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The dual role of state capacity in opening socio-political orders: assessment of state capacity in Belarus and Ukraine

Antoaneta Dimitrova, Professor Comparative Governance at Leiden University, Honorata Mazepus, Assistant professor at Leiden University and Dimiter Toshkov, Associate Professor at Leiden University, together with three other authors researched which aspects of state capacity might contribute to opening or stability in Belarus and Ukraine.

Antoaneta Dimitrova, Honorata Mazepus, Dimiter Toshkov, Tatsiana Chulitskaya, Natallia Rabava & Ina Ramasheuskaya
14 April 2020

State capacity declines with democratization, yet high state capacity supports the stability of both democracies and autocracies. Ukraine has been a paradigmatic example of capacity decline in democratization and Belarus of an authoritarian regime with high capacity. Conceptualizing capacity as containing administrative, informational and public service aspects, the researchers compared the two countries to find that capacity appears to be converging. While recent reforms in Ukraine develop aspects with universalizing effects, some aspects with a stabilizing effect – health care – are still better in Belarus.

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