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State, Economy and the Great Divergence provides a new analysis of what has become the central debate in global economic history: the 'great divergence' between European and Asian growth. Focusing on early modern China and Western Europe, in particular Great Britain, this book offers a new level of detail on comparative state formation that has wide-reaching implications for European, Eurasian and global history. Beginning with an overview of the historiography, Peer Vries goes on to extend and develop the debate, critically engaging with the huge volume of literature published on the topic to date. Incorporating recent insights, he offers a compelling alternative to the claims to East-West equivalence, or Asian superiority, which have come to dominate discourse surrounding this issue. This is a vital update to a key issue in global economic history and, as such, is essential reading for students and scholars interested in keeping up to speed with the on-going debates.