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18 - State formation and empire building

from Part V - State formations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2015

Benjamin Z. Kedar
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
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This chapter focuses on states and empires, and more precisely on imperial trends and turns in processes of state formation. It explains the political developments that lend support to the idea that the mid-first to mid-second millennium was a distinct period. The chapter focuses on the Eurasian macro-region, including the southern shores of the Mediterranean. Interaction between inner and outer parts of Eurasia was of particular importance for the history of states and empires during the Middle Millennium. The chapter highlights the twin monopolies of violence and taxation as links between the strategic and structural levels in state formation. The western Eurasian periphery, in civilizational terms, Western Christendom, limited to expansion on separate and narrowly circumscribed frontiers. A closer analysis should link developments on the Indian subcontinent to the record of insular and continental Southeast Asia.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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