Accelerators of Stateness: Punctuated Transition or Gradual Reform in the Rise of the Modern State
Hilton L. Root
George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs
December 1, 2010
APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper
GMU School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 2010-21
Was the modern state’s evolutionary path gradual or punctuated? Can the design work of the modern state be accomplished through gradual steps or must long jumps be attempted along the way? This question is rich in implications for global political economy and strategy. The evolution of the European state system suggests an answer. Not a single modern state was assembled by accumulating minor modifications through a gradual process. Gradual steps, reform processes that span hundreds of years are abetted by punctuated often violent technological ruptures triggered by the dynamics of interstate warfare. Such violent ruptures or phase transitions compel system change through self-organization.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: Scale-free, punctuated equilibrium, state making, global political economy, complex adaptive systems
Date posted: July 19, 2010 ; Last revised: February 28, 2012
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