Comparative politics Midtern study guide

Comparative politics Midtern study guide - 1 What Does...

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1) What Does Spruyt mean by the term “capstone government”? How is it similar to or different from a modern state? Capstone government refers to Horizontal elites (the capstone government) overlaid vertically segregated societies. In short, the capacity of early states remained relatively limited. Their abilities to tax, to raise troops, and to forge any sense of national identity remained weak. Early states ran wide but not deep. Examples of a capstone government could be the Roman Empire where power was in the hands of very few over a gigantic heterogenous population. 2) What is the significance of territorial sovereignty to the modern state? The Modern state needs to possess territorial sovereignty, mutually recognized borders circumscribed the extension of political authority. Within such borders, authority would be exclusive, modern states have to be recognized internationally as states to be considered a state and one condition of being a state is have clearly defined borders. 3) Explain the “War Makes State” argument. War making is a very important function of a state both internally and externally. The capacity to make war drives economies, in medieval Europe the increasing scope of warfare gradually led to the emergence of standing armies and the advent of large mercenary contingents. This transformation in warfare led to a greatly expanded royal administration and a rise in the levels of taxation 4) What does Tilly Mean when he argues that the state is a protection racket? Does this make sense to you, why or why not? Tilly says that the functions of protection rackets are micro versions of states. Protection rackets charge people protection fees for threats that probably don’t exist, and if they refuse to pay up they are punished somehow, in the case of states its population is forced to pay taxes to pay for an army protecting them from a perceived threat that may not exist at all and if someone refuses to pay taxes they are punished as well. In this regard I agree with Tilly, although taxes also go to welfare programs such as Social Security while giving money to a protection racket won’t likely give any beneficial return, but in a way that is still just protection money as well, protection from poverty in old age. 5) Do you think Spruyt foresees the state diminishing in importance to you? why or why not?
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course HIST 508:322 taught by Professor Brown during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Comparative politics Midtern study guide - 1 What Does...

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