How and Why Should We Measure and Compare State Capacity of Different Countries? An Experiment with Empirical Research


Akhremenko A.S.,

Professor of Faculty of Social Sciences, Programme Academic Supervisor of Master’s Programme “Applied Politics”, National Research University Higher School of Economics,, Ahremenko@yandex.ru

elibrary_id: 124097 | ORCID: 0000-0001-8002-7307 | RESEARCHER_ID: L-3000-2015

Gorelskiy I.E.,

MA student of Master’s Programme “Applied Politics” of Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics, iegorelskiy@edu.hse.ru

ORCID: 0000-0001-8489-0562 | RESEARCHER_ID: V-3961-2018

Melville A.Yu.,

Professor, Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics, andreymelville@gmail.com

elibrary_id: 251142 | ORCID: 0000-0002-1414-5783 | RESEARCHER_ID: B-1152-2014

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2019.03.04

For citation:

Akhremenko A.S., Gorelskiy I.E., Melville A.Yu. How and Why Should We Measure and Compare State Capacity of Different Countries? An Experiment with Empirical Research. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No 3. P. 49-68 (In Russ.) . DOI: https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2019.03.04


The study was carried out by a grant from the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 17-18-01651) in the National Research University Higher School of Economics.


Abstract

Based on the theoretical and methodological foundations of state capacity proposed and substantiated in the previous article of this journal (No. 2-2019) and the corresponding set of indicators for studying the multidimensional nature of this concept (level of military expenditures and aggregated indicator of control over violence, government and tax revenues, as well as the institutional quality and the level of the legal economy), in this article the authors focus on empirical perspectives of measuring state capacity. They rely on the use of multidimensional statistical methods (hierarchical clustering) and critically analyze the shortcomings of other approaches (dimensionality reduction, aggregation, rating) in relation to the array of collected data. The researchers' contribution to the scientific discussion is one of the first attempts at alternative empirical testing of the state capacity index and the selection of eight stable structures typical for certain groups of countries, obtained as a result of the repeated application of the clustering procedure with the corresponding parameters (clusters “Successful development”, “Second echelon”, “Individual trajectories”, “The oil and gas needle”, “Outsiders”, “On the verge of failure”, “Rising Asian giants” and “Variations of the post-Soviet trajectories”). In conclusion, the authors emphasize that, despite the conventionality of the resulting clusters (due to the specificity of the method used, which allows the scales of such structures to be “tuned”), in general, they reveal typologically similar variants of state development, taking into account the specificity of historical circumstances, internal and external conditions, and strategic decisions made by national elites. 

Keywords
state capacity, power and influence, methodology, measurement, quantitative and qualitative methods, hierarchical clustering, comparative analysis..


References

Fox J-P. 2010. Bayesian Item Response Modeling: Theory and Applications. New York: Springer-Verlag New York. 313 p. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0742-4

Ghahramani Z., Griffiths T.L., Sollich P. 2007. Bayesian Nonparametric Latent Feature Models. – Bayesian Statistics 8. Ed. by J.M. Bernardo, M.J. Bayarri, J.O. Berger, A.P. Dawid, D. Heckerman, A.F.M. Smith, M. West. Oxford: Oxford University Press. P. 1-25.

Granberg D., Brown T.A. 1992. The Perception of Ideological Distance. – Political Research Quarterly. Vol. 45. No. 3. P. 727-750. https://doi.org/10.1177/106591299204500309

Handbook of Cluster Analysis. 2015. Ed. by Hennig C., Meila M., Murtagh F., Rocci R. Boca Raton, London, New York: CRS Press. 753 p.

Hanson J.K., Sigman R. 2013. Leviathan’s Latent Dimensions: Measuring State Capacity for Comparative Political Research. – APSA 2011 Annual Meeting. 28 p.

Lopes H.F., West M. 2004. Bayesian Model Assessment in Factor Analysis. – Statistica Sinica. Vol. 14. No. 1. P. 41-67. URL: https://www2.stat.duke.edu/~km68/materials/Lopez_West04-Bayes_Model_ Assessment_factor.pdf (accessed 12.03.2019).

Pemstein D., Meserve S., Melton J. 2010. Democratic Compromise: A Latent Variable Analysis of Ten Measures of Regime Type. – Political Analysis. Vol. 18. No. 4. P. 426-449. https://doi.org/10.1093/pan/mpq020

Steinley D. 2015. K-Medoids and Other Criteria for Crisp Clustering. – Handbook of Cluster Analysis. Ed. by Hennig C., Meila M., Murtagh F., Rocci R. Boca Raton, London, New York: CRS Press. P. 55-66.

 

Akhremenko A.S. 2008. Kolichestvennyi analiz rezul’tatov vyborov: sovremennye metody i problemy [Quantitative Analysis of Election Results: Modern Methods and Problems]. Moscow: Moscow University Press. 159 p. (In Russ.)

Akhremenko A.S. 2018. Politicheskii analiz i prognozirovanie v 2 ch. Chast’ 2: uchebnik i praktikum dlya bakalavriata i magistratury [Political Analysis and Forecasting at two parts. Part 2: Textbook and Practical Work for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs]. Moscow: Urait Publishing House. 221 p. (In Russ.)

Akhremenko A.S., Gorelskiy I.E., Melville A.Yu. 2019. How and Why Should We Measure and Compare State Capacity of Different Countries? Theoretical and Methodological Foundations. – Polis. Political Studies. No. 2. P. 8-23. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2019.02.02

Dubrov A.M., Mkhitaryan V.S., Troshin L.I. 2003. Mnogomernye statisticheskie metody: uchebnik [Multidimensional Statistical Methods: the Textbook]. Moscow: Finansy i statistika Publishers. 352 p. (In Russ.)

Melville A.Yu. 2018. Power and Influence of Modern State withing the Changing World Order: Some Theoretical and Methodological Aspects. – Political Science (RU). No. 1. P. 173-200. (In Russ.) 

Content No 3, 2019

See also:


Akhremenko A.S., Gorelskiy I.E., Melville A.Yu.,
How and Why Should We Measure and Compare State Capacity of Different Countries? Theoretical and Methodological Foundations. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No2

Nisnevich Yu.A., Rozhich P.,
Lustration as instrument of counteracting corruption. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No1

Teterin A.Ye.,
Application of qualitative methods in political-science research (with N.Fairclough’s critical discourse-analysis as example). – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No5

Melville A.Yu., Stukal D.K., Mironyuk M.G.,
Trajectories of regime transformations and types of state consistency. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No2

Gallarotti G.M.,
The power curse: the paradox of power in world politics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No3

 
 

Archive

   2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991