Mountain Republics

45 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2014

See all articles by John A. Ferejohn

John A. Ferejohn

NYU Law School

Frances McCall Rosenbluth

Yale University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: August 22, 2014


It is a well-established tenet of historical political economy that modern territorial states emerged as protection rackets that extracted taxes from vulnerable communities. This paper explores a variety of bargains between communities and their “protectors” based on factors that account for vulnerability to marauding armies, such as terrain and technology. We also consider how a community’s desire for better economic livelihood may cause them to relinquish, voluntarily, some advantages of terrain for prospects of higher average.

Keywords: war and constitutions; bargaining; terrain

Suggested Citation

Ferejohn, John A. and Rosenbluth, Frances McCall, Mountain Republics (August 22, 2014). American Political Science Association annual meetings, August 28-31, 2014, Washington D.C., Available at SSRN: or

John A. Ferejohn

NYU Law School ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
2129986029 (Phone)

Frances McCall Rosenbluth (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5256 (Phone)

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