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Beyond the State: An Introductory Critique

ISBN: 978-0-7456-1181-5
264 pages
June 1995, Polity
Beyond the State: An Introductory Critique (0745611818) cover image
This is an accessible yet challenging introduction to the state and state theory, the author makes the distinction between "state" and "government" and discusses a world beyond the state.
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Preface.

1. Overview.

Part I: Identifying the Problem:.

2. Can the State be Defined ?.

3. Force, State and Government.

4. When Does the State Become the State ?.

5. The State as Contradiction.

6. The Problem of Legitimacy.

Part II: Challenges and Alternative Critiques:.

7. Liberalism.

8. Anarchism.

9. Marxism.

10. Feminism.

11. Postmodernism.

Part III: The Practical Implications of the Critique: .

12. International Society.

13. Democracy and the Movement Beyond the State.

Notes.

Index.
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* An accessible yet challenging introduction to the state and state theory.
* An original book, it turns on the distinction between the state and government, and derives such a distinction from a particular reading of political anthropology.
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"John Hoffman's Beyond the State is an important book. The modern state is undergoing extremely complex changes and has predictably been a subject of agonised philosophical debate. John Hoffman's book makes a most valuable contribution to the debate. He skilfully analyses the nature of the state, examines the liberal, anarchist, Marxist, feminist and other recent critiques of it, and suggests appropriate ways of conceptualising and organising the state. His treatment of the critiques of the state is perceptive, and his own alternative carefully thought out. This is one of the finest books on the subject and no student of the modern state can fail to benefit from it." Bhikhu Parekh, University of Hull

"His book is shaped around a discussion of some of the major contributions to the debate over the nature of the state, the character of legitimacy, and the characteristics of international society. Rather like a restrained gallery guide who none the less has clear opinions of his own when pointing out the pictures, Hoffman presents his own views by means of a discussion of the rival exhibits." Times Literary Supplement

"John Hoffman has written a thoughtful and thought provoking account of the state and of the possibilities of its transcendence ... A welcome antidote." Political Studies

"Thought-provoking ... Hoffman's argument is well crafted and bold." Political Geography

"[A] challenging introductory critique of the idea of the state. It is well researched and written in a style accessible to the non-specialist." Studies in Marxism

"Beyond the State promises to be a thought provoking new book." Leicester Mercury

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