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Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe$
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Richard Gunther, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, and Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202812.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

Introduction: Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe

Introduction: Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe

(p.1) 1 Introduction: Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe
Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe

P. Nikiforos Diamandouros

Richard Gunther (Contributor Webpage)

Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos (Contributor Webpage)

Edward E. Malefakis

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an overview of the central theme of the book—the overcoming of “Southern European exceptionalism” and approximation over the past four decades of state capacities and public policies typical of other West European democracies—which the chapter hypothesizes is in large measure a product of the interaction among three forces, democratization, socioeconomic modernization, and Europeanization. The chapter presents a historical overview of the nature of Southern European exceptionalism, one aspect of which the chapter calls “state-heavy” characteristics: frequent resort to repression; corporatism and state intervention in the economy; excessive centralization of state power; and heavy reliance on patronage. At the same time, exceptionalism included several “weak-state” features: an inadequate and regressive system of taxation; strong and autonomous local elites; weak civilian control over the military; bureaucratic incompetence (in both civilian and military sectors); inadequate government services; weak legitimacy of the state; and economic inefficiencies that retarded economic development.

Keywords:   Southern European exceptionalism, state-heavy, weak state, corporatism, repression, bureaucratic incompetence, centralization, patronage, economic inefficiency, regressive taxation system

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