The expansion of the state.

George Thomas, J. W. Meyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

72 Scopus citations


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 contexts of the state's emergence and expansiion. Two distinct issues are crucial: 1) the evolution of society as a collective actor, including the establishment of sovereignty and the expansion of its jurisdiction; and 2) the degree to which this sovereignty and jurisdiction are structured within a particular bureaucratic organization. Having first reviewed studies of the emergence of states in formerly stateless polities, discusses the processes of state formation and nation building in the Western system. The authors review more specialized theoretical works concerning classes, the world economy, and the construction of national institutions. -Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual review of sociology. Vol. 10
EditorsR.H. Turner, J.F. Short
PublisherAnnual Reviews Inc.
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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