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date: 27 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines how governance is related to the concept of state capacity using a third-wave analogy. It explains that the third-wave approach to understanding state capacity seeks to challenge the implicit assumption within first- and second-wave accounts that state capacity has been externally drained in order to posit a more refined way of understanding the redistribution of power within modern polities. The article presents an overview of the first-wave literature, outlines the challenge presented by the second-wave literature, and proposes an alternative way of understanding state capacity: of governance as understood through the paradox of state capacity.

Keywords: governance, state capacity, redistribution of power, modern polities, third-wave approach

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