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  Democracy and the Quality of the State Francis Fukuyama Journal of Democracy, Volume 24, Number 4, October 2013, pp. 5-16(Article) Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press DOI: 10.1353/jod.2013.0074  For additional information about this article  Access provided by your local institution (19 May 2014 07:06 GMT) http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jod/summary/v024/24.4.fukuyama.html  DEMOCRACY AND THE QUALITY OF THE STATE  Francis Fukuyama  Francis Fukuyama  is a senior fellow at Stanford’s Center on Democ-racy, Development, and the Rule of Law. This essay draws on themes in his forthcoming book, Political Order and Political Decay: From the French Revolution to the Present,  to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2014. W hy is it that some countries have been able to develop high-quality state administrations that deliver services to their populations with relative efficiency, while others are plagued by corruption, bloated or red-tape-ridden bureaucracies, and incompetence? And what is the relationship between the effectiveness of a state and democracy? Are the two mutually supportive, or is there a tension between good public administration and broad political participation?The centrality of state quality to good policy outcomes has emerged in a variety of contexts. In the crisis over the euro that began in 2009– 10, countries such as Greece and Italy found their banking systems un-der attack due to their excessively high levels of public debt relative to GDP. While this indebtedness was facilitated by the introduction of the euro, its underlying cause in the Greek and Italian cases was the failure to control public spending. This stood in sharp contrast to the relative budget discipline exercised by Germany, the Scandinavian countries, and the Netherlands. Budget deficits in Greece and Italy were driven, in turn, by the survival in those two countries of a type of clientelistic politics that swelled public employment, facilitated corruption, and led to a low quality of public services.A similar story can be told about many new democracies that have succeeded in holding elections but have failed to deliver high-quality governance. Brazil, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Africa have all been plagued with varying degrees of clientelism, corruption, and ineffective service delivery to large parts of their populations. The inability to “make democracy deliver” in terms of shared growth and  Journal of Democracy Volume 24, Number 4 October 2013© 2013 National Endowment for Democracy and The Johns Hopkins University Press  6  Journal of Democracy broadly available public goods has in turn weakened the legitimacy of democratic governments. Conversely, the prestige of authoritarian countries like China and Singapore lies in their apparent ability to pro-vide precisely these things despite the absence of formal government accountability. Democracy is of course an intrinsic good that would be valued re-gardless of its effects on policy outcomes. But legitimacy (or its ab-sence) can also spring from state performance. Thus if we care about the health of democracies around the world, we must also care about the performance of their governments—that is, the quality of their state bureaucracies. One way of understanding the relationship of democracy to state performance is to look back historically at a selected set of developed countries and to ask why some of them evolved high-quality, uncorrupt state administrations while others did not. Martin Shefter provided a useful framework for understanding state development in his 1993 book  Political Parties and the State , one that is still widely used by scholars of comparative politics. 1  He argued that the existence of an effective bureaucracy in the present depends on the historical sequence in which state modernization was undertaken relative to the opening up of the franchise to broader democratic participation. When a Weberian state was consolidated under authoritarian conditions, an “absolutist coali-tion” developed around it that subsequently protected it from being used as a source of patronage by politicians. This characterized Prussia and later Germany, where the pressures of military competition had led to bureaucratic modernization well before expansion of the franchise.On the other hand, if a democratic franchise opened up before such modernization had occurred, the state itself became an asset used by politicians seeking to mobilize voters with the lure of public employ-ment. This was true of Greece, one of the first countries in Europe to adopt universal manhood suffrage. A nineteenth-century rural patronage system morphed quickly into a clientelistic form of politics that persists to the present day. Something very similar happened after Italy democ-ratized following the fall of Mussolini, especially in the south, where clientelism, corruption, and state inefficiency became endemic. 2  The United States constitutes an intermediate case: Clientelism emerged early in the nineteenth century, and the country had a relatively weak state characterized by high levels of patronage and corruption. Yet the foundations for fairly clean, Weberian administration were laid by the start of the twentieth century. While military conflict played a role in the expansion and modernization of the state, reform was driven even more by the demands of a new middle-class coalition that did not have a stake in the old patronage system. As such, the U.S. experience provides a model for contemporary developing countries hoping to reform their state administrations.  7  Francis Fukuyama Shefter underlined the importance of the supply side of corruption: Patronage and clientelism are possible only when politicians have re-sources such as public offices or contracts to distribute. Political par-ties that were initially excluded from power, by contrast, did not have access to these resources and therefore had to mobilize their supporters by appeals to ideology or programmatic policies. Hence in their early years, outsider parties like the German Social Democrats, the British Labour Party, and the Chinese and Vietnamese Communist parties did not employ patronage or clientelism as a mobilizational strategy, though the latter two succumbed to the temptations of rent distribution once in power. Four Cases  Prussia/Germany: Like China more than two-thousand years ear-lier, Prussia was a prime example of Charles Tilly’s maxim that “war makes the state and the state makes war.” Prussia at the end of the Thirty Years’ War in 1648 was a medium-sized, landlocked German state with no obvious qualifications to be the core of a unified Ger-many. But in 1660, the Great Elector of Brandenburg Frederick Wil-liam (1640–88) failed to demobilize his army after the Peace of Oliva, which had brought the Swedish-Polish War to an end, and instead put his country on a permanent wartime footing. Unlike the English kings of this period, the Great Elector and his successors Frederick Wil-liam I of Prussia (1713–40) and Frederick II (“Frederick the Great,” 1740–86) succeeded in undermining the power of the estates and re-placing the hodgepodge of feudal domains with a uniform administra-tive system centered in Berlin. Prussia was almost extinguished during the wars of Frederick the Great, but this near-death experience both strengthened the centralized state and cemented Prussia’s national identity as an “army with a country.” 3  Administration of this state required the establishment of a central-ized bureaucracy to collect taxes and run the army’s logistics train. Over time, the Prussian bureaucracy achieved an increasing degree of autonomy from the personal authority of the king and expressed its will through a growing body of public administrative law that culmi-nated in the great Prussian law code, the Allgemeines Landrecht of 1794. In the meantime, thinkers such as Hugo Grotius, Jean Bodin, Thomas Hobbes, and Samuel Pufendorf had begun formulating novel theories vesting sovereignty in monarchs without any appeal to reli-gious authority. But the new secular grounding of absolutism in the state was not necessarily a boon to princely power. According to these new theorists, the state’s claim to absolute sovereignty lay in its abil-ity in some sense to “represent” the broader interests of the whole community. The state became an impersonal abstraction of the public
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