Written by Jennifer Gandhi (Yale University) and Jeffrey K. Staton (Emory University), this chapter of A Political Science Experiment explores the following questions:
– Where do we encounter the state in our lives?
– What is a state and what does it do?
– What are the historical origins of states?
– Why would people want a state?
– How do states contribute to addressing the fundamental challenges of life in a large community?
– Why do some states function more effectively than others?
– How does state building influence the relationship between rulers and those they rule?
– What kinds of challenges are difficult for states to solve on their own?