The force theory or conquest theory is a theory of government which argues that governments are established by violence, rather than by divine right or through a social contract of their citizens. The defining feature of societal formation is considered to be conflict, such as one tribe conquering the others around it to take control in a certain region. According to McElroy, there exists more historical evidence for the conquest theory than for other competing theories.
- "Defining State and Society - Wendy McElroy". The Independent Institute.
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