Lily L. Tsai, "Constructive Noncompliance"

Does widespread citizen noncompliance always delegitimize state authority and endanger regime stability? The evidence presented in this paper suggests that some noncompliance behaviors may actually be intended to communicate policy feedback and constructive criticism about the fit between policies and local conditions. In order to improve our understanding of these phenomena, the paper develops the concept of constructive noncompliance, situating it within a typology of political action and illustrating it empirically using original qualitative and quantitative data from the case of rural China. By distinguishing constructive noncompliance from other forms of resistance, this paper shows that not all forms of noncompliance indicate low legitimacy or state capacity and lays the foundation for examining how different types of political action may affect policy formation, government use of coercion, the political attitudes of citizens, and their propensity for future action.

William Genieys and Patrick Hassentuefel, "The Shaping of New State Elites: Healthcare Policymaking in France Since 1981"

This article seeks to combine methods in the sociology of elites with those in the analysis of public policy to understand changes in the French state. To explain the role of state elites we specify a concept of “programmatic elites” that combines analyses of political and administrative careers with actors’ policy frames. We present main dimensions of the concept and discuss various ways in which it overcomes some weaknesses of the positional, reputational, and decisional methods, as well as how it extends elite studies to analyses of what might be termed “the new custodians of the State.” By applying our concept to health policy since the early 1980s, we demonstrate the role of these elites in bringing about major changes in important policy domains.

David Rueda, "The State of the Welfare State:Unemployment, Labor Market Policy, and Inequality in the Age of Workfare"


This paper argues that, since the 1990s, the welfare state has been transformed into a workfare state. It proposes a stylized framework to understand the influence of unemployment on inequality and the effects of labor market policy. Using this framework, the paper shows that the transformation of the welfare state has made the effects of unemployment more inegalitarian. I analyze OECD data on inequality and redistribution from the mid-1970s to the late 2000s and provide preliminary but systematic regression results. They suggest that the generosity of labor market policy promoted higher levels of market income equality only during the traditional welfare period. They also suggest that the responsiveness of redistribution to unemployment has become weaker in the era of workfare.

Marcelo Camerlo and Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, "The Politics of Minister Retention in Presidential Systems: Technocrats, Partisans, and Government Approval"

This article examines the impact of presidential approval and individual minister profiles on minister turnover. It claims that, in order to prioritize sustainable policy performance and cabinet loyalty, government chiefs protect and remove technocrats, partisans, and outsider ministers conditional on government approval. The study offers an operational definition of minister profiles that relies on fuzzy-set measures of technical expertise and political affiliation, and tests the hypotheses using survival analysis with an original dataset for the Argentine case (1983–2011). The findings show that popular presidents are likely to protect experts more than partisan ministers, but not outsiders.

Anders Themnér, "Former Military Networks and the Micro-Politics of Violence and Statebuilding in Liberia"

Recent studies have highlighted the inability of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs to dismantle command structures in the aftermath of civil war. The effect that lingering military networks have on peace is, however, ambiguous. A key question—which has so far been unanswered—is therefore why some ex-military networks are remobilized for violent purposes, while others are used for more productive ones, such as income-generating activities. In this article, I seek to address this question by comparing two former mid-level commanders (ex-MiLCs) in Liberia and the networks that they control. Based on this comparison I argue that it is ex-MiLCs who are shunned by governing elites as peacetime brokers of patronage—distributing economic resources to ex-fighters—that are most likely to remobilize their ex-combatant networks.

Dinsha Mistree, "Review Essay, Party-Directed Corruption in the Developing World"

This article questions the widely-held understanding that corruption is the misuse of public office for private gain. By focusing on party-directed corruption, it becomes clear that actors who do not hold public office oftentimes facilitate corruption and that corruption is sometimes undertaken to advance prerogatives rather than personal interests. The author suggests an alternative understanding of corruption, as societally-undesirable actions involving public officials and other actors that would reduce a state’s legitimacy were they to become widely known. The author also discusses new methodologies for measuring corruption.