How Chiefdom and Early State Social Structures Resolve Collective Action Problems View Full Text


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Chapter Info

DATE

2017-01-21

AUTHORS

David Willer , Pamela Emanuelson , Yamilette Chacon , Richard J. Chacon

ABSTRACT

This paper explores how chiefdom and early state social structures resolve collective action problems. Solutions to problems of collective action are twofold; incentive systems discourage free-riding and encourage individuals to act and organization combines individuals’ acts. Broadly stated, we argue that influence and power, once organized into the hands of one or a small subgroup of individuals, can be used to administer incentive systems that motivate others in the community to act. Those incentive systems, in turn, shape collective activities such as warfare and defense. Drawing on experimentally grounded theory in sociology, we model forms of social organization and discuss the relation of each to collective action. In particular, we argue that simple chiefdoms solve problems of collective action through the well-ordered influence relations in their status-lineage structures, while coercive chiefdoms, to the same purpose, exercise power through threat of force. As in coercive chiefdoms, early states solve collective action problems through coercive relations but, where chiefs coerce only directly, heads of territorial states use bureaucratic systems of administration to exercise coercive power over vast geographic and social distances. More... »

PAGES

417-452

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/978-3-319-48402-0_15

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48402-0_15

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1053977876


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