Organisational capacity in the State is often a consequence of long-term historical processes that have favoured the emergence of professional administrations. War and preparation for war were not the decisive processes through which contemporary states emerged, unlike in Europe and Asia. Colonialism and Apartheid were. This gives the African and the South African State their particular features. It also means that models that have worked elsewhere for structuring organisations or dealing with particular service delivery challenges seldom work well here. PARI seeks to understand current institutional capacity in the South African state by examining the longer histories of how departments and agencies came into being. The we pay special attention to the way that former Bantustan administrations were incorporated to form new national and especially provincial administrations and how racially segregated administrations were amalgamated at all levels of government. The institute explores the changing role and jurisdiction of traditional authorities.