The organization of coercion in history: A rationalist-evolutionary theory

Sociological Theory 1:1-29 (1983)
This chapter brings together social evolutionary theory and 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 reviewed here, along with those that produced the concept of bounded rationality. While modeling begins by generalization from historical materials, it is not the purpose of this chapter to produce a historical explanation of a chain of real events. Nor is it an essay in metatheory. The goal is to contribute to an abstract theory of societal change in the same sense that biological evolutionary theory accounts for change in species. The unit taken to be evolving is called the tribute system
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