Document Type

Honors Project


Until recently, international relations theory has treated the territorial state as a transhistorical constant. The post-positivist turn, however, revives the question of the state’s origins and future sustainability. By drawing together the contributions of historical sociologists and social theorists of war, this thesis provides a model for change in political organization stemming from foundational transformations in warfare. This model considers not only warfighting practices, but the social and broader historical context in which war is embedded. Through analysis of the feudal and modern cases, I demonstrate why warfare is the best lens through which to evaluate change in political organization.



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