Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

State Formations
Global Histories and Cultures of Statehood

John L. Brooke, Julia C. Strauss, Quentin Skinner, Bob Jessop, Greg Anderson, Rita P. Wright, Chapurukha M. Kusimba, Michael Martoccio, Nicholas J. Abbott, William J. Novak, Steven Pincus, Richard Bensel, Clifford Ando, Stephen Mihm, Greg P. Downs, John F. M. Clark, Yannis D. Kotsonis, Seth Richardson, Michael Szonyi, Victor Lieberman, Diane King, Rebecca Tally, Anupama Rao
View all contributors
  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108403948


Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Featuring a sweeping array of essays from scholars of state formation and development, this book presents an overview of approaches to studying the history of the state. Focusing on the question of state formation, this volume takes a particular look at the beginnings, structures, and constant reforming of state power. Not only do the contributors draw upon both modernist and postmodernist theoretical perspectives, they also address the topic from a global standpoint, examining states from all areas of the world. In their diverse and thorough exploration of state building, the authors cross the theoretical, geographic, and chronological boundaries that traditionally shape this field in order to rethink the customary macro and micro approaches to the study of state building and make the case for global histories of both pre-modern and modern state formations.

    • Addresses the topic of state formation from a global perspective, examining states from South America to Europe and from Africa to the Middle East
    • Looks at the process of state formation and reformation, instead of simply examining the structure of a state
    • Allows for comparative analyses by exploring the entire history of the state, from the Bronze Age to the present
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A genuinely global and epoch-spanning inquiry into the emergence and continuing transformations of state power, this eagerly awaited collection explodes the parochial tradition of treating modern North-Atlantic nation-states as normative. By demonstrating the diverse forms that emerging states have taken in Africa, Asia, and the Americas as well as Europe, from the ancient world until our own time, this path-breaking volume will instruct readers in multiple disciplines. Provocative, wise, and compelling, these essays challenge and rework both the Weberian focus on state autonomy and institutional capacity and Gramscian/Foucaultian claims concerning the embeddedness of the state in discourses and practices. State Formations offers a bold new framework for continuing debates.' James T. Kloppenberg, Charles Warren Professor of American History, Harvard University

    'Reading through State Formations is an extraordinarily rewarding experience.' Peter Onuf, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History, Emeritus, University of Virginia

    'Social science too often treats the existence of states as obvious and focuses on the societies they demarcate or their international relations. State Formations brings a broad historical and comparative perspective to show how states are made and change, how they differ, and how conventional assumptions can mislead analysis. This is a book rich in empirical cases, well-marshalled to improve new thinking and better theory.' Craig Calhoun, President, Berggruen Institute, California

    'This excellent volume brings together contributions from historians and theorists in discussing a wide range of historical formations of the state …' George Steinmetz, University of Michigan

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108403948
    • length: 404 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 2 maps 4 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: approaches to state formations John L. Brooke and Julia C. Strauss
    Part I. Definitions:
    1. On the person of the state Quentin Skinner
    2. The state as a social relation Bob Jessop
    3. Was there any such thing as a non-modern state? Greg Anderson
    Part II. Foundings:
    4. Comparative perspectives and early states revisited Rita P. Wright
    5. (Re) introducing the state on the medieval Swahili Coast Chapurukha M. Kusimba
    6. Renaissance states of mind Michael Martoccio
    7. Bringing the sarkār back in: translating patrimonialism and the state in early modern and early colonial India Nicholas J. Abbott
    8. Revolutionary state formation: the origins of the strong American state William J. Novak and Steven Pincus
    9. The founding of non-democratic states Richard Bensel
    Part III. Agendas:
    10. Empire as state: the Roman case Clifford Ando
    11. Weights and measures and state formation: the view from the early American republic Stephen Mihm
    12. Mapping power: the shape of the state in the post-Civil War American South Greg P. Downs
    13. To bee or not to bee: the co-production of modern science and the modern state John F. M. Clark
    14. Taxes and the two faces of the state since the eighteenth century Yannis D. Kotsonis
    15. Regimes and repertoires of statebuilding: the two Chinas and regime consolidation in the early 1950s Julia C. Strauss
    Part IV. Memberships:
    16. The Mesopotamian citizen conceptualized: affect, speech and perception Seth Richardson
    17. Military mobilization and the experience of living with the Ming state Michael Szonyi
    18. Ethnicity and power in early modern Europe and Asia Victor Lieberman
    19. Patriliny and modern states in the Middle East Diane King
    20. Social service, convivialismo, and hegemony in Colombia Rebecca Tally
    21. Indian affirmative action and the postcolonial state Anupama Rao
    Conclusion: notes toward a global synthesis John L. Brooke and Julia C. Strauss.

  • Editors

    John L. Brooke, Ohio State University
    John L. Brooke is Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of History, Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Center for Historical Research at the Ohio State University. He has previously explored the topic of state formation in his prize-winning books, The Heart of the Commonwealth: Society and Political Culture in Worcester County, Massachusetts, 1713–1861 (1989) and Columbia Rising: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson (2010).

    Julia C. Strauss, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
    Julia C. Strauss is Professor of Chinese Politics at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her work on twentieth-century state building and institution building in China and Taiwan has been published widely, including Strong Institutions in Weak Polities: Statebuilding in Republican China, 1927–1940 (1998) and essays in Comparative Studies in Society and History and the Journal of Asian Studies.

    Greg Anderson, Ohio State University
    Greg Anderson is Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University. His work focuses on ancient Greece and historical thought. His forthcoming book, The Realness of Things Past: Ancient Greece and Ontological History, makes a case for an 'ontological turn' in historical practice.


    John L. Brooke, Julia C. Strauss, Quentin Skinner, Bob Jessop, Greg Anderson, Rita P. Wright, Chapurukha M. Kusimba, Michael Martoccio, Nicholas J. Abbott, William J. Novak, Steven Pincus, Richard Bensel, Clifford Ando, Stephen Mihm, Greg P. Downs, John F. M. Clark, Yannis D. Kotsonis, Seth Richardson, Michael Szonyi, Victor Lieberman, Diane King, Rebecca Tally, Anupama Rao

Related Books

also by this author

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.