More than a decade and a half since the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union broke a part, a key question to ask is whether post-communist states actually can accomplish what they set out to do. How do the new states function? Can they implement their own policies? And, why can some of these emerging states succeed in doing so while others fall short?
This project, funded by the United Kingdom’s Economic and Social Research Council’s First Grants Scheme, will look at three countries, Russia, Poland and Ukraine, and will consider three tasks that all states perform – collecting taxes, distributing welfare benefits and enforcing environmental regulations.
The aim is to contribute not only to theoretical debates on the origins of capable states but also to find out where transitional states, given limited resources, should focus their efforts in recreating themselves in order to implement their own policies successfully.
The investigation will use a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods including a taxpayer survey, an environmental regulatory survey of small and medium-size firms, historical research, interviews, and a field study of citizens’ interactions with social welfare bureaucrats.