Redesigning the State, Reorienting State Power, and Rethinking the State

  • Bob Jessop
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

After a relatively fallow period in the 1990s, the general form and functions of states are once again returning to the top of the agenda, both theoretically and practically. This is particularly evident in the wake of the world economic crisis that became increasingly visible from mid-2007 onwards and has since triggered a radical restructuring of the state system and a profound strategic reorientation of state intervention. Indeed, following many predictions about the end of the national state, the close of 2008 and start of 2009 could be seen to herald its resurgence as the saviour in the last resort of an economic and social formation in crisis. Such changes are reawakening interest in the state apparatus, state capacities, state failure, and new forms of governance. Interest in the state and state power had declined following the end of the Cold War, the rise (or, at least, increasing recognition) of globalization processes and their effects, and the growing importance of new social movements. These three trends (and others in the same period) saw attention turn away, respectively, from the contrast between capitalism and socialism and their respective state forms to interest in varieties of capitalism and political regimes, from the national state and/or nation-state to global-local dialectics and multi-level governance, and from class struggle and the class character of the state to the dynamics of discourse and identity politics.


National State Political Organization Modern State State Capacity Social Formation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bob Jessop
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyLancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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