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Why Do States Fragment and Break Apart? : An Historical Sociology of Eight Cases (Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century)
Li, Jieli

eBook Available: Why Do States Fragment and Break Apart? :


This comparative analysis demonstrates how state fragmentation results from a causal chain of geopolitical strains, resource shortfalls, intra-elite conflict, and the deficiency of a central government’s coercive capability to hold the society together. The emergence process of new sovereign states is also discussed.


"The book reflects the highest level of skill in comparative historical research and a truly brilliant facility to synthesize and theorize about the data at hand. The work is bound to be read widely and cited often in the US and throughout the world. It is an unusually timely addition to the scholarly literature, and it is bound to succeed in every respect...."
- Prof. Jay Weinstein, Eastern Michigan University

"a very complex argument about the significance of different kinds of state structures during the last four hundred years of human history....a stimulating contribution to comparative-historical sociology, with much to ponder. While there are aspects of the analysis that will no doubt raise objections, this book will constitute a significant extension of our knowledge."
-Prof. J. I. (Hans) Bakker, University of Guelph

From the Foreword
“Jieli Li has brought a new and key element of conflict theory to the table, illustrated with key examples that lend much credence to the theory. It is a work that anyone working in comparative-historical sociology, world-systems analysis, or macro-level theory in general must read.”
-Prof. Jonathan H. Turner, University of California, Riverside

Table of Contents

Jonathan H. Turner


Chapter 1
Geopolitics of the State
Geopolitics of the State – A Sociological Perspective
Historical-Comparative Methodology
Historical Cases and Critical Variation in Geopolitics

Chapter 2
The Theory of State Fragmentation
The Limits of Existing Theories of the State and Revolution
Two-Dimensional View of the State as a Concept
Territorial Power of the State
Geopolitical Strain and Resource Shortfalls
Geopolitical Crisis and Secessionism
A Model of Geopolitics and State Fragmentation

Chapter 3
The Fragmentation of the British Empire in North America In the Eighteenth Century
The Expansion and Empire-Building of British North America:
From Treaty of Utrecht (1713) to Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Crisis of the British North American Empire, 1763-1776
The Fragmentation of the British North American Empire and the Rise Of the United States: 1776-1815

Chapter 4
The Fragmentation of the Qing Empire in China in the Nineteenth Century
The Great Expansion and Empire-Building of Qing Dynasty, 1644-1790s
The Crisis of the Qing Empire, 1790s-1840s
The Decline and Fragmentation of the Qing Empire, 1840s-1910s

Chapter 5
Comparing the American Civil War with the Chinese “Taiping Rebellion” In the Mid- Nineteenth Century
Toward Unification: The American Civil War
Toward Fragmentation: The Taiping Rebellion in Qing China
Lessons to be Learned from American and Chinese Civil Wars

Chapter 6
The Fragmentation of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia
The Soviet Union
The Federation of Yugoslavia

Chapter 7
The Geopolitics of Modern China: Why Doesn’t the Communist State Fragment?
The Rise of Chinese Communist Party and State Building
Geopolitically Favored Reform Period and State Consolidation
Rising to Be a Global Powerhouse
Geopolitically Induced Geoeconomic “Marchland”
Geopolitical Marginalization of Taiwan

Chapter 8
A Geopolitical Diversity of State Fragmentation: The Cases of Singapore and Czechoslovakia
Themes and Scenarios of Geopolitical Path to State Change
The Case of Singapore: “Independence Thrust Upon it”
The Case of Czechoslovakia: “Velvet Divorce”
Through “Velvet Revolution”

Final Remarks


ISBN10:  0-7734-3697-9   ISBN13:  978-0-7734-3697-8    Pages:  300    Year:  2010   

Subject Areas:  Comparative Government, International Studies, Political History, Political Science, Political Science, Political Philosophy & Theory, Political Science - International Relations, Sociology & Social Sciences,

Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press

USA List Price: $139.95 UK List Price: £ 94.95  

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