I would like to better understand the experience of being governed and interaction with the centralized state (or lack thereof) in pre-modern times.
A cursory search did not return anything interesting: a starting point or keywords to look for would be greatly appreciated.
To elaborate, in modern developed countries most people interact with some sort of government institution on a daily basis. Virtually every transaction is taxed, in urban areas one can see police cars, most of economic activities require permits, it is assumed that basic healthcare services will be promptly provided to whoever needs it.
This must be starkly different to how people interacted with and perceived the government in pre-modern times. Even in comparatively centralized states such as the Roman empire or the Chinese dynasties, an average person must have felt a much weaker presence of the government in their lives and perceived it completely differently.
Some more specific questions that come to mind:
- Were most people even aware that they were part of something larger than their immediate social environment (ie, state vs village)?
- Would they care which government to live under given that there was no strong state-related (eg, national) identity?
- Would they notice the change of government if territory they lived in was conquered? How fast?
- Can anything general be said on this issue, or does it strongly depend on the exact period and geographical location?
Are there books/articles/podcasts/reddit threads discussing this subject in more detail? Which keywords should I look for?