War, Trade, and State Formation

Hendrik Spruyt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


This article provides a short account of European state formation. The generative factors behind the transformation of late medieval forms of government to new types of authority are discussed in the first section. This transformation was conducted through the selection and convergence among these distinct types of authority. The article moves on to a discussion of the process of state formation and its effects on the type of regime that emerged in different states. It determines how state formation implicated the rise of constitutionalist or absolutist forms of rule and highlights how the accounts of state formation in Europe currently inform the study of state development in newly emerging countries. Finally, the article identifies rather intriguing topics for further enquiry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics
EditorsCarlos Boix, Susan Stokes
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577482
ISBN (Print)9780199566020
StatePublished - Sep 2 2009


  • Absolutist
  • Constitutionalist
  • European
  • Forms of rule
  • State development
  • State formation
  • Types of authority

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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