Sociological Theory 20 (1):1-23 (2002)
|Abstract||A theoretical strategy is proposed to integrate competing models of state breakdown by conceptualizing key concepts in these models at a more abstract level. The demographic model, which asserts that rapid population growth can bring about state breakdown when economic and political institutions are too rigid, is extracted from Goldstone's work. The geopolitical model, which argues that deteriorating geopolitical condition can bring about state breakdown if the state is too weak and the economy too unproductive, is extracted from Skocpol's and Collins's works. The competing models are conceptualized as alternative and interacting routes to state breakdown where changing population pressure and geopolitical condition may generate integrative or disintegrative tendency depending on state power and productivity. A model describing four dimensions of state power-economic, military, political, and administrative-is constructed to incorporate various conceptualizations of the state in the state breakdown literature. Also integrated in the model is a third alternative route suggesting that rapid market development can generate disintegrative tendency if state power is too low. The synthesized model allows us to see that disintegrative/integrative tendency produced by one route may intensify or alleviate that generated by another route|
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