Heterarchies and Developmental Traps

Vol. 21 No. 1 (2001)

Jan-Mar / 2001
Published January 1, 2001

How to Cite

Bruszt, Laszlo. 2001. “Heterarchies and Developmental Traps”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 21 (1):3-21. https://doi.org/10.1590/0101-31572001-1245.

Heterarchies and Developmental Traps

Laszlo Bruszt
Sociologist, Associate Professor, Department of Political Sciences, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 21 No. 1 (2001), Jan-Mar / 2001, Pages 3-21


State capacity to resist powerful predatory economic groups is highly dependent on the way social diversity is represented within the polity. Such state capacity is weak when a single branch of government can usurp the representation of public good between two elections. ln some democracies that I call heterarchies, coalition partners, parties in different houses of the legislature, different levels and branches of government, autonomous state agencies compel executives to take into account diverse modes of representation while making their programs and policies. Such constraints on executive authority allow the state to rise above the direct distribution of powers and interests within the economy. ln the paper I use the Russian case to analyze the relationship between state weakness and the related problems of economic development.

JEL Classification: P26; D72; D73.

Keywords: Political economy heterarchy economic development transitional economy