Download Collective Action in the Formation of Pre-Modern States by Richard Blanton, Lane Fargher PDF

By Richard Blanton, Lane Fargher

Anthropological archaeology and different disciplines desirous about the formation of early advanced societies are present process a theoretical shift. Given the necessity for brand new instructions in concept, the ebook proposes that anthropologists glance to political technological know-how, in particular the rational selection idea of collective motion. The authors topic collective motion idea to a methodologically rigorous overview utilizing systematic cross-cultural research in keeping with a world-wide pattern of societies.

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Extra resources for Collective Action in the Formation of Pre-Modern States (Fundamental Issues in Archaeology)

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They argue that mutual benefits may not foster group formation because cooperation may be threatened by the rational but selfish behavior of individuals (Lichbach 1996: 32; Taylor 1982: 1). Group formation, they argue, is difficult to achieve because it depends, not on a singular rationality of mutually positive benefits, but, rather, on multiple and potentially conflicting rationalities of individuals and groups that intersect in complex ways. Individuals are expected to rationally strategize in their own self-interest, and since these interests may or may not coincide with group interests (Hardin 1982: 2-3), anyone attempting to build a collective polity faces a collective action problem (Lichbach 1996: 32).

In early Hindu and Buddhist political theory, rulers were admonished to maintain moral and social order (Heesterman 1998: 14; Tambiah 1976: chapter 5). In the doctrines of the Chinese Confucian literati, the ruler’s correct ritual performance and ethical virtue served as persuasive guides to action promoting harmonious relations among the people (Mote 1968: 398). From Zorita (1994: 93) we learn that Aztec rulers were admonished to “. . watch over and punish the wicked, lords as well as commoners, and correct and reform the disobedient.

Skinner 1977b: 551-2). (4) Promotion of Trust and Credibility. A collective system is based on more than coercion, monitoring, or reciprocity (Levi 1988: 21, 53, 60-4; Ostrom 1998: 6-9, 17). Trust may also figure into compliance decisions. But trust based on ideology that mystifies the nature of power relations, we think, would be counter to collective action. , Braithwaite and Levi 1998: 376-9). According to the theory of collective action, potential cooperators may withhold support if they have no way of knowing whether principals will honor their agreements or if principals and agents are likely to benefit themselves at the expense of the collectivity.

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