Theories of State Formation Research Paper

History 430/Poli Sci 430: States, Empires and Confederations: Beyond the Post-Tilly Hegemony


In the past several decades historians and social scientists have converged upon a single basic story of state formation.  States, we are told, were formed in warfare and were geared to fight wars.  While there was and is significant variation in state forms, war-making is the fundamental raison d’être of states.  This class raises a number of questions about this well-known story. 

Does the story work for Europe in the early modern period?  Does the story assume particular kind of state form, the nation-state?  Does the story work for other parts of the world?  Were Empires and confederal states called into being for the same reasons?  Why do some states persist and others fade away?

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