Why is it that some countries have been able to develop high-quality state administrations that deliver services to their populations with relative efficiency, while others are plagued by corruption, bloated or red-tape-ridden bureaucracies, and incompetence? And what is the relationship between the effectiveness of a state and democracy? Are the two mutually supportive, or is there a tension between good public administration and broad political participation? The experiences of the United States, Greece, and Italy suggest that the process of political development democratic expansion of the franchise, when it takes place in advance of state modernization, can lead to widespread clientelism. Conversely, authoritarian states that develop modern bureaucracies early on are often in a happier position once they democratize, since their states tend to be inoculated from the dangers of political colonization.