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date: 28 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Governments can play great roles, resolving festering problems and opening new pathways for progress. Examples are numerous and raise an important question: How do governments build the capabilities required to do great things? This chapter identifies ten cases of such governments to answer four dimensions of this question: how do governments to ramp up their capability? Who leads these interventions ?, When do they occur, and why? How changes implemented to ensure they yield sustainable results? The chapter suggests two sets of answers to these concerns, combining rival theories that explain how governments enhance capabilities and strengthen their role: “solution- and leader-driven change” (SLDC) and “problem-driven iterative adaptation” (PDIA). It proposes using these two theories in future research about how governments foster the kinds of achievements one could call great and argues this research should employ a version of theory-guided process tracking (TGPT) called systematic process analysis.

Keywords: state formation, capabilities, government, interventions, theory-guided process tracking, systematic process analysis

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