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Birth of the Leviathan

Birth of the Leviathan
Building States and Regimes in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

£25.99

  • Date Published: April 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521484275

£ 25.99
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  • For many years scholars have sought to explain why the European states which emerged in the period before the French Revolution developed along such different lines. Why did some become absolutist and others constitutionalist? What enabled some to develop bureaucratic administrative systems, while others remained dependent upon patrimonial practices? This book presents a new theory of state-building in medieval and early modern Europe. Ertman argues that two factors - the organisation of local government at the time of state formation and the timing of sustained geo-military competition - can explain most of the variation in political regimes and in state infrastructures found across the continent during the second half of the eighteenth century. Drawing on insights developed in historical sociology, comparative politics, and economic history, this book makes a compelling case for the value of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of political development.

    • Broad, comprehensive history of political development from fall of Rome to French Revolution
    • Comprehensive geographically - Britain, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Spain and Scandinavia
    • Draws on most recent literature published in several European languages in political science, sociology, economic history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ' This is definitely a book for historians as well as for social scientists constituting in all a remarkable achievement.' The English Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521484275
    • length: 380 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 151 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The origins of patrimonial absolutism in Latin Europe
    3. The triumph of patrimonial absolutism and the failure of reform in Latin Europe, c. 1500–1789
    4. Bureaucratic constitutionalism in Britain
    5. Bureaucratic absolutism in Germany
    6. Patrimonial constitutionalism in Hungary and Poland and its premature demise in Scandinavia
    7. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Thomas Ertman, Harvard University, Massachusetts

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