The State Tradition in Western Europe

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ECPR Press, Feb 1, 2010 - History - 356 pages
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Why have continental European societies developed the idea of the abstract impersonal state as the fundamental institution of political rule? Why, on the other hand, has this idea played a relatively insignificant part in the history of English-speaking countries?

It is to such questions that this major study is addressed. With clarity and conciseness, Kenneth Dyson examines the fascinating tapestry of thought about public authority that the state tradition represents, and identifies the major individual contributions to that tapestry. In addition to offering a clear conceptualisation of state, he deals with such key issues as the role of the intellectual, the social function of state theories, and the difficulties of accommodating state and democracy.


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The Origins of the State
The State as a Sociocultural Phenomenon
Three Conceptions of the State Might Law and Legitimacy
The Historical Development of Theories of the State
A Comparison of Theories of the State in France and Germany
The Word State in the British Intellectual Tradition
State as a Tool of Analysis
The Idea of the State and Democracy
The End of the Idea of the State?
Index of Names
Index of Subjects

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About the author (2010)

Kenneth Dyson was born in Scarborough, UK, and since 2003 has been Research Professor in the School of European Studies at Cardiff University, Wales. He was appointed Professor of European Studies at the University of Bradford in 1982. He has been Visiting Professor at Konstanz University, Germany, and DAAD Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Free University of Berlin. A founding member and early chair of the Association for the Study of German Politics, Kenneth Dyson also served as founder and chair of the Standing Conference of Heads of European Studies. He was twice chair of the UK Research Assessment Exercise Panel in European Studies. In addition to being a Fellow of the British Academy, he is an Academician of the Learned Society of the Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is also a founding fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. Kenneth Dyson is the author of numerous solo-authored and edited books in comparative European public policy, especially economic policies, in EU studies and in German political studies. Most recently, they include: Elusive Union (1994); The Road to Maastricht (1999, with Kevin Featherstone, voted academic book of the year in 'Choice'); The Politics of the Euro Zone (2000); European States and the Euro (2002); Germany, Europe and the Politics of Constraint (2003, with Klaus Goetz); The Euro at Ten (2008); and Central Banks in the Age of the Euro (2009, with Martin Marcussen). In 2010 he published the two volumes (with Lucia Quaglia) on European Economic Governance and Policies: Commentary on Key Documents, and (with Angelos Sepos) Which Europe? The Politics of Differentiated Integration. He was awarded the German Federal Service Cross (First Class) for services to Anglo-German relations.

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