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.
Development, Institutional Capacity, Policy Reform, Philippines, Irrigation
Asian Studies | Political Science
Development and Change
RICKS, Jacob.(2017). Sector-specific development and policy vulnerability in the Philippines. Development and Change, 48(3).
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/2142
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