States and Development: Historical Antecedents of Stagnation and Advance

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One of the most important issues in comparative politics is the relationship between the state and society and the implications of different relationships for long-term social and economic development. Exploring the contribution states can make to overcoming collective action problems and creating collective goods favourable to social, economic, and political development, the contributors to this significant volume examine how state-society relations as well as features of state structure shape the conditions under which states seek to advance development and the conditions that make success more or less likely. Particular focus is given to bureaucratic oversight, market functioning, and the assertion of democratic demands discipline state actions and contribute to state effectiveness. These propositions and the social mechanisms underlying them are examined in comparative historical and cross-national statistical analyses. The conclusion will also evaluate the results for current policy concerns.