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The Paradoxical Nature of State Making: The Violent Creation of Order

Youssef Cohen, Brian R. Brown and A. F. K. Organski
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 75, No. 4 (Dec., 1981), pp. 901-910
DOI: 10.2307/1962291
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1962291
Page Count: 10
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The Paradoxical Nature of State Making: The Violent Creation of Order
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Abstract

The central argument of this paper is developed as a criticism of a widely accepted interpretation of collective violence in new states. It is shown that instead of indicating political decay, violence in these states is an integral part of the process of accumulation of power by the national state. To the degree that this power accumulation is necessary for the imposition or maintenance of order, collective violence also indicates movement towards political order on a new scale. Admittedly, our evidence is far from definitive. Nevertheless, it consistently contradicts the interpretation of violence as political decay and supports our interpretation of violence as a usual feature of the process of primitive accumulation of power.

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