Path Dependence in European Development: Medieval Politics, Conflict, and State Building

@article{Acharya2019PathDI,
  title={Path Dependence in European Development: Medieval Politics, Conflict, and State Building},
  author={Avidit Acharya and Alexander Lee},
  journal={Comparative Political Studies},
  year={2019},
  volume={52},
  pages={2171 - 2206}
}
  • Avidit Acharya, Alexander Lee
  • Published 2019
  • Political Science
  • Comparative Political Studies
During the Middle Ages, most European polities operated under a norm that gave only the close male relatives of a monarch a privileged place in the order of succession. When no such heirs were available, succession disputes were more likely, with distant relatives and female(-line) heirs laying competing claims to the throne. These disputes often produced conflicts that destroyed existing institutions and harmed subsequent economic development. A shortage of male heirs to a European monarchy in… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

Feudalism, Collaboration and Path Dependence in England's Political Development
I present a formal model of path dependence inspired by England’s history. The introduction of feudalism after the Norman Conquest – the critical juncture – created a large elite that rebelledExpand
Sons and Lovers: Political Stability in China and Europe Before the Great Divergence
Rulers’ long duration in the medieval period had contributed to the rise of Europe. But what explained premodern ruler duration? While the extant answers focus on formal, political institutions, IExpand
Leader Succession and Civil War
Leadership succession is a perennial source of instability in autocratic regimes. Despite this, it has remained a curiously understudied phenomenon in political science. In this article, we compile aExpand
Why Monarchy? The Rise and Demise of a Regime Type
Monarchy was the dominant form of rule in the pre-modern era and it persists in a handful of countries. We propose a unified theoretical explanation for its rise and decline. Specifically, we argueExpand
The Economic Legacy of Warfare: Evidence from European Regions
Historical warfare in Europe inflicted numerous costs on rural populations. To reduce such costs, rural populations relocated behind the relative safety of urban fortifications. We argue thatExpand
Labor scarcity, land tenure, and historical legacy: Evidence from Mexico
How does labor scarcity shape institutional development? We examine the long-term impact of Mexico's 16th-century demographic collapse on landholding patterns through the present day. We show thatExpand
Networks and Long-Term Cultural Change: How Communities Scale into Civilizations
I analyze structure and function in the network design of historical regimes of China and Western Europe to build a theory for the development of societies and states from endogenous mechanisms ofExpand
Queens
Are states led by women less prone to conflict than states led by men? We answer this question by examining the effect of female rule on war among European polities over the 15th-20th centuries. WeExpand
How Communities Scale into Civilizations: The Diffusion of Culture Across Historical Networks
We analyze structure and function in the network design of historical regimes to build a theory for the development of societies and states from endogenous mechanisms of social change. We useExpand
Queens
Do states experience more peace under female leadership? We examine this question in the context of Europe over the fifteenth to twentieth centuries. We use gender of the firstborn and presence of aExpand
...
1
2
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 135 REFERENCES
The origins of backwardness in Eastern Europe : economics and politics from the Middle Ages until the early twentieth century
Reaching back centuries, this study makes a convincing case for very deep roots of current Eastern European backwardness. Its conclusions are suggestive for comparativists studying other parts of theExpand
The Feudal Revolution and Europe's Rise: Political Divergence of the Christian West and the Muslim World before 1500 CE
We document a divergence in the duration of rule for monarchs in Western Europe and the Islamic world beginning in the medieval period. While leadership tenures in the two regions were similar in theExpand
Comparing British and French Colonial Legacies: A Discontinuity Analysis of Cameroon
Colonial institutions are thought to be an important determinates of post-independence levels of political stability, economic growth, and public goods provision. In particular, many scholars haveExpand
The Consequences of Radical Reform: The French Revolution
The French Revolution of 1789 had a momentous impact on neighboring countries. The French Revolutionary armies during the 1790s and later under Napoleon invaded and controlled large parts of Europe.Expand
Was Weber Right? City Autonomy, Political Oligarchy, and the Rise of Europe
What are the implications of an oligarchic political regime for economic development? This is a question of current relevance, and it is also one where historical precedent may provide importantExpand
The ‘reversal of fortune’ thesis and the compression of history: Perspectives from African and comparative economic history
Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson have dramatically challenged the tendency of economists to confine their empirical search for the causes of economic growth to the recent past. They argue that the kindExpand
Was Weber Right? The Role of Urban Autonomy in Europe's Rise
Do strong property rights institutions always help, or might they sometimes actually hinder development? Since Max Weber and before, scholars have claimed that the presence of politically autonomousExpand
The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa
In a recent study, Nunn (2008) examines the long-term impacts of Africa’s slave trade. He finds that the slave trade, which occurred over a period of more than 400 years, had a significant negativeExpand
From Agnatic Succession to Absolute Primogeniture: The Shift to Equal Rights of Succession to Thrones and Titles in the Modern European Constitutional Monarchy
On October 27, 2011, the heads of the British Commonwealth member states agreed to remove barriers to the succession of the first born child of the sovereign, whether male or female, to the throne ofExpand
The Three Horsemen of Riches: Plague, War, and Urbanization in Early Modern Europe
How did Europe escape the “Iron Law of Wages?” We construct a simple Malthusian model with two sectors and multiple steady states, and use it to explain why European per capita incomes andExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...