This study reconceptualizes theories of the state in light of post–communist developments. After the collapse of communist regimes across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, scholars overlooked a central aspect of the transition: the need to reconstruct public authority, or state–building. Likewise, theorists of the state have largely ignored the post–communist challenge to existing theories of state capacity and development. Post–communist state development is characterized by the need to reconstruct public authority, or state–building. Two aspects of this process determine subsequent state trajectories: a) the representativeness of elite competition (that is, whether elites compete by representing constituencies, or in self-contained elite conflicts), and b) the mechanisms of elite competition (that is, whether it is channeled via formal institutions, or informal networks and ties.)
WCFIA Working Paper 02–02, March 2002.