Articles

A Theory of the Origin of the State

Science  21 Aug 1970:
Vol. 169, Issue 3947, pp. 733-738
DOI: 10.1126/science.169.3947.733

Abstract

In summary, then, the circumscription theory in its elaborated form goes far toward accounting for the origin of the state. It explains why states arose where they did, and why they failed to arise elsewhere. It shows the state to be a predictable response to certain specific cultural, demographic, and ecological conditions. Thus, it helps to elucidate what was undoubtedly the most important single step ever taken in the political evolution of mankind.

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