Leviathan's Latent Dimensions: Measuring State Capacity for Comparative Political Research

31 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 7 Aug 2015

See all articles by Jonathan K. Hanson

Jonathan K. Hanson

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Rachel Sigman

Government of the United States of America - Naval Postgraduate School; V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg

Date Written: September 2013

Abstract

State capacity is a core concept in political science research, and it is widely recognized that state institutions exert considerable influence on outcomes such as economic development, civil conflict, democratic consolidation, and international security. Yet, researchers across these fields of inquiry face common problems involved in conceptualizing and measuring state capacity. This article examines these conceptual issues, identifies three common dimensions of state capacity, and uses Bayesian latent variable analysis to assess the extent to which these dimensions are discernible in available indicators of state capacity. We use the resulting State Capacity Dataset to provide new insight into existing theories of the influence of state capacity on development and the success of World Bank projects. It is hoped that this project will provide effective guidance and tools to researchers studying the causes and consequences of state capacity.

Keywords: state capacity, measurement, economic development, conflict, international security

Suggested Citation

Hanson, Jonathan K. and Sigman, Rachel, Leviathan's Latent Dimensions: Measuring State Capacity for Comparative Political Research (September 2013). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1899933

Jonathan K. Hanson (Contact Author)

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan ( email )

735 South State Street, Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jonathan-hanson.net

Rachel Sigman

Government of the United States of America - Naval Postgraduate School ( email )

1 University Circle
Monterey, CA 93943-5001
United States

V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg ( email )

Box 711
Göteborg, S-405 30
Sweden

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
772
rank
30,667
Abstract Views
3,002
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations while be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information