State Formation in the Hebrew Bible: An Institutional Economic Perspective
journal contributionposted on 01.07.2013, 11:29 by Sigmund Wagner-Tsukamoto
This article analyzes the changing approach to state formation in the stories of Joshua, Saul, David and Solomon. These stories are here scrutinized for features of emerging constitutional and institutional economic governance. This article inquires as to why initially a rather federalist structure under Joshua emerged, one that subsequently was replaced by more formally coordinated, hierarchical governance structures. It focuses on attack/defense costs and transaction costs that explain the emergence of state structures and their evolution over time. In addition, institutional economic concepts of political governance (that overcome anarchy and organize wealth creation in society) are projected to state formation in the Hebrew Bible. In this way, this article traces the early, yet pseudo-modern, economic history of a theory of state formation.