Sources of rationalized governance: Cross-national longitudinal analyses, 1985-2002

Gili S. Drori*, Yong Suk Jang, John W. Meyer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


We assess the factors affecting national administrative rationalization in the context of the current worldwide movement for governance reforms, focusing on national linkages to world society rather than internal socioeconomic development. We conduct cross-national longitudinal analyses of a multiple-indicator measure of rationalized governance for the period 1985-2002. Overall, there is only a very modest growth in the measure worldwide, with the most substantial changes occurring in developing countries. Change is mostly on an indicator of investment openness. National change tends to reflect links with global society: expanded trade, the penetration of science, and embeddedness in world organizations play prominent roles. The rationalization of national governance, like other dimensions of modernization, is not simply or principally a consequence of endogenous national development or social complexity. Rather, it directly reflects trade and institutional linkages with wider rationalizing movements in the context of a neoliberal world society.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)205-229
Number of pages25
JournalAdministrative Science Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


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