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Re-stating Party Development in Central and Eastern Europe: A Response

Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
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  • Hm Sociology
  • Economics
  • Political Science


soccas2008-6b.indb 1177 © Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i., Praha 2008 Re-stating Party Development in Central and Eastern Europe: A Response ANNA GRZYMAŁA-BUSSE* University of Michigan, Ann Arbor In his thoughtful review essay, Seán Hanley addresses both the common themes of Runaway State-building and Rebuilding Leviathan and their points of divergence. I, too, am struck (and pleased) that the two books speak to each other so directly, and I am grateful to Seán Hanley for such a detailed critique. In my comments, I will focus on a few critical points and clarify where possible a) the central ana- lytical issues involved; b) the meaning and specifi cation of state size; and c) the role of party competition. The central analytical concern in Rebuilding Leviathan is explaining how competition among political parties, hungry for resources and well-placed to prey on the state by dint of their access to policy and governance, resulted in distinct confi gurations of state institutions. These state institutions are not limited to the civil service: they range from central state administration, to formal institu- tions of oversight, to party funding regimes. To clarify, the book concerns itself less with what the state was able to do (state effi ciency) or sheer state size, and more with how the state was rebuilt, and to whose benefi t (state politicisation.) The key actors are political parties, who constrained – or enabled – each other’s exploitation of state resources. State size alone is neither the central preoccupation of the analysis, nor the key indicator of state politicisation – as I note in the book, the mechanisms of state expansion and state politicisation indicate whether or not the state expanded to meet functional demands, or as a result of the entrenchment of political party interests. After all, state employment may increase as a result of new demands placed upon the state administration, patronage hiring by party organisations burgeoning

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