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Fundamental Issues in Archaeology

Collective Action in the Formation of Pre-Modern States

Authors: Blanton, Richard, Fargher, Lane

  • 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
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eBook $199.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-73877-2
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  • Included format: PDF
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $259.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-73876-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $259.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-2534-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Collective Action in the Formation of Pre-Modern States
by Richard Blanton and Lane Fargher
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Research over the past half-century has substantially increased the quantity and quality of information on the evolution of early complex societies.  New methods and new discoveries have inspired anthropological archaeologists and other social scientists to rethink prevailing theories, which now seem excessively deterministic and unable to account for the role of human action in social change.  The authors propose that the rational choice theory of collective action, especially as it has been developed by political scientists, is a fruitful new direction for theory-building that can overcome these limitations.  This theory addresses the dilemma faced by any group attempting to build a complex society, namely, that the rational and self-interested behavior of social actors may limit the potential for collective action and group solidarity.  
     This book explores a collective action perspective on the formation of pre-modern states, but does not only promote a new mode of theoretical understanding.  Rather, it subjects collective action theory to a methodologically rigorous evaluation using a systematic cross-cultural analysis of historical, ethnographic, and archaeological data drawn from a world-wide sample of societies. These data provide strong support for the theory while pointing the way to a more complex and nuanced approach to collective action, uniting theories of pre-modern and modern states.

About the authors

Dr. Blanton is a professor of Anthropology at Purdue University.  He is known for his research on the evolution of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican civilization, especially in Central Mexico and the Valley of Oaxaca but has also contributed to several more general anthropological topics, including the economics of peasant households and household archaeology, the evolution of market systems in early civilizations, pre-modern world-systems, and cultural ecology.  Blanton's recent theoretical and comparative research on the nature of early state formation and political economy is regarded as a new departure that is making a contribution to the current discourse on the evolution of complex human societies.  He is a founding member of the Society for Economic Archaeology and has served as its president.

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $199.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-73877-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $259.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-387-73876-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $259.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-2534-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Collective Action in the Formation of Pre-Modern States
Authors
Series Title
Fundamental Issues in Archaeology
Copyright
2008
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag New York
eBook ISBN
978-0-387-73877-2
DOI
10.1007/978-0-387-73877-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-73876-5
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4419-2534-3
Series ISSN
1567-8040
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXVI, 448
Topics