QoG lunch seminar with Gustav Agneman

Society and economy

The Uneven Reach of the State: A Novel Approach to Mapping Local State Presence

20 Sep 2023
12:00 - 13:00
Stora Skansen (room B336), Sprängkullsgatan 19

Gustav Agneman, Postdoc, Department of Political Science at the University of Lund and winner of QoG Best Paper Award
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The QoG institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government, broadly defined as trustworthy, reliable, impartial, uncorrupted and competent government institutions.

All seminars are held in English unless stated otherwise.
The Quality of Government Institute (QoG)

Abstract: The ability of states to exercise authority often varies considerably within their borders. Yet, we lack good empirical measures capturing subnational variation in the state’s territorial reach. In this paper, we develop a measure of local state presence for all five kilometer grid cells across Sub-Saharan Africa. The measure builds on geocoded survey data on local state presence, which we predict and extrapolate in a machine learning model using readily available data on the costs and benefits of capacity building across space. We showcase the usefulness of measuring state presence at a local level by employing the index as a moderating factor in the relationship between oil wealth and violent conflict and show that areas with higher levels of state presence face lower risks of conflict outbreak due to exogenous oil wealth shocks.