The world circumference

Murphy, Peter (2010) The world circumference. In: Marginson, Simon, Murphy, Peter, and Peters, Michael A., (eds.) Global Creation: space, mobility and synchrony in the age of the knowledge economy. Peter Lang, New York City, NY, USA, pp. 77-116.

Image (JPEG) (Book Cover) - Cover Image
Download (59kB)
[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


[Extract] Most states in human history have been patrimonies or have possessed significant patrimonial features. Today patrimony, or more precisely neo-patrimony, is still the most common state form to be found across the world. Under the surface of modernity lurks a deep and abiding archaism. Patrimonial states took shape sometime in the fourth millennium BCE, and attained a mature form with the Sumerians, Hittites, and Egyptians. These states replaced technological adaptation to nature - prized by the first human societies, the nomad societies - with the social organization of labor. Whereas peripatetic nomad societies advanced through technological metabolism with nature, patrimonial states advanced by escalating the range and types of face-to-face social relationships. This was far from a happy condition. They deployed techniques of slavery, status hierarchy, serfdom, patron-client relations, and command-and-obedience relations to enforce or compel sedentary life. The state in effect asserted ownership over human beings. Even while patrimonial states produced the first urban communities, their command of face-to-face social structures proved more often than not to be sadistic, punitive, and terrifying. Cruelty was the norm of these thick social relationships.

Item ID: 23592
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-4331-0526-5
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2012 02:51
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 280
Last 12 Months: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page