Theories of State Formation
This course will engage in a careful reading of canonical texts in the theory of state formation. It will then examine the classic arguments in light of the new wave of scholarship since the 1970s. In the process, we will seek to develop a sharper understanding of the causal claims and selection mechanisms which are advanced by these theories as explaining the emergence of and success of the state form. Special attention will also be paid to the role of law and legal forms in historical cases of state-making. The final sessions will reflect on the relevance of this literature for contemporary debates about state-building, transitions to democracy, and processes of constitution-making.