Rethinking the Role of Agency in Political Evolution.- The Social Actor in Collective Action.- Selecting a Sample of Societies for Comparative Coding.- Archaeological and Historical Contexts for the Coded Societies.- Revenue Sources.- Public Goods.- Bureaucratization.- Modes of Control of Principals.- Theory Testing and a Question: Is State Formation a Product of Rational Choice or Symbolic Structure?.- Collective Action Processes at World-Economy, Polity, and Community Scales.- Collective Action and Political Evolution.
Introduction The Rise and Demise of Neoevolutionist Theory.- The Theory of Collective Action as Applied to Pre-Modern States.- Historical Backgrounds to the Study Regions and the Coded Societies, Part I: Introduction and East Asia.- Background to State Formation and the Coded Polities in Southeast Asia.- Background to State Formation and the Coded Polities in South Asia and the Coded Polities .- Background to Sub-Saharan African State Formation.- Background to State Formation in Western Eurasia and the Mediterranean/North Africa.- Background to the New World States.- Material and Social Background to the Coded Societies of East Asia and Tibet.- Material and Social Background to the Coded Southeast Asian Societies.- Material and Social Background to the Coded Societies of South Asia.- Material and Social Background to the Coded African Societies.- Material and Social Background to the Coded Societies of West Eurasia and the Mediterranean/North Africa.- Material and Social Background to the New World Coded Societies.- A Method for Comparing Revenue Sources.- Public Goods.- Bureaucratization.- Modes of Control of the Behavior of Principals.- Main Results and Conclusions.- Conclusions, Part II: Collective Action in Relation to World-System, Region, and Community.- Final Reflections on Collective Action as an Approach to the Study of Pre-Modern States.- What is a "Modern" State?
Anthropological archaeology and other disciplines concerned with the formation of early complex societies are undergoing a theoretical shift. Given the need for new directions in theory, the book proposes that anthropologists look to political science, especially the rational choice theory of collective action. The authors subject collective action theory to a methodologically rigorous evaluation using systematic cross-cultural analysis based on a world-wide sample of societies.
Uses political science theory in researching state formation in prehistoric societies
Takes a global comparative approach
Blanton is one of the founders of the field of economic and political archaeology