Advances in the Study of Post-Communist States and Public Administrations
Czech Sociological Review, Vol. 44, No. 6, 2008
48 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2009
Date Written: February 11, 2009
This 5-article section discusses recent advances in the study of postcommunist states and public administrations based around Anna Gzymala-Busse's Rebuilding Leviathan and Conor O'Dwyer's Runaway State Building. In addition to contributions by these two authros, it contains an editorial introduction by Pieter Vanhuysse, who argues that these books combine rigorous theory building with innovative empirical analysis of the size and effectiveness of CEE administrative bureaucracy, and make inroads by pointing to the nature of party competition as an important factor driving CEE state development. In a wide-ranging essay, Sean Hanley reviews these books' central arguments, casts doubt on their heavy reliance on 'robust competition' as an explanatory variable, and points to a number of significant contradictions, indicating remaining gaps in the measurement and theory of post-communist states. Scott Gehlbach, in closing, highlights the importance of a hitherto litte studied notion - economies of scale in CEE bureaucracies.
Keywords: comparative politics, robust competition, clientelism and patronage, economies of scale, Central and Eastern Europe
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