Upcoming Brown-Bag Lunch Seminars - autumn 2020
Every seminar will take place at the Department of Political Science in Lund. All seminars except webinars, which are online-exclusive, will be accessible online though Zoom. Email email@example.com for the link to participate via Zoom.
September 2, 2020 | Petrus Olander Legislators and the building of state capacity – evidence from the American states
The work of legislatures has largely been absent from studies of the expansion of state capacity which has instead focused on external and internal elite competition. This paper contributes to addressing this. I argue the reason why legislatures are frequently ineffectual in building state capacity is due to problems of keeping together the investment coalitions necessary for accumulating capacity. Legislators try to freeride, undermining the investment. I evaluate the theory using new data on 19th century American state legislatures. Using the curious practice of passing special legislation, I show that legislators did defect from investments, and that state capacity development suffered as a result. More special legislation lead to lower quality of the censuses, decreased the number of post offices and hampered railroad expansion decreasing what the state knew about their inhabitants, their ability to correspond efficiently and the ability of state agents to travel to implement policy. These findings give an indication that the reason that the work of legislatures is largely absent in the extant literature is that legislatures have often failed in their attempts at building state capacity, but also they could overcome this if they become effective in policing their investments.
September 16, 2020 | Agnes Cornell (w. David Andersen)Voting for Bureaucracy? Suffrage Extensions and Meritocratic Recruitment
The relationship between democracy and bureaucracy is the object of classic studies in political science. Scholars often argue that political competition is positively related to the development of bureaucracy since politicians are responsive to voters’ demands for bureaucratic reform. However, based on the original Western European experience, we show that democratization was related to increased clientelism in the early periods of bureaucratic development. We argue that we cannot take for granted that politicians will be responsive to bureaucratic reform demands nor that bureaucratic reform will be important among a majority of the voters. When politicians face a rapid political inclusion, i.e., the enfranchisement of poorer people, demands for particularistic goods among poorer voters will dominate and politicians will prefer to cater to those demands instead of engaging in bureaucratic reforms and thus the impact of political competition will depend on how rapidly the size of the electorate increases. We find support for our argument in an analysis of 13 Western European countries in the period from the beginning of 19th century up to World War II when both democracy and bureaucracy developed rapidly. The results imply that electoral contestation may impede bureaucratic reform, depending on voters’ demands and politicians’ incentives to be responsive to those demands.
September 30, 2020 | Jan Teorell Rules of Recognition? Explaining Diplomatic Representation in the Long Nineteenth Century
October 7, 2020 Webinar | Charles Butcher (w. Marius Swane Wishman) Beyond Ethnicity: Historical States and Modern Conflict
Historical state entities (HSEs), be they sprawling empires or nominal vassal states, can make lasting impressions on the territories they once governed. We argue that more HSEs inside the borders of a modern state increases the chance of civil conflict because they: (1) created networks useful for insurgency (2) were symbols of past sovereignty to mobilize around, (3) impeded state consolidation, (4) generated modern ethnic groups that activated dynamics of ethnic inclusion and exclusion and (5) resisted western colonialism. Using new global data we find a robust positive association between more HSEs inside a modern state and the number of civil conflict onsets after 1946. This relationship is not driven by common explanations of state-formation that also drive conflict such as, the number of ethnic groups, population density, colonialism, levels of historical warfare, or other region specific factors. Using mediation analysis we find some moderate support for the colonialism mechanism, although a strong independent effect of more historical state entities on civil conflict onsets remains across all models. Our study points to unexplored channels linking past statehood to modern day conflict that are independent of ethno-nationalist conflict and open possibilities for a new research agenda linking past statehood to modern-day conflict outcomes.
November 4, 2020 | Sara Kalm Citizenship and migration of the poor
November 11, 2020 | Agustín Goenaga & Oriol Sabaté Domingo Investing in Fiscal Capacity: Legislative Debates on Taxation in France (1870-1940) and the UK (1800-1940)
November 18, 2020 | Ted Svensson - To be announced
November 25, 2020 | Agnes Cornell & Ted Svensson Imperial Origins of Modern Bureaucracy? India and the Professionalisation of the British Civil Service
December 2, 2020 | Johannes Lindvall - To be announced
December 9, 2020 Webinar | Walter Scheidel The great escape: how the fall of the Roman empire made the modern world possible