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Although more papers were presented at the conference than we could reasonably include within this volume, the ideas contained in them have had a significant impact on the final shape of the project.
Why then, has such an obvious and important research agenda been left to languish?
Where Tilly and colleagues have explored links between war making and the gradual transition from absolutism to representative forms of rule, Downing argues that “extensive domestic resource mobilization” produced the destruction of representative governance and the rise of autocracy.
Nonetheless, among scholars of the contemporary developing world, one response to the hegemonic status of Europe has been to take the generalizability of this larger research program as given and to regard the conceptual assumptions underlying it as unproblematically portable across time and space.
This volume is dedicated to my wife, Gail David, who endured the many absences imposed on me both by my responsibilities at the SSRC and by the demands of bringing this long-running project to a close.
This volume responds to two significant and related gaps in the study of war in the Middle East, one empirical, the other theoretical.