A Theory of the Origin of the State

  title={A Theory of the Origin of the State},
  author={Robert L. Carneiro},
  pages={733 - 738}
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. 

The Organization of Coercion in History: A Rationalist-Evolutionary Theory

the rational choice approach to develop a theory of the organization of coercion in history. Recent works considering parallels and distinctions between biological and sociocultural evolution are

State and Socio-Political Crises in the Process of Modernization

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From Alt To Anthropology: the Rise of the Israelite State

not surprising that the origin of state level organizations, given their powers for weal and woe in human affairs, has been a source of fascination for anthropologists and other social scientists as

Models of State Formation in Predynastic Egypt 1

The theories regarding complexity and state emergence in Egypt, as noted by Geller (1992: 154), “could be grossly labeled as ecological, economic, or ideological explanations, or combinations of

The Evolution of Fragility: Setting the Terms

Explanations for the collapse of early states (and complex societies) often assume that they were integrated and stable until something bad happened, usually environmental change or because enemies

State origins in anthropological thought

The state origins are the perpetual issue in social studies. The contemporary conceptions of the state formation differ in multiple ways from the classical theories. The state was resulted by two

State Origins: Clarifications and Reformulations

Carneiro's origin of the state theory appeared in 1970, three years after I began my career in 1967. Like others I found it fascinating. I taught it in courses on political anthropology. In the 1980s

The Expansion of the State

The state has come to be a major focus of political and historical sociology in recent years. In the growing literature, there appears to be an underemphasis on the cultural and institutional

The Biological Nature of the State

The origin of the state, long at the center of political science, can be greatly illuminated by the contemporary approach in evolutionary biology known as “inclusive fitness theory.” Natural

The rise of the Hittite Empire: A comparison of theories on the origins of the state

Alternative theories of state development proposed by Cartteiro (1970) and Wilier (1977) are presented and discussed briefly. Each is considered in terms of its applicability to the development of



Carneuo , in Men and Culrurer , Selected Papers of the Flffh Jnternational Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences , A

    Proceedings, VilIth Intemational Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (Tokyo and Kyoto, 1968), vol. 3 (Ethnology and Archaeology)

    • p. 249 (especially p. 251). See also N. Fock, Folk 6,
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    dynastic authority in southern Mesopotamia was linked to the administrative requirements of a major canal system" [in City Invincible

    • Eds. (Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago,
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    Preceramic Period VI, beginning about 2500 B.C.) human settlement seems to have been denser along the coast than in the river valleys

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      A History of Politics (Macmillan

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      Men and Cultures

      • Selected Papers of the Fifth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences,
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      Brainerd , Thr . 4 ncicnt dfdjc ( Stanford Cniv