There are basically two ways for a people to maintain social order: law backed by coercion, and convention or custom backed by social sanctions. To be sure, the two are intertwined, and every society employs a mixture. But establishing and maintaining an enduring order depends on a fairly low coercion-to-convention ratio.
Ben Peterson is an assistant professor of political science at Abilene Christian University. He graduated with a doctorate in political science from Texas A&M University, an M.P.P. from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, and a B.S. in History Pre-Law from Oklahoma Christian University. He has written for National Affairs, The New Atlantis, Law and Liberty, and Public Discourse, among other publications. Follow him on Twitter @ben_2_long.