1932

Abstract

Although ubiquitous today, the “state” did not always exist. Archaeological and historical assessments of state beginnings—and research on the characteristics of the state form in both past and present—help address how the state as a social, economic, and territorial construct became dominant. Utilizing the categories of politics, violence, literacy, and borders, this article examines how individuals and households are mutually implicated in negotiations of power and expressions of everyday life that have been present from before the inception of the state through to the modern day. The state is constituted and expressed through nested exploitative engagements predicated on actual and perceived benefits; the outcomes of the existence of the state range from collaborative platforms for integration to the realities of inequality, environmental degradation through future discounting, and institutionalized power dynamics. As a container for human interactions, the state may be situationally unwanted but also seems inescapable once initialized.

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2022-10-24
2024-04-13
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