Distinguishing Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Factor Analysis to Determine the Four Fundamental Elements of State Capability
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CitationDrumm, Brian Richardson. 2015. Distinguishing Earth, Water, Fire, and Air: Factor Analysis to Determine the Four Fundamental Elements of State Capability. Bachelor's thesis, Harvard College.
AbstractWhile some states can send men to the moon and back, others cannot even muster the effectiveness to maintain order. Understanding what produces these differences in the capabilities of states to deliver outcomes to their citizens is central to understanding why these outcomes differ across states. But what are the fundamental determinants of state capability? This has not yet been investigated; though previous attempts have been made to understand what the most popular state capability index actually measures, these were made to determine its validity, not its fundamental determinants. I empirically determine that there are four fundamental determinants of a state’s capability to deliver outcomes for its citizens by using a rigorous application of factor analysis to four state capability indexes: Outcomes delivered by a state are determined by the ``Effectiveness'' by which states are able to implement their ``Political Gumption'' (their responsiveness and political resourcefulness to satisfy the demands of their citizens) in the face of pressures, represented by the ``Absence of Internal Pressures'' and ``Popular Support and Absence of External Pressures.'' These determinants drive the differences in the capabilities of states to deliver outcomes for its citizens, and consequently at least partially drive the differences in outcomes across states.
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