Collective Action in the Formation of Pre Modern States

Author: Richard Blanton
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387738762
Format: PDF
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Anthropological archaeology and other disciplines concerned with the formation of early complex societies are undergoing a theoretical shift stemming from the realization that the social evolution of complex societies was more varied and complex than imagined. Given the need for new directions in theory, the book proposes that anthropologists look to political science, especially the rational choice theory of collective action. Collective action theorists propose that state formation results from the strategic behavior of rational and self-interested actors who make up the polity, including a political elite and those outside the official structure of the state. The theory proposes that the form taken by a state will depend on the “bargaining power”, of rulers and taxpayers. Where taxpayers have more resources with which to bargain, it is predicted that rulers will concede benefits to taxpayers and will agree to restrictions on their power. The authors subject collective action theory to a methodologically rigorous evaluation using systematic cross-cultural analysis based on a world-wide sample of societies. The results presented here indicate strong support for most elements of the theory, but some results, in particular those pertaining to the control of ruler behavior, suggest the possibility that there are contexts in which collective action may play out in ways not anticipated by the theory. While this type of theoretical modeling is commonly seen in political science research, this volume is unique in its approach from an anthropological and archaeological viewpoint.

Cooperation and Collective Action

Author: David M. Carballo
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
ISBN: 1457174081
Format: PDF, Docs
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"[Cooperation research] is one of the busiest and most exciting areas of transdisciplinary science right now, linking evolution, ecology and social science. . . this is the first major work or collection to address linkages between archaeology and cooperation research."—Michael E. Smith, Arizona State University Past archaeological literature on cooperation theory has emphasized competition's role in cultural evolution. As a result, bottom-up possibilities for group cooperation have been under theorized in favor of models stressing top-down leadership, while evidence from a range of disciplines has demonstrated humans to effectively sustain cooperative undertakings through a number of social norms and institutions. Cooperation and Collective Action is the first volume to focus on the use of archaeological evidence to understand cooperation and collective action. Disentangling the motivations and institutions that foster group cooperation among competitive individuals remains one of the few great conundrums within evolutionary theory. The breadth and material focus of archaeology provide a much needed complement to existing research on cooperation and collective action, which thus far has relied largely on game-theoretic modeling, surveys of college students from affluent countries, brief ethnographic experiments, and limited historic cases. In Cooperation and Collective Action, diverse case studies address the evolution of the emergence of norms, institutions, and symbols of complex societies through the last 10,000 years. This book is an important contribution to the literature on cooperation in human societies that will appeal to archaeologists and other scholars interested in cooperation research.

Fiscal Regimes and the Political Economy of Premodern States

Author: Andrew Monson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316300153
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

The Neighborhood as a Social and Spatial Unit in Mesoamerican Cities

Author: M. Charlotte Arnauld
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0816520240
Format: PDF
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Recent realizations that prehispanic cities in Mesoamerica were fundamentally different from western cities of the same period have led to increasing examination of the neighborhood as an intermediate unit at the heart of prehispanic urbanization. This book addresses the subject of neighborhoods in archaeology as analytical units between households and whole settlements. The contributions gathered here provide fieldwork data to document the existence of sociopolitically distinct neighborhoods within ancient Mesoamerican settlements, building upon recent advances in multi-scale archaeological studies of these communities. Chapters illustrate the cultural variation across Mesoamerica, including data and interpretations on several different cities with a thematic focus on regional contrasts. This topic is relatively new and complex, and this book is a strong contribution for three interwoven reasons. First, the long history of research on the ÒTeotihuacan barriosÓ is scrutinized and withstands the test of new evidence and comparison with other Mesoamerican cities. Second, Maya studies of dense settlement patterns are now mature enough to provide substantial case studies. Third, theoretical investigation of ancient urbanization all over the world is now more complex and open than it was before, giving relevance to Mesoamerican perspectives on ancient and modern societies in time and space. This volume will be of interest not only to scholars and student specialists of the Mesoamerican past but also to social scientists and urbanists looking to contrast ancient cultures worldwide.

The Chinese Neolithic

Author: Li Liu
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521811842
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The Yellow River valley of China, during the period ca. 7000-1500, saw the transformation of egalitarian societies into stratified chiefdoms giving rise to early states. This book examines that transformation, emphasizing the interplay of many factors affecting these processes, such as climatic fluctuation, population movements, inter-group competition, warfare, and long-distance exchange of valuables.

The Evolution of Inequality

Author: Manus I. Midlarsky
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804741705
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book studies the structural inequalities between states as they evolve and influence the political process, analyzing various forms of political violence, the dissolution of states, and the sources of cooperation between states. The ultimate genesis of democracy is shown to be a consequence of the processes detailed in the book.

Democracy s Ancient Ancestors

Author: Daniel E. Fleming
Publisher: Taylor & Francis US
ISBN: 9780521828857
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Over 3000 letters found in ancient royal palace of Mari evince a complex political system.

Daily Life in the Inca Empire

Author: Michael Andrew Malpass
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313293900
Format: PDF, ePub
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"Looks at everyday life in the Inca empire, based on current research. Reconstructs Inca way of life using information on life-cycle events, food and drink, dress and ornaments, recreation, religious rituals, the calendar, and the labor tax. Timeline of Inca history, glossary of terms, and bibliography make the work appropriate for classroom use"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 58.