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Title: Essays on State Capacity and Democratization in Uneven States
Authors: Tiberti, Federico Hernán
Advisors: Yashar, Deborah J.
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: bureaucracies
regime change
state capacity
state formation
Subjects: Political science
Latin American history
Political science
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: A strong and capable state is an essential feature of every well-functioning society. An effective monopoly over the use of violence, a respected authority to enforce its law and a realized capacity to know and observe its citizens and assets and tax them are now widely regarded as necessary conditions for successful legal rights protection, provision of public goods and, ultimately, development. The effects of regime change on state capacity is disputed in the literature. While some studies find that democracy spurs state capacity, other scholars argue that elites can strategically deplete the state from its extractive potential, anticipating higher taxation and redistribution. The main argument throughout this dissertation is that in contexts where local political elites preexisted center-level authority and the territorial penetration of that central authority is uneven, local elites can choose to invest in larger bureaucracies to (1) build network supports and (2) coopt state institutions and protect themselves from political competition. The three papers in this dissertation study the case of Argentina, where a transition to democracy took place in 1912, while a rapid expansion of the national-level state structure was underway. The first paper studies the effect of regime change on local-level investments in bureaucracy and finds that, in places where the penetration of the central state was low, democratization was associated with an increase in local bureaucracies. The effect is driven by public employment in low-level civil service positions not directly associated with public goods provision. The second paper studies the effect of the expansion of the railroad network, which was the cornerstone of the expansion of the central state, on local investments in state capacity. It finds that local elites started investing more in bureaucratic capacity and taxation following the arrival of a railroad line in their districts. The third paper studies the determinants of elites' support for democratization in an oligarchy and finds that legislators who (1) had been excluded from the ruling faction of the oligarchic regime and (2) represented districts with a relatively larger local bureaucracy were the most likely to support a transition to democracy.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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