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

  title={Path Dependence in European Development: Medieval Politics, Conflict, and State Building},
  author={Avidit Acharya and Alexander Lee},
  journal={Comparative Political Studies},
  pages={2171 - 2206}
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… 

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