revenue yielding constituency. Citizens occupy fixed locations and politicians seek to maximize rents. To secure revenues, politicians must incur the costs of providing local public goods and mobilizing security services. Citizens must participate, i.e. pay taxes; but can choose which leader to support. The model enables us to explore the impact of cultural identities and varying notions of military power. Copyright 2001 Royal Statistical Society.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics and Politics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (07)
Pages: 159-184

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:13:y:2001:i:2:p:159-184
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