(Re-)Building the Ship of State at Sea? State Capacity and Regime Dynamics in Post-Communist Coutries

26 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2012

See all articles by Andrei Melville

Andrei Melville

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Denis Stukal

New York University (NYU), Department of Politics, Students

Date Written: December 21, 2012

Abstract

The relationship between stateness and state capacity, on the one hand, and political regimes and their dynamics, on the other, has received increasing attention in comparative politics in recent years. Though empirical research does not provide consistent findings, arguments currently under discussion vary from “stateness first” (democratization only after effective state-building) to “building or rebuilding the ship of state while at sea” (state-building and democratization as complements). Several studies reveal a J-curve link connecting autocracy and democracy to levels of state capacity, implying that autocratic regimes have higher state capacity than hybrid ones. This paper questions these claims and reveals that democratization may start at low levels of state capacity, although democratic consolidation occurs at high levels of state capacity. Using a post-Communist sample, we reveal no J-shaped relationship between state capacity and political regime. We also show that state capacity does not remain unchanged in periods of social and political upheavals and its dynamics in numerous cases stipulate changes in the level of democracy. Particular patterns of this relationship are discussed in the paper in the context of clusters of post-Communist regime transformations.

Keywords: state capacity, political regimes, democracy, autocracy, post-Communism

JEL Classification: Y90

Suggested Citation

Melville, Andrei and Stukal, Denis, (Re-)Building the Ship of State at Sea? State Capacity and Regime Dynamics in Post-Communist Coutries (December 21, 2012). Higher School of Economics Research Paper Series: Political Science WP BRP 07/PS/2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2192458 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2192458

Andrei Melville (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Denis Stukal

New York University (NYU), Department of Politics, Students ( email )

New York, NY
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.denisstukal.com

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