Political Science: What Is A Minimalist State?

Minimal is a subjective term depending upon the perceived necessity of the person making the judgement.  That said, by using the term ‘state’ not government, it is possible to list what is the minimum requirement.

1) A means of controlling the ability to define rules of behavior in a territory. Usually stated as a territorial monopoly of violence.  Generally this requires warriors. (always, actually)
2) Some form of leadership – one to many.
3) A bureaucracy to enforce decisions and to police resistance.
4) Technically, writing for the purpose of keeping records and inventories.
5)  A means of collecting revenue that will pay for the administrators.
6) A set of norms that people obey under the threat of ostracization from opportunities that keeps the cost of administration down to tolerable levels.
7) A division of labor.
8) A population

Not positive. Need to think a bit.  But I’m pretty sure that’s the minimum for a state.   A state is different from a government.   A state is a bad thing. A government can be a good thing.


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