The State: Theories and Issues (Political Analysis) by Colin Hay, Michael Lister, David Marsh

By Colin Hay, Michael Lister, David Marsh

Broad-ranging in its assurance, this significant new textual content introduces all of the major competing theoretical methods to the examine of the kingdom in addition to key contested matters relating to globalization, new varieties of governance, the altering public/private boundary, adjustments within the powers and capacities of states, and the diversities among complicated liberal democratic and different states.

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Extra resources for The State: Theories and Issues (Political Analysis)

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Pluralist theorist in post-war America confused normative claims with empirical reality. Pluralists desired a state limited by multiple power centres and the influence of groups and this was their perception of politics in post-war America. Consequently, the US pluralist theory of the state was actually a model of how they believed American politics operated and, in a manner similar to the way in which the works of Walter Bagehot and Sir Ivor Jennings legitimized executive sovereignty in Britain, the pluralists legitimized the US political system.

The second section of the book examines some of these changes and how they have and might impact upon the study of the state. In particular, it seems that the Weberian, or neo-Weberian view of the state as exerting a monopoly of authority through dedicated state actors, is increasingly challenged. However, all the chapters caution against simple arguments of the decline of the state; indeed, each argues for its continuing centrality. Nicola Hothi, David Marsh and Nicola Smith examine how globalization has impacted upon the state.

Such insights include a number 14 Introduction: Theories of the State of key observations: (i) if the state can in some instances be seen to act as if an ‘ideal collective capitalist’ it may also be seen as a ‘patriarch general’, a key site in the reproduction of relations of patriarchal domination within society; (ii) with the growing feminization of poverty, ever-increasing numbers of women are becoming dependent upon the state for their very survival, giving the state a historically unparalleled prominence in the lives of women; (iii) paradoxically, at the same time the state is ever more dependent upon the unpaid domestic labour of women in an era of welfare retrenchment; (iv) as this demonstrates, the reproduction of capitalist social relations is integrally bound up with the reproduction of patriarchal relations – an adequate theory of either must deal with their mutual articulation.

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