States: Origins and Development / Authoritarian Regimes: Stability and Change


There will be 2 sections to this paper. One will be titled “States: Origins and Development”and the second section will be “Authoritarian Regimes: Stability and Change”. 

On the uploaded files, I will attach the files that are labelled
1. go under the “States: Origins and Development” section
2. go under the “Authoritarian Regimes: Stability and Change” section

Goal of the paper:
1. Summarize the readings
2. find the kernel argument
3. Most importantly how to the authors talk to one another. Which authors agree with which theories
4. I uploaded an article that criticizes one of the articles. Add to your workthe critical points contained in thatarticle.

Finally I have attached an example paper that could be used as to know what’s expected of the writer in terms of ways of expressing ideas.

*The 1st section of the paper and the 2nd section of the paper, do not necessarily have to be related/connected, but there will be interrelated points you could choose to point out.


States: Origins and Development / Authoritarian Regimes: Stability and Change


Introduction. 1

States: Origins and Development 1

Authoritarian Regimes: Stability and Change. 4

Works Cited. 8


For a long time, the development of states has been a mystery in terms of how they were developed, what triggered it, and what kind of rule the developed states followed. The states that exist today were formed at different times under different circumstances. This is why it is imperative to use publications by Carles Boix, Kivanç Karam and Sevket Pamuk, Adam Przeworski, and Michael Wallerstein; and Edgar Kiser & Young Cai to discuss the conditions behind the development of states all over the world. In the same way, these states took different forms of leadership. In this paper, however, the focus is on the authoritarian regimes, and the authors whose texts are under review include Milan Slovik, Carles Boix, and Melanie Manion.


States: Origins and Development

InPolitical Order and Inequality: Their Foundations and their Consequences for Human Welfare, Carles Boix attempts to answer the political theory dilemma of why states exist (p. 243). Boix approaches this dilemma by asking several questions. He asks whether a political authority, a state in this case, is needed to achieve a feasible human cooperation. This then leads the author to question how and when these states are established and the underlying consequences of the same in terms of the economic welfare and political status of the citizens in question. Thomas Hobbes, a classical political theorist, believes that it is impossible to achieve human cooperation under anarchy, while John Locke posits that human cooperation is feasible in nature, with or without a state (p. 244). Rousseau, on the other hand, is of the opinion that the current need for state development or political authorities stemmed from the law of property and inequality (p.248).

Between 1500 and 1800, European states saw different reactions on their tax revenues. While some states saw an increase in their tax revenues, others perceived a decline on the same, while other saw their tax revenues stagnate (Karaman and Pamuk 603). In Different Paths to the Modern State in Europe: The Interaction between Warfare, Economic Structure, and Political Regime, Karaman and Pamuk take a look at what can be considered the core determinants of fiscal state capacity between 1500 and 1800 (603). Through a study on the fiscal trends of 12 major European states at the same period of time, Kivanç Karam and Sevket Pamuk found that political regime, warfare and economic structure were the main determinants of fiscal and state capacity and that they worked in consort with each other to achieve a desirable outcome (p. 614). Moreover, it was found that urbanized-commercial and rural-agrarian economies were more likely to gravitate towards state building through their aggregate domestic interests (p. 619).

In Popular Sovereignty, State Autonomy and Private Property, Adam Przeworski and Michael Wallerstein try to analyze the concept that popular sovereignty legitimizes modern democratic institutions using a contemporary approach (p. 215). The most dominant belief in this regard is that popular sovereignty’s greatest threats include autonomy, and private property. Conservatives believe that popular sovereignty is not feasible, while the left-wing and small portion of the right believe that people typically fear state autonomy; in contrast, socialist movements believe that popular sovereignty is impossible (p. 215). The authors’ analysis of the same, however, yields different results. First, they find that the market should not be viewed as the most ideal platform through which citizens can express their sovereignty (p. 250). Secondly, the belief that an overspending bureaucracy is the main characteristic feature of a state autonomy is unfounded (Przeworski and Wallerstein 252). Lastly, Przeworski and Wallerstein find that the sovereign state’s freedom of allocating resources is indeed severely limited by private property (p. 252).

Before the 18th and 19th centuries, most states did not possess a centralized bureaucratic administration. For these states, the citizens were administered by tax farmers and liturgical systems as in the case of Rome and prebendalism as in the case of Europe (Edgar Kiser & Young Cai, 511). The centralized bureaucratic administration, however, has existed in the Qin state in China for a long time.In War and Bureaucratization in Qin China: Exploring an Anomalous Case, Edgar Kiser and Yong Cai investigate how it is possible that Qin was able to have a centralized bureaucratic system two millennia before any one of the European States did (p. 512). Their investigation yields that the reason for the existence of the centralized system at such an early period of time was due to the long period of severe warfare in Qin that extremely weakened the aristocracy (p. 535).

While investigating whether political regime, warfare and economic structure are the main determinants of the state and fiscal capacity of the modern states in Europe, Karaman and Pamuk found that warfare is indeed a strong determinant of the same (p. 614). They noted that this was especially true in European states with representative and authoritarian regimes. Similarly, Carles Boixfound that the formation of states during the earlier millennia was due to the fact that the citizens found it a better alternative to stop the conflicts, warfare, inequality and growth (p. 256). Kiser and Cai on the other hand, found that the main reason for the anomaly that is a centralized bureaucratic system in Qi, China was the severe warfare that existed at the time (p. 536). In both cases, warfare played a major role in the origin and development of earlier states in the world whether through undermining aristocratic rule or the fiscal capacity of the state.

Unlike Carl Boix who believes that systematic conflict, biased technological shocks and allocation of resources led to the development of political institutions, Przeworski and Wallerstain believe that popular sovereignty, autonomy within the and private property remain the primary determinants of the creation of political institutions (p. 252). In their differences, however, they both bring out the same point. That is, that political institutions and states were indeed triggered by something. Therefore, while it was the allocation of resources in the case of Boix, it was the issue of private property in the case of Przeworsk and Wallerstain. Moreover, Przeworski and Wallerstain believes that one cannot discuss democracy without discussing the society itself (p. 255). In the same way, in order to answer questions related to democracy one must first analyze the traditional dilemmas facing the same.

Authoritarian Regimes: Stability and Change

As seen in the reigns of Sadam Hussein in Iraq, Idi Amin in Uganda, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in Mexico and contemporary rule China, authoritarian rule has taken many forms over the years. There are, however, no comparisons that have been made on the authoritarian rule across all these diverse societies and countries. InThe Politics of Authoritarian Rule, Milan Slovik attempts to fill this void by arguing that authoritarian control and authoritarian power-sharing are the characteristic features of authoritarian politics (p. 2). According to Slovik, the issue of authoritarian control comes about when the dictators in powers face a certain kind of hostility and threats from the masses they intend to lead (p. 16). In addition, Slovik believes that in order to counter the threats and hostility from the citizens, the dictators create allies with respectable members of the society (p. 17). This situation, however, leads to the issue of authoritarian power-sharing  whenever the dictator counter the challenges that are created by other individuals in a position of power.


Tommaso Pavone provides a critical review of the same book by Milan Slovic. He acknowledges that the book is particularly impressive especially in the way that it looks at the issue of authoritarian rule from both the eyes of political scientists and game theorists. According to Pavone, Slovik presents a stimulating framework of what some would call the worst form of rule in the history of leadership. However, Pavone notes that Slovik overlooks the fact that the readers would also like an insight into the types of dictators and their characteristics (p. 4). Augusto Pinochet is presented as a pugnacious and confident dictator in the cover of his book while Stalin is presented as a typically short dictator that also happens to be a mediocre speaker. These descriptions, however, are individual rather than general. Pavone feels that Slovik should have dictated a section of the book to understanding dictators and the motivations behind their actions.

In order to maintain their authoritarian rule, some dictatorships chose to create institutions that could potentially constrain their leaders. This, according to Carl Boix and Milan Slovik in The Foundations of Limited Authoritarian Government: Institutions, Commitment, and Power-Sharing in Dictatorships, forms the main dilemma behinddictatorship (p. 300). Boix and Slovik believe that this dilemma lies in the fact that the dictatorship needs to establish a system in which both the dictators and their allies can jointly rule the state in question. Their main argument, however, is that the reason as to why dictatorships establish or create the institutions in question is so that they can facilitate power-sharing among the ruling parties (p. 315). These power-sharing agreements, therefore, act as an opposition mechanisms as the ruling allies have the authority to overthrow a dictator should they breach the agreement thus keeping them in check.

In China, the legislative arm of government is responsible for enacting laws as well as making appointments. Melanie Manion, discusses the rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by taking delving into the role of the local congress on the same. According to Manion, the local congress acts as a bridge between the autocrats and the locals. This is seen in the two-step process where the CCP nominates delegates after which the delegates are then mandated to intercede for the localities to the autocracy (p. 4). Manion’s survey of 5,130 delegates in three Chinese provinces showed that those who were nominated by voters tended to be more reliable than those picked by the party (p. 86). It is also worth noting that her book raises several questions among them being the information flow through the local congress to the autocracy and to what extent this information flows.

In all the above scholarly publications, it seems that the best way to understand the authoritarian regimes is to analyze the issues of control and power-sharing. Both Slovik and Boise agree that various institutions are created by the dictators to allow for power-sharing. This, however, also means that these institutions make the dictators vulnerable, a condition that all dictators aim to avoid. According to previous publications, it is clear that dictatorships are run by individuals that would do anything to maintain their rule even if it means killing of their competition. The question that Slovik and Boise fail to pose is that of why the dictatorships would still consider creating institutions to facilitate power-sharing when in reality they have enough resources to overthrow anyone that has different opinions.

Melanie Manion, however, has a different perspective on the whole authoritarian regime dilemma. According to him, understanding these regimes requires more than looking into the authoritarian power-sharing. Like every good solution, the problem must be approached from the root. Accordingly, Manion believes in analyzing the dominant political party in China at the time, the CCP. This has proven to be helpful as in her research, Manion finds that dictatorships use democracies and democratic institutions as a tool for understanding and anticipating the challenges that they may face in their rule (p. 86). In China, they do this by appointing and nominating delegates who are nominated by both the locals and the autocrats. Once the dictatorship understands the implications of their rule, the challenges they may face and the potential pitfalls of the same, they can then work on ensuring that all these cases are avoided at all cost.

Works Cited

Boix, Carles, and Milan W. Svolik. “The foundations of limited authoritarian government: Institutions, commitment, and power-sharing in dictatorships.” The Journal of Politics 75.2 (2013): 300-316. Print.

Boix, Carles. Political order and inequality. Cambridge University Press, 2015. Print.

Karaman, Kivançand Pamuk,Şevket. “Different paths to the modern state in Europe: The interaction between warfare, economic structure, and political regime.” American Political Science Review, 107.03 (2013): 603-626.Print.

Kiser, Edgar, and Yong Cai. “War and bureaucratization in Qin China: Exploring an anomalous case.” American Sociological Review, (2003): 511-539. Web.

Manion, Melanie. Information for Autocrats: Representation in Chinese Local Congresses. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.Print.

Pavone, Tommaso. A Critical Review of Milan Svolik’s The Politics of Authoritarian Rule. 2013.

Przeworski, Adam, and Michael Wallerstein. “Popular sovereignty, State autonomy, and private property.” European journal of Sociology, 27.02 (1986): 215-259.Print.

Svolik, Milan W. The politics of authoritarian rule. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.Print.

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