||The state is a social phenomenon which first appeared only several thousand years ago. In fact, the period that states have existed for is brief in comparison with the period of stateless societies. Nevertheless, the theoretical debate surrounding state formation and collapse has generated a large and continuous fascination within both academic and non-academic circles. Scholars have attempted to unravel the causes and processes of state formation and collapse, which is not only essential for ancient history, archaeology, anthropology and related disciplines, but also for a more comprehensive understanding of the modern world. One might ask: why produce another work in addition to an already enormous amount of scholarship addressing these topics? Yet, it will become clear that there is no general consensus on these topics. Neither is there a theory of state formation or collapse which can be applied individually and globally through different spatial and temporal settings. This thesis is set out to create a new theory of state formation and collapse, based upon a critical assessment of the most important theories of state formation of collapse, and tested to a case study. In this way, a new approach is taken to answer the following question: “What are the causes and processes behind state formation and collapse and what are the mechanisms that facilitate the process of state formation and collapse?” This will be done for the Old Babylonian state formed by Hammurabi of Babylon (1792-1750 BCE) and which collapsed during the Late Old Babylonian Period.