Monday, August 2, 2010

Captured State

When my father-in-law was visiting he mentioned an article he had read that referred to Mexico as a captured state.  I was not familiar with the term.  In 2000, Joel S. Hellman, Geraint Jones, and Daniel Kaufmann wrote "Seize the state, seize the day": state capture, corruption, and influence in transition for the World Bank.  They found that “[s]ome firms in transition economies have been able to shape the rules of the game to their own advantage, at considerable social cost, creating what the authors call a ‘capture economy’ in many countries. In the capture economy, public officials, and politicians privately sell under-provided public goods, and a range of rent-generating advantages "a la carte" to individual firms. 

Now lest you think a captured state can only refer to something outside the US here is an article authored by Gregory Hooks from the American Sociological Review that refers to the U. S. Department of Agriculture as “an agency captured by a privileged interest group.” 

Fabulous.  Of course, I knew it went on but now I have a term for another thing that pisses me off and more stuff I should read.

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