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Author Berenson, Marc Phineas
Title Re-creating the state: Governance and power in Poland and Russia
book jacket
Descript 363 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 67-02, Section: A, page: 0699
Advisers: Nancy Bermeo; Atul Kohli; Joshua Tucker
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Princeton University, 2006
Looking at the post-communist cases in Poland and Russia, this dissertation asks why some transitional states prove more effective in implementing policy than others. Three basic theories on state capacity are reviewed to explain patterns of post-socialist state capacity: One school within political science views state capacity as a function of political parties. A second sees state capacity as a function of state-society relations. Finally, a third views state capacity as a function of the structure of the state
These three theories, then, are revised to develop a new model for state capacity, which focuses on the extent to which the state is organized and provided with resources in a Weberian sense as well as focuses on the manner by which society is ready to be a compliant, willing partner in state activity. Particularly, how the state has treated citizens in the past as well as how it has fulfilled its implicit social contract with society helps determine the capacity, scope and method of current state-society interaction
To test this new model, this dissertation compares how effective the Polish and Russian states are by examining the bureaucracy's capacity to ensure tax compliance and to distribute social welfare payments. Analyzing these activities helps to clarify the importance of building and maintaining a healthy, trusting relationship between the state and its citizens. The Polish-Russian comparison suggests that a state that seeks to build up and maintain trust with its citizens will be more effective than one that treats its citizens in a more coercive manner. It is the construction of a bureaucratic rational state oriented towards society, the use of constructive historical legacies when available and a focus on healthy citizen-state interactions that enables trust to build up between citizen and state so that state activity will be accomplished more successfully
Whereas some argue that successful governance is a function of the degree to which the state has more power over society or a function of the degree to which society drives the state, this dissertation shows that state and society mutually empower each other. The result of their interactions is benign
School code: 0181
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 67-02A
Subject Political Science, General
Alt Author Princeton University
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