Credible Enforcement before Credible Commitment: Exploring the Importance of Sequencing
Item Type:Working Paper
Citation:D'Arcy, Michelle, Credible Enforcement before Credible Commitment: Exploring the Importance of Sequencing, 2013
1454208_2013_4_darcy_nistotskaya.pdf (PDF) 428.4Kb
States that are both strong and democratic are the most capable of delivering human development. Existing rational choice accounts of collective action and credible commitment have provided us with the answer as to why this is the case: effective social order depends on the ability of the state, as the external enforcer of collective agreements, to monitor compliance and punish free-riders (credible enforcement) and that the state is constrained to only act in the collective good (credible commitment). However, what these fundamentally static accounts do not provide is answers to the question of how credibly constrained Leviathans emerge, and how the two processes ? of the ac- cumulation of power and the constraining of power ? interact over time. We make a theoretical contribution by presenting a dynamic model of the state which shows that the sequencing of these two processes lead to fundamentally different outcomes. Specifically, we argue that while credible enforcement before credible commitment (i.e. democratizing after the state has become strong) can lead to a constrained Leviathan, credible commitment before credible enforcement (i.e. democratiz- ing before the state has become strong) cannot. We illustrate the theoretical argument with two con- trasting case studies of Ireland and Sweden. Our conclusions suggest that what matters for benefi- cial social outcomes is not democracy per se, but the timing of democracy in state development.
Author: D'ARCY, MICHELLE
Type of material:Working Paper
Availability:Full text available