Growing Sovereignty: Modeling the Shift from Indirect to Direct Rule

author: Lars-Erik Cederman, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, ETH Zurich
published: July 10, 2009,   recorded: June 2009,   views: 3706

See Also:

Download slides icon Download slides: ccss09_cederman_gsmts_01.pdf (753.5┬áKB)

Help icon Streaming Video Help

Related Open Educational Resources

Related content

Report a problem or upload files

If you have found a problem with this lecture or would like to send us extra material, articles, exercises, etc., please use our ticket system to describe your request and upload the data.
Enter your e-mail into the 'Cc' field, and we will keep you updated with your request's status.
Lecture popularity: You need to login to cast your vote.


Drawing on theories of historical sociology, we model the emergence of the territorial state in early modern Europe. Our modeling effort focuses on systems change with respect to the shift from indirect to direct rule. We first introduce a one-dimensional model that captures the tradeoff between organizational and geographic distances. In a second step, we present an agent-based model that features states with a varying number of organizational levels. This model explicitly represents causal mechanisms of conquest and internal state-building through organizational bypass processes. The computational findings confirm our hypothesis that technological change is sufficient to trigger the emergence of modern, direct state hierarchies. Our theoretical findings indicate that the historical transformation from indirect to direct rule presupposes a logistical, rather than the commonly assumed exponential, form of the loss-of-strength gradient.

Link this page

Would you like to put a link to this lecture on your homepage?
Go ahead! Copy the HTML snippet !

Write your own review or comment:

make sure you have javascript enabled or clear this field: