The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution
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The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

3.9 15
by Francis Fukuyama
     
 

ISBN-10: 0374227349

ISBN-13: 9780374227340

Pub. Date: 04/12/2011

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their citizens. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are

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Overview

Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their citizens. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.

In The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama, author of the bestselling The End of History and the Last Man, provides a sweeping account of how today’s basic political institutions developed. The first of a major two-volume work begins with politics among our primate ancestors and follows the story through the emergence of tribal societies, the growth of the first modern state in China, the beginning of a rule of law in India and the Middle East, and the development of political accountability in Europe up until the eve of the French Revolution.

Drawing on a vast body of knowledge—history, evolutionary biology, archaeology, and economics—Fukuyama has produced a brilliant, provocative work that offers fresh insights on the origins of democratic societies and raises essential questions about the nature of politics.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374227340
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
04/12/2011
Pages:
608
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.90(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part I Before the State

1 The Necessity of Politics 3

2 The State of Nature 26

3 The Tyranny of Cousins 49

4 Tribal Societies: Property, Justice, War 64

5 The Coming of the Leviathan 80

Part II State Building

6 Chinese Tribalism 97

7 War and the Rise of the Chinese State 110

8 The Great Han System 128

9 Political Decay and the Return of Patrimonial Government 139

10 The Indian Detour 151

11 Varnas and Jatis 162

12 Weaknesses of Indian Polities 175

13 Slavery and the Muslim Exit from Tribalism 189

14 The Mamluks Save Islam 202

15 The Functioning and Decline of the Ottoman State 214

16 Christianity Undermines the Family 229

Part III The Rule of Law

17 The Origins of the Rule of Law 245

18 The Church Becomes a State 262

19 The State Becomes a Church 276

20 Oriental Despotism 290

21 Stationary Bandits 303

Part IV Accountable Government

22 The Rise of Political Accountability 321

23 Rente Seekers 336

24 Patrimonialism Crosses the Atlantic 355

25 East of the Elbe 373

26 Toward a More Perfect Absolutism 386

27 Taxation and Representation 402

28 Why Accountability? Why Absolutism? 422

Part V Toward a Theory of Political Development

29 Political Development and Political Decay 437

30 Political Development, Then and Now 458

Notes 485

Bibliography 535

Acknowledgments 557

Index 559

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Origins of Political Order 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many books inform a reader, this book educates. As and exceptional book it will leave a mark on the way you understand the world you live in. Beyond being flat out interesting, it will provide you with a clearer sense of history, current geopolitics and political development. Thought provoking and well written but there is a drawback. You'll wish you had a friend read it at the same time becasue the ideas are too good to not want to discuss.
xiu More than 1 year ago
Original and interestingly developed theories posited by Mr. Fukuyama. Any fan of politics, as well as history, would find this book a valuable addition to your catalogue of political history. Read the book and decide for yourself if you accept, reject, or agnostically take the theories developed in this book as a step toward a newly defined political jurisprudence. Highly recommend this book and am agog for the second installment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A once in a lifetime thoughtful reconsideration of how we got to this point
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Incredibly well written and so fun to read. Bonus points for recentering the story on China - the first to develop sophisticated political institutions. Extra bonus points for using usufructuary and wergeld. Can't wait for the sequel.
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