Configurational-based institutional analysis: Unbundling the multi-dimensional state fragility construct

Joshua K. Ault, Andrew Spicer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To guide researchers interested in replicating our configurational approach to comparative institutional analysis, we report on a methodology that builds from existing state fragility indices to differentiate between types of state fragility in 189 countries across the world. We first present the steps we used to identify three constituent dimensions of state fragility. We then report how we configured these first-order institutional measures to build a large-N, fuzzy set qualitative set analysis (fs/QCA) of variation in the degree and type of informal economic sectors found across the world. Our discussion of the methodology shows that: • Configurational-based analysis requires unbundling aggregate measures into constituent dimensions as a first step to analyzing possible systemic interactions. • Configurational-based analysis recognizes sources of cross-national diversity that aggregated or single dimensional metrics are unable to fully capture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101209
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Comparative institutional analysis
  • Configurational-Based Analysis of State Fragility Interactions
  • Configurational-based research
  • Developing countries
  • State fragility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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