War Did Make States: Testing Tilly’s Thesis
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Presentation av Lars-Erik Cederman, professor vid Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich
Charles Tilly’s claim that “war made states” in early modern Europe remains both famous and controversial. The “bellicist” thesis has attracted theoretical criticism both within and beyond its original domain of applicability. Yet, besides numerous statistical investigations of its validity with respect to the internal dimension of state formation, there have been very few attempts to test Tilly’s logic with historical data on European state borders. The most important exception is Abramson’s (2017) pioneering article that uses data on state sizes and state survival to cast doubt on the bellicist account. In this paper, we test the bellicist theory directly by aligning conflict data drawn from Brecke (1999) with data on state boundaries from Abramson and other sources. Focusing primarily on the period from 1490 through 1790, our analysis proceeds at the systemic, state and dyadic levels. The findings offer robust evidence that warfare did in fact contribute to the territorial expansion of European states already before the French Revolution.
Om Lars-Erik Cederman
Born in Sweden in 1963, Lars-Erik Cederman received an M.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of Uppsala in 1988 and an M.A. in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva in 1990 before obtaining his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan in 1994. Using computational modeling, he wrote his dissertation on how states and nations develop and dissolve. He has since taught at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Oxford, UCLA, and Harvard. Lars-Erik Cederman is editor of Constructing Europe's Identity: The External Dimension (Lynne Rienner, 2001) and the author of Emergent Actors in World Politics: How States and Nations Develop and Dissolve (Princeton University Press, 1997), which received the 1998 Edgar S. Furniss Book Award. He is also the author and co-author of articles in scholarly journals such as the American Political Science Review, European Journal of International Relations, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His main research interests include computational modeling, International Relations theory, nationalism, integration and disintegration processes, and historical sociology.