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What The Neighbours Think: State-Building, Esteem And Political Culture

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Chapter Summary

When people attempt to found a state, each potential citizen faces a fundamental decision which determines the success of the whole undertaking. This chapter focuses on the problem of establishing security and state authority as the most fundamental collective action problem of state-building. First, it gives a brief account of the theory of collective action and prisoners dilemmas. It then deals with the analysis of weapons decommissioning as a collective action problem in state-building. Next, it discusses reasons for cooperation. The chapter also explains the assumptions of the framework, and introduces the concept of esteem as an incentive to obey social norms. Finally, social norms and esteem are connected with the notion of political culture.

Keywords: political culture; prisoners dilemmas; social norms; state-building; theory of collective action



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