Critical Theories of the State: Marxist, Neomarxist, Postmarxist

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, Mar 1, 1993 - Political Science - 230 pages

Critical Theories of the State is a clear and accessible survey of radical perspectives on the modern state. By focusing on Marxist theory and its variations, particularly as applied to advanced industrial societies and contemporary welfare states, Clyde W. Barrow provides a more extensive and thorough treatment than is available in any other work.
Barrow divides the methodological assumptions and key hypotheses of Marxist, Neo-Marxist, and Post-Marxist theories into five distinct approaches: instrumentalist, structuralist, derivationist, systems-analytic, and organizational realist. He categorizes the many theorists discussed in the book, including such thinkers as Elmer Altvater, G. William Domhoff, Fred Block, Claus Offe, and Theda Skocpol according to their concepts of the state’s relationship to capital and their methodological approach to the state. Based on this survey, Barrow elaborates a compelling typology of radical state theories that identifies with remarkable clarity crucial points of overlap and divergence among the various theories.
Scholars conducting research within the rubric of state theory, political development, and policy history will find Critical Theories of the State an immensely valuable review of the literature. Moreover, Barrow’s work will make an excellent textbook for undergraduate and graduate courses in political science and sociology, and can also be used by those teaching theory courses in international relations, history, and political economy.


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The Book analyse several theories related to the State in a critical manner. Five theories of the state identified by their theoretical assumptions about how well the state achieves the policy conjunctures necessary to maintain capitalist society. The scholars can identify historical patterns of class action in particular capitalist countries. Patterns of the class action that establish a relationship between classes and state elites. That, once the levels of analysis have been identified, it is necessary to connect the different levels with each other theoretically and to explain their interrelationships in determining state power and state policy. However, the author pointed that first scholars must outline the issues in a historical and comparative way. Plus they should approach the study through the connections between state power and class domination. Additionally extensive fact-gathering through the comparative empirical and historical research by the data collection plan. 


The Instrumentalist Approach
The Structuralist Approach
The Derivationist Approach
The SystemsAnalytic Approach
The Organizational Realist Approach
SIX The Antinomies of Marxist Political Theory
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About the author (1993)

Clyde W. Barrow is acting chair and associate professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth. He is the author of Universities and the Capitalist State, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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