Lakhta Center on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg under construction from the window of a passing elektrichka commuter train (2018)

Review Materials

Democracy and Democratization

Modernization theory

  • Lipset (1959): modernization theory; correlation between social and economic development and democracy i.e. “the more well-to-do a nation, the greater the chances it will sustain democracy”; education; democracy arises due to its functional fit with the advanced industrial economy; it is the middle class that is seen as the primary promoter of democracy (by rewarding moderates and punishing extremists) while the upper class and especially the lower class are seen as enemies of democracy; crises of legitimacy occur during a transition to a new social structure i.e. if the “status” of major conservative institutions is threatened during the period of structural change; “entry-into-politics” crisis of new social groups e.g. workers, colonies, etc.
  • W. W. Rostow (1960): “anti-communist manifesto”; “stages of growth” (e.g. “preconditions for take-off”)
  • Deutsch (1961): social mobilization (social-psychological); modernization; social mobilization; democratization
  • Almond and Verba (1963): the modernization of participatory “civic (political) culture” driven by economic development (education)

Tensions in modernization theory (structuralist approaches)

  • Gerschenkron (1962): relative backwardness and obstacles to “catching up”; delays allow social tensions to develop
  • Moore (1966): “no bourgeoisie, no democracy”; constellation of class-relations leads to different (multiple) pathways (i.e. political regime as DV); democracy realized in the alliance between commercialized landowners and industrialized proletariat i.e. the bourgeoisie ultimately avoided becoming the subordinate partner in an alliance with landed elites against the peasantry because landed elites were weakened or displaced during a revolutionary period in which agriculture and/or politics was transformed; also (1) violent past (2) strong and independent Parliament (3) commercial and industrial interest with its own economic base (4) no serious peasant problem (already taken care of in Britain via enclosures rather than labor-repression)
  • Huntington (1968): “gap hypothesis”; economic development and political stability are two independent goals and progress toward one has no necessary connection with progress toward the other; in fact, economic development may undermine political stability (e.g. rate of modernization)
  • Gunder Frank (1970): the development of underdevelopment was and still is generated by the very same historical process(es) which also generated economic development (capitalism itself)
  • Rueschemeyer, Stephens and Stephens (1992): democratic development requires the development of industrial capitalism, which shifts the balance of class power away from anti-democratic landed interests and toward reliably pro-democratic urban interests (1) class coalitions (2) autonomy of the state apparatus (3) impact of transnational power relations; working class as pro-democratic and upper classes as anti-democratic (making new political coalitions possible to support democracy)

Contingency in democratization

  • D. Rustow (1970): “there may be many roads to democracy” relying on (1) prior sense of community (national unity) (2) entrenched conflict (3) democratic rules (4) habituation of rules; assembled one at a time with its own logic; BUT need not be geographically uniform; need not be temporally uniform; need not be socially uniform; polarization rather than pluralism; backward and forward linkages (not all at once); phases of democratization (1) background conditions (2) nature of the struggle (3) negotiated resolution (4) habituation (consolidation)
  • O’Donnell and Schmitter (1986): “there is no transition whose beginning is not the consequence—direct or indirect—of important divisions within the authoritarian regime itself”; transitions are contingent periods (processes) of “undetermined” political change (1) political opening (2) potential backlash (3) leading to “pacted transition” between soft-liners and hard-liners (elites) (4) institutionalization
  • R. Collier (1999): strategic interaction of elite negotiations based on class alignments (1) rising middle-class (2) mobilization of lower-class (3) joint project between middle-class and allies (never the working class alone); (1) class (2) prior inclusion (3) arena of action; democratization as the adoption of three institutional attributes of democracy (1) universal male suffrage (2) an autonomous legislature (3) civil liberties; what were the coalitional dynamics underpinning the many other less visible institutional reforms that occurred before the threshold of democracy was crossed?
  • Huntington (1991): “third wave” (1974-) caused by global economic growth, decrease of legitimacy of authoritarian regimes, Catholic emphasis on individual right; demonstration (snowball) effects; democracy promotion (US & EU); interactions between (1) government and opposition (2) reformers and standpatters (3) moderates and extremists (elites and elite-splits from the top-down)
  • Carothers (2002): “the end of the transition paradigm”; Case (1996) “Can the ‘Halfway House’ Stand?”

Definitions of democracy

  • J. S. Mill (1861): the government of the whole people by the whole people, equally represented, BUT democracy is commonly conceived and hitherto practiced by a mere majority of the people, exclusively represented i.e. a government of privilege, in favor of the numerical majority, who alone possess practically any voice in the State; debate over franchise expansion
  • Schumpeter (1942): procedural definition of competition; “the democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote”
  • Dahl (1956/1971): contestation (competition and pluralism) and mass participation; “polyarchy”; democracy requires not only free, fair, and competitive elections, but also freedoms that make them meaningful (inclusive suffrage, freedom of expression, etc.); different classes and actors may be influential at different stages
  • D. Rustow (1970): “a system of rule by temporary majorities” (the habit of dissension and conciliation over ever-changing issues and amidst ever-changing alignments)
  • Przeworski (1990) : “democracy is a system in which parties lose elections”
  • Collier and Levitsky (1997): expanded procedural minimum; democracy + (1) effective power to rule (2) some social level of equality (3) concern with authoritarian tendencies (4) horizontal accountability (checks on executive power)

Democracy and development

  • Lipset (1959) (1) endogenous democratization: development increases the likelihood that poor countries will undergo a transition to democracy (2) exogenous democratization: development makes democracy, once established, less likely to fall to dictatorships
  • Haggard and Kaufman (1995): it was the dismal economic performance of most dictatorships that led to democratic transitions i.e. the effects of economic crisis on regime change or political demands for liberalization
  • Weingast (1997): “democratic stability as a self-enforcing equilibrium” (formal model); society must erect institutions that assure that groups will cooperate to prevent the sovereign from transgressing; (1) procedural and substantive limits on government (institutionalization) (2) a citizenry willing to defend those limits (3) the expectation among rival political parties that each will adhere to the democratic rules
  • Przeworski & Limongi (1997): exogenous modernization theory = once democratization has occurred, it survives in countries above a certain level of economic development; the observed relationship between democracy and development is caused not so much by the greater likelihood that more developed countries will democratize as by the improbability of authoritarian interventions in developed countries (income levels affect the likelihood of democratic breakdown but not the probability of democratization)
  • Przeworski, et al. (2000): see: above
  • Boix and Stokes (2003): exogenous and endogenous modernization theory = rising levels of income are associated with both higher probabilities of transitions to democracy and lower probabilities of democratic failures; Przeworski and Limongi suffer from omitted variable bias, sample selection bias, and small sample size; earlier (first) wave of democratization in Western Europe reveals a large endogenous effect (economic growth increases the incentives for the ruling faction to democratize); income equality causes dictatorships to fall and democracies to last
  • Acemoglu and Robinson (2006): social choices are inherently conflictual between elites and citizens; “Occam’s razor” i.e. parsimony; as income inequality rises, democracy’s costs for the wealthy increase, lowering the probability of democratic transitions; political institutions regulate the future allocation of political power between various social groups; most moves toward democracy happen in the face of significant social conflict and possible threat of revolution
  • Dunning (2008): oil impedes democratization in countries with low levels of inequality, but hastens democratization in countries with high inequality levels by alleviating the concern of wealthy elites that democracy will lead to the expropriation of their private assets e.g. pro-democratic effects in Latin America but antidemocratic effects in the rest of the world; oil is highly conditional on a host of contextual factors; Ross (2012) = regime stability after post-1979 rents; Haber and Menaldo (2011) = no resource curse but omitted variable bias (temporary revenue windfalls might make a dictator more popular in the short run but be insufficient to protect him from democratic forces when revenues fall)
  • Cheibub, et al. (2010): measures of democracy; democracy vs. dictatorship; Freedom House (political rights and civil liberties); Polity IV (executive authority and political participation); problems with coding (categorical, continuous, or ordinal); minimalist definition of “offices” filled by “contested” elections links political regimes to outcomes, raises the issue of classification (again)

Democracy and regime type

  • Linz and Stepan (1996): different nondemocratic regimes characterized by different institutional properties; establishing democracy as “the only game in town”; consolidated democracy requires “stateness” (including civil society, political society, rule of law, state bureaucracy, and an institutionalized economic society/politically regulated market); impact of the prior regime on the democratic transition; consolidation of democratic rule; (1) inclusive and equal citizenship (2) leadership structure of prior regime and/or transition (3) international context (4) economic conditions (5) constitutional environment
  • O’Donnell (1994): “delegative democracy” rests on the premise that whoever wins election to the presidency is thereby entitled to govern as he or she sees fit, constrained only by the hard facts of existing power relations and by a constitutionally limited term of office gives the president the apparent advantage of having practically no horizontal accountability; swift policy making; higher likelihood of gross mistakes, hazardous implementation, and concentrated responsibility
  • Collier and Levitsky (1997): Sartori (1970) “ladder of generality” vs. “diminished” sub-types (e.g. “illiberal democracy”) BUT sub-types of democracy or authoritarianism?
  • Geddes (1999): different kinds of authoritarianism break down in different ways (personalist, military, single-party); military regimes have more endogenous sources of instability and are more fragile; single-party regimes have few endogenous sources of instability and can weather the death of leaders; BUT regime transitions of all kinds are more likely during economic downturns
  • Levitsky and Way (2002): possibility of “hybrid regimes” i.e. competitive authoritarianism; arenas of contestation (1) electoral arena (2) legislature (3) judiciary (4) media; decay of an authoritarian regime; collapse of an authoritarian regime; decay of democratic regime; regime consolidation requires elite cohesion and a minimally effective—and financially solvent—state apparatus

Patterns of democracy

  • Lijphart (1977): “consociationalism” = fragmented but stable democracy; (1) grand coalition (2) mutual veto (3) PR (4) segmental autonomy (5) shared executive; internal political cohesion of the subcultures, adequate articulation of interests, approval of elite cartel
  • Horowitz (1993): ethno-national divides; inclusion vs. exclusion and subsequent polarization; democratic institutions may lead to undemocratic results; majority rule vs. minority exclusion; federal solutions to democratization; case study of Nigeria and India; devolution of power to homogenous federal units reduces conflict at the center and contests issues within ethnic groups rather than between them; ethnic power-sharing vs. federal solutions (PR vs. majoritarian)
  • Putnam (1993): sub-national regional variation in Italy; governments performed best where there were strong traditions of civic engagement; social capital; trust bridging different groups; differences in medieval governing structures
  • Lijphart (1999): majoritarian vs. consensus (negotiated) democracy; executives-parties dimension and federal-unitary dimension; consensus democracy in plural societies that are sharply divided along religious, ideological, linguistic, cultural, ethnic, or racial lines into virtually separate sub-societies with their own political parties, interest groups, and media of communication

Historical democratization

  • Capoccia (2005): in Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Finland the political elite managed to react effectively against severe anti-democratic threats by isolating the extremists and using both repressive and inclusive strategies; the high degree of political intolerance against the extremists generally reached in these democracies was in fact accompanied byparallel attempts to integrate some of them back into the system
  • Capoccia and Ziblatt (2010): historically, democracy did not emerge as a singular coherent whole but rather as a set of different institutions, which resulted from conflicts across multiple lines of social and political cleavage that took place at different moments in time; institutional building blocks of democracy emerged asynchronically; analytically interesting “near misses”; underestimate the importance of the actual unfolding of the strategic interaction that led to the establishment or the reshaping of democratic institutions
  • Ziblatt (2017): a robust conservative political party organization can unleash a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle of electoral competition and open-endedness in electoral outcomes, prompting democracy’s advocates to ratchet up their own mobilizational capacity to meet the challenge; a robust conservative political party may actually be a precondition for democracy


Early literature

  • Arendt (1951/1966): defines totalitarian systems as differentiated based on the use of terror (role of police, coercion, violence, etc.); the state uses propaganda to create a largely fictional narrative that submerges individual and collective interests within an overriding national struggle
  • O’Donnell (1973): “modernization and bureaucratic-authoritarianism”; to neutralize the threats to their rule that emerge from within society, autocrats attempt to co-opt or “encapsulate” the potential opposition i.e. the career patterns and power bases of most incumbents of technocratic roles; bureaucratic-authoritarianism arises in Brazil and Argentina because of (1) growing political weight of lower middle- and working-class groups (2) the appearance of economic bottlenecks, and increased significance of technocratic roles (3) horizontal industrial growth of the two countries, based on consumer goods, ISI, and expansion of domestic market; basis for populist coalitions that encouraged economic and political incorporation of popular sector; if the government is not successful in applying coercion, popular sector and domestic entrepreneurs can strike, demonstrate, or riot
  • O’Donnell and Schmitter (1986): “there is no transition whose beginning is not the consequence—direct or indirect—of important divisions within the authoritarian regime itself”; thus opening the lens of analysis to elite cleavages within the authoritarian regime; liberalization can exist without democratization (putting democratic principles into practice) i.e. two different variables; hard-liners vs. soft-liners; the “cycle of mobilization”; degree of militarization; negotiation of “pacts” (series of temporary arrangements) that may in fact subsequently impede democratic consolidation
  • Luebbert (1991): (1) interwar liberal democracy rested on a coalition of the center-right stabilized by the political isolation of the working classes and by the ineffectiveness of trade union organizations in liberal societies (2) social democratic political economies, by contrast, rested during the interwar years on alliances of the urban working classes and the family or middle peasantry (a democratic version of corporatism) (3) fascism repudiated both the politics and the economics of liberalism, substituting totalitarianism, or some approximation of it, for democratic competition, resting on a social coalition of the town and country (one that combined the family peasantry with the urban middle classes rather than the urban working classes)
  • Wintrobe (1998): autocrats are fundamentally interested in their own survival in power; if autocrats rely too much on terror, repression, and intimidation to sustain their rule, they become more vulnerable to agency and moral-hazard problems on the part of their own security apparatus, upon which their ability to survive ultimately depends
  • Bueno de Mesquita et al. (2003): dictators do not face a general threat from the rest of society, but instead face a threat from a subset called the “selectorate”;
  • Haber (2006): in order to rule the country, autocrats have to bestow resources on elite members, who, in turn, can use these same resources to overthrow the regime

Authoritarianism as a regime type

  • Linz (2000): “authoritarian regimes” differentiated by limited pluralism and popular mobilization, in contrast with totalitarian and democratic regimes; hinting at the the role of limited and uncompetitive elections as a tool to maintain elite cohesion and facilitate elite recruitment; i.e. “authoritarian regimes” care what people do” as opposed to “totalitarian regimes,” which care what people think while
  • Levitsky and Way (2002): literature suffers from a “democratizing bias”; competitive authoritarianism where there are formal democratic institutions, but incumbents violate these rules so often that the regime fails to meet conventional minimal standards for democracy
  • Way (2005): autocrat competitiveness within the regime; incumbent capacity (1) authoritarian state power (2) know-how (3) elite organization; anti-incumbent national identity (1) central state control (2) utility/availability of external support; weaknesses (1) open elite contestation (2) administrative resources (3) vulnerability to democratizing pressures
  • Howard and Roessler (2006): “liberalizing electoral outcome”; the political opposition can affect the electoral dynamic depending on whether it (1) creates a multiparty coalition or jointly supports a single candidate (2) initiates mobilization (antigovernment protests)
  • Way (2015): “pluralism by default”; in many cases, democratic contestation has persisted because autocrats have been too weak to steal elections, reprise opposition, or keep allies in line; leaders lack the resources, authority, or coordination to prevent today’s allies from becoming tomorrow’s challengers, to control the legislature, impose censorship, manipulate elections, or use forced against political opponents; (1) disorganization (2) divided national identity; lead to (1) low electoral manipulation (2) strong parliamentary power (3) powerful opposition (4) media pluralism

Electoral authoritarianism

  • Schedler (2002): “menu of manipulation”; access to the electoral arena always has a cost and is never perfectly equal; the distinction between obeying and transgressing democratic norms is imprecise; splits in the party system; redistributive practices (electoral fraud); rules of representation (institutional bias); and the norm of irreversibility
  • Magaloni (2006): “one-party rule” and large margins of victory (PRI in Mexico); more than using legislatures, dictators can use institutions within the ruling party in order to make credible inter-temporal power-sharing deals with potential elite opponents; the party controls succession and access-to-power positions; In Mexico, the ruling party’s central leadership controlled the nomination processes and, owing to a system of non-reelection for all competitive offices, the party could induce strong discipline from subnational office-seekers who had an incentive to align with the party leadership and with the president to obtain access to future rent-seeking positions; moreover, the regime strove to create “poverty traps” and systems of dependency with rural voters, who remained the PRI’s base of support until the deterioration of economic conditions; later, perceptions about the possibility of post-election violence changed and facilitated greater support for opposition parties
  • Gandhi and Przeworkski (2007): autocrats face threats that emerge from (1) within the ruling elite (2) outsiders within society; when they need to neutralize threats from larger groups, autocrats frequently rely on nominally democratic institutions; partisan legislatures incorporate potential opposition forces, investing them with a stake in the ruler’s survival; and last longer
  • Gandhi and Lust-Okar (2009): ruling elites also can manipulate the rules that shape voter and candidate behavior in elections; in selectively co-opting the opposition and manipulating electoral laws, dictators also create divided oppositions and increase coordination costs among their opponents; at the local level, corruption seems to be intended not so much to win elections as to show the ruling elites that the local officials can get out the vote (e.g. Russian regional governors); see
  • Brownlee (2011): executive elections constitute a part of authoritarian resilience in MENA; function as both a political safety valve and performative aspect i.e. “window dressing” (“patronage fetes, and regime exhibitions”); but need some competition and turnout (Egypt)
  • Svolik (2012): power sharing under authoritarianism is sustained by the ability of each side to punish the other party if it decides to deviate from that joint-governance arrangement and, in particular, by the credible threat of a rebellion by the ruler’s allies; authoritarian control vs. authoritarian power-sharing; reliance on repression creates a moral hazard
  • Morse (2012): “the era of electoral authoritarianism”; electoral fraud as indicative of regime breakdown and greater oppositional capacity or of conditions that have compelled incumbents to engage in such fraudulent practices to begin with; lesser fraud can be seen as a sign of regime confidence in its capacity to win elections, leading to elections that are more competitive in terms of the actual contestation but less amenable to oppositions; not whether fraud plays a role or not in electoral outcomes but, rather, under what conditions regimes are likely to use it more often and intensively
  • Schedler (2013): “the politics of uncertainty”; “elections as adornments” (Brownlee, 2007); “elections as tools” (Gandhi, 2008); “elections as arenas” (Schedler, 2013); authoritarian regimes suffer from institutional and informational uncertainties and use elections to overcome these unknowns

Democratic backsliding

  • Linz (1978/1990): the breakdown of democratic regimes; political agency and voluntarism i.e. the role of leadership and incumbents in carrying out actions that could defuse regime crises; declining authoritarian regime legitimacy; presidential systems more prone to political crisis and democratic breakdown (1) legitimacy (2/3) efficacy/effectiveness (4) stability and performance
  • Fish (2002): super-presidentialism; power-seeking presidents unconstrained by powerful institutions or competing centers of power initiate backsliding
  • Gibler and Randazzo (2011): the effects of independent judiciaries on the likelihood of democratic backsliding; judicial review as mechanism of horizontal accountability
  • Ahmed (2014): the concept of backsliding as it is conventionally used implies a theoretical move back on an imagined linear trajectory; apparently exclusionary measures can further democratization, allowing regime stability necessary for further strengthening or, at other times, providing focal points or mobilizing narratives around which political forces rally, pressing for more democratic measures; certain safeguards that could be viewed as backsliding in some cases may, in fact, help to strengthen and consolidate democracy in the long run
  • Mainwaring and Pérez-Liñán (2014): (1) the degree of radicalism of policy preferences (2) normative commitment to democracy; democracies whose leaders have radical policy preferences or lack normative commitments to democracy, or both, will be more fragile and vulnerable to breakdown; these democracies might also be vulnerable to backsliding, as actors may seek their policy goals without formally abolishing democracy
  • Lust and Waldner (2014): backsliding may occur when party systems are unbalanced, with some parties being organizationally weak and others strong
  • Levitsky and Ziblatt (2018): “how democracies die” (1) rejection of (or weak commitment to) democratic rules of the game (2) denial of the legitimacy of political opponents (3) toleration of encouragement of violence (4) readiness to curtail civil liberties of opponents, including media; successful gatekeeping requires mainstream parties to isolate and defeat extremist forces e.g. resist putting populists on the ballot who can potentially deliver votes, root out grass roots extremists, avoid all alliances with anti-democratic parties and candidates, isolate rather than legitimize extremists; must be willing to join with opponents ideologically distant but committed to the survival of the democratic political order

Bureaucratic monitoring in authoritarian regimes

  • Kuran (1991): “cascades”; the possibility that a protest today spurs more protests tomorrow by revealing information about the degree of popular support for the regime; attributed to the heterogeneous tolerance for “preference falsification” among the population
  • Triesman (2011): although media manipulation, wars, terrorist attacks, and other events also mattered, Putin’s unprecedented popularity and the decline in Yeltsin’s are well explained by the contrasting economic circumstances over which each presided
  • Reuter and Robinson (2012): the appointment of Russian governors depends on their ability to mobilize votes for the regime; and cooptation in Russian gubernatorial appointments, as governors with strong political machines were more likely to be reappointed initially
  • Lorentzen (2013) authoritarian regimes may in fact benefit from localized, limited protests, as by doing so they gather information that is otherwise hard to collect in the absence of competitive elections or free media
  • Little (2016) distinguishes between models in which the regime uses elections to gather information about its popular support (gather information) versus models in which elections signal the regime’s hold on power to external audiences (signal strength); within authoritarian regimes, institutions like parties, elections and legislatures are positively correlated with good outcomes like economic growth, investment, and even life expectancy (Miller, 2015); in the information-gathering model, the incumbent holds an election if k < delta_g + delta_v; delta_g is high when the regime gets a much higher payoff when making the optimal concession (given what they have learned from the election result) than they would being unresponsive to the election; that is, when the information gathered by the election is useful for choosing how much to concede e.g. providing information not only about the incumbent strength in an entire country, but by region (Blaydes, 2010), polling station, or even individual vote choices; on average, the presence of elections as a tool to simply signal strength harms regimes (the more elections are held, the fewer resources the regime has to spend on other ways to stay in power)
  • Gelbach and Simpser (2014): “electoral manipulation as bureaucratic control”; by influencing bureaucrats’ beliefs about the ruler’s hold on power, manipulation can encourage bureaucrats to work on behalf of the ruler when they would not otherwise do so; to cooperate with the ruler even when the citizen may not be responsive to bureaucratic effort
  • Rundlett and Svolik (2016): even if the infrastructure of fraud favors the incumbent, his genuine popularity still plays a crucial role in shaping the agents’ perception of the risk of engaging in fraud; electoral authoritarianism should therefore be characterized by a punctuated dynamic, with an oversupply of fraud that lasts as long as the incumbent enjoys genuine popularity and is interrupted by an undersupply of fraud as soon as that popularity dwindles
  • Reuter et al. (2016): autocrats can use local elections to assuage powerful subnational elites; when subnational elites control significant political resources, such as local political machines, leaders may need to co-opt them to govern cost-effectively; elections are an effective tool of co-optation because they provide elites with autonomy and the opportunity to cultivate their own power bases


Corrupt structures

  • Darden (2007): graft often serves as a form of unofficial compensation that reinforces rather than undermines the formal institutions of the state, and can provide leaders with additional means to control subordinate officials; graft may reinforce administrative hierarchies
  • Ziblatt (2009): shaping democratic practice and the causes of electoral fraud (Germany); electoral fraud’s incidence is significantly related to a society’s level of inequality in landholding; landed elites exert influence indirectly via the capture of rural local public officials such as mayors, county commissioners, police officials, and election officials, who in turn are the actors that interfere with free and fair elections
  • Hale (2014): patronal politics refers to politics in societies where individuals organize their political and economic pursuits primarily around the personalized exchange of concrete rewards and punishments through chains of actual acquaintance; regime dynamics depend upon how patronal networks are arranged (1) “single pyramid” (2) “multiple, usually competing pyramids”
  • Kenny (2015): (1) greater centrifugal and disintegrative pressures at key moments in the state-building process give local elites more opportunity to institutionalize patronage at the subnational level (2) decentralized patronage systems are more resistant to reform than centralized ones; occurs where democratization precedes professionalization of the bureaucracy and mass mobilization by political parties

Corrupt actors

  • Stokes and Dunning, et al. (2013): strategies of clientelism, machine politics, and patronage as nonprogrammatic distributive strategies; clientelism = (1) patronage (2) vote buying (turnout buying) vs. partisan bias = (1) non-conditional benefits to individuals (2) pork-barrel politics; distributive politics should, in theory, favor swing districts but loyal individuals; information gathered and provided via intermediaries called “brokers” that solve information problems for political machines
  • Bussell (2015): distinguishing between individuals with different corrupt incentives and different types of state resources (welfare benefits, natural resources, and public contracts); necessary to identify who has power over these resources; middlemen may exert informal influence in the distribution of resources; (1) legislative (2) contracting (3) employment (4) services
  • Mares (2015): examines how the 1903 German legislation that introduced ballot envelopes and isolating spaces affected the strength of support for the Social Democratic Party, the major anti-system party in Germany; prior to the introduction of this legislation, support for the party had been suppressed through intimidation by employers and state employees i.e. the legislation protected voter secrecy by giving voters the opportunity to support the opposition party without fearing layoffs
  • Mares and Young (2016): clientelism is an exchange relationship; positive rewards; negative threats of economic or physical sanctions; the protection of voter secrecy affects clientelistic strategies; threats of post-electoral punishments of voters are extremely powerful if electoral secrecy is imperfectly protected; see: Mares (2015)
  • Auerbach (2016): clientelistic networks vary in their density and partisan balance across communities, with important consequences for the provision of public services (1) in slums with dense party networks, competition among party workers generates a degree of accountability in local patron-client hierarchies that encourages development (2) politicians are less likely to extend services to slums with multiparty networks because opposing networks can enjoy the services and even take credit for their provision; within settlements, partisan competition can also create perverse incentives for rival networks to undermine each other’s development efforts

State Formation

Definitions of the state

  • Durkheim (1897): the brain of a society which is characterized by division of labor and at the same time a politic entity whose absolutist and centralized power needs to be balanced by secondary groups
  • Weber (1919): the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence (physical force) within a given territory; administrative, legal, extractive, and coercive organizations are the core of any state i.e. “more than the government” (Stepan) into civil society as well
  • Marx (1848): the state as the ruling class
  • Hintze (1897): states as organizations controlling territories leading us away from basic features common to all polities and toward consideration of the various ways in which state structures and actions are conditioned by historically changing transnational contexts
  • Nettl (1968): countries vary in their level of “stateness” (1) functions and structures (2) unit in IR (3) autonomy (4) sociocultural phenomena
  • Tilly (1985/1990): the state as a coercion‐wielding organization
  • Wallerstein (1974): position in the world economy (strengthening of the state in core areas leads to the decline of the state in peripheral areas)
  • Levi (1989): a complex apparatus of centralized and institutionalized power that concentrates violence, establishes property rights, and regulates society within a given territory while being formally recognized as a state by international forums

The emergence of the state out of society

  • Olson (1982): the logic of “collective action”
  • North (1986): state provides the “rules of the game”
  • Tilly (1985/1990): capital and coercion (“war made the state, and the state made war”); extractive capacities initially used for military capabilities later were applied for other purposes (1) war‐making (eliminating outside rivals) (2) state‐making (eliminating inside rivals) (3) protection (eliminating enemies) (4) extraction (taxation)
  • Levi (1989): “of rule and revenue”; rulers seek to extract as much revenue as possible but are subject to constraints (1) bargaining power (2) transaction costs (3) discount rates
  • Spruyt (1994): the sovereign territorial state prevailed because it proved more effective at preventing defection by its members, reducing internal transaction costs, and making credible commitments to other units (as opposed to fragmented sovereignty and non-territorially of alternatives)
  • Wheeler (2011): composition and interests of the elite (Prussia vs. Poland); elites can adopt strategies aimed at blocking or limiting the expansion of state authority

Challenges to state formation

  • Weber (1930): the “iron cage of bureaucracy” i.e. tensions between the state and alternative forms of rational-legal authority
  • Huntington (1968): political instability in modernizing countries is a function of the gap between aspirations and expectations predicated by the escalation of aspirations which particularly occurs in the early phases of modernization
  • Migdal (1988/2001): “strong state, weak state” i.e. state-in-society; “weblike” society and local elites; state officials seek predominance over those myriad other organizations (formal and informal); paradox between accommodation and state capture
  • Young (1994): legacy of the colonial state (1) denied sovereignty (2) denied doctrine of nationalism (3) denied actor in IR; advanced colonial institutions were oriented toward exploitations, not development, in Africa
  • Herbst (2000/2003): borders, geography, and population density (1) cost of expanding the domestic power infrastructure (2) nature of national boundaries (3) design of state systems
  • Kohli (2004): in Nigeria the British set the long-term pattern of a neo-patrimonial state whose power was entangled in and weakened by particularistic and personalistic networks; South Korea benefited from the legacies of Japanese colonialism including (1) effective bureaucracy (2) educated civil service (3) police force (4) modern, centralized state with vast capacity and deep penetration into society
  • Bates (2008): “state failure”” (1) the transformation of the state into an instrument of predation (2) a loss of the monopoly over the means of coercion
  • Vu (2010): bureaucratic centralization; sites (arenas) for competition; e.g. in Latin America bureaucratization was more costly; economies were poorer to build war machines; liberalism and federalism were dominant ideologies; rulers and dominant elites had little interest in state building because they were in a low-threat environment and because of the availability of foreign loans

State capacity

  • Mann (1984): despotic power vs. infrastructural power (the institutional capacity of the central state to penetrate its territories and logistically implement decisions)
  • Skocpol (1985): the state as an agent that shapes social and political processes; the state as a potentially autonomous actor e.g. state-initiated authoritarian reforms, when bureaucratic elites retain ties to existing dominant classes (Prussia, Russia, Brazil); New Deal interventions in the USA; dependent upon “state capacity” e.g. territorial integrity, financial means, staffing (bureaucracy) as in the political capacities of landed upper classes as these were shaped by the structures and activities of monarchical bureaucratic states vs. Moore (1966)
  • Soifer (2008): (1) central state capabilities (2) weight of the state in its radiating institutions and their impact on society (3) subnational variation and the spatial spread of institutions of control
  • King and Lieberman (2009): ironies of state building in Ziblatt (2006); Grzymała-Busse (2007); Johnson (2007); Hacker (2002) (1) the administrative state i.e. capacity without bureaucracy (2) the standardizing state i.e. political innovation and federal activism (3) the fragmented state: multiple sites of power i.e. all politics is local (4) the associational state: a strong nation i.e. excessive local powers can become an enemy of civil liberties (5) the segregated state; “two-faces of the state” (Soss and Weaver, 2017)

Ironies of state-building

  • Ziblatt (2006): it is the infrastructural power of subnational units, not the coercive power of the center, that particularly shapes federal bargains and determines whether state-building outcomes are federal or unitary
  • Gryzmala-Busse (2007): conditions of greater contestation and uncertainty about control of the state produced greater constraints on incumbents’ capacity to exploit the state and, consequently, on the development of the state’s own coercive capacity (1) robust competition limited state exploitation by political parties (2) weaker party competition placed fewer constraints on incumbents and resulted in greater state exploitation
  • Johnson (2007): intergovernmental policy instruments shared between federal and state governments i.e. state structures vs. the exercise of power and the allocation of burdens and benefits
  • Hacker (2002): publicly regulated and subsidized private benefits; mobilization of seemingly private actors as the state and the market overlap and intermingle


Origins of federalism

  • Riker (1964): the “federal bargain”; “coming-together” federations (1) expand territorial control in the face of (2) external military-diplomatic threats; the survival of a federation was problematic in the absence of a centralized party system to help coordinate behavior across levels of government and minimize intergovernmental conflict; centralized into unitary states vs. peripheralized into state collapse; the “essence” of federalism is (1) the political bargain (2) the distribution of power in political parties which shapes the federal structure; i.e. the role of state-wide parties
  • Stepan (1999/2001): “coming-together” federations e.g. USA and Switzerland vs. “holding-together” federations e.g. India, Belgium, Spain; “putting-together” federations e.g. USSR; “demos-constraining” federations (Riker) vs. “demos-enabling” federations aimed at “holding together” former empires or colonies
  • ZIblatt (2004): infrastructural capacity (Mann) of the federal sub-units (1) high infrastructural subunits that are constitutional, parliamentary, and administratively modernized states can serve as credible negotiating partners, deliver the benefits that state builders seek with state formation in the first place (greater tax revenue, greater access to military manpower, and greater social stability), and hold on to some of their own autonomy (2) political leaders in constituent states facing government collapse are willing to transfer all authority to the political center because they perceive that public goods of governance are more assured in a larger unitary state

Fiscal federalism

  • Rodden (2004/2005): fiscal decentralization vs. federalism; federal and provincial governments locked into an ongoing process of intergovernmental contracting; federalism is best understood not as a particular distribution of authority between governments, but rather a process structured by a set of institutions through which authority is distributed and re-distributed; bargaining between levels as decentralization may cede or restrict
  • Treisman (1999/2006): territorially larger but not necessarily more populous countries are more fiscally decentralized; former colonies of Spain or Portugal are more centralized, while former Soviet states are particularly decentralized; economic development leads to greater expenditure on decentralization; the survival of Russia in the aftermath of the fall of communism was due in large part to that nation’s federal arrangements and the national government’s capacity to purchase the acquiescence of separatist regions with fiscal transfers

Federal party systems

  • Chhibber and Coleman (2004): party systems are shaped by social cleavages, electoral rules, political entrepreneurs, and a fourth element that interacts with all three of these others and creates incentives for candidates and elected officials to link voters in disparate geographic locations under common party labels; the distribution of authority across different levels of government; federalism and the degree of fiscal and political centralization play a large role in party aggregation
  • Bakke and Wibbels (2006): fiscal decentralization increases the likelihood of ethnic rebellion and ethnic protest in contexts where there are high levels of interregional inequality; increased fiscal transfers by central governments to decentralized governments serve to reduce the likelihood of ethnic protest when ethnic groups are regionally concentrated; local violence is more likely when minorities are not electorally valuable


  • Gibson (2005): “subnational authoritarianism”; democratic transitions create little pressure for subnational democratization (1) parochialization of power (2) nationalization of influence (3) monopolization of national-subnational linkages;
  • Mickey (2015): “the democratization of authoritarian enclaves in America’s deep south” (Gibson)
  • Singh (2016): “how solidarity works for welfare”; subnational governments that have a stronger collective identification are more likely to institute a progressive social policy and have higher welfare outcomes; elite sub-nationalism is spread to the people at large through a popular movement and/or an organization, such as a political party; subnational symbols; subnational identity; strategies of subnational challenger elites provoke response e.g. Kerala Communist cadres mobilized against Brahmin dominance e.g. Uttar Pradesh Hindi elites distinct from Muslim-Urdu identities


  • Linz and Stepan (1992): political identities and electoral sequences (1) Spain (2) Soviet Union (3) Yugoslavia; elections create agendas, actors, identities; legitimate and delegitimate claims to obedience and create power; regional elections in the USSR and Yugoslavia did all these things; Spain the process set in motion by all-union general elections reconstituted state-ness on even firmer grounds; regional elections in the USSR and Yugoslavia did the opposite
  • Stepan, Linz, and Yadav (2010): “state-nations”; asymmetrical “holding-together” federations; individual and collective rights; parliamentary government; polity-wide parties; politically integrated but not necessarily culturally assimilated populations; cultural nationalists mobilizing against secessionist nationalists; pattern of multiple but complimentary identities i.e. “roof of rights” e.g. India
  • O’Leary (2013): “power sharing in deeply divided places” case studies e.g. Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Switzerland, etc.



  • E. Weber (1976): “peasants into Frenchmen”; via the penetration of the state (1) roads (2) classrooms (3) post offices
  • Anderson (1983/1991): nationalism as an imagined political community (1) inherently limited (2) sovereign
  • Gellner (1983): nationalism is the general imposition of a high culture on society where previously low cultures had taken up the lives of the majority and in some cases the totality of the population; nationalism usually conquers in the name of a putative folk culture defined in terms of the age of nationalism
  • Brubaker (1992): “cultural idioms”; ways of thinking and talking about nationhood; (1) state-centered and assimilationist in France (2) ethnocultural and differentialist in Germany; reinforced and activated in specific historical and institutional settings; nation as a category of practice; interplay between (1) nationalizing minorities (2) nationalizing states (3) external national homelands; Soviet nationality policy


  • Horowitz (1985): ethnicity based on a myth of collective ancestry which usually carries with it traits believed to be innate; ethnically diverse societies are prone to corruption, political instability, poor institutional performance, and slow economic growth
  • Fearon and Latin (1996): given weak states and cultural pluralism, communal violence is extremely rare in Africa; interethnic violence is contained because of in-group policing; interethnic cooperation is sustained by the expectations people have about what will happen if they cheat
  • Varshney (2002): (1) essentialism i.e. ethnic conflicts today can be traced back to older animosities between groups (2) instrumentalism i.e. building bridges may be in the interest of the political elite at one place and creating cleavages in their interest elsewhere (3) constructivism i.e. post-modernism: the construction of group categories by the knowledge elite, its promotion by centers of power, and its effects on “the people” (4) institutionalism i.e. institutions do not simply specify procedures, rules, and sites for political contestation; they also begin to generate predispositions to outcomes, given the number and size of ethnic groups
  • Posner (2004/2005): ethnicity as a strategic choice; the cleavage that emerges as salient is the aggregation of all actors’ individual decisions about the identity that will serve them best; tribal identities are important in villages but linguistic ones are important in urban areas; if the cultural cleavage defines groups that are large enough to constitute viable coalitions in the competition for political power, then politicians will mobilize these groups and the cleavage that divides them will become politically salient i.e. “size matters” in Malawi (groups large enough to be contenders) and Zambia (too small to form winning coalitions); in Zambia identity was expressed in localized tribal affiliations under one-party rule and in larger linguistic identities under multi-party rule (minimum winning coalition)
  • Chandra (2006): (1) constrained change (2) visibility; impersonal (imagined community); sectionalism; eligibility; genetics and ancestry

Public goods provisions

  • Miguel (2004): natural experiment; similar geography and histories in Kenya and Tanzania but radically different nation-building policies since independence; ethnic diversity leads to lower public goods funding in Kenya but is not associated with poor collective action outcomes in Tanzania where nation-building polices improved interethnic cooperation
  • Lieberman (2005): strong boundary institutions may reduce intergroup contacts but more important, promote perception of limited cross-boundary contact; weak boundary institutions lead to pooling of risk because one does not know how a particular issue will affect their ethnic group; response to AIDS across African states; ethnic divisions lead to weak policy responses because (1) more highly affected groups did not lobby for action (out of concern for their relative social status i.e. stigmatization) (2) less highly affected groups falsely consider themselves insulated and fail to act (due to the way people estimate risks in divided societies)
  • Banjeree et al. (2005): social divisions in India lead to poor policy outcomes in India vs. Singh (2016)
  • Habyarimana et al. (2007): social interaction is a game comprising (1) a population (2) a technology (3) preferences; co-ethnics tend to cooperate under a norm of in-group reciprocity; co-ethnics may be more likely to punish each other for failing to cooperate; more likely to favor each other and cooperate if they are seen doing so; no evidence that ethnic groups in have tastes for different kinds of public goods or that individuals exhibit greater degrees of altruism toward co-ethnics or co-ethnics are not significantly more effective at working together on joint tasks e.g. Uganda


  • Dunning and Harrison (2010): cross-cutting ties afforded by an informal institution called cousinage can help explain limited political salience of ethnic identity in Mali; subjects favor coethnics over politicians from different ethnic groups; however, cousinage alliances counteract the negative impact of ethnic differences on candidate evaluations
  • Arriola (2012/2013): multiethnic opposition coalitions are most likely to emerge where incumbents have lost influence over the political allegiance of business elites because of liberalizing financial sector reforms; asymmetry in access to resources between incumbent and opposition determines coalition formation; opposition parties obtain monetary support from business leaders, which in turn allows opposition leaders to provide money, favors, and goods in exchange for the endorsements of politicians from other ethnic backgrounds
  • McCauley (2014): updating of Posner (2005); politicians are not the only ones attuned to the logic of ethnic arithmetic; just as politicians seek to build coalitions of viable sizes, voters also seek to gain entry into coalitions that will permit each one of their own to win political power (1) when individuals respond in an ethnic context, they place greater priority on material concerns and local development (2) otherwise identical individuals placed in a religious context indicate a relative preference for lifestyle, or morality, based social policies over development ones; ethnic membership implies a special, lineage-based entitlement to local territory and resources e.g. Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana


  • Wittenberg (2006): local institutions act as focal points for the persistence of mass political loyalties (continuing electoral preference for party family); persistent attachments to rightist parties emerged as an outgrowth of local church-based social networks that girded their members against pressures to succumb to the many incentives to assimilate into the socialist milieu
  • Fish (2011): Muslims are not statistically more religious, different in terms of social interaction, or substantially more likely to favor a fusion of religious and political authority
  • Grzymala-Busse (2012): political implications of religion (1) hierarchies (2) political behavior and partisanship (3) civil society, rule of law, and minimized market regulation (4) conflict between church and state over poverty relief (5) market competition over religious platforms

Social theories of protest

  • Trotsky (1932): the mere existence of deprivation is not enough to cause an insurrection: if it were, the masses would be always in revolt
  • Gurr (1970): “social origins of deprivation”; rising expectations; when the people are in their most desperate and miserable condition, they are often least inclined to revolt, for then they are hopeless; only after their position is somewhat improved and they have sensed the possibility of change, do they revolt effectively against oppression and injustice; what touches off insurrection is hope, not lack of it, rising confidence, not bleak suffering
  • Scott (1976): the “moral economy of the peasant”; subsistence-oriented peasants avoid economic disaster and risks to maximize average income which has enormous implications for problem of exploitation; problem of exploitation and rebellion is not just problem of calories and income but of peasant conceptions of social justice, of rights and obligations, and of reciprocity
  • Scott (1985): “every day resistance” (1) foot-dragging (2) evasion (3) false compliance (4) pilfering (5) feigned ignorance (6) slander and sabotage

Resistance and mobilization

  • O’Brien (1996): “rightful resistance”; form of political action in which the people use established laws, policies, and values to show that some officials have failed to live up to those same ideals; seek to make allies of other leaders who must prove their own dedication to the prescribed laws and values; between the two classical types of resistance (1) the direct and aggressive rebellion (2) ‘’everyday resistance’’ of subtle, anonymous, and disguised forms of dissent
  • Ekiert (1996): during two periods (1) the late 1950s (2) late 1980s; state-socialist regimes experienced profound instability caused by the overlapping of the domestic economic and political crisis with geopolitical pressures and uncertainty; generated splits and struggles within the ruling elites, led to the fall of powerful leaders, and created openings in the political space; a crisis in one country tends to foster parallel processes in other countries and generates preemptive responses of their ruling elites
  • Tarrow (1996): “power in movement”; social movements are collective challenges, based on common purposes and social solidarities, in sustained interaction with elites, opponents, and authorities; “cycles of contention” i.e. as one movement widens and information spreads about the susceptibility of a polity to challenge, additional activists and also ordinary people may “begin to test the limits of social control; rely on symbols and frames e.g. inherited cultural frames
  • Norris et al. (2005): protest politics has risen dramatically; demonstrators are drawn disproportionately from the left, and the people who demonstrate are also significantly more likely to be civic joiners, party members, and labor organization members, not less; demonstrations have become a major channel of public participation in democracies
  • Wilkinson (2006): “electoral incentives for ethnic violence”: interstate and town-level variation in ethnic violence in India via the conditions under which the politicians who control the police and army have an incentive both to foment and to prevent ethnic violence; important political incentives when politicians in government will increase the supply of protection to minorities (1) when minorities are an important part of their party’s current support base (2) the support base of one of their coalition partners in a coalition government (3) when the overall electoral system in a state is so competitive that there is therefore a high probability that the governing party will have to negotiate or form coalitions with minority supported parties in the future
  • McAdam and Tarrow (2010): “dynamics of contention;”political opportunities provide the major incentives for transforming mobilizational potential into action; signal the vulnerability of the state to collective action and thereby open up opportunity for others and affecting both alliances and conflict systems; the process leads to state responses which, in one way or another, produce a new structure of opportunity
  • Kopstein and Wittenberg (2018): “intimate violence”; “power threat” model; pogroms were most likely to break out where Jews made up a substantial minority of the population and there was political polarization between Jews and non-Jews; the popularity of Polish parties advocating ethnic tolerance, the demographic weight of Jews, and the degree to which Jews advocated national equality with Poles and Ukrainians


  • Skocpol (1985): (1) class-based upheavals that cause societal-structural change (2) a coincidence of political with social change; political crises centered in the structures and situations of old-regime states; monarchical authorities were subjected to new threats or to intensified competition from more economically developed powers abroad; constrained or checked in their responses by the institutionalized relationships of the autocratic state organizations to the landed upper classes and the agrarian economies; cross-pressures between domestic class structures and international exigencies, the autocracies and their centralized administrations and armies broke apart, opening the way for social-revolutionary transformations spearheaded by revolts from below
  • Kuran (1991): the element of “surprise”; the unobservability of private preferences and revolutionary thresholds concealed the latent bandwagons in formation and also made it difficult to appreciate the significance of events that were pushing these into motion; “preference falsification”
  • Way (2008): post-communist autocrats have been more likely to hold onto power when their countries have weaker ties to the West and when they have access to at least one of the following sources of authoritarian organizational power (1) a single, highly institutionalized ruling party (2) a strong coercive apparatus that has won a major violent conflict (3) state discretionary control over the economy, through either de jure state control or the capture of major mineral wealth, such as oil or gas
  • Finkel, Gelbach, and Olson (2015): implementation of the 1861 serf reform was captured by the nobility; landowners abused their control rights to “cut off” peasants’ existing land allotments, provide them with different allotments, resettle peasants to different land entirely, and more generally ensure that the estate’s most fertile lands would remain in the landlord’s hands; the only thing the peasants could do in this situation was protest and riot; capture of the implementation process met with rising expectations i.e. “relative deprivation”

Parties and Elections

Early theories of political parties

  • Madison (1787): parties as factions; a minority or majority united by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community
  • Schattschneider (1942): political parties “create” democracy by drawing the masses into political life
  • Downs (1957): “median voter theorem”; spatial model of party competition (economic theory of democracy); political parties formulate policy in order to maximize votes, which depends on the distribution and number of voters; knowing that citizens vote for parties that maximize their utility, their distribution determines the policy positions of parties; parties as internally unified around the goal of office
  • Lipset and Rokkan (1967): “freezing hypothesis”; the Reformation, national, and industrial revolutions created four cleavages (1) center/periphery (2) religious/secular (3) urban/rural (4) capital/labor; crystallized in European party systems; once societal divisions have been converted into party cleavages they stay frozen over extended periods of time even though underlying societal conflicts may subside (1) core “nation-builders” control the machinery of the state (2) face an opposition in the periphery opposed to the current central control (3) seek alliances on two fronts: religious/ideological and economic/interest
  • Sartori (1968/1976): parties are parts i.e. expressive agencies; forcefully convey to authorities demands of public as a whole; parties extract from the whole (the public) what is desired by a part (the party); instruments for running a pluralistic whole; presuppose diversity and institutionalize dissent; non-part parties deny the principle of diversity and institutionalize repression of dissent; PR produces systems with three or more parties, depending on the number of seats in districts and the minimum number of votes required to gain any legislative representation (1) number of relevant parties (2) level of ideological polarization; e.g. two-party, moderate pluralism, polarized pluralism (presence of relevant anti-system parties), predominant party
  • Kitschelt (2000): the idea that politics is based only on rival programmatic (ideological) appeals has been problematic; (1) charismatic party linkages i.e. symbolic or personalistic, based on citizens’ likes and dislikes of grand gestures and personal styles (2) clientelistic party linkages i.e. delivering specific material advantages to a politician’s electoral supporters (3) programmatic parties i.e. pursuit of policy programs that distribute benefits and costs to all citizens, regardless of whether they voted for the government of the day or not; tension between institutional and functional definitions of parties; some programmatic parties, in fact, are likely to serve rent-seeking special interests, particularly in highly fragmented party systems in which small constituencies have their own parties; where universal suffrage is granted after industrialization has come under way, the mobilization of proletarians excluded from the political process relies on mass parties (Socialist, Catholic) that mobilize internal membership resources and do not rely on clientelist state incentives; the choice of linkage mechanisms is not just predicated on formal democratic institutions but also on (substantive economic and political power relations that manifest themselves in (1) socioeconomic development (2) patterns of state formation and democratic suffrage diffusion (3) control of the political economy by markets or political-regulatory mechanisms

Regional party systems

  • Kitschelt (1992): fluidity of property rights undercuts the formation of economic and social cleavage divisions because citizens are unable to recognize the interests that may serve as the basis of political mobilization around programmatic parties; international economic constraints imposed on liberalization leave little to choose; new cleavage dimensions (1) boundaries of citizenship (2) participation (3) redistribution; where economic development was relatively advanced, more parties will concentrate on the market-libertarian end of the competitive space; where industrialization was less advanced, more parties cluster around non-market-authoritarian (“populist”) positions
  • Mainwairing and Scully (1995): Latin America; institutionalized vs. inchoate party systems; party systems establish legitimacy; institutionalized party systems promote governability by allowing participation and conflict; facilitate governability via linkages among the executive, legislators, and party leaders; democracy can survive despite polarization; BUT long-standing democracies have limited polarization
  • Hale (2005): “market for parties”; Russia (1) administrative capital (2) ideational capital; O’Donnell and Schmitter (1986) refer to the “freezing” of electoral patterns after what they call “founding elections”; public financing of parties depending upon how well they performed in Duma elections; was clearly intended to bolster the position of Russia’s biggest parties (United Russia)
  • Chhibber et al. (2014): India; the organizational structure of parties can have a large and independent impact on the effective number of parties, since it alters the incentive structure for politicians to stay within a party, to defect to another party, or to form a new party; in Indian states where the parties that compete are more organized, not only is the effective number of parties lower, but so is the volatility of the party system
  • Gryzmala-Busse (2017): the cruel paradox is that the biggest boosters and builders of party democracy—the reinvented authoritarian successor parties—eventually suffer the most electorally; their embrace of democratic party competition both levels the playing field and increases the consensus over liberal democracy as a desideratum; yet it does nothing to protect them from electoral retribution, if anything, reinvented autocrats are punished much more heavily by voters than other parties; the irony was that these reinvented parties established the high standards by which they would be judged; these standards could not be met, all the more so because electoral success led to the expansion of organizations and funding that made regional challenges and corrupt financial deals almost inevitable; these parties were unable to uphold their credibility as expert managers, a problem that was exacerbated by the fact that their electoral success made them less cohesive and discipline e.g. Poland and Hungary

Electoral system choice

  • Duverger (1954): the simple-majority single-ballot system i.e. simple plurality rule in single-member districts favors the two-party system (1) voters will avoid wasting their votes on hopeless third party candidacies (2) elites will avoid wasting their time, money, and effort in launching what the voters will perceive as hopeless candidacies, instead forming coalitions of sufficient size to win a plurality
  • Cox (1997): “making votes count”; there is a significant interaction between social heterogeneity and electoral structure (1) the translation of social cleavages into partisan preferences (2) the translation of partisan preferences into votes (3) the translation of votes into seats; bi-partism arises because of (1) a strong electoral system (2) few cleavages; multi-partism arises because of (1) many exploitable cleavages (2) a permissive electoral system
  • Boix (1997/1999): proportional representation was adopted in those countries in which the socialist party was strong and nonsocialist parties controlled roughly similar shares of the electorate; failure to reduce the electoral threshold would have led to an overwhelming victory of the socialist party (1) consequences of electoral rules (2) calculations of rulers and the stability of the electoral arena (3) the reform of the electoral system as a function of the viability of the old party system (5) the strength of the new entering parties (6) the coordinating capacity of the ruling parties
  • Kalyvas (1996): party system change; cleavages are not fixed; liberal anti-clericalism at the end of the nineteenth century led the Church to self-defensive strategies, with the eventual outcome, unintended by the Church, of the establishment of Christian Democratic parties
  • Cusack, Iversen, and Soskice (2007): in countries where the right was divided by religious and other non-economic cleavages, and unable to coordinate, they chose proportional representation as a defensive move to prevent electoral elimination by a rising left (1) PR for redistribution (minimal winning coalitions) (2) PR for consociationalism and corporatism (oversized coalitions and inclusion); for those right and center parties that represented organized groups in the economy, and that had developed cooperative relations with unions, the benefits from the adoption of PR of consensual regulatory politics outweighed the costs of exclusion from minimum winning coalitions in redistributive politics; VoC meets electoral system choice
  • Boix (2009): the alignment of party preferences, shaped by their strategic concerns, was crucial to determine the fortunes of electoral reform in the advanced world at the turn of the 20th century; the actual introduction of PR depended also on each country’s specific constitutional system and, particularly, on both the partisan composition of parliament and actual parliamentary negotiations taking place within each chamber and across chambers
  • Ahmed (2012): the choice of electoral systems ultimately turned, not on partisan interests in seat maximization or the dictates of economic coordination as has been postulated, but rather by the need to minimize the existential threat posed by worker’s parties to the social order, and particularly the institutions of capitalism and liberal democracy

Presidentialism vs. parlamentarism

  • Cox (1987): the “efficient secret”; large constituencies are difficult to buy off with bribery and patronage; instead, programmatic (i.e. policy) appeals are far more effective which required activity parliamentary activity; led to the curtailing of individual MPs’ rights (against resistance from backbenchers); the Cabinet emerged as an executive-legislative body that predominated party-centric elections
  • Linz (1990): the “perils of presientialsim”; (1) nature of presidentialism as a zero-sum game (bare-majority not represented i.e. disproportionality) (2) problem of dual legitimacy (presidential party vs. legislative party i.e. dismissal of the legislature) (3) president elected for a fixed term (impeachment i.e. criminal charges)
  • Shugart and Carey (1992): huge variety of institutional arrangements for assembly-executive relations in systems generally grouped together as presidential; cabinet; plurality vs. PR; veto-power; etc.
  • Tsebelis (1995): “veto-players”; increased number of veto players and increased ideological distance increases difficulty of departing from status quo

Weighting the debate

  • Cheibub and Limongi (2002/2007): the problem of presidential democracy is not that they are “institutionally flawed”; rather, the problem is the they exist in societies where democracies of any type are likely to be unstable; no country that had a presidential constitution under democracy re-emerged under a parliamentary constitution; presidential systems seem to emerge after military regimes while parliamentary systems seem to emerge out of countries that are richer and have more established institutions
  • Chaisty et al. (2014): the surprising sustainability of multiparty presidentialism in new democracies; presidential toolbox for constructing legislative coalitions (1) agenda power (2) budgetary authority (3) cabinet management (4) partisan powers (5) informal institutions

Legislatures and regime type

  • Hale (2005): “regime cycles”; “patronal presidentialism” (1) formal presidential term limits i.e. incumbent lame duck (2) public opinion (3) international intervention; movement towards liberal democracy is more likely to emerge from political stalemate than from the victory of one side (Rustow, 1970)
  • Fish (2006): “stronger legislatures, stronger democracies”; weakness of legislatures undermine “horizontal accountability” (O’Donnell); constitutional choice; strong presidency; in Russia, presidential abuse of power, committed in the presence of a legislature that cannot curb such abuse even when it is inclined to do so, has been a hallmark of post-communist politics

Populist parties

  • Ignazi (1992): the rise of neoconservatism in the 1980s i.e. the “silent revolution” (Inglehart, 1977) pushed the main-stream right to re-emphasized authority, patriotism, and traditional moral values; provoked, directly or indirectly, a higher polarization both in terms of ideological distance and in terms of ideological intensity; led to a decline in identification with established parties and, in extremism, with the political system; created political space for populist radical right parties, particularly when mainstream right-wing parties moved back to the center
  • Weyland (2001): populism is best defined as a political strategy; power capability that types of rulers use to sustain themselves politically; under populism the ruler is an individual, a personalistic leader, not a group or organization; populism rests on the power capability of numbers; emerges when personalistic leaders base their rule on massive yet mostly un-institutionalized support from large numbers
  • Mudde (2004/2014): “populist radical right” (1) nativism (2) authoritarianism (3) populism; populism as a “thin ideology”; split society into two homogenous and antagonistic groups (1) the pure people (2) the corrupt elite on the other; populists guided by the “will of the people”
  • Megiud (2007): “niche parties” are those, including the radical right, that reject the traditional class‐based orientation of politics, focus on novel issues that do not coincide with the typical left‐right political dimension, and limit their issue appeals
  • Mair (2009/2013):the increasing influence of global markets and international institutions is seriously limiting the maneuvering room of political actors at the national level; the Great Recession forced mainstream parties in Southern Europe to converge on a “responsible” pro-austerity program, which sparked the rise of populist radical left parties; SYRIZA in Greece and Podemos in Spain; as well as in Latin America e.g. Bolivia (Evo Morales), Ecuador (Rafael Correa), and Venezuela (Hugo Chávez); the willingness of certain segments of the electorate to prioritize the rise of a “responsive” government over a liberal democratic one
  • Bustikova (2009/2014): mainstream party convergence due to “vacuum effects” on the policy space of party competition (1) economic restructuring (2) EU accession; opened up space for the radical right within the post-communist party system; “minority accommodation”
  • Hanson (2010): political ideologies” are typically necessary (although not sufficient) for the mobilization of enduring, independent national party organizations in uncertain democracies because they help to overcome collective action problems e.g. France, Germany, Russia
  • Albertazzi and McDonnell (2015): “populists in power”; the electoral strength of populists, coupled with the corresponding erosion in support for mainstream parties, has meant that they are increasingly accepted as coalition partners by mainstream parties; populists in all cases kept putting forward proposals and championing initiatives that repeatedly, consistently and purposely clashed with the fundamental tenets of liberal democracy
  • Kaltwasser, et al. (2017): (1) ideational (a set of ideas that not only depicts society as divided between “the pure people” versus “the corrupt elite” but also claims that politics is about respecting popular sovereignty at any cost) (Mudde, 2004) (2) political-strategic (Weyland) (3) socio-cultural (break taboos)
  • Abou-Chadhi and Krause (2018): regression discontinuity approach; radical right success causally affects mainstream parties’ positions; cause a strong move towards an anti-immigrant stance by other political parties; the transformation of the political space in Western Europe that we are currently witnessing is not simply a reaction to shifting preferences of the European electorate, but is a result of the strategic interaction of political parties
  • Mudde and Kaltwasser (2018): (1) economic anxiety (2) cultural backlash (3) the tension between responsiveness and responsibility (4) (negative) partisanship and polarization; limited programmatic scope; attached to other ideological elements i.e. right-wing nativism or left-wing socialism; populism is at odds with liberal democracy (minority rights, rule of law, and separation of powers); supply-side vs. demand-side; cultural backlash vs. economic anxiety linked to populism per se or the populist radical right in particular; populist radical right parties are particularly successful in European countries marked by economic prosperity, low unemployment, and generous social welfare policies; “social envy” via Lipset (1955) “status politics”; populism as a moral clash between the “pure people” and the “corrupt elite” whereas nativism refers to the ethnic division between “insiders” and “outsiders”

Political Economy

Markets in society

  • Locke (1690): “property and freedom”; economic freedom as indispensable toward the achievement of political freedom; co-operation is strictly individual and voluntary “provided” that enterprises are private and that individuals are effectively free to enter or not to enter into any particular exchange i.e. government is essential both as a forum for determining the “rules of the game” and as an umpire to interpret and enforce the rules decided upon
  • Smith (1776): division of labor; “dexterity” of socio-economic differentiation ; the “invisible hand” of the market via self-interest and competition (comparative advantage, see: Ricardo, 1817)
  • Marx (1867): capital and labor; class interests fundamentally exploitative as workers are compelled to sell their own labor power and are deprived of the means of production; “alienation”
  • Durkheim (1897): functionalist division of labor (e.g. organism) BUT “anomie” e.g. suicide
  • Weber (1922): “social action”; traditions and customs; rational-legal institutions (e.g. hierarchy, impersonal, division of labor); the “calling” and the ascetic “spirit of capitalism” (i.e. Protestant work ethic); double-entry book-keeping

Markets in the state

  • Polanyi (1944): markets do not spontaneously arise, governments actively create them; “double movement” in which trading classes promote economic liberalism to foster a self-regulating market, but the working and landed classes push for social protection aimed at conserving man and nature; re-embedding the market to try to create a web of norms and protection around the market; politics as constitutive of the economy; Speenhamland Law to protect farmers
  • Shonfield (1965): “modern capitalism” via “market steering” i.e. state interventionism (1) the management of the economic system (2) Keynesian demand stimulus, the welfare state, and expanded public expenditures (3) the “taming” of “the violence of the market” in the private sector, thanks to government regulation, planning, and inter-firm cooperation (4) policies to increase innovation and worker training (5) the pursuit of intellectual coherence through long-term planning
  • Katzenstein (1978): strong states lead their economies, while weak states allow economic interests to operate on their own; dense networks involve high degrees of coordination, while loose networks cannot avoid unit autonomy
  • Gourevitch (1986): societal actors divide and combine over time in ways that relate to their changing situations in the international division of labor; “production profile explanation” in which economic interests make coalitions that have preferences which are shaped by actors’ situation in international economy

Globalization and capitalism

  • Ruggie (1982): “embedded liberalism”; the compromise of embedded liberalism has never been fully extended to the developing countries; subject to the orthodox stabilization measures of the IMF; liberalization produced by the GATT has benefited relatively few developing countries; Bretton Woods adjustment processes worked primarily to devalue the currencies of deficit countries, sacrificing economic efficiency to social stability
  • Milner and Keohane (1996): (1) partisan composition of the government in office (2) organization of labor and financial markets (3) political institutions; internationalization is expected to generate new coalitions revolving around the differential effects of greater openness; tradables producers favoring devaluations vs. non-tradeables sectors opposing them; owners of specific factors, whose capital is immobile vs. holders of liquid assets; the loss of policy autonomy may place special pressure on left-wing, social democratic governments
  • Garrett (1998): globalization threatens the prosperity, stability and legitimacy of the democratic state itself (1) increasing exposure to trade (2) multi-nationalization of production (3) integration of financial markets; institutions as collective goods that cannot be supplied by the market; rather than becoming increasingly irrelevant, domestic political factors such as the partisan balance of political power and the strength of organized labor movements are at least as important today as they have ever been to the course of economic policy
  • Friedman (1999): the democratization of technology, finance (“the electronic herd”); information; the “golden straitjacket” i.e. no major ideological alternatives; “one size fits all” pinches certain groups, squeezes others and keeps a society under pressure to constantly streamline its economic institutions and upgrade its performance; leaving people behind as the economy grows and politics shrinks


  • North (1981/1990): institutions are “the rules of the game” of a society and reduce transaction costs as they organize exchange (1) institutions are a set of rules, formal or informal, that actors generally follow, whether for normative, cognitive, or material reasons (2) organizations are durable entities with formally recognized members, whose rules also contribute to the institutions of the political economy

Varieties of capitalism (VoC)

  • Hall and Soskice (2001): (1) liberal market economies (LMEs) in which firms coordinate their activities primarily via hierarchies for internal issues and competitive market arrangements for external issues (2) coordinated market economies (CMEs) in which firms depend more heavily on non-market relationships to coordinate their endeavors with other actors; rely on collaborative, not competitive, relationships to build the competencies of the firm; institutional complementarities reinforce the differences between varieties of capitalism
  • Thelen (2001): “alternative face of globalization”; increasingly integrated global markets have heightened the competitive pressures that many firms face; when firms compete on the basis of quality and reliability in the context of just-in-time production, the capacity to adjust depends rather heavily on stable and cooperative relations with labor
  • Thelen (2014): “varieties of liberalization” (1) deregulation, often associated with liberal market economies (2) liberalization as dualization, associated especially with continental European political economies like Germany (3) liberalization through socially embedded flexibilization, typically associated with the Scandinavian cases

Critiques of VoC

  • Vogel (2001): German and Japanese firms (CMEs) are distinct from their liberal, Anglo-American counterparts (LMEs) in that they are less favorable toward labor market liberalization, adjust to shocks through internal labor market flexibility (reorganizing/retraining) rather than external labor market flexibility (hiring/firing), rely more on cooperative relations with labor and less on labor flexibility; BUT German and Japanese variants of CME differ in important ways (1) German government has gone further in codifying its economic model in law, whereas the Japanese model rests more on informal networks and standard practices (2) German labor is more powerful than Japanese labor in both politics and corporate management
  • Levy (2006): “new state activities in the age of liberalization”; welfare state politics are no longer about Shonfeld (1965) market-steering but rather market-supporting (1) corrective i.e. making labor markets and systems of social protection more employment friendly (2) constructive i.e. recasting regulatory frameworks to permit countries to cross major economic and technological divides and expanding market competition in industry and services at home and abroad; guide post-Fordism
  • Iverson, Soskice, and Xu (2017): “transition to the knowledge economy and the new skill cleavage”; ICT revolution unraveled these interdependencies and created a disjuncture between an old middle class, which was increasingly marginalized by technological change, and a new educated middle class that thrived; the consequence of “middle class encapsulation” was to create a greater preference gap between both the old middle class and those above, and between the old middle class and those below

Welfare state and “power resource” theory

  • Korpi and Esping-Anderson (1986): relative power position of labor’s “power resources” (1) organizational strength of labor unions, often measured in union density (2) relative power of labor’s political allies, especially social democratic political parties, and this is usually captured in a measure of left party participation in government; Scandinavia, Austria, and Germany have reformist social-democratic parties with strong ties to national union movements which have dominated working class politics; Sweden strongest with a centralized union confederation which works closely with the social democratic party; Austria similar but institutionalized religious and political cleavages; German movement is weakest (close ties with German social democrats but the party is electorally weak and has remained in opposition)
  • Esping-Anderson (1990): the “three worlds of welfare capitalism” (1) liberal welfare states in which unions are weak (<15%) and social democratic parties are either weaker still or altogether absent e.g. US/Canada (means-tested assistance; modest universal transfers; modest social insurance) (2) corporatist-statist i.e. Christian Democratic countries in which there are medium levels of union organization (typically 20%–40%) and somewhat less dominant social democratic parties e.g. Austria/France/Germany/Italy in which welfare regimes are based on a social insurance model in which benefits are tied to occupational status (redistributive impact is negligible and shaped by the Church i.e. non-working wives, day care, family services) (3) Social Democratic countries characterized by both high levels of union organization (density rates of 60% and higher) and social democratic parties that are frequently in government e.g. Scandinavia (universalism and de-commodification extended to the new middle classes)
  • Immergut (1992): the logic of health policy making via differential political institutions (1) majority parliamentarism in Sweden i.e. executive government rested on secure parliamentary majorities (2) direct parliamentary rule in France i.e. unstable parliamentary coalitions and lack of party discipline impeded executive governments from enacting legislation (3) direct democracy in Switzerland i.e. threat of negative referenda produced parliamentary paralysis, allowing any and all interest groups unfettered access to defeat national health insurance proposals again and again
  • Pierson (1996): welfare state “retrenchment”; retrenchment is generally an exercise in blame avoidance rather than credit claiming; unpopularity of welfare state “retrenchment” makes major cutbacks unlikely except under conditions of budgetary crisis, and radical restructuring is unlikely even then
  • Rodrik (1998): government spending plays a risk-reducing role in economies exposed to a significant amount of external risk; risk-mitigating role of government spending should be displayed most prominently in social security and welfare spending, particularly in advanced economies
  • Iverson and Cusack (2000): the impact of common trends such as globalization or deindustrialization is heavily mediated by the strength of left political parties; governments have responded to the transformation of the employment structure (1) employment in private services (2) expansion of the state’s public insurance functions in order to compensate for the risks associated with often very large employment losses in the traditional sectors (3) heavy regulation of labor and product markets has hampered a major expansion of private sector service employment; deindustrialization will be associated with increasingly distinct partisan effects
  • Huber and Stephens (2001): partisan politics is the single most important factor shaping the development of welfare state outcomes, especially the dominant political orientation of incumbent governments in the postwar years; the nature of production regimes in which the welfare state is embedded is important in shaping options and choices; inclusion of women in the labor force has a strong interactive effect with the expansion of social welfare services
  • Rueda (2007): powerful social democratic parties allied with strong labor movements may well promote, rather than inhibit, inequality; between (1) labor-market “insiders,” i.e., core workers who have jobs and who are intent on preserving their relatively privileged position within the labor market (2) labor-market “outsiders” who either do not have jobs or are in more precarious forms of employment and thus do not enjoy the same package of wages and benefits as insiders; highlights intra-class conflict over policy options
  • Haggard and Kaufman (2008): (1) ‘stratified’ Latin American welfare states characterized by relatively generous social insurance systems for civil servants and organized formal-sector workers coupled with widespread exclusion of informal urban workers and the rural sector BUT low coverage (2) universal coverage for all segments of the population in Eastern Europe (3) East Asian welfare systems emphasized public education and healthcare; limited social insurance and security, mainly through mandated individual savings schemes BUT more egalitarian
  • Gingrich (2011): variation in market outcomes follows from who built the market and whether the existing institutions allow them to appeal to the electorate and their particular constituents; shaped by left vs. right partisan preferences i.e. blame shifting and reward claiming; the Left will implement market reforms in order to protect the legitimacy of the welfare state, whereas the Right will implement market reforms to undercut the welfare state


Modernization theory

  • W. W. Rostow (1960): “the stages of economic growth”

Limits of modernization theory

  • Gerschenkron (1962): pressures for high-speed industrialization are inherent in preindustrial situations of backward countries; policies toward backward countries are unlikely to be successful if they ignore the basic peculiarities of backwardness
  • Moore (1966): social classes condition political and economic paths for development; multiple outcomes; modernization in one country changes it for all subsequent countries; modernization begins with peasant revolutions that fail
  • Huntington (1968): “gap hypothesis” between rapid economic growth and modernization and political discontent and unrest

Theories of backwardness

  • Fichte (1664): early statist theory of economic development; the “closed trading state” in Germany had to not only protect the rights and property of its citizens, but actively regulate the economy and society in order to make Germany competitive with England
  • List (1841): “underdeveloped” countries needed a strong state to protect domestic businesses and economic gains from the destabilizing effects of foreign investments and external markets
  • Veblen (1915): late developers had a “situational advantage” in that they could simply borrow the most advanced technology available without incurring the costs, trials, and tribulations; and a means to break down more rapidly traditional habits and customs
  • Lenin (1917): “imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism”; world-systemic explanation of international underdevelopment; the concentration of monopoly capital in the hands of the bankers in conjunction with the export of goods to new markets in the colonies permitted the international bourgeoisie to maintain its economic and political power and circumvent the absolution immiseration of the masses (working classes) at home; peripheral regions as the “weakest links” in the capitalist world-system

Effects of backwardness

  • Gunder Frank (1970): “the development of underdevelopment”; underdevelopment linked to capitalism; each metropolis serves to impose and maintain a monopolistic structure and exploitative relationship; satellites experience their greatest economic development and especially their most classically capitalist industrial development if and when their ties to their metropolis are weakest; “underdevelopment … is the necessary product of four centuries of capitalism itself”
  • Wallerstein (1974): “world-systems theory”; three structural positions in the world-economy (1) core (2) periphery (3) semi-periphery
  • Cardoso (1973/1979): challenged key assumption of modernization paradigm—that poor countries would follow same path as developed and that underdevelopment of periphery was uniformly caused by exploitation of developed capitalist economies; development in dependent economies creates a restricted, limited, and upper class oriented type of market and society (attracting investment by providing low wages and other incentives to investors)
  • Hirschman (1982): capitalism is an extraordinarily powerful force that dissolves all previous social formations and ideologies and even chips away at capitalism’s own moral foundations; cannot do everything at once
  • Evans, Rueschemeyer, and Skocpol (1985): “bringing the state back in”

Developmental State


  • Haggard (1986/1990): development strategies are packages of policies aimed at steering economic activity (1) ISI in Brazil and Mexico (2) EOI in South Korea and Taiwan (3) entrepôt in Hong Kong and Singapore; international market pressures vs. domestic political pressures; in the face of external shocks, larger developing countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, particularly those endowed with natural resources, could continue financing ISI; more likely to move into secondary import substitution (“deepening”) than smaller countries that lacked natural resources and when hit with external shocks, these smaller, resource-poor economies were more likely to adjust by following the model of export-oriented industrialization
  • Evans (1996): “embedded autonomy”; concrete set of connections between state and particular social groups is a necessary condition for a performing developmental state; predatory vs. developmental state institutions; role of the state in markets; efficacious states combine well-developed, bureaucratic internal organization with dense public-private ties; capacity depends on putting autonomy (protecting the state from capture) and embeddedness (sources of intelligence and channels of implementation i.e. bureaucracy)
  • Waldner (1999): levels of elite conflict determine whether state transformation occurred simultaneously with or before popular incorporation; in Korea and Taiwan state building preceded popular incorporation; Korean and Taiwanese elite were not indebted to support of popular classes at time of institutional transformation they were able to shape new institutions that proved to be more conducive to economic development; in Syria and Turkish elites initiate new rounds of state building under conditions of intense conflict that divided the elite and militated against compromise (“precocious Keynesianism”) that committed states to growth-inhibiting transfers
  • Rodrik (2007): kick start; government intervention, policy biases and politically connected firms, institutional failures, and high levels of policy uncertainty and risk create dualistic economic structures and repress entrepreneurship; get it going and get out of the way; sustained economic growth needs high-quality institutions over the long-term; protection of property rights and rule of law; some have seen success under authoritarianism but many others have not

East Asia

  • Johnson (1982/1987): “Japanese miracle” of state-led development; powerful, talented, prestige-laden economic bureaucracy; Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI); complex of policies concerning protection of domestic industries, development of strategic industries, and adjustment of the economic structure in anticipation of shocks; industrial rationalization and industrial structure; institutions underpin government-business relationship in Japan and South Korea; wartime controls provided the postwar planners with an unusual array of instruments for influencing industry, despite the American occupation: (1) control over all foreign exchange and imports of technology, which gave them the power to choose industries for development (2) the ability to dispense preferential financing, tax breaks, and protection from foreign competition, which gave them the power to lower the costs of the chosen industries (3) the authority to order the creation of cartels and bank-based industrial conglomerates, which gave them the power to supervise competition
  • Wade (1990): “market-supremacy” interpretations of East Asian economic success (1) economic openness and small government, the limitations of small domestic markets were overcome by exporting manufactured goods at competitive prices (2) government intervention that promoted exports and offset market failures (3) external demand generated by the rhythm of Western capital accumulation linked to Western defense against communism (4) synergistic connection between a public system and a mostly private market system; i.e. the allocation of resources and state action to address market failures
  • Kohli (2004): (1) neopatrimonial states (Nigeria) weakly centralized, barely legitimate authority structures, personalistic leaders, corrupt bureaucracy (2) fragmented-multiclass states (India, Brazil (civ)) ‘modern’ states, authority, public arena but rely on broad class alliance & pursue several competing politicized policies (3) cohesive-capitalist states (South Korea, Brazil (mil)) centralized, rapid economic growth via national security, links with capital, control of labor, competent bureaucrats


  • Bates (1981): industrial firm workers and owners, economic and political elites, privileged farmers, and managers of public bureaucracies constitute development coalition in contemporary Africa; they reap benefits and costs are distributed widely but fall especially hard on the unorganized masses of farming population

Post-communist transitions

  • Sachs (1991): “shock treatment”
  • Balcerowicz (1994): “extraordinary politics”; the brevity of the exceptional period means that a radical economic program, launched as quickly as possible after the breakthrough, has a much greater chance of being accepted than either a delayed radical program or a nonracial alternative that introduces difficult measures in piecemeal fashion
  • Fish (1998): roots of Russia’s “racket economy” (1) extraordinary natural resource endowment (2) privatization that creates new oligarchy (3) withdrawal of the state from law enforcement (4) moral vacuum (5) weak societal organization; the desperate state of the state; “solved” by a president who is both intent upon exercising power within the confines of the law and who is willing and able to coerce i.e. Putin
  • Hellman (1998): “J-curve”; reforms are expected to make things worse before they get better; instead of forming a constituency in support of advancing reforms, the short-term winners have often sought to stall the economy in a “partial reform equilibrium” that generates concentrated rents for themselves, while imposing high costs on the rest of society; the process of economic reform is threatened less by the net losers than by the net winners
  • Schwartz (2006): economic reform policies that fail to devote sufficient attention to the formation of legal and regulatory institutions breed corruption and criminality, leading to economic stagnation; rapid neoliberal privatization unaccompanied by institution building fosters a politics of greed, not a politics of democracy; during transition periods, it is not institutions that structure politics but politics that shape the design of institutions (a series of political struggles among powerful interest groups)


  • Woo/Wu (2003): role of “state owned enterprises”; (1) Chinese enterprise were able to “grow out of plan” without the SOEs releasing their labor only because of the great reservoir of surplus agricultural workers; policy experimentation (free-trade enclaves, TVEs, etc.); gradualism due to the absence of policy consensus
  • Qian (2012): (1) dual-track liberalization (2) local government ownership i.e. rural township-village enterprises (TVEs) (3) fiscal federalism aligning interests of local governments with local business (4) anonymous banking to limit government predation in the absence of the rule of law (5) failure to reform the large scale state-owned enterprises (SOEs)
  • Tsai (2015): considerable progress can be achieved even in the absence of ideal institutions; BUT changes of practice within existing institutions; “adaptive informal institutions” as opposed to the creation of new institutions

Challenges to development

  • Scott (1998): legibility of a society provides capacity for large-scale social engineering, high modernist ideology provides the desire, the authoritarian state provides the determination to act of that desire, and an incapacitate civil society provides the leveled social terrain on which to build
  • De Soto (2008): “capitalist apartheid” will continue until we all come to terms with critical flaw in many countries’ legal and political systems that prevents the majority from entering the formal property system; property rights as key in the developing world; “dead” or “dormant” capital; much of the marginalization of the poor in developing and former communist nations come from their inability to benefit from the six effects that formal property provides
  • Lal (2008): “dirigism”; price mechanism supplanted by direct government control to promote economic development; neoclassical economics is unrealistic because of its behavioral, technological, and institutional assumptions; concerned primarily with the efficient allocation of given resources and hence could deal with neither so-called dynamic assets of growth nor with various ethical aspects of the alleviation of poverty or the distribution of income needed for development

Globalization and development

  • Garrett (1998): “shrinking states”; globalization threatens the prosperity, stability and legitimacy of the democratic state itself (1) increasing exposure to trade (2) multi-nationalization of production (3) integration of financial markets
  • Stiglitz (2007): “globalization and its discontents”; emphasis on how globalization is managed; globalization of knowledge has brought improved health, with life spans increasing at a rapid pace, BUT the most adverse effects have arisen from the liberalization of financial and capital markets, which has posed risks to developing countries without commensurate rewards; trans-national volatility; governance through “Washington Consensus” e.g. intellectual property rights: invention vs. diffusion
  • Keohane and Milner (2010): internationalization is expected to generate new coalitions revolving around the differential effects of greater openness (1) partisan composition of the government in office (2) organization of labor and financial markets (3) political institutions

Re-visiting the developmental state

  • Evans, Huber, and Stevens (2017): “the political foundations of state effectiveness” via the Sen-Ostrom nexus (1999-1996) i.e. “human capabilities”; the foundations of capability expansion are collective goods (1) early childhood education (2) preventative public health expenditure; incentivizing and supporting investment in industrial activity is a complex task, but delivering quality education or healthcare to the population requires much greater organizational capacity and broader support coalitions e.g. Kerala, Brazil (Bolsa Familia, SUS)
  • Haggard (2018): see Haggard (1986/1990) and Haggard and Kaufman (2008)


Philosophies of social science

  • Hume (1748): empirical cause/effect but causality cannot be perceived (our imagination provides the “real” causal link and thus we impose our own theories on the world); refrain from imposing causal explanations on the world; avoid causal claims completely; restrict itself to identifying and observing regularities in the world; focus on correlations; identify and map factual correlations among facts that are directly observable by the human senses
  • Durkheim (1895): consider social facts as things; socially constructed and collectively maintained constraints (e.g. norms, rules, laws, economic organizations, customs, etc.); BUT still conceptual categories; the contested debates around them drive the production of knowledge; setting up a puzzle by using a fragment of knowledge as the starting point; beginning with skepticism and moving towards an absolute; “forever in the middle” because of the unknowability of the absolute; the political always between ideal types
  • Popper (1959): “falsification” i.e. no amount of evidence can absolutely confirm a theory; qualitative and quantitative reasoning are both inductive (from the particular to the general) i.e. looking at the empirical evidence; but in practice social scientists act pre-Popper; social-facts are theory-laden and dependent upon ontological arguments; we cannot achieve absolute certainty but we can falsify wrong conjectures via theoretical pluralism
  • Kuhn (1962): “tipping” paradigms; the most progressive paradigm, the one best fitting nature, will emerge victorious; a paradigm is born out of a concrete scientific achievement that resolves or suspends debates over foundations, assumptions, and/or methods, ushering in a period of normal science; hostility toward other paradigms, but trapped by “ordinary language” debate
  • Lakatos (1978): criteria to evaluate claims in relation to comparing rival research programs; assess strengths and weaknesses of rival viewpoints; a “hard core” surrounded by a “protective belt” of auxiliary hypotheses that may be progressive (constantly expanding its application to a larger and larger set of cases or striving for a more precise treatment of the cases it presently covers) or degenerative
  • Giddens (1998): “structuration” (culture/society AND agency); people’s everyday actions reinforce and reproduce a set of expectations - and it is this set of other people’s expectations which make up the ‘social forces’ and ‘social structures’ that sociologists talk about; “society only has form, and that form only has effects on people, in so far as structure is produced and reproduced in what people do”

Concept formation

  • Sartori (1970): does it make sense to construct formalized systems of quantitatively well-defined relationships so long as we wander in a mist of qualitatively ill-defined concepts? without discipline, conceptual mishandling; data mis-gathering; conceptual misinformation; we must form concepts before we quantify them; we need to know what we are measuring
  • Sartori (1970): relationship between meaning of concepts and the range of cases to which they apply can be understood in terms of a “ladder of generalization”; concepts with fewer defining attributes commonly apply to more cases and are higher on ladder of generality whereas concepts with more defining attributes apply to fewer cases and are lower on the “ladder of generality”; concept extension i.e. the population to which the concept refers; concept intension i.e. the set of attributes that determine category membership
  • Collier and Levitsky (1997): “democracy with adjectives”; “diminished subtypes” are not clearly defined and suffer from conceptual stretching; “precising” the definition of democracy by adding defining attributes modifies the definition of democracy itself
  • Adcock and Collier (2001): measurement validity and concept formation (1) background concept (2) systematized concept (3) indicators (4) scores for cases
  • Gerring and Barresi (2003): “putting ordinary language to work” (1) a respect for ordinary language (2) disciplining concepts toward practical (empirical) research (across time and space); minimal definitions have crisp boundaries (reduce ambiguity); maximal (ideal typical) definitions have gradations i.e. non-crisp boundaries (degrees of belonging); sample definitions; typologize and condense attributes; define (a) minimal (b) maximal (ideal-type) definitions
  • Collier and Levitsky (2009): “conceptual hierarchies”; the root concept of democracy in the literature on the third wave was anchored in a procedural minimum definition; focused on democratic procedures, rather than on substantive policies or other outcomes that might be viewed as democratic; minimal in that it deliberately focused on the smallest possible number of attributes that still were seen as producing a viable standard for democracy; e.g. democracy vs. dictatorship (Przeworski)
  • Collier, LaPorte, and Seawright (2012): component indicators can hide multidimensionality; developing rigorous and useful concepts entails four interconnected goals (1) clarifying and refining their meaning (2) establishing an informative and productive connection between these meanings and the terms used to designate them (3) situating the concepts within their semantic field, that is, the constellation of related concepts and terms (4) identifying and refining the hierarchical relations among concepts, involving kind hierarchies; employ the 2x2 matrix to diagram conceptual dimensions

Examples of typologies

  • Collier and Levitsky (1997): “democracy with adjectives”; “diminished subtypes” are not clearly defined and suffer from conceptual stretching; “precising” the definition of democracy by adding defining attributes modifies the definition of democracy itself
  • Hadenius and Teorell (2007): “pathways from authoritarianism”; degree of competitiveness (1) Geddes: personalist, military, and single-party regimes (2) Linz and Stepan: post-totalitarianism and sultanistic; Larry Diamond: “hybrid regimes”; Levitsky and Way: competitive authoritarianism; Schedler: “electoral authoritarianism”
  • Soifer (2008/2017): state capacity (1) GDP per capita (2) luminosity (3) literacy (4) tax ratio; survey approach = the state’s reach across territory, its ability to impose taxation, and its effectiveness in the provision of property rights
  • Reeskens and Hooghe (2010): civic-ethnic dichotomy of citizenship; being born in the country is shown to be the clearest expression of ethnic citizenship, while adhering to the laws of the country is the main criterion for civic citizenship, BUT for an ethnic conception of citizenship it is clear that obeying the laws is not sufficient to become a full member of the community
  • Kriesi (2015): “varieties of democracy” (1) consensus-majoritarian dimension (2) federalist-unitary dimension (3) illiberal-liberal dimension (4) direct-representative dimension; minimalist democracy (exclusive elections) polyarchy (electoral democracy plus the rule of law); liberal democracy (electoral democracy, plus the rule of law, plus civil rights)


  • Tilly (1984): “big structures, large processes, huge comparisons” i.e. “macro-history”
  • Geddes (1990): institutionalists see politics as somewhat autonomous from the economy; political outcomes are not necessarily continuous or smoothly moving and evolving; adjustments are seen as incremental; historical institutionalism (actor motivation is self-interest, power resources and authority matter); rational choice institutionalism (utility maximization over preferences); sociological institutionalism (stability of groups)
  • Hall and Taylor (1996): (1) historical i.e. “asymmetries of power” along with path dependence and unintended consequences (2) rational choice i.e. behavioral assumptions and strategic interactions (3) sociological i.e. “frames of meaning”, symbols, and moral templates
  • Helmke and Levitsky (2004): “informal institutions” (1) complementary (2) accommodating (3) competing (4) substitutive
  • Mahoney and Thelen (2010): “gradual institutional change” (1) displacement (2) layering (3) drift (4) conversion; institutions represent compromises based on specific coalitional dynamics that are always vulnerable to shifts; compliance is complicated by the fact that rules can never be precise enough to cover the complexities of all situations and actors cannot anticipate every situation
  • Riker (1980): the “Riker objection” institutions are socially constructed equilibria that emerge from the strategic behavior of individuals i.e. institutions cannot be causes of anything, for they are merely epiphenomenal on individual preferences and the broader strategic environment; institutions are constraints except when decisive coalitions decide they are not e.g. the Rikerian perspective on institutions would predict that if authoritarian institutions do what existing theories predict that they do, then institutions should be least likely to constrain behavior in these settings (1) the presence of dominant parties (2) the nature of institutional rules (3) forms of legislative competition (4) other aspects of authoritarian institutions will reflect the distribution of power in authoritarian regimes rather than exogenously shaping it


  • King, Keohane, and Verba (1994): the same logic should apply to quantitative and qualitative work and that we need to apply the same degree of rigor in qualitative and quantitative, the “logic of inference” is the same in the two methodological approaches; transparency; causal vs. descriptive inference; estimates of uncertainty
  • Laitin (2002): tripartite methodology (1) statistical regularities through cross-sectional data; theory/formal theory; case studies (narrative)
  • Lieberman (2005): “nested analysis”; stronger basis for causal inference than the sum of its parts; suppose you start with a large-N study, then if the results are satisfactory, use small-N to test model, if doesn’t fit, use small-N to either repeat model testing or do model building; if the results are unsatisfactory, use small-N to build model, then if more coherent, use large-N, then if satisfactory, use small-N to test model
  • Dunning (2012): “natural experiments” in the social sciences; a “design-based” approach; attempting to identify and analyze real-world situations in which some process of random or as-if random assignment places cases in alternative categories of the key independent variable


  • Lijphart (1971): “many variables, small-N”; increase number of cases geographically, over time, or within-case; combine variables that express an essentially similar underlying characteristic; focus on comparable cases similar in important characteristics (constants) but dissimilar in key variables; focus the analysis on only the key variables (parsimony)
  • Bates (1997): tension between area studies and political science
  • Collier (1998): qualitative comparative method as “separate and equal”
  • Pierson (2000/2003): specific patterns of timing and sequence matter; “path dependency”; “critical junctures”; time horizons can alter cause-effects; large consequences may result from relatively “small” or contingent events; logic of “increasing returns”
  • Mahoney and Rusechemeyer (2003): “comparative historical analysis”; “knowledge accumulation”; new theories inspire new research programs
  • Kitschelt (2003): shallow explanations without depth are empty, deep explanations without mechanisms are blind (Kant); what affects deliberate, calculated political action works often through longer chains of causal determination than short-term mechanisms
  • Brady, Collier,and Seawright (2004): KKV suggest an imposition of a quantitative framework on qualitative work; limitations of quantitative methods (1) real word data is observational (statistical techniques designed for experimental situations) (2) increasing sample size pushes toward generality (3) conceptualization and measurement (4) little theory (5) selection bias and significance-hacking
  • Gerring (2007): case-study approach (1) ability to understand causal processes (2) not limited to qualitative techniques (3) good case chosen by doing some initial cross-case analysis to determine what this is a case of (to counter external validity concerns (4) process tracing
  • Pierson (2007): costs of quantitative hegemony (1) narrowly focused inquiry (2) insufficient attention to substance (3) omission of crucial political issues (4) inattentiveness to context (5) inattentiveness to macro configurations (6) inattentiveness to scope conditions
  • Slater and Ziblatt (2013): “controlled comparison”; quantitative analysis establishes internal validity while case study gives external validity (typically viewed as doing the reverse); explain variation in government performance across closely matched cases; external validity requires that cases be selected precisely to control for rival existing hypothesis