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Fiscal Regimes and the Political Economy of Premodern States


Andrew Monson, Walter Scheidel, Terence N. D'Altroy, Michael E. Smith, Michael Jursa, Juan Carlos Morena García, James Tan, Gilles Bransbourg, Mark E. Lewis, Kent Gang Deng, John Haldon, Hugh Kennedy, Metin M. Coşgel, Philip C. Brown, Emily Mackil, Josiah Ober, David Stasavage, Peter F. Bang, Edgar Kiser, Margaret Levi
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  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107460966

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About the Authors
  • Inspired by the new fiscal history, this book represents the first global survey of taxation in the premodern world. What emerges is a rich variety of institutions, including experiments with sophisticated instruments such as sovereign debt and fiduciary money, challenging the notion of a typical premodern stage of fiscal development. The studies also reveal patterns and correlations across widely dispersed societies that shed light on the basic factors driving the intensification, abatement, and innovation of fiscal regimes. Twenty scholars have contributed perspectives from a wide range of fields besides history, including anthropology, economics, political science and sociology. The volume's coverage extends beyond Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Near East to East Asia and the Americas, thereby transcending the Eurocentric approach of most scholarship on fiscal history.

    • Introduces new theories and provocative new questions for the study of fiscal history
    • Adopts a comparative approach
    • Provides a global perspective, with in-depth analysis of many states and regions
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… the volume performs a valuable service for historians (and sociologists) of all stripes.' J. Howard-Johnston, The English Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107460966
    • length: 602 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 34 mm
    • weight: 0.92kg
    • contains: 22 b/w illus. 3 maps 19 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Studying fiscal regimes Andrew Monson and Walter Scheidel
    Part I. Diversity and Commonalities in Early Extraction Regimes:
    2. The Inka empire Terence N. D'Altroy
    3. The Aztec empire Michael E. Smith
    4. The Ancient Near East and Egypt Michael Jursa and Juan Carlos Morena García
    Part II. Determinants of Intensification and Abatement:
    5. Hellenistic empires Andrew Monson
    6. The Roman republic James Tan
    7. The early Roman monarchy Walter Scheidel
    8. The later Roman empire Gilles Bransbourg
    9. Early imperial China, from Qin/Han through Tang Mark E. Lewis
    10. Imperial China under the Song and late Qing Kent Gang Deng
    Part III. Divergent Trends among Established Regimes:
    11. Late Rome, Byzantium and early medieval western Europe John Haldon
    12. The Middle East in Islamic late antiquity Hugh Kennedy
    13. The Ottoman empire Metin M. Coşgel
    14. Early modern Japan Philip C. Brown
    Part IV. Fragmented Political Ecologies and Institutional Innovation:
    15. The Greek polis and koinon Emily Mackil
    16. Classical Athens Josiah Ober
    17. Why did public debt originate in Europe? David Stasavage
    Part V. Comparative Perspectives and New Frontiers:
    18. Tributary empires and the New Fiscal Sociology: some comparative reflections Peter F. Bang
    19. Interpreting the comparative history of fiscal regimes Edgar Kiser and Margaret Levi.

  • Editors

    Andrew Monson, New York University
    Andrew Monson is Associate Professor of Classics at New York University. While co-editing this volume, he has held the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers at the University of Heidelberg as well as the Charles A. Ryskamp Fellowship of the American Council of Learned Societies. He is the author of From the Ptolemies to the Romans: Political and Economic Change in Egypt (2012) and Agriculture and Taxation in Early Ptolemaic Egypt: Demotic Land Surveys and Accounts (2012).

    Walter Scheidel, Stanford University, California
    Walter Scheidel is the Dickason Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Classics and History, and Kennedy-Grossman Fellow in Human Biology at Stanford University, California. He is the author or editor of fifteen books on the ancient world, including The Cambridge Companion to the Roman Economy (Cambridge, 2012). His work, which has focused on ancient social and economic history, historical demography, and the history of empire, has been widely recognized for its innovative quantitative and comparative modelling, cross-cultural scope, and transdisciplinary breadth across the social sciences and life sciences.


    Andrew Monson, Walter Scheidel, Terence N. D'Altroy, Michael E. Smith, Michael Jursa, Juan Carlos Morena García, James Tan, Gilles Bransbourg, Mark E. Lewis, Kent Gang Deng, John Haldon, Hugh Kennedy, Metin M. Coşgel, Philip C. Brown, Emily Mackil, Josiah Ober, David Stasavage, Peter F. Bang, Edgar Kiser, Margaret Levi

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