15 Kasım 2010 Pazartesi

Charles Tilly’s War Making and State Making as Organized Crime”


Charles Tilly in his article “War Making and State Making as Organized Crime” makes an analogy between establishing a state and making an organized crime. This brings us our minds famous definition of the Max Webber about the state. According to Max Weber, a state is an institution that claims a monopoly of force over a geographical area in the form of institutionalized power. Tilly makes this analogy because he asserts that before the establishment of the modern state, the state’s use of power was not that legitimate. He analyzes the word “protection” which was offered by the state to its citizens as well by mafia groups to people giving rackets to them. He underlines that protection has both positive and negative connotations. Tilly asserts that mafia groups create the threat themselves and collect rackets and similarly states monopolize the coercing power sometimes when there is no enemy but the state itself.

He explains the pre-modern state period and the illegitimate use of power of the sovereign group in this period. He gives the example of piracy and Robin Hood and analyzes how the modern state evolved in a way to possess permanent, professional military and police forces that could regulate the state’s rules and monopolize the power. He defines the sale of the protection by the state as the “forced sale of protection” and shows how clients (citizens) do not have choice but to accept the state’s authority. He profits from an economic historian, Frederic Lane’s ideas. Tilly then tries to explain the basic aims and functions of the state. I his view states do;

-War making: Eliminating or neutralizing their own rivals outside the territories in which they have clear and continuous priority as wielders of force.

-State making: Eliminating or neutralizing their rivals inside those territories.

-Protection: Eliminating or neutralizing the enemies of their clients.

-Extraction: Acquiring the means of carrying out the first three activities- war making, state making and protection.

According to Charles Tilly, the main characteristic of the state is to use coercion to sustain its existence. He then talks about the war as a part of state politics and this reminds us the famous quote of Carl von Clausewitz; “War is merely the continuation of policy by other means”.

Ozan Örmeci