The Social Actor in Collective Action
Neoevolutionists asked how an elite could establish itself as a permanent ruling class in early chiefdoms and states, thus they situated political domination as the central process in state formation. While we recognize the significance of domination, we think that by focusing on it our discipline has not fully explored the role of cooperation in social evolution. The rational choice theory of collective action might be one way to recast our theoretical agenda, and in this chapter we describe those aspects of the collective action approach that pertain to pre-modern states as a first step towards the development of a set of methods that will allow us to operationalize the theory and subject it to rigorous empirical evaluation.
KeywordsPublic Good Collective Action Collective State Rational Choice Theory Complex Society
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