DescriptionDebates about the role and nature of the state are at the heart of modern politics. However, the state itself remains notoriously difficult to define, and the term is subject to a range of different interpretations.
In this book, distinguished state theorist Bob Jessop provides a critical introduction to the state as both a concept and a reality. He lucidly guides readers through all the major accounts of the state, and examines competing efforts to relate the state to other features of social organization. Essential themes in the analysis of the state are explored in full, including state formation, periodization, the re-scaling of the state and the state's future. Throughout, Jessop clearly defines key terms, from hegemony and coercion to government and governance. He also analyses what we mean when we speak about 'normal'
and 'exceptional' states, and states that are 'failed' or 'rogue'.
Combining an accessible style with expert sensitivity to the complexities of the state, this short introduction will be core reading for students and scholars of politics and sociology, as well as anyone interested in the changing role of the state in contemporary societies.
1 Introduction 1
Part I The State as Concept, Relation, and Reality 13
2 The Concept of the State 15
3 The State as a Social Relation 53
4 Power, Interests, Domination, State Effects 91
Part II On Territory, Apparatus, and Population 121
5 The State and Space–Time 123
6 State and Nation 148
7 Government + Governance in the Shadow of Hierarchy 164
Part III Past and Present (Futures) of the State 187
8 The World Market and the World of States 189
9 Liberal Democracy, Exceptional States, and the New Normal 211
10 The Future of States and Statehood 238
Index of Names 290
Subject Index 292
Colin Hay, Sciences Po, Paris
"It is hard to think that anyone knows more about state theory than than Bob Jessop, and here he applies this encyclopaedic knowledge with great forensic skill."
Political Studies Review
- Provides a comprehensive guide to various understandings of the state; one of the central concepts in the study of politics and society
- Astutely examines issues relating to state formation, periodization, the re-scaling of the state and the state's future
- Accessibly written by a leading theorist of the state
- Will appeal to students across the social sciences, and anyone with an interest in this fundamental political idea