It is hard to imagine more thoughtful and stimulating responses to The Familial State (Adams, 2005a) than the four gathered in this symposium. Mounira Maya Charrad, Ivan Ermakoff, Edgar Kiser and Pavla Miller raise important challenges not only for me but for all those who tackle questions of large-scale comparative history. Rather than arguing about this or that point of specific interpretation – in fact I think that unlike some “Author Meets Critics” sessions, these commentators have the main arguments of the book nailed down – I will immediately turn to those issues. These include the relationship of the argument to today's patrimonial states; patriarchal power and internal family dynamics; the reasons for the decline of hegemonic powers; the microfoundations of collective action and the place of evolutionary biology in comparative historical explanation.
Adams, J. (2008), "Politics, patriarchy and frontiers of historical sociological explanation", Davis, D. and Proenza-Coles, C. (Ed.) Political Power and Social Theory (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 289-294. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0198-8719(08)19012-3Download as .RIS
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