ISBN is

978-0-521-44896-3 / 9780521448963

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About the book:

The study of chiefdoms has moved from a preoccupation with their formal characteristics to a concern with their dynamics as political institutions. The contributors are interested in how ruling elites retain power through control over production and exchange, and then legitimize that control through an elaborated ideology. The ten case studies look at particular chiefdoms, originating in specific historical conditions. Despite obvious differences between the chiefdoms, certain common underlying processes are revealed. The collection recognizes how complex and interdependent are the sources of power in society, as well as the forces of instability that constantly threaten to tear it apart.

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