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‘Strong’ states and strategic governance: A model of territorial variation in state presence

Jessica Steinberg

Journal of Theoretical Politics, 2018, vol. 30, issue 2, 224-245

Abstract: Regions of limited state presence persist in weak states, but does unevenness persist even in so-called ‘strong’ states? An underlying assumption behind weak states is that they lack capacity to broadcast power evenly over the entirety of their territory. Yet all states have finite resources, thus it is not clear that uneven state presence should be restricted to weak states. I develop a formal model that explores when strong states might strategically retain regions of limited state presence or subcontract state functions to non-state actors. The model demonstrates subnational characteristics that render the broadcasting of power by the state to be suboptimal, creating incentives for even strong states to retain regions of limited state presence.

Keywords: Formal model; governance; political geography; territorial politics; strong states; weak states (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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