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Explaining post-communist founding elections results through initial state capacity

[journal article]

Fortin-Rittberger, Jessica

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Abstract While a consensus is emerging about the importance of state building and state capacity for democratization in both post-communist and developing countries, comparatively few explicit attempts have been made to provide empirical support for the relationship between the two concepts. Even more problematic is to find an explicit causal mechanism linking high state capacity with democracy. State capacity can be understood as the capability of the state to penetrate society, regulate social relations, extract resources, and appropriate or use resources in determined ways. In other words, strong states have high capabilities to complete these tasks, while weak states struggle to compete with private actors over extraction and appropriation of resources. But what makes strong states more likely to be democratic and, in turn, weak states less likely to be democratic? This article explores whether or not state capacity correlates with the outcomes of founding elections, that is, the first open elections in post-communist countries. In other words, do voters in states with higher initial capacity also tend to “throw the communist rascals out” in the founding elections? (author's abstract)
Keywords democracy; democratization; transformation; Eastern Europe; nonmarket good; government function; constitutional state; civil rights; election; voting behavior; election result; post-socialist country; political institution; statehood; public policy; civil society; statistical method
Classification Political System, Constitution, Government; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 724-742
Journal East European politics and societies and cultures : EEPS, 26 (2012) 4
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0888325412452590
ISSN 0888-3254
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.