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8. State-building and Regime Consolidation
- Much has changed…
o End to colonial rule
o New state, and state machinery
o New political demands
- But…much hasn’t
o Economic dependency
o Structure of local society
- The instability of most post-colonial regimes
First 30 years of decolonization, 60 successful military coups in Africa alone
o Civil conflict
Lots of irregular change of power, VERY FEW because of elections
Stability & Instability
- The instability of most post-colonial regimesnn
- How important is stability?
o Stability as prerequisite
E.g. how can you pursue economic development? How can you protect human
rights without political stability?
o Stability and repression
E.g. Saddam Hussein was very stable
- Maintaining order
o Industrialized vs. developing world
o Growing political stability
Economic growth/resources, institutionalisation, democratization, time?
Rich countries aren’t always stable, poor countries aren’t always unstable, but
there is a correlation. Why?
With more resources, able to meet more demands
Maybe economic development and institutionalization develop hand in
Two Major Tasks
- State-building: Building resources and capabilities of the state
o State capacity
Administration, bureaucracy, coercion
o State strength
Autonomy from social groups (is it captured by a particular group, or have some
degree of relative autonomy?)
Comes partially from legitimacy
o State penetration
Reaching into the periphery? Have an effective service delivery in the rural
areas? Poor slums?
o State extraction
Taxation power (how to generate resources through taxation)
When weak, rely on tariffs and customs duties because it’s easy to put an officer
at the border. Business taxes come with more sophistication. Most complicated
and most resource generating: income tax.
o State legitimacy
- Government involvement in the economy grows through taxation, expenditure, and regulation
- Political/Regime consolidation: Attempt of ruler of the day to strengthen political position
o Repression (eliminate opposition, to stay in power)
Can be expensive economically
Can go wrong and end up generating more resistance – Syrian uprising
(arresting kids and beating them led to their families burning down part
headquarters – sparked revolution)
o Coalitions (maximizes support)
Who are the social groups forming part of the governing coalition?
Democratic vs. authoritarian coalitions
o Dictators don’t need a lot of support, just powerful support
(from business, military, etc.)
E.g. Syrian military as a coalition for Asad. Regime hasn’t
used toooo much force all at once in fear of a)
international intervention, and b) coalitions breaking
o Democracy needs BIG coalitions
“glue” (what keeps coalitions together?)
o Solidarity, ethnic ties, dreams of the future, hate
o Because they think they can benefit from it
State’s Economic Roles
- State resources
o Use taxes to provide health care, education etc.
- Political tool
o May spend money strategically to gain votes or punish opponents