This important book explores the contribution states can make to overcoming collective action problems and create collective goods favorable to social, economic, and political development. It examines how state-society relations as well as features of state structure shape the conditions under which states seek to advance development and the conditions that make success more or less likely. And it offers empirical evidence showing that historical state structures have had lasting effects even on today's development. Particular focus is given to bureaucratic oversight, market functioning, and the assertion of democratic demands discipline state actions and contribute to state effectiveness. These propositions and the social mechanisms underlying them are examined in comparative historical and cross-national statistical analyses.