The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution
The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution
Francis Fukuyama

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011)
Francis Fukuyama

In the fall of 2009 and spring of 2010, Francis Fukuyama, Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, and director of SAIS’ International Development program, delivered a series of four lectures, sponsored by the LeFrak Forum and Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modern Democracy in the Department of Political Science at MSU.

His book, The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2011), from which the lectures were drawn is not just about “getting to Denmark,” a mythical country said to have good institutions—stable, peaceful, democratic, inclusive, with good public services and low levels of corruption. It is also about political development more generally. It is the story of the evolution of three categories of political institutions: the state itself, as it evolves out of kinship-based forms of social organization; the rule of law, or the sovereignty of law over rulers; and the rise of accountable government, or what we now understand to be democracy. Dr. Fukuyama accepts the premise of Samuel Huntington’s class work Political Order in Changing Societies, that political development follows a logic separate from economic and social development.