The Critique of the State
What kind of political order would there be in the absence of the state? Jens Bartelson argues that we are currently unable to imagine what might lurk 'beyond', because our basic concepts of political order are conditioned by our experience of statehood. In this study, he investigates the concept of the state historically as well as philosophically, considering a range of thinkers and theories. He also considers the vexed issue of authority: modern political discourse questions the form and content of authority, but makes it all but impossible to talk about the foundations of authority. Largely due to the existing practices of political and scientific criticism, authority appears to be unquestionable. Bartelson's wide-ranging and readable discussion of the suppositions and presuppositions of statehood will be of interest to scholars and upper-level students of political theory and social theory, and philosophy of social science.
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analysis argue assumption behaviouralist Cambridge University Press capacity to act capitalist capitalist society civil society claims Claus Offe coherence concept of politics condition constitutive context contingent criticism critique defined demarcation denaturalization distinct domestic dominant class early pluralist early political science effort empirical epistemic exist explain fact function G. D. H. Cole Governmentality groups Hegel Ibid ical ideological implies inquiry institutions interests International Relations Theory interpreted knowledge Laski legal positivism logic London Marx Marxist Michel Foucault Miliband mode of production monist nature necessary Nicos Poulantzas notion object ontological Philosophy pluralist theory plurality political community political discourse political order political reality political scientists political system Political Theory Political Thought possible Poulantzas present presupposes principle priori dependence problem of political question Ralph Miliband reconceptualize science of politics scientific sense sovereign sovereignty sphere state-bashers statehood structuralist structure temporalization theoretical tion tradition transhistorical turn ultimately unity
Page 198 - ... is cleft into irreconcilable antagonisms which it is powerless to dispel. But in order that these antagonisms, classes with conflicting economic interests...
Page 193 - The relation between the bourgeois class and the state is an objective relation. This means that if the function of the state in a determinate social formation and the interests of the dominant class in this formation coincide, it is by reason of the system itself : the direct participation of members of the ruling class in the state apparatus is not the cause but the effect, and moreover a chance and contingent one, of this objective coincidence.
Page 192 - structures" should not be confused with visible "social relations" but constitute a level of reality invisible but present behind the visible social relations. The logic of the latter, and the laws of social practice more generally, depend on the functioning of these hidden structures and the discovery of these last should allow us to "account for all the facts...