The Evolution of Modern States is a significant contribution to the literatures on political economy, globalization, historical institutionalism, and social science methodology. The book begins with a simple question: Why do rich capitalist democracies respond so differently to the common pressures they face in the early twenty-first century? Drawing on insights from evolutionary theory, Sven Steinmo challenges the common equilibrium view of politics and economics and argues that modern political economies are best understood as complex adaptive systems. The book examines the political, social, and economic history of three different nations - Sweden, Japan, and the United States - and explains how and why these countries have evolved along such different trajectories over the past century. Bringing together social and economic history, institutionalism, and evolutionary theory, Steinmo thus provides a comprehensive explanation for differing responses to globalization as well as a new way of analyzing institutional and social change.
About the Author
Sven Steinmo holds the Chair in Public Policy and Political Economy at the European University Institute in Florence and is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Southern Denmark and the NordWel Professor of Comparative Politics at the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm, Sweden.
Table of Contents1. Introduction: evolutionary narratives; 2. Sweden: the evolution of a bumble-bee; 3. The Japanese hybrid; 4. The United States: strong nation - weak state; 5. And yet it moves.