The State Debate

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The 1990s promise to be a period of rapid political change, as old political boundaries dissolve and new political forces emerge. These changes throw into question our understanding of capitalism and socialism, of the character of the nation state and of the relationship between the economy and the state. However, these changes are only the culmination of developments which have been unfolding over the past two decades. The papers collected in this volume were originally written to look behind day-to-day events so as to understand the deeper roots of the crisis of the state in the 1970s. While subsequent developments have brought out the superficiality of many earlier analyses of the capitalist state, they have confirmed the incisiveness and wider relevance of the approach to the state developed in the course of the debates within the Conference of Socialist Economists, on which this volume primarily draws. The book includes a comprehensive introductory survey, which sets the contributions collected here within the context of the wider debate. The book should be of interest to all those concerned with understanding contemporary political developments, as well as providing essential reading for courses on the theory of the state, political sociology, political economy and contemporary political theory.