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Imperial Rule, the Imposition of Bureaucratic Institutions, and their Long-Term Legacies

  • Jan P. Vogler (a1)

Abstract

Significant variation in the institutions and efficiency of public bureaucracies across countries and regions are observed. These differences could be partially responsible for divergence in the effectiveness of policy implementation, corruption levels, and economic development. Do imperial legacies contribute to the observed variation in the organization of public administrations? Historical foreign rule and colonization have been shown to have lasting effects on legal systems, political institutions, and trade in former controlled territories. Imperial legacies could also explain variations in the performance of public administrations. The author uses the case of Poland to investigate the long-term effects of foreign rule on bureaucratic systems. Historically, Poland was split between three imperial powers with very different public administrations: Prussia, Austria, and Russia. Statistical analyses of original data collected through a survey of more than 650 Polish public administrations suggest that some present-day differences in the organization and efficiency of bureaucracies are due to imperial legacies.

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