CANCELLED: QoG lunchseminarium med Abbey Steele
“Local state capacity: New territorial and relational indicators from Colombia's periphery.”
Colombia’s historic 2016 peace agreement is the latest attempt by the government to consolidate state presence in its periphery since the mid-20th century. It focuses on regions most affected by the civil war, but which exhibit high levels of variation in terms of culture, geography, economy, and wartime dynamics. It stands to reason that they also vary in terms of state capacity, but we lack the empirical measures to capture this variation effectively. In this paper, we conceive of local state capacity as an interaction between civilians and institutions that produce or undermine order, administration, and public goods. To describe variation in these dimensions across communities and over time, we introduce two original datasets. First, a new panel dataset on local state institutions across 92 municipalities with quarterly data on local administrative staffing, police presence, tax capacity, and public service provision between 2012 and 2017. Second, a large-scale household panel survey collected in 2013 and 2015 in remote rural areas of the same municipalities, which asks respondents about their trust in institutions, satisfaction with public services, willingness to pay taxes and the presence of the formal justice system. We combine the datasets to describe institutional presence at the subnational level and civilian engagement with these institutions. We find mismatches between civilian engagement and institutional presence, which we use to measure local state capacity in peripheral communities.