Working papers

This space includes links to our working papers, in the hopes that we can collect helpful commentary and criticism from fellow scholars. At present, only the first of the working papers is available for public review. 

1) State Capacity and Bureaucratic Autonomy Within National States: Mapping the Archipelago of Excellence in Brazil
This paper describes an effort to develop a precise agency-level analysis of state capacity, within national states. It focuses on the Brazilian federal government, with the hope that with increasing data availability, the effort can be replicated by other researchers in a variety of national and subnational governments around the world. But Brazil offers a useful starting point, in part because scholars have long noted the very clear variation in the capacity of its federal agencies. Indeed, for nearly three decades, the existence of bureaucratic “pockets” or “islands of excellence” (Evans 1995, 257; Schneider 1987; Willis 1986; Geddes 1994; Martins 1985) has served as an influential explanation of how Brazil achieved economic growth and industrial development: despite generally lackluster bureaucratic capacity, some key agencies were allocated substantial budgetary support and given high-level protection against patronage pressures, which enabled them to drive public policies forward effectively.  The paper argues for more granular, agency-focused measures of capacity and autonomy; demonstrates how such measures could be constructed in a more objective manner by starting from within national bureaucracies before moving to cross-national comparison; and demonstrates the potential value of such measures to the comparative social scientific endeavor.
Tyler Evans,
Sep 24, 2013, 5:35 PM