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QoG lunch seminar with David Andersen & Jonathan Doucette

Society and economy

The QoG institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government, broadly defined as trustworthy, reliable, impartial, uncorrupted and competent government institutions. On this week´s QoG lunch seminar, David Andersen & Jonathan Doucette give a presentation with the title: “State First? A Disaggregation and Empirical Interrogation”

16 Sep 2020
12:00 - 13:00
Due to Covid-19, this lunch seminar takes place via zoom.

David Andersen, Assistant Professor and Jonathan Doucette, Research Assistant, PhD Student, Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences
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“State First? A Disaggregation and Empirical Interrogation”

This letter is the first to systematically scrutinize the multifaceted claim that a strong state promotes democratic
development. It analyzes new Varieties of Democracy data from 1789 to 2015 to specify and examine eight different versions of this ‘state-first’ argument in analyses that span the entire era of modern democracy. The authors document that high levels of bureaucratic quality at the time of the first democratic transition and during democratic spells are positively associated with democratic survival and deepening. By contrast, state capacity has no robust effects on democratic survival or deepening and does not condition the impact of bureaucratic quality. These findings underline the importance of particular features of a strong state as well as the importance of a disaggregated approach. They imply that democratic development is better aided by strengthening the impartiality of bureaucratic organizations than by building capacity for territorial control.
The Quality of Government Institute