Building States—Inherently a Long-Term Process? An Argument from Theory

  • Dietrich Rueschemeyer
Part of the Political Evolution and Institutional Change book series (PEIC)


The historical record as well as current experience with development efforts suggests two broad empirical generalizations about state building: A well-functioning state is difficult to construct, and success of ten comes slowly where it does come. Given the indispensable role of effective states in social and economic development, it is important to examine whether state building is inherently a slow process. More specifically, it is important to determine those aspects of state building that are most and those that are least of a long-term character, to explore the underlying mechanisms, and to identify possible conditions under which fast developments are possible.


State Formation Modernization Theory State Building Effective State Political Center 
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© Matthew Lange and Dietrich Rueschemeyer 2005

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  • Dietrich Rueschemeyer

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