one account of what's going on with isis puts the blame on 'stateless' or 'ungoverned' areas (another traditional formulation is 'failed state'). that's where the danger is suposed to lie, where terror blooms. but, first, surely the problems of syria and iraq are basically fomented by oppressive/corrupt governements. and second, is provides a pretty good model of how states arise (obviously, it calls itself a state) a more realistic version than the just-so stories of a hobbes or locke. people don't band together for mutual protection; they band together for rapine and sack (or religious fanaticism, or both). then as they roll in, you face a choice: die/lose evertything, or declare your loyalty to the sackers. pretty easy choice. your loyalty will expressed as tribute/protectio/taxes. then you are under the gang's protection, and they will start to consolidate a base by providing social services as well as physical protection from themselves and others. that's how the crips behaved in la, e.g., or hamas in gaza, and i speculate that it is the origin of the political state.