States and democracy

New paper by Francis Fukuyama in the journal Democratization: “The state, rule of law, and democratic accountability are the three basic components of a modern political order. The state concentrates and uses power, while law and democracy constrain the exercise of power, indicating that there is an inherent tension between them. This article looks at ways in which the state and liberal democracy interact in three areas: citizen security, patronage and clientelism, and the formation of national identity. In all three areas, state and democracy act at cross purposes in some domains, and are mutually supportive in others. The reason for this complex relationship is that both state and democracy are themselves complex collections of institutions which interact on a multiplicity of levels. Understanding the relationship between state and democracy is important in policy terms because many recent initiatives to improve the quality of governance assume that state quality and democracy are mutually supportive, something that is not fully supported by the empirical evidence.”