State capture and rise of the unelected in a democracy

As a firm supporter of democracy, democratic institutional norms and values, I am also a believer in the ability of democratic governance structures to manage the relationship between the ruler and the ruled.

Cynically, I also believe that democratic governance systems are a part of the global business system. Therefore, unable to change the status quo of democratic governance, I accept business-government linkages, institutional varieties of corruption as well as the need for elected officials to manage business interests of the key financial supporters. But I do not at any point accept the capture of legitimate governance systems by any non-elected actors.

Last week (Feb 2017) as we alternated between the rants, tweets and retreat of the leader of the free world (President Trump, the southern Indian state of the Tamil Nadu played host to a political crisis of its own. An elected public official and head of government (OP Paneerselvan) was forced to resign due to a combination of threats, mass hysteria, and manipulation of state resources and the blatant use of criminal non-state actors by an unelected non-state actor (Ms Sasikala). Elected members of the legislative assembly were placed under house arrest and cajoled into supporting Sasikala as the new head of government.

The thought of this happening in a mature democracy like India has forced me to go back to the literature around the capture of the state.

The theoretical background behind the capture of the state has revolved around relationship with the firms, the rent generating advantages provided by public officials and the whole business of lobbying generated in the captured economy. In their paper, Hellman, Jones and Kaufmann (2000)[i] have sought to distinguish state capture with the other types of relationship between the firm and the state; lobbying or influence and administrative corruption.

State capture has been described as the ability of a firm to manage the transactions of governance either by paying elected officials and bureaucrats or by manipulating the rules of the game. Influence on the other hand has been the softer part of the corruption of governance with its linkage to the past, political dynasties, family ties and legacies of both present and past business networks.

In the present context, the capture of the state of Tamil Nadu by an individual who holds no public office and stands accused of corruption, is a serious threat to the legitimacy of the Indian state and its governance attributes. Should Sasikala be invited to form the next government, the moral high ground of democracy and its ability to manage a balance of power between those in power and those who allow them to remain in power will be destroyed. We have already witnessed some erosion of this high ground in recent times across several geographies.

For the central government in India, managing this crisis will be the litmus test for the whole nation as it projects its democratic credentials in other emerging and transition economies.

[i] Hellman, J.S., Jones, G. and Kaufmann, D., 2000. Seize the state, seize the day: State capture, corruption and influence in transition.

Doing Business Economy Profile 2016 : Ethiopia

This economy profile for Doing Business 2016 presents the 11 Doing Business indicators for Ethiopia. To allow for useful comparison, the profile also provides data for other selected economies (comparator economies) for each indicator. Doing Business 2016 is the 13th edition in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business; for 2015 Ethiopia ranks 146. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economies from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and over time. Doing Business sheds light on how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business when complying with relevant regulations. It measures and tracks changes in regulations affecting 11 areas in the life cycle of a business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labor market regulation. The data in this report are current as of June 1, 2015 (except for the paying taxes indicators, which cover the period from January to December 2014). Click here for more information 
Citation
“World Bank Group. 2015. Doing Business Economy Profile 2016 : Ethiopia. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/23095 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
 

Doing Business Economy Profile 2016 : Costa Rica

his economy profile for Doing Business 2016 presents the 11 Doing Business indicators for Costa Rica. To allow for useful comparison, the profile also provides data for other selected economies (comparator economies) for each indicator. Doing Business 2016 is the 13th edition in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business; for 2015 Costa Rica ranks 58.A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economies from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and over time. Doing Business sheds light on how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business when complying with relevant regulations. It measures and tracks changes in regulations affecting 11 areas in the life cycle of a business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labor market regulation. The data in this report are current as of June 1, 2015 (except for the paying taxes indicators, which cover the period from January to December 2014). Click here 
Citation
“World Bank Group. 2015. Doing Business Economy Profile 2016 : Costa Rica. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/23067 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”

Doing Business Economy Profile 2016 : Brazil

This economy profile for Doing Business 2016 presents the 11 Doing Business indicators for Brazil. To allow for useful comparison, the profile also provides data for other selected economies (comparator economies) for each indicator. Doing Business 2016 is the 13th edition in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business; for 2015 Brazil ranks 116. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economies from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and over time. Doing Business sheds light on how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business when complying with relevant regulations. It measures and tracks changes in regulations affecting 11 areas in the life cycle of a business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labor market regulation. The data in this report are current as of June 1, 2015 (except for the paying taxes indicators, which cover the period from January to December 2014). Click here 
Citation
“World Bank Group. 2015. Doing Business Economy Profile 2016 : Brazil. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/23041 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”

Doing Business Economy Profile 2016 : Cabo Verde

This economy profile for Doing Business 2016 presents the 11 Doing Business indicators for Cabo Verde. To allow for useful comparison, the profile also provides data for other selected economies (comparator economies) for each indicator. Doing Business 2016 is the 13th edition in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business; for 2015 Cabo Verde ranks 126. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economies from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and over time. Doing Business sheds light on how easy or difficult it is for a local entrepreneur to open and run a small to medium-size business when complying with relevant regulations. It measures and tracks changes in regulations affecting 11 areas in the life cycle of a business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labor market regulation. The data in this report are current as of June 1, 2015 (except for the paying taxes indicators, which cover the period from January to December 2014). Click here for more information 
Citation
“World Bank Group. 2015. Doing Business Economy Profile 2016 : Cabo Verde. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/23068 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”

Wallis and Futuna

Wallis and Futuna, officially the Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands (/ˈwɒlɪs/ and /fˈtnə/; French: Wallis-et-Futuna or Territoire des îles Wallis-et-Futuna, Fakauvea and Fakafutuna: Uvea mo Futuna), is a French island collectivity in the South Pacific between Tuvalu to the northwest, Fiji to the southwest, Tonga to the southeast, Samoa to the east, and Tokelau to the northeast. Though both French and Polynesian, Wallis and Futuna is distinct from the entity known as French Polynesia.

 

Source: Wikipedia