• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of Political Science presents a major retrospective and prospective overview of the discipline. Comprising three volumes of contributions from expert authors from around the world, the handbook aims to frame, assess and synthesize research in the field, helping to define and identify its current and future developments. It does so from a truly global and cross-area perspective. Chapters cover a broad range of aspects, from providing a general introduction to exploring important subfields within the discipline. Each chapter is designed to provide a state-of-the-art and comprehensive overview of the topic by incorporating cross-cutting global, interdisciplinary, and, where this applies, gender perspectives. The Handbook is arranged over seven core thematic sections: Part 1: Political Theory; Part 2: Methods; Part 3: Political Sociology; Part ...

State Formation and Failure
State formation and failure
I. William Zartman
Introduction

A state is the authoritative political institution that is sovereign over a recognized territory and its inhabitants. Like any fundamental concept, it has been defined by many people in many ways, but essentially they all boil down to the definition above (Dawisha and Zartman, 1988; Luciani, 1990; McIver, 1926; Service, 1975; Laski, 1935; Weber, 1947; Lasswell and Kaplan, 1950; Nettl, 1968; Tilly, 1975; Evans et al., 1985; Schatzberg, 1987; McLennan, Held and Hall 1984; Worster, 2009). Weber (1958), who is often considered the reference authority on the state, defined it as ‘an association that claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence, and it cannot be defined in ...

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