Rebuilding Leviathan: Party Competition and State Exploitation in Post-Communist Democracies

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März 2007



Why do some governing parties limit their opportunistic behaviour and constrain the extraction of private gains from the state? This analysis of post-communist state reconstruction provides surprising answers to this fundamental question of party politics. Across the post-communist democracies, governing parties have opportunistically reconstructed the state - simultaneously exploiting it by extracting state resources and building new institutions that further such extraction. They enfeebled or delayed formal state institutions of monitoring and oversight, established new discretionary structures of state administration, and extracted enormous informal profits from the privatization of the communist economy. By examining how post-communist political parties rebuilt the state in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, Grzymala-Busse explains how even opportunistic political parties will limit their corrupt behaviour and abuse of state resources when faced with strong political competition.


1. Introduction; 2. Competing for the state; 3. Developing the formal institutions of the state; 4. The expansion of state administration: exploitation or patronage?; 5. Privatizing the state: party financing strategies.


Anna Grzymala-Busse is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was previously an associate professor at Yale University. Her first book, Redeeming the Communist Past, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2002. She has also published articles in Comparative Political Studies, Politics and Society, Comparative Politics, Party Politics, East European Politics and Societies, and other journals.


"Following her successful book on successor Communist parties in Eastern Europe, Anna Grzymala-Busse, in Rebuilding Leviathan, examines the impact of party competition on state building. Although market economies and electoral democracies are pervasive in the region, the record of state-building is mixed. In her original and well-researched study, Grymala-Busse argues that the variation can be explained by the degree of "robust" competition between political parties--that is, whether opposition parties are distinct, provide a plausible governing alternative, and are effective critics. She provides an effective critique both of those who dismiss the impact of party competition on institution building and those who miss the nuances of real-world party politics. Robust competition can persuade incumbents to create independent oversight bodies, limit clientalistic behavior, and control rent-seeking by public officials. In spite of its regional focus, the lessons of Rebuilding Leviathan will be of great interest to students of state reform and democratic transition throughout the world, especially in the middle-income countries of Latin American and Asia, where party competition is of increasing importance."
Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale University
EAN: 9780521696159
ISBN: 0521696151
Untertitel: 'Cambridge Studies in Comparati'. New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: März 2007
Seitenanzahl: 294 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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