Foundations in change: the material preconditions of the state

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Sammanfattning: The classic division of state formation literature often discuss the state in concepts of capital and coercion, stressing the dimension of coercion in true Weberian spirit. This essay however finds a different path and a somewhat alternative way of thinking about states. Through applying the hierarchy of needs in analyzing the period of 1100-1790, this essay defines a certain number of ‘material preconditions of the state’, meaning physical resources needed for a state to be able to come into being. The resources discussed, temperature, water, arable land, and food (energy) are then discussed in matters of climate change, and what effects climate change could have on them. I then outline social-ecological impacts of these resources, and how climate change may cause trouble for a state’s foundation. I draw the conclusions that the coercion dimension of state literature is utterly dependent on the capital dimension, and that if imbalance or sudden change occurs in these material conditions, it can have terrible effects on society.

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