Reforming the Reactive States: A Framework for Analysis

  • Mustafa Kutlay
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Kutlay develops a conceptual framework that explains persistence and change in reactive states. The chapter offers a much-needed reconceptualization of “state capacity” to make the term operationalizable. Kutlay argues that reform outcomes are the products of complex interplay between agents and institutional structures. Having relied on state capacity, critical junctures, and policy entrepreneurship literatures, the chapter proposes a three-stage framework that tries to capture this intricacy. The conceptual framework reveals why implementing economic reforms are so difficult in reactive states and explores when and how crises alter this recalcitrant path dependence. Kutlay offers crisis narrative approach as an organizing concept of the three-stage framework.


  1. Acemoglu, Daron. “Politics and Economics in Weak and Strong States.” Journal of Monetary Economics 52, no. 7 (2005): 1199–1226.Google Scholar
  2. Atkinson, Michael M., and William D. Coleman. “Strong States and Weak States: Sectoral Policy Networks in Advanced Capitalist Economies.” British Journal of Political Science 19, no. 1 (1989): 47–67.Google Scholar
  3. Bakır, Caner. “Policy Entrepreneurship and Institutional Change: Multilevel Governance of Central Banking Reform.” Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions 22, no. 4 (2009): 571–598.Google Scholar
  4. Blyth, Mark. Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.Google Scholar
  5. Boin, Arjen, Allan McConnell, and Paul ‘t Hart. Governing After Crisis: The Politics of Investigation, Accountability and Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  6. Börzel, Tanja. “Networks: Reified Metaphor or Governance Panacea?” Public Administration 89, no. 1 (2011): 49–63.Google Scholar
  7. Capoccia, Giovanni, and Daniel R. Klemen. “The Study of Junctures: Theory, Narrative, and Counterfactuals in Historical Institutionalism.” World Politics 59, no. 3 (2007): 341–369.Google Scholar
  8. Chwieroth, Jeffrey M. “How Do Crises Lead to Change? Liberalizing Capital Controls in the Early Years of New Order Indonesia.” World Politics 62, no. 3 (2010): 496–527.Google Scholar
  9. Evans, Peter. “The State as Problem and Solution: Predation, Embedded Autonomy and Adjustment.” In The Politics of Economic Adjustment: International Constraints, Distributive Politics, and the State, edited by Stephan Haggard, and Robert Kaufman, 139–171. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  10. Evans, Peter. “Transferable Lessons? Re-Examining the Institutional Prerequisites of East Asian Economic Policies.” The Journal of Development Studies 34, no. 6 (1998): 66–86.Google Scholar
  11. Evans, Peter. Embedded Autonomy: State and Industrial Transformation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  12. Fearon, James D., and David D. Laitin. “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War.” American Political Science Review 97, no. 1 (2003): 75–90.Google Scholar
  13. Fukuyama, Francis. State Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century. London: Profile Books, 2005.Google Scholar
  14. Garrett, Geoffrey. “The Politics of Structural Change: Swedish Social Democracy and Thatcherism in Comparative Perspective.” Comparative Political Studies 25, no. 4 (1993): 521–547.Google Scholar
  15. Gilpin, Robert. War and Change in International Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  16. Hall, Peter A. “Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain.” Comparative Politics 25, no. 3 (1993): 275–296.Google Scholar
  17. Hay, Colin. “Crisis and the Structural Transformation of the State: Interrogating the Process of Change.” British Journal of Politics and International Relations 1, no. 3 (1999): 317–344.Google Scholar
  18. Hill, Hal. “The Political Economy of Policy Reform: Insights from Southeast Asia.” Asian Development Review 30, no. 1 (2013): 108–130.Google Scholar
  19. Hironaka, Ann. Neverending Wars: The International Community, Weak States, and the Perpetuation of Civil War. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.Google Scholar
  20. Hirschman, Albert. “The Search for Paradigms as a Hindrance to Understanding.” World Politics 22, no. 3 (1970): 329–343.Google Scholar
  21. Hogan, John, and Ana Hara. “Country at a Crossroads: An Insight into How an Economic Crisis Led to Dramatic Policy Change.” Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy 2, no. 3 (2011): 1–23.Google Scholar
  22. Hogan, John, and Sharon Feeney. “Crisis and Policy Change: The Role of the Political Entrepreneur.” Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy 3, no. 2 (2012): 1–16.Google Scholar
  23. Jessop, Bob. The Future of the Capitalist State. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2002.Google Scholar
  24. Katzenstein, Peter J. “International Relations and Domestic Structures: Foreign Economic Policies of Advanced Industrial States.” International Organization 30, no. 1 (1976): 1–45.Google Scholar
  25. Katzenstein, Peter J., ed. Between Power and Plenty. London: the University of Wisconsin Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  26. Kingdon, John W. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. New York: Longman, 1995.Google Scholar
  27. Krasner, Stephen D. Defending the National Interest: Raw Materials Investment and U.S. Foreign Policy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  28. Krasner, Stephen. “US Commercial and Monetary Policy: Unravelling the Paradox of External Strength and Internal Weakness.” International Organization 31, no. 4 (1977): 635–671.Google Scholar
  29. Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  30. Migdal, Joel S. Strong Societies and Weak States: State-Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988.Google Scholar
  31. Öniş, Ziya, and Fikret Şenses. “Global Dynamics, Domestic Coalitions and Reactive State: Major Policy Shifts in Post-War Turkish Economic Development.” METU Studies in Development, no. 34 (2007): 251–286.Google Scholar
  32. Peters, B. Guy. “Shouldn’t Row, Can’t Steer: What’s a Government to Do?” Public Policy and Administration 12, no. 2 (1997): 51–61.Google Scholar
  33. Pierson, Paul, and Theda Skocpol. “Historical Institutionalism in Contemporary Political Science.” In Political Science: State of the Discipline, edited by Ira Katznelson, and Helen V. Milner, 693–721. New York: W.W. Norton, 2002.Google Scholar
  34. Robinson, Mark. “Hybrid States: Globalization and the Politics of State Capacity.” Political Studies 56, no. 3 (2008): 566–583.Google Scholar
  35. Rodrik, Dani. “When Ideas Trump Interests: Preferences, Worldviews, and Policy Innovations.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 28, no. 1 (2014): 189–209.Google Scholar
  36. Rotberg, Robert I. When States Fail: Causes and Consequences. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003.Google Scholar
  37. Sartori, Giovanni. “Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics.” American Political Science Review 64, no. 4 (1970): 1033–1053.Google Scholar
  38. Sil, Rudra, and Peter Katzenstein. “Analytic Eclecticism in the Study of World Politics: Reconfiguring Problems and Mechanisms across Research Traditions.” Perspectives on Politics 8, no. 2 (2010a): 411–431.Google Scholar
  39. Sil, Rudra, and Peter Katzenstein. Beyond Paradigms: Analytic Eclecticism in the Study of World Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010b.Google Scholar
  40. Tommasia, Mariano, and Andrés Velascoa. “Where are we in the Political Economy of Reform.” The Journal of Policy Reform 1, no. 2 (1996): 187–238.Google Scholar
  41. Waltz, Kenneth. Man, the State and War: A Theoretical Analysis. New York: Columbia University Press, 1959.Google Scholar
  42. Weber, Max. “Politics as a Vocation.” In From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, edited by H.H. Gerth, and C. Wright Mills. 78. London: Routledge, 1948.Google Scholar
  43. Weiss, Linda. The Myth of the Powerless State: Governing the Economy in a Global Era. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1998.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mustafa Kutlay
    • 1
  1. 1.City University of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations