Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Rebuilding Leviathan
Party Competition and State Exploitation in Post-Communist Democracies

$32.99 (P)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

  • Date Published: April 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521696159

$ 32.99 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Why do some governing parties limit their opportunistic behavior and constrain the extraction of private gains from the state? This analysis of post-communist state reconstruction provides surprising answers to this fundamental question of party politics. Across the post-communist democracies, governing parties have opportunistically reconstructed the state - simultaneously exploiting it by extracting state resources and building new institutions that further such extraction. They enfeebled or delayed formal state institutions of monitoring and oversight, established new discretionary structures of state administration, and extracted enormous informal profits from the privatization of the communist economy. By examining how post-communist political parties rebuilt the state in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia, Grzymala-Busse explains how even opportunistic political parties will limit their corrupt behavior and abuse of state resources when faced with strong political competition.

    • First book on post-communist state building
    • Comparison of multiple democracies, including the neglected Baltic Republics
    • New indicator of political competition that focuses on party behaviour
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Following her successful book on successor Communist parties in Eastern Europe, Anna Grzymala-Busse, in Rebuilding Leviathan, examines the impact of party competition on state building. Although market economies and electoral democracies are pervasive in the region, the record of state-building is mixed. In her original and well-researched study, Grymala-Busse argues that the variation can be explained by the degree of "robust" competition between political parties--that is, whether opposition parties are distinct, provide a plausible governing alternative, and are effective critics. She provides an effective critique both of those who dismiss the impact of party competition on institution building and those who miss the nuances of real-world party politics. Robust competition can persuade incumbents to create independent oversight bodies, limit clientalistic behavior, and control rent-seeking by public officials. In spite of its regional focus, the lessons of Rebuilding Leviathan will be of great interest to students of state reform and democratic transition throughout the world, especially in the middle-income countries of Latin American and Asia, where party competition is of increasing importance."
    Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale University

    "What makes this book a valuable addition to the politics of transition studies is the detailed and empirically based comparative examination of various stratagems that parties have pursued in nine countries.... This book can be strongly recommended to scholars as well as policy makers."
    -R. P. Peters, University of Massachusetts at Boston, for Choice Magazine

    "This is a model study: original in conception and execution, fully researched, and superbly analytical, surpassing even some of the work of is illustrious patrons. No one should look at corruption and the links of the politicians to the state in quite the same way again...Nothing is perfect, of course, but this book comes very close."
    -Bohdan Harasymiw, University of Calgary, Canadian Slavonic Papers

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521696159
    • length: 294 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.404kg
    • contains: 25 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Competing for the state
    3. Developing the formal institutions of the state
    4. The expansion of state administration: exploitation or patronage?
    5. Privatizing the state: party financing strategies.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Politics of Central and Eastern Europe
  • Author

    Anna Grzymala-Busse, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Anna Grzymala-Busse is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was previously an associate professor at Yale University. Her first book, Redeeming the Communist Past, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2002. She has also published articles in Comparative Political Studies, Politics and Society, Comparative Politics, Party Politics, East European Politics and Societies, and other journals.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.