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Ascending India and Its State CapacityExtraction, Violence, and Legitimacy$
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Sumit Ganguly and William R. Thompson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215922

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215922.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 21 January 2022

Conceptualizing and Measuring State Strength

Conceptualizing and Measuring State Strength

(p.53) Three Conceptualizing and Measuring State Strength
Ascending India and Its State Capacity

Sumit Ganguly

William R. Thompson

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on conceptualizing and measuring state strength. Measuring anything in politics, let alone state strength, is never straightforward. By and large, state strength measurements usually arise in analyses of civil war and in studies discussing failed states. Multiple indicators have been used to capture three different emphases on state capacity or strength: military, bureaucratic/administrative, and political institution quality and coherence. Military capacity refers to the standard Weberian focus on the state's monopoly of the use of legitimate force within the state's boundaries. Bureaucratic/administrative capacity stresses the ability of the state to monitor problems and to address them in a way that is considered to be fair and unbiased. Lastly, in political institution quality and coherence, the measurement emphasis has usually been placed on assuming that regimes that are neither consolidated autocracies nor democracies are likely to be less coherent and to be characterized by poor-quality institutions.

Keywords:   state strength, state capacity, military capacity, bureaucratic capacity, political institutions

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