Rightly fearing that unscrupulous rulers would break them up, seize their resources, or submit them to damaging forms of intervention, strong networks of trust such as kinship groups, clandestine religious sects, and trade diasporas have historically insulated themselves from political control by a variety of strategies. Drawing on a vast range of comparisons over time and space, Trust and Rule asks and answers how and with what consequences members of trust networks have evaded, compromised with, or even sought connections with political regimes. Since different forms of integration between trust networks produce authoritarian, theocratic, and democratic regimes, the book provides an essential background to the explanation of democratization and de-democratization.
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