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Building State Infrastructural Capacities: Sweden and Greece
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Reinvent.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0707-6668
2018 (English)In: Bureaucracy and Society in Transition: Comparative Perspectives / [ed] Haldor Byrkjeflot, Fredrik Engelstad, Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2018, Vol. 33, p. 39-67Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Transition into modernity takes very different roads, depending on thesequencing of bureaucracy and democratic regime. This is demonstrated bycomparing Sweden and Greece. At an early stage of the long-term modernisationof Swedish society, due to early penetration of the internal territory andbefore the extension of suffrage and political modernisation, a number ofstate organisations were established at the interstices between state and society,creating direct relations between the state and society. The impressiveLantmäteriet, the organisation of tax authorities, the establishment ofauthorities for registering the population and the Tabellverket are typicalillustrations of such organisational structures. Such organisations functionedas social mechanisms that elucidated society making it legible and thusstrengthened the infrastructural capacity of the state. In Greece, where thestate was built after political modernisation, the establishment of similarorganisations proved to be more difficult. Although there is evidence thatsimilar Swedish practices were known in Greece to be possible paths, theywere not chosen. The establishment of a land registry system, for instance,was discussed in the decades prior to the 1871 land reform. On other issues,such choices could not be materialised given opposition or political countermobilisationto abolish the reforms after they were approved by parliament.These reform efforts were rather short-lived or countered by new reforms andexemptions, creating an ambiguous labyrinth of regulations of statesocietyrelations and a state without the capacity to intervene in society and implementlogistically political decisions throughout the realm. On the whole, thestate remained a distant entity, mostly a distrusted one, and relations between the state and society were mediated by parties and by social and kinshipbasednetworks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2018. Vol. 33, p. 39-67
Series
Comparative Social Research, ISSN 0195-6310 ; vol. 33
Keywords [en]
State autonomy; legible society; ambiguous society; state - society contingencies; historical contingencies; state - society relations
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-36496DOI: 10.1108/S0195-631020180000033007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85065503747ISBN: 978-1-78743-284-0 (print)ISBN: 978-1-78743-283-3 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-36496DiVA, id: diva2:1254003
Projects
Att bygga statskapaciteter. En jämförelse mellan Sverige och Grekland
Funder
Riksbankens JubileumsfondAvailable from: 2018-10-08 Created: 2018-10-08 Last updated: 2019-06-11Bibliographically approved

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Papakostas, Apostolis

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Citation style
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