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The Rise and Decline of the State
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The Rise and Decline of the State

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  117 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The state, which since the middle of the seventeenth century has been the most important of all modern institutions, is in decline. From Western Europe to Africa, many existing states are either combining into larger communities or falling apart. Many of their functions are likely to be taken over by a variety of organizations that, whatever their precise nature, are not s ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 9th 2017 by Cambridge University Press (first published August 25th 1995)
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4.15  · 
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 ·  117 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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May 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Since 9-11, I've had a bout of existential angst over secular, Western modernity and this was aggravated by my upbringing during the golden age of Cold-War Apocalypse-porn paranoia from 1980's Hollywood: Red Dawn, Blade Runner, Terminator, etc. Is the modern world doomed to return to a Hobbesian state of nature? Will the survivors of some grand collapse retain enough of our institutions like common law, jury trials and a written constitution?

Cultures and nations can and do adapt and survive in
John Schneider
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Written fifteen years ago "The Rise and Decline of the State" stands today as a prophetic work. It correctly predicted the diminishment of states' sovereignty, the rise of disorder (especially terrorism), and the crisis of legitimacy that many states are currently undergoing. It was able to do so because Martin Van Creveld was able to accurately and precisely describe the development of the state as an institution from its inception in the fourteenth century till its apogee in the twentieth. Alo ...more
John Davis
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-history
Filled a lot of gaps in my knowledge of European history, and most of the conclusions drawn in the final chapter on the decline of the state seem to have held up pretty well in the 15 years since its publication (though I think as a country we are experiencing cyclical loss and partial recovery of faith in government, rather than continuing the direct decline that he observed in the late 90s, as well as an upswing in leftist sentiment among those too young to have seen communism fall). Definitel ...more
Jul 11, 2009 rated it liked it
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Zachary Moore
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting read on the historical development of the state and the current crisis of the nation state. A wonderful source of reference material and thought provoking on virtually all levels. Creveld tracks the rise of the state from the high middle ages to the apogee of the state during the two world wars and shows how the state as an institution has begun to go into decline since the mid-to-late twentieth century.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Perspectives are hard to be changed and its more difficult when they are build up by the idea of nationalism. this book does a great job in changing that perspective for you and make you realize of reality that's been always before you.

Go for it till the last page...!
Martin Szugat
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mehr als ein Jahrzehnt alt - aktueller denn je.
Kathryn Muratore
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
A dense history of the world. It took me a long time to read, so the thesis didn't blow me away, but the history lessons did.
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Martin Levi van Creveld (born 5 March 1946) is an Israeli military historian and theorist.

Van Creveld was born in the Netherlands in the city of Rotterdam, and has lived in Israel since shortly after his birth. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he has been on the faculty since 1971. He is the author of seventeen books on military his