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date: 06 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a review of the state capacity and institutional sequencing literatures. It begins with a discussion on the conceptualization of the notion of state capacity, examining the pros and cons of the existing conceptual approaches with regard to measurement and inference. It also surveys the existing empirical indicators, highlighting recent progress in this area, particularly relating to measures of informational capacity and territorial reach. The chapter proceeds with a review of the scholarly debate about institutional sequencing, considering the theoretical arguments and empirical evidence of both the “state first” and “democracy first” literatures. This is followed by an assessment of the existing evidence of the effects of state capacity on economic development and public goods provision. The final section summarizes the state of the art, reflecting on challenges and outlining possible avenues for future research.

Keywords: quality of government, state capacity, sequencing, bureaucracy, cadaster, constraints, autonomy, territorial reach, constraints

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