BSTRACT. Are the principles of international relations applicable to history? How are they applied? What do we learn when we do so? The three connected case studies in this article help answer all three of these questions. The Assyrian Empire was the superpower of the 9th, 8th, and 7th centuries BC. The story of its fall, as well as that of the system that attempted to replace it, and that of the rise of the new superpower Achaemenid Persia show how domestic pressures affect international system change across time periods. This article explores, through case study and regime analysis methods, how regime type affects both the stability of domestic regimes when they are under international pressure and the international system itself. The concepts of representation and balance of power are essential to this analysis. This article explores the idea of bureaucratic representation, whereby diverse groups of person are represented through the bureaucracy rather than relying on formal or electoral institutions. Also, the concept of domestic balance of power is linked to the literature on republicanism. This article questions the democratic/authoritarian regime dichotomy and sets up further debate and research on how modern states could engage in political development with concepts in addition to democracy.

Keywords: ancient state; pre-democratic regime; representation; power

How to cite: Binetti, Christopher (2018). “How Ancient States Rise and Fall: Pre-Democratic Regime Typology, Representation, and Domestic and International Balances of Power,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 10(1): 30–45.

Received 14 June 2017 • Received in revised form 19 July 2017
Accepted 20 July 2017 • Available online 15 August 2017


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Ph.D., The University of Maryland, College Park

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