The Strategy of Conquest
This paper develops a theoretical framework for the study of war and conquest. The analysis highlights the role of three factors - the technology of war, resources, and contiguity network - in shaping the dynamics of appropriation and the formation of empires. The world of many kingdoms is characterized by incessant fighting. After an initial phase of uncertain and gradual growth, the expansion of the winning kingdom speeds up, and it grows rapidly through contiguous expansion. The size of the empire is limited by the connectivity of the network. These dynamics are consistent with the rise of the First Chinese Empire.