This post is a new essay of mine that was just published in Kappan. Here's a link to the original. And here's a link to the pdf. The essay focuses on an issue I've been thinking about for years, the tight interrelationship between states and schools. Here's an overview of the argument: The nation state and … Continue reading The Fraught Connection between State and School
Category: State Formation
Ian Morris — War! What Is It Good For?
This post is an overview of the 2014 book by Stanford classicist Ian Morris, War! What Is It Good For? In it he makes the counter-intuitive argument that over time some forms of war have been socially productive. In contrast with the message of 1970s song by the same name, war may in fact be good for something. … Continue reading Ian Morris — War! What Is It Good For?
The State as Organized Crime
This post is a commentary on a classic essay by Charles Tilly, "War Making and State Making as Organized Crime," which appeared in the 1985 book Bringing the State Back In. Here's a PDF of the original chapter. His essay is a riff on an aphorism he developed earlier: the state make war and war … Continue reading The State as Organized Crime
Escape from Rome: How the Loss of Empire Spurred the Rise of Modernity — and What this Suggests about US Higher Ed
This post is a brief commentary on historian Walter Scheidel's latest book, Escape from Rome. It's a stunningly original analysis of a topic that has long fascinated scholars like me: How did Europe come to create the modern world? His answer is this: Europe became the cauldron of modernity and the dominant power in the … Continue reading Escape from Rome: How the Loss of Empire Spurred the Rise of Modernity — and What this Suggests about US Higher Ed