The Autocratic Legacy of Early Statehood

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


This paper documents that precolonial state development was an impediment to the development of democracy outside Europe. This was so because comparatively developed states were harder to colonize and saw less European settlement. If they were colonized, in more developed states colonial rule was exercised via indigenous state infrastructure. This served to reinforce traditional authority structures. Less developed states, in contrast, were often colonized with institutional transplantation and an influx of settlers carying ideals of parliamentarism. Using both OLS and IV-estimation, we present statistical evidence that precolonial state development has been an impediment to democracy and document the proposed causal mechanism for a large sample of non-European countries. The conclusion is extremely robust to dierent samples, diferent democracy indices, to an array of exogenous controls, and to a number of alternative theories of the causes and correlates of democracy.
TidsskriftAmerican Political Science Review
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)471-494
StatusUdgivet - 2012

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