This volume is truly an international and collaborative effort. Our first and foremost thanks are to Princeton University for generous financial support. The support came via Princeton's Center for International Teaching and Research, a center created as part of a broader effort within Princeton to “globalize” the university. In early 2009 we were asked by Jeremy Adelman, then the director of the Center, if we would be interested in forming a network of scholars in the developing world to cooperate on important contemporary social science research. We reacted to this invitation with great enthusiasm and quickly settled on a scholarly theme around which the network would be built: the study of state formation, capacity, and performance in the developing world. We were well aware that we were stepping into classic ground here as these questions form the basis for much of Weber's account of the state and more recently the move to “bring the state back in.” We wanted to further probe outstanding issues that remained poorly understood: Why did some national states within the developing world perform better at a variety of tasks than others? Why was it that some state institutions delivered better service provision than others? And what about intranational variation? We also wanted to adopt a comparative and historical perspective on these questions, a perspective that would allow for deeper narratives of the origins and consequences of various forms of state development. The next step was to select our partners. We found three outstanding sets of colleagues and institutions. At the University of Cape Town, Jeremy Seekings graciously agreed to anchor our efforts in building a network with Africanists. Niraja Gopal Jayal and Pratap Mehta of Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Center for Policy Research, respectively, were excited to bring a South Asian perspective on these questions. Maria Herminia Tavares de Almeida of the University of Sao Paulo allowed us to work in Brazil and coordinate efforts with other Latin Americanists. As we neared the end of our project, Nancy Bermeo and her colleagues at Nuffield College, Oxford, offered a wonderful base in which to consolidate our findings in a crossregional conversation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)