Do Wars Build States?


American sociologist and political scientistCharles Tilly argued that wars, despite being seen as hindrances to progress, actually facilitated modern state building by providing a foundation. Historical data supports this, indicating that states generate higher revenues from citizens during conflicts. 

However, it is difficult to evaluate the strength of this claim relying solely on historical data, given the existence of alternative explanations. Since wars do not occur randomly, it is hard to separate the effects of war from the underlying conditions which precipitate it.

To address gaps in our understanding, Dr Seunghoon Chae’s year-long John Fell-funded project will adopt a novel experimental approach to isolate the effects of conflict on state contributions. His research will contribute to scholarship in various academic disciplines that research post-conflict investments in the state.