The Origins of Political Order
From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution
By: Francis Fukuyama
Publication Date: 2012-03-27
Number of pages: 608
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011 A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 TitleA Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction of 2011 title Â Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of todayâ€™s developing countriesâ€”with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.
Francis Fukuyama, author of the bestselling The End of History and the Last ManÂ and one of our mostÂ important political thinkers,Â provides a sweeping account of how todayâ€™s basic political institutions developed. The first of a major two-volume work, The OriginsÂ of Political OrderÂ begins with politics among our primate ancestors and follows the story through the emergence of tribal societies, the growth of the first modern state in China, the beginning ofÂ the rule of law in India and the Middle East, and the development of political accountability in Europe up until the eve of the French Revolution.
Drawing on a vast body of knowledgeâ€”history, evolutionary biology, archaeology, and economicsâ€”Fukuyama has produced a brilliant, provocative work that offers fresh insights on the origins of democratic societies and raises essential questions about the nature of politics and its discontents.
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