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Home > Catalogue > A Theory of the State
A Theory of the State


  • Page extent: 308 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.62 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 320.1
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: JC11 .B385 2002
  • LC Subject headings:
    • State, The

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521806053 | ISBN-10: 0521806054)

DOI: 10.2277/0521806054

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 17:17 GMT, 24 November 2015)


This book models the emergence of the state, and the forces that shape it. State creation is bound to protection needs. A specialized protector-ruler is efficient, but is also self-seeking. Individuals will install a ruler only after they create a mechanism to control him. Among the offshoots of the organized protection are legal system and decision-making procedures that include voting. The initial 'state of nature' may gradually evolve into a rule-of-law state. The state endows individuals with rights by delineating what it will protect. Enforcement, however, is never perfect. People use third parties such as firms to enforce agreements. As commodities become standardized, scale economies increase. In order to exploit the economies of within-state enforcement, the state will expand the contact enforcement territory by treaty or by conquest. The force may explain the creation of rule-of-law empires.

• Traces the emergence of the state from the very beginnings • Uses property rights tools for analysis • Focuses on rule-of-law regimes and efforts to keep them that way


Preface; 1. Introduction; Part I. The Emergence of Protection and Third-Party Enforcement: 2. The state and the enforcement of agreements; 3. Third-party enforcement and the state; 4. The choice among enforcement forms; 5. Anonymous exchange, mixed enforcement and vertical integration; 6. Jurisdictional issues; 7. Collective action and collective decisions; 8. Tying the protector's hand: the agreement between subjects and protector; Part II. The Emergence of Legal Institutions: 9. Legal rights; 10. The state's enhancement of market trade; 11. The size and scope of the state; Part III. The Character of the State: 12. Merger and local autonomy; 13. The distinction between 'legitimate' and 'criminal' states; 14. Power, violent conflict and political evolution; 15. The time path of change under dictatorships and under rule-of-law regimes; 16. Recapitulation and an epilogue; References; Index.

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