Country Size and State Performance: How Size Affects Politics, Administration and Governance [thesis]

Marlene Jugl
2020
This dissertation addresses the question how the size of a country affects the performance of ist political and administrative system. It advances the literature on small states by explicitly theorizing large states and empirically comparing countries of different sizes. Country size, operationalized as population size, is expected to be related to three clusters of country characteristics: First, a perception of vulnerability in small states vs. a lack of awareness for external threats in
more » ... nal threats in large states; second, social homogeneity and proximity in small states vs. heterogeneity and distance in large states; third, institutional centralization and concentration of power in small states vs. specialization and de-centralization in large states. The effect of country size and these three characteristic features on different aspects of procedural state performance is analyzed in three empirical chapters. Chapter 2 develops the argument that small country size favors the stability of political regimes, namely authoritarian monarchies. It iterates between theoretical reflections and the empirical analysis of different data: statistical data on population size and monarchic regime durability between 1946 and 2008; two most similar comparative cases of monarchic regimes, Egypt and Jordan; and supposedly deviant cases. Chapter 3 investigates the effect of population size on the effectiveness of national bureaucracies and expects a trade-off between economies and diseconomies of scale. It estimates multivariate OLS regression models and within-between random effects models for more than 150 countries. The analysis supports the hypothesized inverse U-shaped relation and finds that administrative effectiveness is highest, ceteris paribus, at medium levels of population size. Chapter 4 consists of a comparative case study of Germany and Luxembourg and investigates whether country size affected how the two states prepared for and reacted to the 2015 migration crisis. The analysis builds on newspaper articles and 20 expert interv [...]
doi:10.48462/opus4-3680 fatcat:tcnokxss6ff7re36amnpavuy4e