Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-2017

Abstract

Why does a state build institutional capacity in certainsectors rather than others? Despite having gained leverage explaining theemergence of institutions in the developmental states of East Asia, we havecomparatively weak accounts for sub-national variation in institutionalstrength, a much more common phenomenon. Investigating the surprising achievementsof the Philippines’ National Irrigation Administration, I advance a theory ofsectoral success in the face of a generally poor developmental record. Idemonstrate that executives will only construct institutional capacity whenfacing strong political pressure combined with resource scarcity. Suchvulnerability, though, permits politicians to exercise discretion in choosing whichpolicies to pursue, allowing them to avoid upsetting their coalitions. Once apolitician achieves some degree of policy success, he or she is then able toavoid engaging in similar reforms in other fields. Thus we see pockets of institutionalcapacity in states that otherwise struggle with developmental tasks.

Keywords

Development, Institutional Capacity, Policy Reform, Philippines, Irrigation

Discipline

Asian Studies | Political Science

Research Areas

Political Science

Publication

Development and Change

Volume

48

Issue

3

ISSN

1467-7660

Identifier

10.1111/dech.12300

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org./10.1111/dech.12300

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